Maternity Style: the search for a stylish changing bag

tan leather baby bag with changing mat

I‘ve talked about this before, I know, but, as soon as you announce that you’re pregnant, people start lining up to tell you about how you Can’t Have Nice Things any more, because OBVIOUSLY, duh!

So far, I’ve been told that I…

01. Can’t have nice shoes, because, in the unlikely event that my feet don’t grow during pregnancy, “nice” shoes just aren’t practical enough for all of the “chasing around after a toddler” I’ll be doing.

02. Can’t have nice clothes, because the baby will just spit up on them.

03. Can’t have white walls in my house, because all babies smear poop on walls, apparently. (And, I guess if your walls are a dark colour, that’s OK, because you can just leave it there? Is that what you folks are trying to tell me here? Because I am NOT OK with this, if so…)

And, most recently, I’ve been told that I can’t have nice handbags, just a big ol’ changing bag, and, as we all know, there’s no such thing as a stylish changing bag, is there?

“We’ll see about THAT!” I thought.

Now, a changing bag was one of the last remaining items on my “things I need to buy” list, but, as luck would have it, not long after the dire warning about how I’d have to chuck out all of my designer handbags was issued, an email dropped into my inbox from a brand called Beau. And, whaddya know, they just so happened to be selling the very thing I’d been told didn’t exist – a stylish changing bag: or bags, rather, because they have more than one of them, and, let me tell you, I had a hard time choosing a favourite.

The beauty of Beau – from my point of view, at least – is that most of their bags just look like regular handbags: nice ones, too. I went for the Sophia changing bag, which comes in a gorgeous tan leather with gold hardware, and a removable organiser insert, which allows you to just use the bag as a “normal” handbag, if you’re out without the baby:

leather changing bag with accessories

Appearance aside, the thing that appealed to me most about this bag is how clever it is in terms of organisation. As well as having various zipped pockets on the bag itself, the wipe-clean organiser has another internal pouch of its own, plus tons of different compartments, so you can keep everything organised, and not have to rummage around for whatever you’re looking for:

bag organiser for stylish changing bag

As well as all of this, there’s also a leather bottle holder:

stylish changing bag in tan leather with accessories

Plus a changing mat which looks like a cute leather clutch bag, but which has EVEN MORE storage tucked away under the mat itself:

stripe changing mat for baby

Genius.

So, I obviously haven’t been able to use this as an actual changing bag yet (I’ve totally used it as a handbag, though, not gonna lie…), but I’m planning to pack the baby’s stuff in it to take to the hospital – where it will go nicely with my own hospital bag # 2, now I come to think of it. Oh, and just to add, for anyone thinking of buying one: this bag normally comes with a shoulder strap, too, so you can carry it over your shoulder as well as by the handles. Mine is a sample, which was sent to me for review purposes, and the shoulder strap is missing – I happen to have another tan leather shoulder strap “in stock” though (I always knew my handbag collection would come in handy one day!), so its no biggie for me, but if you order one yourself, it would come with the detachable strap, too!

26 Comments
  1. Aaaaaaand you can’t have long hair because the baby will suck on it and, as I’ve just watched my landlady’s tiny granddaughter remove a bean (?) from her breakfast and very, very carefully and neatly place it in her daddy’s nostril, you probably shouldn’t have a noise either 😉 :p

    Seriously… what a lovely bag! I think I’ll go and see if they have non-baby versions as I’ll soon need something to replace my current all too officious (think Prison Warder) looking briefcase/laptop bag.

  2. I can’t seem to post pictures though I had a similar one in both Brown and Black even though faux leather looked so good. Looks like a handbag though all waterproof inside with changing mat and storage for your bits and phone. The website was Baby.Mel London. Think JoJo Maman Bebe stocks them and some others and am sure there is a shop on Multrees Walk in Edinburgh. I loved it as concluded could not take out a handbag and a baby bag. Also looked stylish for going out for dinner avec baby. Storksak have some stylish bags though a bit more pricey. Xxxxx

  3. That is a lovely bag the only hesitation I would have – and it wouldn’t stop me buying the bag or using it – I would just have to add this part to it, is the changing mat machine washable? Because the only option sometimes is to shove it in the machine. Luckily since I have 3 change bags I can just switch the change mats around when one is in the wash. Amazon also have sacks that mostly are quite brightly patterned but I’m sure you can source some plainer ones that can be zipped up and machine washed. I keep one in my bag at all times, so all the dirty clothes/mat can be shoved in it. So so handy when you have an unfortunate situation which alas can still happen with our toddler as she can get travel sick or goes crazy splashing in puddles.

  4. It will be one of your best purchases. My husband bought me a leather storksak bag and it was great, didn’t look like a change bag, but was practical and was really roomy. I still use it occasionally 6 years later as a normal bag!

  5. Honestly, I still used a purse. I just had a separate bag for the baby and the one I chose was pretty so I don’t get that. Yes the baby has ruined some clothes I have, but what? 2 in a year. That’s not bad and its mostly my fault for not getting to the ruination within an hour.

    The baby might ruin your walls with crayons or markers or smash into them with enough force to cause dings. I don’t understand why that would prevent someone from having nice walls to begin with and touching them up as necessary (or cleaning them).

    Its almost as if people want to punish you for choosing to have a baby by trying to limit you in every way they can. Cant have nice things, cant go out for years, and cant have friends anymore that don’t love babies. You can have all of these things. It takes more work, but you can.

    1. I’m most confused by the idea /implications that if my walls were dark, I wouldn’t need to clean/repair them if they did get damaged, and would just leave them with crayon or whatever all over them, on the grounds that it was less noticeable: er, no, I’d still clean them. especially if it was something like poop/vomit etc on them!

  6. I never did have a change bag, my husband used a backpack with the necesarries in it and I just used a tote bag or a lovely leather satchel I had. The one thing I would add is plastic bags and/or nappy bags and small plastic boxes for snacks, not just for the baby either. Detergent wipes are also useful for wiping down change tables when you’re out. Very important in the winter especially.

  7. My change bag is a liberty fabric peacock one with tan leather handles. It co-ordinates with my navy and tan leather joolz pram, my infinity feeding scarf cover up, my bronze, navy and mist grey silicone teething jewelry.

  8. I remember when I was pregnant with my first baby, and had gone away for the weekend to a caravan park. I was in the communal toilets – applying my make up, when a woman came up beside me, and, noticing I was pregnant, said – “You’ll no be doing that when your baby comes! You’ll no have any time!” I just laughed. Suffice to say, I had make up on going up to the hospital to give birth, and then the first thing I did the next day, before my visitors came in to see me and my beautiful daughter – was to apply my make-up! I have continued to this day – and never go out without mascara and lippy (at the very least). Everything you are being told is nonsense! Spills are easily wiped up – no matter what colour your decor! Oh – and sometimes best to not listen to horror birth stories! I had two very easy births, and the first was absolutely beautiful! Painful (for about 1 hour), but beautiful. My second was 40 minutes of pain, but a wee bit less relaxed, but still good. So – don’t listen to negatives, do everything your way, and enjoy every minute. Won’t be long until your wee baby boy is here. Can’t wait to hear what you call him. And…… on the subject of your blog – love the bag!!!!!

    1. Ha, I love this, Helen! I have to admit, I was secretly horrified when I got the letter about my c-section and saw that I’m not allowed to wear makeup – I already have it in my hospital bag, though: I know everyone says I won’t care, but there’s no way I’ll want to face visitors/photos looking like I have no eyelashes or brows!

    2. That’s a great story, Helen. When my mum was about to go into hospital to have my little brother – I’d had to call the doctor because he was coming early – my mum rushed upstairs to do her make-up!

  9. My mum’s one for saying this, that you’ll never have “nice things” if you have a baby. And yet we always had white – and very clean – walls, she had nice clothes and shoes (although I have to say pregnancy and post-baby clothes weren’t so appealing in the 70s). And she didn’t have this lovely changing bag!

    1. My parents had white walls too when I was a baby/toddler – they’re completely bemused by the people who keep telling me the baby will destroy mine!

  10. Beautiful! I’d love to have this, even though I have a puppy not a baby. I thought that would be silly but I find myself always forgetting SOMETHING.

  11. Oh, I do hope you are lucky enough not to have your feet grow during pregnancy. Mine grew half a size with each of mine. So instead of being a 41, I’m now a 42. And of course you can still have stylish things, just because others allow themselves to become ‘dowdy’ doesn’t mean you have to. There are lots of stylish nappy bags out there, just make sure they’re practical too.

  12. Argh, I hated those kind of comments, I remember being told I needed to cut my nails short before the birth because you can’t have long nails and a baby! Well I ignored that and somehow managed not to gouge his eyes out or tear his skin open or anything.
    Lovely bag 🙂

  13. Forget the naysayers! You’re having a beautiful little human who will give you joy and love and amusement. Yes, anything worth having involves sacrifice but a baby is so worth it!! I don’t understand these negative people. My house wasn’t destroyed by our 7 kids and neither were my feet. Sheesh!!

    Beautiful bag. Enjoy!

  14. “Poo” to the naysayers! I wonder if there is a changing bag that dads won’t mind carrying around? They have suffered in pastel silence for many years now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.