Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Changing bags and cloth. Have you got enough space?

on February 29, 2012

When you’re out and about with cloth nappies, the one thing that you really have to bear in mind is how you’re going to transport them. Your changing bag could be one that’s really designed for using with disposables and that can be slightly problematic if you’re out for a long period of time. I’ve found that things such as nappy wallets are usually useless when I’m going out for the day as I really can’t fit cloth into them, which is a shame as they’re a great idea in principle. So, you need a changing bag that’s going to work for you!

My changing bag that I’ve had since Monkey was born is a Pacapod Almora. It’s a fabulous bag that is great if I only need to take a few nappies with me. If I want to go out for a whole day, I have to pack very cleverly and just take nappies like Flips with me, as they pack down very small and I can fit quite a few into the changing pod. So, whilst that’s great – I am rather limited in choice. The only other way around this is to take the pods out of the bag and use that section to place up to about 5 bulkier nappies in it, but then I have to find somewhere to put the feeding pod, as we’re now weaning and carrying around more than just boobs! That’s fine if I’ve got my pram with me, but not so practical if Monkey is in the sling.

I’d heard, via various cloth nappy groups, that there are a couple of bags that are absolutely fantastic for us cloth nappy users. The two that I keep hearing about are The Miracle Bag and the Skip Hop Duo Double. The Skip Hop one is designed for use with twins and fits across a double buggy, so is a little on the large side, but The Miracle bag is the same width as most changing bags.

So, I recently got a rather funky Miracle Bag! It’s a black spot City Range bag that has loads and loads of room in it.

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It’s the same width as my Pacapod, but is much deeper. It has four small pockets on the outside that I put my phone, keys, etc in and two large pockets on the inside. One of them has got a matching changing mat inside it (which is great) and everything is made from laminated cotton, which is really handy as I’ve had a couple of leaks in my other bag (whoops!) There’s a (non-insulated) bottle pocket on the outside which is nice and roomy and fitted in a sippy cup and my own drink with ease!

Now, as I’m starting to do Real Nappy Advising, I decided that I’d put the bag to the test! I’ve been lugging around a wetbag stuffed to the brim with nappies, plus another bag with my demo doll and leaflets, and yet more nappies. So, my idea was to just end up with my changing bag and the wetbag. I grabbed my nappies that I needed to take with me for Monkey (a couple of Flip wraps and inserts) and then also grabbed half of my demo nappies. As you can see, these are not the slimmest nappies in the world. They’re as follows:

Two Baba+Boo BTP nappies
A green BTP Ones & Twos
A red BTP Rumparooz
A yellow BTP BumGenius V4
A green large Itti Bitti AIO
A red BumGenius BTP Freetime
A BTP Itti Bitti Tutto in Spectra

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That’s quite a lot of nappies! I’d already filled one of the large pockets of the bag with my wallet, a little Close Parent wetbag with a complete change of clothes for Monkey (don’t you just love reflux…), a Nuby Icybite teether (fab thing – he loves chomping away on this!), some rice cakes, a tub of bits and bobs for his lunch and some bibs/muslins.

I put all the nappies in the other compartment, along with the changing mat and a bag with my cloth wipes in it and – good god – it actually ALL fitted in. The whole lot. I didn’t force the zips to make it close, I didn’t have to squish it all down. How cool is that! It made it a lot easier to carry everything to my talk as I was one bag lighter and I can now see why everyone keeps going on about how fab they are on the forums I’m part of. I’m very impressed!

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I can see this bag being particularly useful for me when I go out and about for a day, or if I’m going away for a long weekend and need something that will hold a fair amount of stuff. It’s a great, light bag and I really like it. I generally prefer bags that aren’t patent/shiny, but this one has really grown on me and in the future I’d love to see it in a range of fabrics, including perhaps matt oil-cloth options. I love the fact that I can wipe it down and keep it clean and Monkey absolutely adores the patent fabric. He keeps making OOOOOOOH noises and grabbing at the handles. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as he adores any kind of reflective and shiny surfaces, so maybe my matt fabric bags aren’t interesting enough for him at the moment!

My Pacapod is a great bag if I’m just whipping out for a couple of hours, or if I don’t mind taking very slim nappies, but this one is definitely much better for longer days out or for allowing me the luxury of being able to take whatever cloth nappies I feel like, irrespective of their bulkiness.

Have you found a bag that works really well for taking out and about with cloth nappies? I’d love to know which ones you find work well for you. I know a lot of cloth mummies use backpacks and that works really well if you’re babywearing on your front. It’d be useful to get a bank of comments on this post so that other mummies can use it as a resource to help them find the bag that’ll suit them. I thought that I’d be happy with just one changing bag, but now I’m starting to realise that it’s a bit like handbags, I LOVE my handbags and I have far, far too many of them. I’m going to have to be good and not turn into a changing bag Queen!!!

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2 responses to “Changing bags and cloth. Have you got enough space?

  1. Helen Dryburgh says:

    I totally love the miracle bag and secretly hoping DH gets my hints. My bag is black, boring and useful!! I can’t afford the pink lining bags and feel they are too small for the amount of stuff I pack in mine!

    Despite DS not having reflux he always has a change of clothes, snacks, water and an endless supply of toys ontop of the usual stuff too!

    I’ll let you know if I get what I want!! X

  2. Yorkshire rambling mum says:

    Hi,

    Nice blog.

    I would recommend trying the new PacaPod Samui ‘Lite’ which has flat-pack pods that fold away when you don’t need them – also these have proved brilliant for wiping down and cleaning all the food out!

    It’s a large bucket bag style which is really roomy and easy to pop things inside but it’s organised due to the pods. It’s plenty big enough for twins as you can put another pod inside and would also give you loads of room for cloth nappies 🙂

    I like the jewel colourway as it has lots of bright pops on a cream background to match the pram and also a nice summer bag/holiday bag – or there’s a dark black and grey one but I am a big fan of colour! x

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