WHEN DO I NEED IT? From birth

WHAT IS IT? A handy holdall that actually holds all: changing mat, nappies, wipes, bottles, soother, toys, snacks, keys, make-up, purse, phone…

WHY DO I NEED IT? Getting out and about with your baby can become a military operation that requires superb organization.

Your changing bag is the key to a successful day out, containing all your essential kit in one handy portable unit

FEATURES TO CONSIDER This is very much a personal style choice, so go for a design that you like. But from a practical perspective, storage is key so look for a variety of handy pockets – zippered, slip-in and waterproof – so that everything has its place. Other factors to consider are the size and depth of the changing mat (which is usually a feature included with the bag); whether there are insulated pockets for bottles and food; whether handles are adjustable and will fit over your pushchair handle; and will your partner be happy to wear it, too (while there’s something rather adorable about a daddy carrying a bag festooned with cute cupcakes, he might not agree…).

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? The latest collections of changing bags take their fashion cues from the catwalk’s latest ‘It’ bags, so they are hip and sleek with many celebrity devotees. There are styles to suit all tastes, including some that you’d barely guess their true functionality, such is their skill to masquerade as pure fashion accessory. Amongst this group of bags is the Mia Bossi Audrey luxury change bag. To inspire the daddy in the household to get out and about, we highly recommend the Storksak Jamie Messenger Bag, as sported by Brad Pitt – it’s almost guaranteed to prompt an immediate race out the door (with baby on board with daddy) to test its roadworthiness! Some are quite colossal in size, which may or may not appeal, but there are also neater options to transform your existing handbag into a change bag; take a look at the brilliantly adaptable Melobaby Change Wallet, which holds all your nappy changing essentials and can be popped in your regular handbag, or carried on its own.

SEE THE FULL ‘NEW BABY CHECKLIST’ FEATURE HERE for all those other baby essentials…