I did a series of Instastories on my new M.Z. Wallace medium metro tote (mine is the rose gold color) last week and was overwhelmed by the response — a lot of you were dying to know what I’d think of it and how much it can hold. The TL;DR: I love it and it is enormous. It’s a proper Mary Poppins bag. I can fit all of the essentials for both children (full list of what I typically carry below, per multiple reader requests), my own must-haves, and even a pump and its associated parts (I tested this because so many of you asked though I no longer pump myself). It was pretty full with all of that in it, but for a travel day? No-brainer. (And you can see it fully stuffed with everything, pump included, in the photo above!) But for everyday use (sans pump), it was roomy!
A couple of the questions I got a lot:
+Which size did you buy? The medium. The large is CAVERNOUS. Could be used as a weekender bag.
+What did you think about the shoulder straps? Many of you had previously commented that the shoulders are really slippery and kind of slide off your shoulder. This has not bothered me, though I have not worn it for extended periods of time and often have my stroller to hook it onto. A reader suggested crossing the straps over one another on your shoulder to address this issue, which I have done and I have no complaints. Still, I think that if you are planning to wear this bag on a long daily walk/commute, it might be worth examining the issue more closely…
+Do you need both the backpack and the tote? If you’re only looking to buy one bag and you have two children, I’d encouraged the backpack. I use it any time I am taking the subway with both children and often when I’m out for an “adventure” with both (i.e., museum, playground, etc), which — recently — has been fairly frequent. (Also incredible for travel with children as it enables you to walk around hands-free.) But if you have only one child, the tote is slightly more versatile IMHO. I don’t always love wearing a backpack; it feels more dressed-down than I usually am. (For some reason, a cashmere sweater and pearl studs with a backpack feels wrong…not that I don’t do it.) In short, I know I will get very heavy use out of both, but when push comes to shove, I’d advocate for the backpack if you have two children / will travel a lot and the tote if you have one child.
+What do you like about it? I love the style (so chic! would definitely wear this as a gym bag or an everyday tote without children) and it is feather-weight. I mean, SO light! I don’t know how to describe the fabric, and I don’t think it’s exactly “waterproof” or “water-repellant” but it certainly fares better in rain/mist/snow than my Goyard.
Now, on to what I carry in my bag: I keep everything for each child in a separate wet/dry bag (mine are from PBK) monogrammed with their initials. The idea is that if I’m only with one, I can JUST take the pouch belonging to the child I’m with and cut the weight of my diaper bag in half. This is why you’ll see duplicates of a few things I keep in both of their bags.
Mini’s Diaper Bag Essentials (Nearly 3 Years Old).
All items below fit inside her monogrammed pouch, with the exception of the wipes dispenser, which I toss into the MZ Wallace on its own.
SNACKS (SHE’S OBSESSED WITH THESE MICKEY GOLDFISH AND FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRIES AT THE MOMENT)
SPARE BOW AND SPARE HAIR TIES
COUPLE OF BANDAIDS AND NEOSPORIN
SPARE LEGGINGS (<<REALLY GOOD VALUE) AND UNDERWEAR
HANDFUL OF ORGANIC LOLLIPOPS (FOR IF I’M REALLY IN A BIND AND NEED A DISTRACTION/REWARD)
A LITTLE COLORING BOOK AND A HANDFUL OF CRAYONS
MUNCHKIN DIAPER TRASH BAGS (JUST ONE OR TWO SEPARATED FROM THE ROLL — JUST IN CASE OF ACCIDENT, A GOOD TOOL TO KEEP SOILED CLOTHING SEPARATE!)
Micro’s Diaper Bag Essentials (7 Months Old).
MUNCHKIN DIAPER TRASH BAGS (ENTIRE ROLL — GOOD FOR STOWING SOILED CLOTHES, DISPOSING OF DIRTY DIAPERS, AND CONTAINING OTHER RANDOM MESSES THAT COME MY WAY)
INDESTRUCTIBLES BOOK (HE LOVES THESE AND BONUS – THEY ARE SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT)
CEREBELLY BABY FOOD POUCH
BUMKINS BIB (SO LIGHTWEIGHT, FOLDS TO NOTHING)
SPARE SOCKS (THESE HAVE COME IN HANDY MANY TIMES)
COVERALL (BACKUP OUTFIT FOR BLOWOUTS/SPIT-UPS/ETC — I LIKE A ONE-PIECE BECAUSE IT CAN DOUBLE AS JAMMIES IF YOU’RE EVER IN A BIND/OUT LATE/ETC, CAN BE APPROPRIATE FOR UNUSUALLY COOL WEATHER, AND ONLY REQUIRES 1 ITEM!)
*I have been obsessed with these since mini was born. They are easy to keep clean (wipe down!), stylish, and highly durable. They fold into a small square. I have several, including one I keep in the under-basket of the stroller and one in a bigger size which I use underneath mini’s place setting at the dining table every night.
My Own Essentials.
KEYS ON MONOGRAMMED CUYANA KEY CHAIN
USUALLY AN EXTRA TUBE OF HAND SANITIZER
If I’m traveling or out for longer, I often add a small pouch with additional cosmetics/lip balm, but that’s usually all she wrote!
P.P.S. Adventures in nursing. All of your questions about whether a pump would fit left me reliving my nursing/pumping days, and feeling all the feels about it.
P.P.P.S. Going from 0-1 vs 1-2 children.