This is when it gets real. We have our reusable nappies prepped, they look adorable on our baby but then… the poo hits the nappy! What do we do? What do we need? Worry not, I’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to have on hand for a cloth nappy change. You can have as much or as little as you want, I’m going to cover all your options and speak a lot about what works for me but this isn’t prescriptive. As with everything at Bubblebubs we encourage you to do what works for your family.
This is actually a two-part series. We’ll start with your options for cloth nappy changes at home. And then in our next post talk about how to pare down what you need to make changing bub easy when you’re out and about. Both posts have a bonus tip that I think is just genius and everyone should know about them. So let’s get down to business.
At home you can have all your things! Everything and anything you could want to do a nappy change. Distraction tools, extra wipes, a spray bottle or a bucket to put your nappies in, whatever you could conceivably need. Not everything will work for you or fit your life/home/family so you do you. There is only one golden rule to a change set up: have everything in arm’s reach. Babies roll and you don’t want to leave them to grab a nappy or wipe.
This is a diagram of my nappy set up. Again, don't feel like you have to do it my way but maybe it can give you some inspiration to work out your way.
You can store you nappies any number of ways. Some people like these from Ikea, I store mine in softboxes under the change table. Some people have them in drawers either under the change table or elsewhere. Just make sure it’s nearby so you can keep your hand on bub so they don't roll off the change table.
This should include anything you need to put the nappy together like Snappis, liners or covers. If you're using modern cloth nappies that's obviously a little easier you just need your nappy snapped together.
Obviously, you can use disposable wipes too but I implore you to give cloth wipes a go. I was really reticent about them, I'm not sure why but they're great! So much more effective than disposable wipes and you only need 1-2 for a poo nappy. Not 6-7! And of course, there's less money and less landfill.
So now assuming you've listened to me, tried them and loved them let's talk about how to use them. You can store them wet or dry. Storing them wet means you have to change them every day or two or they can get funky but if that works best for you that's fine. You can store them dry and use them with either our Foamy Wipes Wash or just plain water.
Foamy Wipes Wash or water
You'll need to moisten your wipes at some point. Plain water is easy and fuss-free and works great. Some people use a spray bottle, some have a little bowl or a water bottle. There's no right answer here, whatever works best for you and your set up. Foamy Wipes Wash is also a great option, you can spray it straight onto you dry wipe and clean up even the most disturbing poo with ease. It can also be used on sticky faces or hands! Not to mention there are a million and one scents to choose from. And don't we all need nappy changes to smell a bit better? If you're a visual person and want to see how Foamy Wipes Wash works, check out this video.
Not all babies require nappy creams but most do at some point. You can use whatever you'd like on your cloth nappies, with a good wash routine that includes mainstream detergent and warm or hot water all nappy creams should wash out. At Bubblebubs we make our own nappy cream by hand and with love called Botty Balm. Botty Balm is a natural, soothing and protective baby balm that comes in five amazing scents. (Also, just FYI it makes a killer cuticle balm as well!)
Let’s be real we don’t all use this every single time we change a nappy. But when bub is really tiny and getting to the sink right after is a bit harder, it’s a handy thing to have around. Just be careful it’s out of reach of older children so they don’t ingest it.
Somewhere to put the dirty nappy
This can be a bucket, wetbag or dry pail. I have a two-step system. I have a caddy that hangs on the change table and the nappies go straight in there. And then when I have a moment (when grandparents drop by or bub is happy playing or if the stars align sleeping!) I take that to the laundry and put pee nappies straight in my dry pail. Poo nappies I spray off (use whatever poo-removal system works for you) and then put it in the dry pail. Unsure what a dry pail is or want to find out more about washing your nappies? Check out this blog post.
Distraction: As they get older this gets more important. Anything that can keep their hands out of the mess and keep a toddler from rolling or crying while getting changed is a godsend. I, sadly, cannot tell you exactly what you need for this but I can say it's a good idea to keep it a change table only item so they don't get bored of it. My son's current favourite is anything you can put a lid on. Vicki's son's favourite when he was in nappies was Foamy Wipes Wash on his hands, he loved to play with the bubbles.
Mobile: While a mobile (we're talking the pretty thing hung over the baby, not the thing you're probably reading this blog on) might not be enough distraction for a rambunctious toddler it is brilliant for a smaller baby to keep them distracted and amused while changing.
Low light: Especially in the early days you'll be doing a lot of changes at night and you don't want to wake bub up too much. So a soft lamp or fairy lights can be great. You can even buy dimmable bulbs that go in lamps that can be controlled by your phone and set to come on and off at certain times, we've found those to be very useful with small babies in our house.
Change table covers: I personally have opted for a wipable change mat but I know lots of mum friends who said their babies fussed too much over winter with this and they had to use a soft change mat cover. So you can either buy multiple covers or use a soft terry flat over the top or even a minky change mat works great.
Small laundry hamper: Ok this has nothing to do with a nappy change but from one mother to another I feel I should share this. I have a small laundry hamper next to my son's change table. It's not obtrusive in his room but it's big enough I can dumb a day's worth of cloth in it and worry about it later. At bedtime, I grab the contents out and sort them and put them in the laundry. Depending on the set up of your house and messiness of your kid this might not be helpful to you but man it makes my life easier!
Ok so hopefully you're feeling prepared and have an idea of what you want and/or need on hand when you go to change your baby. But remember that no matter how prepared you are, at some point one of you will end up with poo on them. Laugh, wash it off and consider it a right of passage... it happens to us all!
Bonus tip! Onsklig from Ikea
Sorry to those with no access to an Ikea, but for those who do read on. The caddies you see in the diagram at the top of the page, the ones that hang off the side of your change table they are called Onslkig. They are very popular with parents and for a good reason. They’re fabulous. They increase your change table real estate and come with different size options, so you can configure them however you choose. This is my set up and it includes water in the first caddy for cloth wipes. In the middle one, I have creams, Snappis and distraction toys. In the largest at the end, I put dirty nappies until I get a chance to go to the laundry.