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Why So Serious? (about Diaper Bags)

This is a repost of my column on Dad Blogs, Armed And Fatherly, copied here as part of an ongoing effort to archive my various musings that biographers and/or Presidential librarians will probably someday want easy access to.  This particular one is my second, originally posted May 11th, 2009.

batbagMy good friend and occasional (a weekend every few months) partner in crime fighting asked me to pen this column in his absence this week, as he thought my recent experiences could provide valuable information to those that are in the market for a diaper bag. Let me first introduce myself – I go by several different monikers including the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, the WingKing of Buffalo, but most folks just call me Batman. Of course that isn’t my real name, but Sting isn’t his real name either and no one gives him trouble about it so why should I get any different treatment. This is beside the point.

I have recently become a father to identical triplets within my secret marriage to Catwoman. It’s certainly a challenge trying to raise Batgirl, Catgirl, and Pamela while still being able to battle the uber-criminal masterminds of Gotham. (even more so for Catwoman who is always having to swing back into the BatCave for breastfeedings) It becomes an even greater challenge when we have to bring them along for some of the longer evenings out when Alfred can’t babysit for them on Superhero Domestic Servant poker league night. When all of us are on the go, that’s when it becomes necessary to lug all of the essentials for proper infant care with us for use at a moment’s notice. Whether it be diapers and wipes, toys or BatPacifiers, you need to have it with you and accessible to keep your kids happy and safe from the inherent dangers that come with vigilante justice.

I am a tinkerer by trade, and so our vessel of choice is actually a custom-made affair, made from black neoprene and adorned with rubber bright yellow clasps and zippers. We call it the BatBag. You obviously won’t be able to find it in stores, but many of the features can be found in standard bags. Here’s a run-down of important things to look for when shopping for your own BatBag:

1) Durability

The BatBag’s inch thick neoprene is both bulletproof and heat resistant up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is probably overkill for the average parent, but you do want to make sure that the bag you choose will stand up to the rigors of constant use – look for thicker material (bookbag quality) and good stitching on seams and zippers – a lot of loose threads means this bag will be falling apart sooner rather than later. I also recommend velcro latches over buckles – it makes getting in and out of pockets a lot quicker which can come in handy when your child is screaming and/or henchmen are tossing irrational fear inducing tear gas grenades.

2) Size

You are going to be loaded to the gills with stuff – this is the nature of baby travel. Make sure that you get a diaper bag that is big enough to hold everything – diapers, wipes, pacifiers, changes of clothes, hats, shoes, food, sippy cups, Batterangs, etc. With that being said, you shouldn’t get a hockey goalie’s equipment bag either. Make sure that whatever bag you get isn’t awkward to carry around.

3) A Good Number of Pockets

The sheer variety of things that you’ll need to carry with you is often mind-boggling, and cramming it all into one big pocket can cause a lot of frustration trying to find what you need quickly. Bags with a lot of pockets (both externally and inside the main pocket) can help you organize everything – it can also help when you need to find things in a darkened movie theater or when gliding via your BatWing over the city searching for trouble and/or a bathroom with a changing table.

4) Free Standing

This bag will go everywhere with you, and undoubtedly a lot of the time you will be attending to your children (whether it be changing them, feeding them, or strapping them into their BatSuits for swim lessons) and will need your bag to stay put. Look for a bags with a large base, or at least the capacity to be free standing without tipping over and spilling its contents.

5) Grappling Hook Reel

This is essential for keeping down the cost of replacing grappling hooks after a long week of crime fighting. If I had a nickel for every carbon fiber rope and hook I’ve left dangling across Gotham I’d be an even richer man than I already am.

6) Insulated Pocket

Having a bottle of breastmilk or premixed formula along with Dad on a trip to Arkham (or the mall) can be a lifesaver if a meltdown occurs. An insulated pocket large enough for an ice-pack and a bottle serves this need nicely. As your kids get older, you can use the same pocket for juice, water, or an antidote for Poison Ivy’s poison-laced darts.

7) Comfort

Remember, this bag will be with you constantly when you’re away from the mansion with your kids in tow – be sure to purchase something that you can comfortably lug with you. This varies by person – some might prefer a messenger-style bag, others a backpack, or even the artificially intelligent GPS powered wheeled one that follows me along at a distance, coming in for use only when I press the call button on my utility belt. Whatever style suits you, go with it.

Hopefully these simple suggestions will help you discover the diaper bag that is right for you. And whether you are at the zoo, out to dinner, or just standing on the roof of police headquarters letting your kids make hand puppets in the Bat Signal’s powerful spotlight, you can rest assured knowing that you’re prepared for the worst with your fully stocked diaper bag at your side. Unless of course the Joker has stolen it and replaced it with replica that will incapacitate you should you try to unzip it AND contains only a single diaper, two sizes too small for any of your children. Honestly though, that rarely happens.

And now, brave citizen, I must return to my constant vigil against the evil forces that spend their waking hours plotting Gotham’s downfall and continue my crusade to protect the innocent. Also it is my turn to do bathtime.

Posted in Armed and Fatherly. Tagged with .

  • http://jugglingeric.blogspot.com Eric D. Bolton

    No voice activated shields option??

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    My inside scoop tells me that's more of a “third remade movie” option… :)
    Mark

  • sunshine007

    Impresive description , I felt joy and positive while I read your article especially during the first to the second part. I too would like to share my fun experience when it comes to diaper bags. My husband was taking the baby out one day and mistaked my purse as the diaper bag, well imagine his surprise when he was without diapers and our baby did a stinky right in the middle of his luncheon. I decided I was going to get him his own personal diaper bag with a “masculine” appeal so I found an awesome one at http://www.babydirect.com He'll never again take my purse when he's on baby duty! Just thought I'd share my hee hee story with your readers.

  • sunshine007

    Impresive description , I felt joy and positive while I read your article especially during the first to the second part. I too would like to share my fun experience when it comes to diaper bags. My husband was taking the baby out one day and mistaked my purse as the diaper bag, well imagine his surprise when he was without diapers and our baby did a stinky right in the middle of his luncheon. I decided I was going to get him his own personal diaper bag with a “masculine” appeal so I found an awesome one at http://www.babydirect.com He'll never again take my purse when he's on baby duty! Just thought I'd share my hee hee story with your readers.