Out and About with Cloth Nappies

2 CommentsWednesday, 30 July 2014

Many people initially continue using disposables when out and about, until they get up the confidence to take their real nappies with them. For some, it is a fear that you might get leaks or smells. Others just don’t fancy being watched curiously while in a public changing room - all logic tells you your child would be just as much an escapologist in a disposable as in a real nappy, but somehow it gets you all flustered knowing that other people are watching your every move.

Hopefully the following suggestions will help:

Choose your changing room carefully if you can: those with pull down trays offer less room for your stuff than those with dedicated surfaces (although these - as in Mothercare - may be more public). Also, those with a (private) toilet are better if you intend to dispose of poo while there - personally I just wrap it up in the liner and then get rid of it in the toilet at home, but you may not want to do this.

Be prepared: get your nappy etc ready put together before the old one comes off, and have the dirty nappy bag to hand.

If you are worried about the possible smell of a dirty nappy, even inside a washable nappy bag, carry a Ziplock bag (available from supermarkets in the freezer bags section) large enough to hold your washable nappy bag and contents. You could dispense with the nappy bag completely, but of course the contents would be clearly visible in the Ziplock bag and you would also have to replace the bags more frequently. Alternatively, there are zippable plastic wallets for papers etc which do the job just as well, and you can also get these in opaque colours if preferred.

The longer you are planning to be out, the younger the baby and the more they tend to poo, the more nappies you will have to carry and therefore the less practical it gets. For many children, once they get past six months you will only need to carry one or two nappies (allowing for one additional poo while out!). When I still had two in nappies, I carried a washable nappy bag containing a washable change mat, a travel pack of wipes (you can get hard plastic cases for these in Boots, in which you can put your washable wipes if preferred) and a spare nappy per child. There was also a third nappy suitable for either of them knocking around in my bag, just in case. This went either in the bottom of the buggy or in a backpack.

If you have two children of different ages in nappies, make sure you take birth to toddler nappies or flat nappies that will do for either child. You could consider an all in one nappy or pocket nappy for out and about, maybe even using it without a liner to keep to a single layer. Whether you want to do this will depend on how likely your child is to poo in their out and about nappy!

If you have a range of nappies, make sure you take the most reliable and absorbent one(s) for changes when out, as this is not the time to be caught out. Generally, fleece (especially) and wool wraps are best avoided if the child is likely to be sitting in a car seat or buggy long, as they will tend to let damp through because of the pressure and the fact that they are technically water resistant rather than waterproof.

Your child picks up on when you are under stress and will try to exploit it. If you are going to be stressed using cloth nappies while out and about, I suggest you don’t do it! It’s not against the law to use the occasional disposable.

If disaster strikes, and you run out of nappies, you can pad fold a muslin into the wraps you are using. If you are that lone mum who does not have a buggy full of forgotten muslins which can be pressed into service, you might have to buy something that will do instead (if you can’t bear to buy a pack of disposables) - like a handtowel or even a new pack of muslins. I even know of one couple whose son was provided with Dad's socks, after they found there was no clean nappy available. It was a creative and effective, if somewhat unusual, solution!

Just occasionally (hahaha!) a child poos into a lovely fresh nappy. Not a problem when you are at home, even though it is still very irritating. But when you are out, you need to make every nappy count. If your nappy bag contains a spare fleece liner, it may well be possible (depending on the severity of the poo!) simply to change the liner without dipping into your spare nappy supply. I once had this situation but had no spare nappy with me - so I got rid of the poo as best I could and placed a good layer of cotton wool over the dirty nappy, so none of it was touching my baby’s skin. The only problem was getting the fluff off him later. Now I know the Sock Trick, of course, I'd do that rather than waste my money on cotton wool!

If the wrap takes a beating from a ghastly poo, I have made do before now with a washable change pad (I told you they were useful!) placed between the clean nappy and the dirty wrap. I’ve even heard of someone using sellotape to hold the “pseudo-wrap” in place! It may not be pretty, but it works. What more could you want?

Having just reread this section, I can see you’re all thinking what a disorganised mother I am, never having a spare nappy to hand. Absolutely right!

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