One of the things on every new cloth diapering family’s to-get list is a wetbag. What is a wetbag? For one, it is not a bag that is wet; though it is a bag that will potentially be wet (I guess the name Potentially Wet Bag didn’t really catch on). Wetbags are waterproof bags about the size of a sheet of printer paper, give or take a couple of inches depending on the brand, that close with a zipper. You know how baby stores sell little disposable bags to hook onto a diaper bag or stroller that are meant to store a disposable diaper until you can get to a trashcan? Wetbags are the cloth diaperer’s version of that.
From that basic description, wetbags can really differ from each other depending on the manufacturer. Some have extra zippered pockets on the sides, so you can store dry diapers, wipes, and other supplies apart from the dirty diapers on the inside. Some have loops on one corner so you can hang the wetbag from a hook or doorknob, and there are a surprising number of varieties these loops come in. Some are a simple loop of elastic, others are made of thick fabric and have snaps so you can snap them on and off whatever hook or knob you have.
The uses of wetbags don’t stop at merely transporting dirty diapers while out and about. Some people have a small wetbag in a secondary changing area in their home, where a larger pail liner won’t fit. If you are a user of cloth menstrual pads, you can use wetbags to store your pads in as well. In fact, a few cloth pad manufacturers also sell smaller wetbags that will tuck neatly into a purse and resemble travel makeup bags.
Do you need a wetbag? When I first started using cloth diapers, for some reason I forgot to purchase a wetbag. The first time we were out and about with her after she was born, she let out a giant poop in the middle of the store and I sought out the nearest restroom. After strapping her to the changing table, I changed her diaper, picked the dirty one and…uh oh. I froze. I had nowhere to put it. I kind of rolled the diaper up and tried to snap it shut so it wouldn’t unroll, then used up half a roll of paper towels to wrap it up in before gingerly placing it back into my diaper bag. It only partially worked; the paper towels were lightly damp by the time we arrived home. I peeled off the paper towels, chucked the dirty diaper into the diaper pail, then hopped online and ordered a wetbag. If I’d happened to have an empty plastic zip-top bag with me I could have used that as a makeshift wetbag, but alas, I was stuck with using paper towels.
When my daughter was a year old, we signed her up for parent-and-child swim lessons. After the lesson was over, we went into the locker room, I peeled her swimsuit and swim diaper off of her…and again, froze. I had nowhere to put her sopping wet clothes! Foolishly I’d also not brought the diaper bag with me; in the interests of traveling light, I’d thrown our dry clothes and my wallet into a beach tote and left with only that. The next week, I was smart enough to bring a clean wetbag with me. Since they are waterproof and zip shut, they make for a great way to transport wet swimclothes home. Now, every time we go to the pool or beach, I make sure I have a spare wetbag with us for our wet clothing.
I’ve definitely found that having a wetbag on hand is an absolute necessity—even if you don’t cloth diaper, I think they are useful in general when you have young children. In fact, I now have several, so I always have a clean one on hand.
What other uses have you found for wetbags?