Cloth Nappies 101 Series: Part III - The Accessories

Now that the basic cloth nappy items have been discussed in parts I and II of the Cloth Nappies 101 series,   lets deal with the rest of what you need.  These accessories as they are generally called make your cloth nappy use a bit more convenient and easy to use, be it washing, storing or dealing with poop.

Dirty Nappy storage:

These are used to store your nappies until you are ready to wash.  Back in the day this consisted  of a bucket  with a cover filled with water to soak the diapers before they were washed. This is generally called using a wet pail.   These days you do not need to soak the nappies, instead a dry-pail system is used.  This  consist of  popping the dirty nappies in dry seal-able container before they are ready to be washed, however, do make sure you wash every 3 days at the max. Nappy storage can come  in the form of:

Diaper bag:  

Also called  a wet bag or nappy bag. These are waterproof zippered bags made of PUL fabrics. These are used to store the dirty nappies till you need to wash. No need to soak in a bucket. when ready to wash, the bags are unzipped and the contents of the bag tipped into the washing machine including the bag as well. Nappy bags are great in that they reduce the physical handling of dirty nappies to a minimum.  they are also available in various sizes ranging from small versions which fit into your handbags to the humongously large wet bags can fit like 2 dozen nappies - this is handy if you have more than one child in nappies at the same time.  Currently on our online shop we have the medium and  large sized  wet bags.

Small, Medium and Large sized Wet/ Nappy bags
Nappy Buckets:
Buckets with  a tight fitting lid/cover can be used to store  dirty nappies,  whilst you may find products specifically marketed as nappy buckets,  any good sized bucket  would do.  Some people also use  plastic dustbins if more than one child is in diapers and you do not want to have  4 different buckets stationed around the house.

Example of  Nappy bucket

Pail liners:  

These  are essentials  to be used with a nappy bucket  as you use them to line  the bucket. these are very much like bin liners in that they help the  handling of the contents without one having to touch the contents.   Pail liners can come as extra large PUL bags with  the open sized  elasticated  or with drawstrings.  They also come in the  form of  a net bags / mesh bags, also elasticated or with drawstrings.   when the  nappies are ready to be washed the pail liner is lifted out of the bucket  and used to transfer the  contents into the washing machine
Pail liners that are used to line a nappy bucket  

nappy bins with pail liner
Bucket with mesh liner

Nappy Liners:

Nappy liner help to catch poo and makes disposal easier. you simply lay the liner  between the fabric of the nappy and  baby's bum.  Although liners can be used from birth if you wish, they are especially useful once baby has been weaned  and the poo becomes more solid.  Liners come in the following form:
Re-usable liners on a fitted nappy, before wearing on baby

Re-usable liners: 


These are made of microfleece fabric. These type of liners have  the added use of being a stay-dry liner  as they wick moisture away from baby's bum into the  fabric layers  below.  When you baby poos,  you pick up  the poo with the liner and  empty it into the toilet.  the small size of the liners also helps in how it is handled so that one is not trying to  navigate a 60 sq cm piece of  cloth over the toilet to  get  rid  of the poo.
Re-usable liners
Flush-able liners: 
These are made of  paper or bio-degradable viscose  sometimes of  bamboo fibres. These usually come in a handy roll with pre-perforated sheets  so tearing off  individual sheets are easy.  Some flush-able liners can be re-used a couple of times before discarding if baby has only urinated on them.  some can only be hand washed  as they cannot survive a machine wash cycle.  however once baby has poo'd, the liner and its contents are popped into the toilet and flushed away.
Flushable nappy liners
Please note that the  liners will not totally prevent soiling from getting into the surrounding nappy, however, they do minimize this significantly.
At Mima Bear, we  have  both reusable and  flush-able nappy liners. 

Nappy Fasteners:

If you  are using traditional terry squares a.k.a  napkins or any form of  flat cloth or  nappy that you need to  wrap around baby,  you will need a fastener to keep  it in place. You can either use:

Baby Safety pins:  

These  have been used since time immemorial. Depending on the size of your baby and the size of you nappy, you are likely to use one or two of these to secure the nappy.
Nappy pins

Snappi Nappy fasteners:

These are modern day nappy pin. These are T-shaped plastic/ rubber fasteners. each of the 3 prongs  of the "T" have "teeth" that  grab the  fabric to be fastened and keeps it in place.  Some fabrics are easier to "snappi" than others,  so the smoother the fabric or  less open the weave, the  harder it is  for the snappi to  grab the fabric. terry (towel) fabrics  are  very easy due to the  loops  and  simple weave fabrics  are also easy to snappy.  Fleeces and  tighter weave fabrics  are  not ideal for  using a snappi. At Mima Bear, we are official stockist of Snappi in Nigeria and we carry a range of 12 different colour options.

                                                                                    Snappi Fasteners for flat nappies

Boingo: 

These are similar to the Snappi in that they use small teeth  to  grab on to the fabric to be fastened together.  however unlike the Snappi, they  come as  a  straight piece,  for smaller babies, only one boingo may be used to fasten the nappy, however  as baby grows you will need two boingos on each side.
Boingo Nappi fasteners -images from babycentre.com
We do not stock this fastener system at  Mima Bear,  but a search of the internet should point you to large cloth nappy shops in particularly in the United States where you can be able to purchase it.

Nappy Cream:

This is very essential if using cloth nappies as  zinc based nappy creams are are huge NO-NO!.  this is due to the  zinc coating the  fabric  and  causing it to repel liquid rather  than absorb.   Therefore, for  cloth nappies,  simple things like plain petroleum jelly, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter are  recommended. 
Please do not use  standard  nappy creams like sudocrem, metanium  or the like.    if you need to use these  it is advised you use a flushable liner Or  use  disposables for the time period that such creams are  required.

Cloth Wipes:

These  essential do the same job as a disposable wet wipe.  these are made from an absorbent piece of  fabric, usually cotton or bamboo terry (Towel fabrics), which is moistened with water or a diaper solution to clean baby's  bum at  each nappy change.  after use, these  popped into  your dirty diaper storage and  washed  with the rest of your nappies. There are various ways to use a cloth wipe and we will deal with this in a different post.  These are quite an economic way to use wipes  as they are  generally better at cleaning a soiled  bum than disposable wipes.

Example cloth  single layer cloth wipes
They also have a lot  of uses not  only relating to  nappy use and these include hand and face wipes, washcloths,  and burp cloths.

  

2 layer cotton wipes with flannel on one side and terry fabric on the other
At Mima Bear, we  stock 2 types of cloth wipes (cotton and  bamboo)  in 2 sizes (small and large), in 2 pack sizes (  Sets of 5 and Set of 10).

Diaper Sprayer:

This is a nice to have item if you have a decent plumber and can find a way to fit it to your  toilet cistern. 
Diaper sprayer 
This is essentially a shower head attached to the toilet water supply and you use  it to  spray off the  poop from your cloth nappies before washing or storing in your  nappy bag.  The image below shows what it looks like when attached and  it is very similar to the  little spray head typically found in  toilets in public buildings in Nigeria such as the airport or malls that offer the option to rinse out your bottom / douche.  This little contraption is also know as ta douche shower spray.
Installed diaper sprayer/ douche shower spray
If you by chance have one of these douche shower sprays in your home,  this can essentially be used to rinse out  your poopy nappies.

Bath  tap shower head
This can be substituted with the extendable shower head as shown above that is attached to the tap,  especially if it is long enough to reach over your toilet bowl, you can used  this instead  or  rinse under a runny tap into a bucket  and  pop the soiled water into the toilet bowl.

Washing Machine: 

Oh Lawdy!!!!! This I most  forgot!   Very very useful in making your cloth nappy use much easier as you do not need to hand wash your nappies.  A washing machine makes nappy laundry a breeze, as all you need to do is rinse, hot wash at 60 degrees Celcius maximum, and rinse again.  they are also very effective in squeezing / spinning out the water from the nappies so drying will be a bit quicker than if you were to hand wash.
Washing machines simplify cloth nappy laundry
Standard laundry powders or liquids are generally ok, however no matter how tempted you are DO NOT USE  fabric  softeners  as  this will ruin  the absorption of you  nappies. A seperate post on diaper laundry will be made  and  I will link it  here.


So there is my list of  accessories. Kindly let us have your comments and let us know if there are other items not included here that ease your  cloth nappy journey.
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Thanks for Reading.



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