What are nappy belts?
There are so many nappy systems out there to choose from, but when it comes to helping your baby use a potty, my favourite by far is the simple cloth and nappy belt I designed for my own children.
A cloth and nappy belt is basically a belt which your baby wears around his or her waist, which you tuck a cloth into at the front and back and the belt keeps the cloth in place. When you need to offer the potty, you can simply untuck the cloth from the front or back. If you need to change the cloth, you can do this without removing the belt.
The Little Bunny Bear adjustable nappy belt can fit from birth to around 3 years, and because it opens up, it’s easy to put on and off. When worn with a cloth, the belt looks like this:
What are the advantages?
First of all, its incredibly cheap. Its also easy to wash and quick to dry. The nappy belt doesn’t need washing much, and muslin cloths (as pictured here) don’t build up ammonia like cloth nappy fabric can. Using it as a nappy is perfect for pottying because it can be folded in many different ways and always in a way which precisely fits your child, no matter how big or small they are (see how to fold below).
In terms of actually catching the elimination, it takes seconds to untuck the cloth, making it infinitely easier to respond to your baby’s cues. This is why using a cloth and belt is a great way to practice risk-free nappy-free time.
Because you can tuck it in at the front OR back, it’s more versatile than other drop flap nappy designs.
why not being waterproof helps
The muslin cloth is not waterproof and this is actually a huge bonus when it comes to pottying. If your baby wets the cloth, you won’t have ruined your outfit or the floor, but you will know immediately. This means you can respond quicker when it comes to teaching your little one what’s happening.
This teaches your baby that being dry and clean is the norm. In this way, it makes so much more sense for pottying that any nappy with a waterproof cover, whether or not you catch the elimination in a potty. It can be used from birth, when eliminations are frequent and small, but it’s also a great tool at the beginning of potty training, when you need to help your little one recognise wetness straight away.
when you need a cover
For times when you do need a waterproof cover (and sometimes you do want this peace of mind), fear not, as Little Bunny Bear has designed one for this purpose as well which you can make yourself with our sewing pattern.
How to fold the cloth
Some people use a prefold nappy (diaper), but in fact you can use any water-absorbent material (an old T-shirt cut into a foldable square works great!). For me, a simple muslin cloth is perfect because they can be folded to fit precisely and they are cheap and readily available (you’ve probably got some already).
Here I describe my own method for folding the cloth but there are countless ways!
1. Fold the cloth down to create he correct length for your baby. The length is the distance from their tummy button to the same place on their back. Here, I have folded it down to fit my 8 month old.
2 & 3. Now, fold the cloth inwards at the left and right sides, to create a soaker pad around 10-15cm wide.
Because you folded it down at the top first, you have extra layers at the front. This is good for peeing, especially for boys. If you are worried about poo, you can fold the sides inwards but then fan them out at the back to create a sort of “poo holder”. But in my experience, this is not necessary.