What to buy when you’re expecting: NAPPIES AND ALL THINGS DIRTY


Bad nappies can ruin an otherwise good day. You think that because they are shaped like a nappy and made out of the nappy stuff then they use all be the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. 


In this post in the What to Buy When You’re Expecting series I talk all things dirty – nappies, wipes, cream and those types of things. 


These things are crucial to a happy baby. Absolutely crucial. As much a bad nappy that leaks can ruin your day, a bad case of nappy rash can ruin your child’s day or night. 



nappy changes - what nappies to buy

This image is an illusion, they are not this peaceful or clean ever 🙂





what to buy when you're expecting - nappies and all things dirty

1. Nappies / Diapers

Now, to the topic at hand, nappies or as our American readers say “diapers”.

When we lived in South Africa we used Pampers Premium which you can’t get everywhere.


Now that we are in Australia we use Huggies Ultra Dry which I have NO complaints about. I am very very happy with them.


The nappies you use is up to you and largely budget dependant. The aspects of a nappy that you do want to check are:

  • absorbency 
  • tightness around the leg to avoid leakages 
  • breathability 
  • suitability of the sizing (each brand has different sizing charts) 


There is however one thing that is common is the amount that you need – millions. And then some more. Especially in the early days of Baby No.1 when you have got no clue how to actually change a nappy and they poo a lot.


There are a whole lot of other things that you need, outside of the nappies and here is that list.


Everything you need – nappies and all things dirty


 I am not affiliated to anything recommended in this post or this series. 


2. Baby Wipes

You need millions of baby wipes. We use Pampers Premium Sensitive in South Africa and the Coles Brand in Australia.


I have tried other brands in Australia and stand by the Coles ones. I feel that they are the best on the market.


The main requirements for your wipes is that they be

  1. Thick so they don’t tear apart mid wipe.
  2. Fragrance free so they don’t affect the little ones skin.
  3. Big you want to not have to use 40 to clean a single area.


You can get water only wipes but I use these mainly when we are out and the kids needs their faces wiped. This is purely a personal choice based on the fact that I am not sure whether something that is only water can wipe away poo.


Wipes are not only good for nappy changing but also for wiping hands, faces and dirty surfaces when there is nothing else at hand.


3. Bottom (Bum) Cream

Bum cream is what you use to create a barrier between the excretions from the nappy and your child’s skin.

Using bum cream will allow your child’s skin to stay dry even when they’ve got something in their nappy.


If you don’t use something to create a barrier then you child’s skin will become irritated and inflamed and worse – they may get an infection.


You get hundreds of different types of creams. With our son we used Fissan Paste which was fantastic but with our daughter we used Bepanthen because her skin was slightly more sensitive.


Unfortunately, even when you do use a cream, your child will sometimes still get a rash – it could be any medications or the nappy itself.


My miracle find

I swear by this stuff. When we have a bad patch then we use 100% lanolin from Lanisoh. It is amazing. While it is expensive it is SO worth it. Every time I have seen a nappy rash starting I’ve used this and the rash has gone away.

The best cream in the world - what to buy for babies (nappies / diapers and those types of things)

You can get it from any good chemist or pharmacy, Amazon in the USA. Boots in the UK. Amal or Chemist Warehouse in Australia. Dischem in South Africa.

You can get a cheaper brand but you have to make sure that the contents are 100% pure lanolin with nothing else added in.



4. Changing Table

You are going to need a changing station.


A changing station is  place where you can change baby and have everything within easy reach.


In South Africa we had tons of space so we had a chest of drawers (a compactum) which we changed baby on. When we stayed with my parents we would use a table at waist height which we covered with a few towels and a foam mat.


We now use an Ikea change table which is perfect (you can find it at: http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/categories/departments/childrens_ikea/18701/)(I haven’t created a hyperlink because I don’t want to lose the information). Just copy and paste that link or look out for it in an IKEA near you – here is the picture of ours below.


The best cream in the world - what to buy for babies (nappies / diapers and those types of things)


Babies grow so quickly so you are going to want it to be deep (from head to feet) enough so that for a while baby can lie down with his feet not hanging off the edge.


Ultimately baby will get to big for it but as long as you can keep him there it will make changing him a lot easier. You also want it to be wide enough so that you can have him on a changing mat and still have his nappies, creams etc on the table.


5. Changing Mats

You are going to need a mat of sorts to change baby on. We use a foam concave plastic covered thing (a dreadful explanation – sorry) to change baby on. We then just put a towel or a disposable changing mat over it when we dry baby after the bath or change him.

When I was pregnant (with my first babe and still working) my secretary told me that I should get disposable changing mats. This was best idea she ever gave me.


We make sure we always a have a two-pack in the nappy bag and also a few packs at home. This way when there is an accident, which there will be, you can just throw it away. You want to try a few brands at first, you want something cheap but not horrific quality which tears if he moves.


Below is a picture of what the foam mat looks like on the changing table and the changing mat with disposable mats on.

nappy changing station nappy change mats - what you need for your baby


Added Extras

Here are a few things you may want to get for your Nappy Changing Station:

  1. Hand sanitiser. I have heard it is  better to actually wash your hands than to use a hand santizer. I wash and have a hand spray nearby in case though.
  2. Lovely little storage baskets to keep your essentials at hand. I got a few that I could fit into the nappy change station at the bottom so that we always had nappies, cream and wipes on hand.
  3. A little pillow. This won’t go amiss so that your little one doesn’t hit their heads on the wall or the back of the change mat when you lay them down or they throw a tantrum 🙂




If you’re pregnant or have a new baby – Congratulations! If you’re clueless, like I was reading through this series will be helpful to you. 


What you need for feeding (and pacifiers too)

Everything associated with sleeping 

Age appropriate toys

What to buy in case baby gets sick

Baby Clothes

Baby Accessories – What on earth are those!?

Bathing your baby



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