Let’s Talk MCN: Cloth Accessories
Cloth accessories, how many is too many? Which products are the best for you? What do you really need, and are they multi-use?
Wetbags are a bag made from polyurethane laminate, or PUL, used for storing nappies while out of the house. Many brands offer, at minimum, a two size range, often referred to as “regular” and “mini”. Regular wetbags are designed to hold roughly a days worth of soiled nappies, and work amazingly at containing smells on their own. Mini wetbags hold at maximum 2 nappies, and are most often used for nappies containing faecal matter before being placed in the regular wetbag for storage. This works as both an extra smell barrier, and protection from a stray finger being dipped while emptying into your dry pail. Mini wetbags are also great for storing a spare pair of clothes for your child, keeping them clean and dry, while offering a space for storage of the soiled clothes once they’re dressed. Some brands offer larger wetbags, designed with adults in mind, with uses varying from beach bags, to laundry hampers. These products come in the same range of prints as their child based range.
Changemats are made from a topper of PUL, and may have an inner webbing layer before ending in either suede cloth, bamboo, or a second PUL layer. These mats really are a jack of all trades, not only being used for changing, but as blankets, waterproof mattress toppers, pram bassinet liners, picnic rugs, food mats, and for newborn tummy time. They come in varying sizes depending on brand, but are often around 1m in length.
Cloth wipes are a square of roughly 20cm, made generally of bamboo terry or bamboo velour. These are an alternative to expensive disposable wipes, and only need water or a dash of mild baby friendly soap for use. They come in many designs, and a lot of parents choose to make their own with products from their local craft supply store.
Snap and Extend Bodysuit Extenders
These are essentially a small piece of fabric with press studs, to snap into your bodysuit to give it more wear time. These are very handy with cloth nappies, as a lot of manufacturers make suits with slim disposables in mind. Cloth is slightly bulkier than disposable meaning you have less grow room in your suits. These extenders add length where it’s needed, giving you back the 3-6mo use time as advertised on the suit size.
Some premium brands offer smocks as part of their range, these are useful for BLW, painting, and water play. They come in a range of sizes, fitting generously with each size. They’re often made in the same designs as their nappies.
Play mats are dedicated mats designed for tummy time, picnics, and small activities. These have extra padding in the middle to make them a softer alternative to a change mat, and are often larger than the change mat sizes offered by that brand. These come in either PUL or minky topped varieties. Depending on size and thickness, these can also be used as blankets in a pinch.
Pods or Travel Wetbags
Pods are a form of wetbags, primarily used for storing clean nappies for transport. They’re box shaped, and can hold roughly a days worth of clean nappies.
All of these items have uses in the cloth world, and can simplify your time using cloth. Ask cloth parents for their opinions on what they deem essential, as each of these products are used differently for each family.
written by Morgan of @morganaveril.mcn
Special Thanks to Eboni Jacobson, Chloé Jewell, Samantha Flethcher, Chelsea Matthiassen, Hanna Smith, Kathleen Watson, Sara Kearines, Jessica Portillo, Genevieve Schild, Cortnie Grace Cooper, Laura McNeair for supplying images.