Calling all mothers!

The final project for my soft prototypes class is to design the ultimate backpack for a certain demographic. I have decided to focus on the urban mom on the go and designing the ultimate diaper bag. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few simple questions if you fit this criteria I would greatly appreciate it! It will help me with my research in designing my final product.

1) What kind of diaper bag do you currently use or have in the past?
2) What did you like and dislike about your diaper bag
3) How much would you be willing to spend on a diaper bag?
4) As far as the tote diaper bag or backpack bag do you have a preference? If so why?
5) What components are essential to a diaper bag? Changing Pad? Clips for keys and pacifiers? Thermal pockets for bottles? Having certain items accessible?
6) Does fashion play a part when choosing a diaper bag?
7) Do you use your diaper bag to store other items that are not related to your child?

optional – if you could include a brief description of yourself, including where you reside, how many children you have, or any other information you think that I would find vital that would be wonderful! Thanks so much!

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3 responses to “Calling all mothers!

  1. I’m not an urban mom, but I consider myself a chic suburban mother (I love fashion) so I hope I can help.1.I have been using the black vinyl bag from the hospital, mainly because it was utiltarian and dad-friendly. I sewed an overnight bag for my 2-year-old son, that was a femeine upholstery weight fabric, lined with clear vinyl. For every day use, I now just throw a few things in my large metallic leather hobo purse.2.I never liked the look of the hospital bag, but it was lined with waterproof fabric inside (a must for the under 2 kid). It also had two compartments and two pouches on the outside. It was not quite big enough, though. (About 12l x 6w x 10 h) A lot of different pockets and compartments are a must. Small babies need lots of different products.3.I would spend around $50-$65 for something that I thought I could use for the time span that a child would need a diaper bag (about 4 years). I imagine an urban mom would/could spend more.4. I prefer a tote, but I drive everywhere. An urban mom may prefer a pack.5. A changing pad is great if it comes with bag. Keeps us from having to find one. It should be waterproof/repellent on the changing side. A longer length would be fabulous. Usually they’re only about 24 inches long. Babies grow longer than that pretty quickly, and I still want to lay my toddler on one – he’s 37 inches tall! A special pouch or pocket for things that need to be reached quikly is good (like wipes, pacifiers, cups, small toys). Bottles usually need to be inside of a small cooler/bag.6.I think fashion is becoming a bigger part of choosing a bag. Moms used to choose bags that matched the sex of the baby, or that a small child would like (think pastel colors and cutsey characters – ICK!) Now I think more moms are realizing that the kid isn’t the one carrying the bag! I like the bags that look more like the oversized purse/tote. Anything that’s double duty is great. I forgot to mention that a diaper bag should have a place for mom’s stuff, too. Or a smaller bag that can be removed to use as a clutch, etc.7. As I said in #6, anything that pulls double duty is the best. It sucks having to carry a diaper bag, purse, briefcase, whatever AND chase after your kids. I think this would especially important in an urban area. Mom’s need their hands free to herd the kids!I’m 30 years old and I stay at home with my daughter, 6 and son, 2. When I’m not at home, I am a part-time (for now) student of textile design! (that’s why I love your blog) I live in Marysville, Ohio; not exactly urban, but as I said, I love fashion and definetly stay current with the trends (unless they’re ridiculous!)I hope this can help you, Kimberly. Hopefully you’ll get more advice as well. Shoot an e-mail over to Grace at Design*Sponge. That’s how I found your blog in the first place ( I think – I read so many!) She’ll probably mention that you need the help from any other moms.Good luck, and make sure you show us what you come up with!

  2. Andi – Thank you so much! I will be blogging about my final design, so you can see the whole design process!

  3. Kim – My only child is 7 years old now and I live in a suburb north of Boston, but I definitely remember the whole diaper bag issue and the importance of finding the “right” one. Here are my thoughts about your questions: 1) I had 2 bags, one was considered “every day” and the other one was more of an overnight bag, although that was not the intention when I first bought it. It was just too big to carry everywhere. 2) The thing I liked most about my every day bag was its size and the fact that it was a backpack, which keeps your hands free. The other one had one strap that always seemed to slip off and again, was just too big! 3) I think the most expensive bag I had was around $40, so I guess that’s what I was willing to spend. 4) For the reason mentioned above, keeping your hands free, I like the backpack style. Also, my husband is a hiker who is used to carrying a backpack, so he like that style better as well. 5) Essential components? Definitely a changing pad and a “mother’s pocket” is nice, somewhere where you can keep your wallet, keys, cellphone, etc. so that you also don’t have to carry a purse. I could never handle both. I love the idea of a thermal pocket. I always had a separate thermal bag that took up a lot of room. 6) The most important thing fashion wise was that it was something that I could use and my husband was comfortable using, too. I guess you would call it unisex. Also, I’m not sure if it fits here, but it’s important to be easy to clean. 7) I never did use them to store any other items, althoug my daughter did use one that I got from the hospital and never used myself as a book bag to take on vacation! Hope this helps. Good luck on your project! Mary Ann

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