For a carryall that holds everything from diapers to milk bottles, check out our list of top 10 diaper bags.

A well-designed diaper bag is a multi-functional, spacious carryall that’s every mother’s must-have. With so many types in the market, what makes a good one? Fonnie Lo, a lactation consultant at Thomson Medical Centre, suggests looking for one that is machine washable, water-resistant and easy to use.

A nylon bag is waterproof, yet lightweight. A backpack-style version not only distributes the load evenly on both shoulders — great for a longer trip — it frees both hands for baby’s needs. Pick a tote that you can hang on the stroller, but make sure it’s not so heavy that it’ll cause the buggy to tip over, Lo advises. Other points in choosing a bag are:

Padded straps These should sit comfortably on the shoulders. Even better if the design is ergonomic.

Access/organisation Must have enough compartments to organise your items. You should be able to zip and unzip it with one hand for easy access. As Velcro can stick to and damage fabric (on the bag or on you), choose one that’s Velcro-free.

OUTSIDE POCKET For personal items that you need to grab in a hurry.

CHANGING MAT To prevent soiling the surrounding area.

EXTRAS A bonus if it offers accessories like insulated bottle holders and even a cooler bag for expressed breastmilk.

Celine Phua, 33, a stay-at-home mum to Valerie, 8 months, and Cassandra, 3, has many diaper bags but keeps going back to a trusty tote. She enthuses, “It’s stylish, water-resistant and comes with thick insulated pockets for the hot water that I put in milk bottles. No need to lug around a heavy thermos flask, or scurry around looking for hot water when my hungry baby screams!”

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