The Fashino Magpie Diaper Bag Backpack

Can I Pull Off a Backpack and Other Mom Musings.

I had a lot of lovely reactions to the incoherent musings I shared on mini last week and I recently admitted that I am currently living out the em dash IRL, so I trust you’ll forgive me for another scattershot post today:

Minimagpie Musing 1: My Baby Is My Friend? 

I was changing mini the other day and, mid-struggle with my writhing, “I’d-prefer-to-be-naked” baby, I accidentally ripped the tab off of her diaper, rendering it useless.

“Uh-woops!” I said loudly, instinctively.

Mini caught my eye and burst into laughter, throwing her little blond head back in delight.

It was contagious; I started laughing, too.

And there we were, two girls laughing riotously about a not-particularly-funny happening on a not-particularly-remarkable Sunday afternoon.

I walked around the rest of the day a changed woman.  It was one of the first times I’d viewed mini not as a child, a lovebug, or a responsibility — but as a companion.  How many times in the future will we throw our heads back in ridiculous laughter together?  Countless, I hope.

Minimagpie Musing 2: Can I Pull Off a Backpack?

I took mini to meet a friend’s precious newborn baby and then to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan last week (BTW, moms in NYC: it costs $14 for an adult, and is free for children under a year, and mini was totally obsessed with the play area — I thought it was a bargain if you’re looking for something to do outside of the house but INSIDE during these cold winter months; classes can get really pricey!).  I put her in her carrier so we could take the Subway and get around a little more easily, but by the end of the trip, I was so physically exhausted, I could barely move.  Mini is almost half my height, and she weighs over 20 lbs now; carrying her around for a few consecutive hours is tough on the old bones — at least for me.  This led to multiple thoughts:

  1.  Maybe I should try the backpack position and see if carrying her on my back makes things easier.
  2. Maybe it’s really time to invest in an umbrella stroller.
  3. Maybe I need to start working out more often.
  4. I wish carriers were easier to fold up when not in use.  When we got to the museum, I took mini out of the carrier but then was schlepping around a bulky black mass of straps and strings (aka my carrier), my ginormous winter coat, my diaper bag, mini’s coat, and mini, and I felt like a complete disaster zone.
  5. The carrier on its own wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t also always carrying a diaper bag, which, at least during these winter months when I’m wearing a bulky parka, cannot fit over my shoulder, so I have to hold it out to the side and it gets really annoying.  It made me wonder if I can actually pull off a diaper bag in backpack format.  My bestie made fun of me for this thought, but GUYS, it is so annoying to hold a bag in your hand at all times.  I was for some time toying with the idea of a Fawn backpack, but one of you lovely readers wrote to mention how stiff it was and how you find yourself shunning it over time.  If I were cooler/hipper, I might reach for one of these, which I see all over New York on cool moms wearing Golden Goose sneakers and ripped jeans.  StateBags has some clever/funky prints, but — like the Kanken, they’re just not my steez.  What are our thoughts on this?  Too edgy?  I feel like I need to also drive a motorcycle to pull it off.  This Gucci or this one (shown above) are more up my alley, but a little logo-heavy for my taste.  I have a feeling I’d wear one for a season and then never want to look at it again.  Smeh.  I’ll keep looking.
  6. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll retire the carrier and transition into umbrella strollering around.  Which leads me to share — and I know you’ve been sitting on pins and needles to hear how this very boring decision will pan out — that I have decided to go with the Babyzen after carefully weighing the pros and cons.  Stay tuned for a full review!  And P.S. — for those mamas who have and love their Yoyos, I just discovered that their coordinating footmuffs are 50% off here!

Minimagpie Musing 3: How Quickly We Forget…

Whenever I would ask my mom (mother to FIVE, all birthed without pain medication — aosdijasodijasdoijasdioajdioasjd) about childbirth, she would say: “It’s no walk in the park, but you forget about the pain almost immediately because you have a beautiful new baby to love.”  I haven’t quite forgotten the misery of those first few weeks of rocky recovery post-c-section, although I’ve blocked out the physical memory of it and now look back shruggingly (“oh yeah, it hurt, but I got through it”) — but I feel as though I’ve completely lost track of the ins and outs of newborn-hood.  When I was visiting my girlfriend, mother to a three-week-old, last week, all I could say was: “I can’t remember Emory ever being this small or squishy…she was never this little!”

In fact, mini was that small — even smaller!  In the week after her birth, her weight dipped down to six pounds even.  Six pounds!  I can barely remember anything from that time, least of all the feel of her nominal weight in my arms.  I wonder whether this is God’s way of encouraging us to have more than one child.  How quickly I have forgotten the exhaustion and confusion and emotional chaos of those first few weeks, when everything had changed.  As my sister put it while I cried to her on the couch, adrift in postpartum hormones and pain medication, “the world is shifting beneath your feet.  Of course you’re overwhelmed.”


Minimagpie Musing 4: Random Baby Things I’m Eyeing.

+Space is a premium in our petite Manhattan apartment, so we’ll probably need to operate on a one-in-one-out policy when it comes to larger toys, but this is a classic!

+I am nuts for all of the precious dresses by Luli + Me.  Mini received a few of these as gifts when she was born and I’m in love.  True hand-me-downs!  Love this and this in particular.

+Mini wears a light of cableknit tights (these are my favorite) and dresses (I just bought her this, and I love the European labels Foque — swoon — and La Coqueta) during the week, but every baby needs a pair of Osh Kosh overalls.  These are in my shopping cart.  I’ll layer them over a basic white tee from 1212.

+In the category of kids-gear-that-is-surprisingly-good-looking-and-has-multiple-functions: this sleek stool-turned-table-turned-chair.

+Tilly recently destroyed mini’s Tom’s sneakers and I found a replacement pair here on sale for $14!!!

+Jacadi has some gorgeous pieces marked way down right now, plus an extra 20% off!  How can you turn down heavily discounted basics like this or sweet jumpers like this?!

+Obsessed with this precious doll.

+This looks a lot like the darling but expensive ruffled swimsuits from Minnow, but costs about half the price!

+Such a fun print for a transitional jacket for a toddler.  For older girls, this!


  1. I adore this post and the ponderings here so I had to comment! I’m not alone in this struggle!! I had a fawn and agree, it’s also so terribly heavy! I tested out all the usual diaper bags and hated them all. For a while I carried a longchamp but with two wild boys a backpack is so helpful! I love the look of MZ Wallace but I’m a fellow lululemon and superga type mom. I have a lovely and sleep tumi with fabulous pockets that works so well. I also have a kanken and though I often debate on if I can pull it off they are so durable and perfect for messy kid adventures! They also fit SO much!

    Also my husband will carry either of these which is huge. He loathes anything in the diaper bag realm.

    1. Yes — all of these are great picks! I’ve had a few moms write to say that they wear their Tumi backpacks and love them because they are durable and gender-neutral so husbands don’t mind carrying them. 🙂 Thanks for writing in to share! xxx

  2. I don’t get a hipster vibe from the Fjallraven Kanken at all, but maybe that’s because I’ve had a pool-blue one since 2010 and I associate them with students, living in between two major universities and seeing them all over Cambridge! The one thing is that they have basically no interior organization — it’s one large compartment and the little front pocket, and that’s it. So you’d have to get creative with your pouch situation! That said, I get the distinct feeling that your vibe is a bit more polished than the Kanken…

    I LOVE the look of the Cuyana backpack as well (as some commenter said above) and have seriously been considering getting one to scratch the itch I have for the Mansur Gavriel backpack. Haha!

    I am no expert when it comes to diaper bags, but I’ll keep my eye out for anything suitable that I come across and will share with you!

    P.S. I am so with Mr. Magpie on the gross rudeness of people who wear their backpacks onto public transit without discreetly slinging them over their shoulders or carrying them by the top handle … so inconsiderate! A real pet peeve of mine as well.

    1. And here I am, many weeks later, still with no backpack. I just cannot make up my mind on this one! Nothing speaks to me on a deep level yet. I’ll keep looking — keep me posted!

      Mr. Magpie will love that you referred to the backpack beastliness as “gross rudeness.” His favorite adjective is “gross” — as in “gross incompetence,” “gross loss,” etc. — and we often laugh about it; any time he trots out the “gross” adjective, we know he means business. Talk about a weird coincidence! He’ll love that!

    2. That’s hilarious!! I love it.

      I’ll definitely keep my eye out for backpack options for you. I have heard good things about the Storq Carryall: — but wish it had a bit more pizzazz, maybe? Something about it is just not hitting the mark for me. Ah, well! xx

  3. Ha! I’m happy other people feel the same way. I text my husband about particularly enraging backpack wearers. Like the guy who wore a giant guitar case backpack the other week during rush hour. He hit people every time he turned to see what stop we were at.

    Living in Alexandria and having to deal with backpack/suitcase people trying to get to the airport does not help me.

    1. I know — THE cutest! And this winter in NYC is being very Chicago — aka lingering around way too long for my taste. xo

  4. Do it! While I don’t have a baby, a backpack is my travel best friend. I found it liberating when I stopped lugging a big purse around the airport/train with me, in addition to my roller luggage. I have a small leather one that is perfect for day trips and when I’m checking luggage and need a small carry on. I also have a LeSportsac in a fun print that is larger and super lightweight, perfect when you are carrying on and need space for every last item. Also doubles as a beach bag.

    A lot of my girlfriends swear by the Tumi backpack for work or baby.

    1. I can’t imagine how freeing it would be to have my arms/sides unencumbered. I think I need this. I hadn’t even thought about the travel angle…

  5. You can roll up the Lillébaby so it’s more manageable… there are tutorials on YouTube. I ended up buying a “carrier bag” (link below) which is really just a strip of fabric with snaps, but it does help a ton. After I roll it up, I then loop it over the stroller handle or through a bag handle to make carrying it easier.

    I look at pictures of my little when she was younger (ha!) and marvel at how much she’s grown but also at how much has stayed the same (her judgey side eye in particular – she’s always had a good one!). It’s amazing how the time has flown!

    1. Aha!! Girl, you got it all figured out — thanks for sending that. I’ve been so persnickety about the carrier and I appreciate your sticking up for it — it serves an important purpose (i.e., enabling me to get around NY with a baby) and for that I am grateful.

      Ahhhh, I know. I can’t believe how time is passing us by…

    1. Molly – What a find! I’m very easily swayed by high reviews on Amazon, and this one fits the bill. Also smart thought on the gender neutrality situation — my husband holds my diaper bag as if it’s carrying a pound of feces in it whenever I need an extra hand (which, to be fair, it occasionally has thanks to blowouts HAHA). Thanks for sending!

    1. DAYUM! Lindsay! This may be the ticket! Need to investigate practicality for toting around all mah baby gear, but loveeee the style!

  6. I will preface this by saying I am decidedly not a “cool mom”— I am in T-shirt’s/ lululemon/ superga every day at the playground (but yes I do still wear my Alhambra….), and you know I have a wild man on my hands who is faster than I am. But I have a target backpack that I am IN LOVE with and have subsequently abandoned my St. Louis GM. It was liberating! The best part: it’s some sort of nylon (weightless), and has about 6 (easily accessible) exterior pockets. Lucies list just did a round up of diaper bags for 2018 that you might be into!

    Ps I have the Summer infant umbrella stroller that you were looking into and the sun canopy honestly might as well just not be there- completely useless. And mine doesn’t recline! This note will also be useless since you bought the Yoyo, but at least you know you chose well, ha!

    1. Ooo! Can you send a link to the Target backpack?? V. intriguing. Also, don’t sell yourself short — you seem like a pretty damn cool mom to me.

      And thanks for reassurance on the stroller front. When it came down to it, I just could not be persuaded out of the Yoyo’s rave reviews — I feel like it’s unimpeachable! I haven’t heard anything bad about it. (Does it also vacuum my house and take out the trash?)

  7. The only issue with backpacks is hitting people with them on the Metro or Subway! I got smacked in the face by one last week and I’m 5’10”!

    That being said, they are absolutely one of those practical-over-fashion objects. Will it make your life easier? Then totally worth it. Just make sure the pockets are functional and it won’t turn into a black hole. I have a cute Patagonia one, but my goodness is it inefficient. Wish I had prioritized pockets and accessibility over sleekness.

    Plus, you can use a backpack way longer than a diaper bag. Even if you don’t use it all the time, it’ll be useful for years.

    1. Kate — this is SO funny and was the first thing Mr. Magpie said when he got home last night — “Did you see that comment on your blog?! SHE IS SO RIGHT.” Mr. Magpie is always ranting about how backpack-wearers are totally clueless as to how unpleasant they make public transit; it’s one of his chief bugaboos, right next to people that talk on the phone while eating food (a major no-no for him). I totally agree.

      Good point on longevity of use — someone also mentioned they’re ideal for travel, so multi-purpose as well. Hmm..

    1. Hadn’t heard of this brand! I like those pouches they have. Going to take a closer look…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *