If the idea of using cloth nappies away from the security of home seems daunting, read on! Using modern or traditional cloth nappies out of the house is really quite easy. Here are our top 5 tips to get you on your way.
Tip #1: Choose A Great Nappy Bag
A big nappy bag is useful. A big nappy bag can also be heavy, so it helps to choose a nappy bag that you can attach to your stroller or carry on your back. I've had two nappy bags over the course of my parenting journey: A Skip Hop Duo bag, which was nice and wide and fit well on the stroller but I found it difficult to fit all of my things (I carry my wallet, phone, keys, lip balm and a drink bottle) into the front pocket. Ultimately the zip broke and that was the end of that. I replaced it with a Skip Hop Forma backpack, which has been much better on the space front, but the stroller clips aren't quite long enough and so it gets stretched a lot to clip onto the stroller and as a result the strap is starting to fall off. It was also too heavy when my second was a newborn and would cause the stroller to tip backward so I had to store it in the basket underneath. Thankfully, that's no longer an issue. My hot tip if you're going for backpack style is test it out first to see if it fits!
Many nappies come with a change mat inside. This is really helpful if you're out at the park or in the car or somewhere without a change table setup. If yours doesn't, you might like to purchase a washable change mat to take with you. Many nappy manufacturers sell them so choose your favourite brand and go shopping.
Tip #2: Pack Enough Nappies
I like to pack a nappy for every two hours out of the house and another two as spares. My husband walks on the wild side and packs one spare. Pack your best, most absorbent nappies- you don't want wet clothes, a wet carrier or a poo explosion when you're away from home. You might even like to try fitted nappies and covers as they'll hold more than any modern cloth nappy. Better safe than sorry is my motto here!
Tip #3: Don't Forget the Wipes!
I know it generates waste, but I always carry a packet of wipes in my nappy bag. They are so handy for so many things. If you prefer to take cloth wipes, it's absolutely possible, you can pack them dry and run them under a tap or use your water bottle to wet them, or you can pack them wet into a well sealed container before you leave home. I think I've just inspired myself to do this actually! As with the nappies, take what you think you need and then a few extra. (Edit: After writing this I started to take a few washcloths with me in my nappy bag. I love them. I use my drink bottle to wet them and they work so well!)
Tip 4: Roll & Secure Dirty Nappies in a Wet Bag
Storing wet and dirty nappies is easy. Roll the nappy up and secure it with the snaps. Then pop it into a wet bag (waterproof bag) and you can sort it out at home. It doesn't smell when it's secured in this fashion.
Tip #5: Accessorise!
I carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser and a spare outfit in our nappy bag too. I like to use the hand sanitiser after changing a poopy nappy without hand washing facilities. I wash my hands first with a baby wipe and then use the sanitiser. I'm yet to get sick (touch wood!) so I think it's working for me!
I also have a little car stash. It contains a nappy, some wipes, a wet bag and a change of clothes. I've called on this little stash more times than I care to admit in the last few years. It's priceless!
So that's my top 5 tips for leaving home with cloth. What do you consider to be essential when you're out and about with cloth nappies?