Tips for using cloth nappies when out

Sometimes I speak to other parents and find that although they are confidently using cloth nappies at home they can be reluctant to use them when out of the house. It can seem really daunting at first. But it’s really simple. If you’re nervous just start with small, familiar, trips and build from there. This quick guide will show you how I do it, and what items I pack with me.

Lighthouse Kids Artist bag. (Nappies Designer Bums and Petite Crown).


Work on needing to change every 2 hours, then maybe an extra one or two for a poo. Take extra if you feel more comfortable, you can cut down for future outings if needed. Plus maybe leaving an emergency nappy in the car will help you feel more confident.

If you have a mixed stash of brands you might consider which of your nappies are best suited to your storing method. If you prefer to roll up used nappies then look for ones that have an overlap tab to hold them rolled up. In the photo below you’ll notice the Velcro light blue nappy (Tickle Tots) has overlap tabs, so does the popper green nappy (Baby Bare). But the rocket nappy (Blueberry) doesn’t.


Take either pre-wet, or dry and wet as you go. I normally take wet but if I’m just popping to someone’s house I’ll take them dry. Most changing rooms have a sink, or you can wet with a bottle of water. Take however many you normally use for a nappy change, plus a few extra. Just remember to get the unused ones from your bag when you return home. Otherwise they can go slightly musty, although a quick wash will soon sort that out.

Designer Bums mini wet bag.

Change mat

For changing your baby you’ll probably want a change mat to lie them on. It may be that your change bag came with a mat already. In which case, great. If not choose one that takes up as little space as possible whilst still doing the job. Ideally it should have an absorbent side in case your baby decides to wee mid-change (rather common with younger babies). And ideally it should be easily machine washable as depending where you have changed your baby you might want to wash it when you return home. The one pictured is from Bebeboo Diapers. It’s huge but folds (or rolls) up tiny. It has a super soft and absorbent bamboo inside to catch those mid-change wees. The best change mat I’ve ever had!

Bebeboo change mat.

Wet bag

You’ll need a wet bag to bring home the dirty nappies (also useful for dirty clothes and change mats). Used nappies and wipes go straight into the bag. I tend to unstuff as I go so on wash day I can just tip them straight into the machine (unless I have a dirty nappy, then I roll that one up). Empty they barely take up any space so if your stuck choosing between two sizes then I’d always go bigger (although maybe not XL!). Most are a zip closure but some have a roll-top instead. Consider if you’d like a hanging strap. Most have one, ideally the strap has a popper, but not all do. Some have two straps so can be hung from a pushchair which is especially useful if you’re out for a whole day and a little short on space in the changing bag.

Some extras to consider for your bag:

  • Dry wipes. Good to have a few stashed away in case of emergencies. I also used to have to dry my baby after changing a nappy when he was little.
  • Nappy cream. Best to buy an extra tube/pot of your usual cream and keep it in the bag just in case. Nowadays mine rarely sees the light of day, but for younger babies nappy rash can be sudden so best to treat it quickly. Weleda is a natural cream and safe for cloth nappies.
Weleda nappy cream.

And that’s it. This list can look a little overwhelming, but if you think about using disposables you still need nappies, wipes, nappy sacks and a change mat. So really this isn’t much different.

Dealing with wet and dirty nappies is not different than being at home. You simply need to store them until washing, and a wet bag will do that perfectly for you. When you arrive home I would recommend dealing with any dirty nappies straightaway as they are more likely to stain if left. But wet nappy can be either left in the wet bag until your next wash day, or quickly tipped into whatever bucket or wet bag you use at home.

If you’re looking for a great change bag for taking your cloth nappies out then check out my review of the Bambino Mio Baby and Beyond bag.

You can also see this guide, and many others, on my YouTube channel.