eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Even though we have only been cloth diapering for 4 months, I feel like I have become somewhat of an expert on traveling with cloth diapers. In the short time since Jaxon's birth, we have been on two week-long vacations and two extended weekend trips. We moved out of our house for four days following the tornadoes in our area. We have stayed in condos, hotels, and with family. I've travelled by car and plane.

For our first two trips, Jaxon was less than 3 weeks old. We only had a small stash. So I just brought everything that fit. Since my 2 Applecheeks, 4 Rumparooz, and 4 Lil Joey's fit him best, I did laundry every night to keep those washed and ready for use while we were out and about during the day. 

Jaxon with his daddy at the beach - 2 weeks old
Wearing a Gro-Via on vacation at the beach
On our fourth trip, I had a larger stash, so I didn't have to do laundry every night, which was great because I ran into an issue: no laundry facilities in our condo. We had stayed at this complex before and had a washer/dryer in our condo, so I thought we would have them this time. There were facilities on site, at least. But walking down the hallway to do laundry was a pain, especially at night. It didn't make me want to go out and get disposables, but it did make me wish I had confirmed that we would have a washer and dryer in our suite.

After the Flats & Handwashing Challenge, I felt like I had found the missing piece for traveling with cloth: flats. I normally take a lot of prefolds, which are great for inserting inside all kinds of covers and don't take up a lot of space to pack. But prefolds take FOREVER to dry and I've found that dryers in vacation condos, especially those at the beach, do not usually work very well. Discovering flats has solved that problem for me. Flats also solve the issue of no laundry facilities because you can, if necessary, wash them in a sink. I would have preferred to handwash in the sink over using laundry facilities outside of our room. 

I personally would not want to deal with flats on an airplane or in airports, because except for the pad fold, I don't find flats easy to put on the baby. Since changing on an airplane is cramped and changing in public facilities is always something I want to finish quickly, I would prefer a pocket diaper. The good news is, you can use your flats as an insert for your pocket diaper, which would be easier to handwash than a microfiber insert.  

Here are a few of my recommendations for traveling with cloth:

1) Decide how often you want or will be able to wash and then calculate how many diapers you need to be able to go that long between washings. Then, pack more than you think you need. Vacation is a popular time for upset stomachs or your plans may change and you may not be able to wash on schedule. You don't want to run out of diapers. 

2) If space is an issue (isn't it always when you're packing for vacation?), take diapers that allow you to reuse covers for multiple changes. This could be a system like Gro-Via or Flip (with reusable or disposable inserts) or flats used inside Bummis, Econobum, or Thirsties covers. Other systems that offer the ability to reuse covers are Applecheeks and Itti Bitti.

4) Don't forget your detergent and make sure your wet bag will hold all your dirty diapers. Sample packs of detergent are great for travel.

5) Bring diaper rash cream (and liners if your cream is not safe for cloth diapers). Like upset stomachs, rashes are also common on vacation.

6) For an easy drying rack on vacation, use clothes hangers - most hotel rooms and condos provide some. Each hanger can usually hold two covers and you can hang them from almost anywhere (chairs, shower curtain rods) and they will typically dry within a few hours. Hotel rooms typically have very dry air which is great for allowing diapers to dry quickly.

7) Don't worry about stains. A quick spray of Bac-out on the diapers can help prevent stains (and will also help with odor from your wet bag), but the important thing is to get the diapers clean. You can sun the diapers when you get home to get the stains out. I bring my Bac-out along in a travel size spray bottle.

8) When we have a long car ride, I keep a few diapers in my diaper bag, along with my medium sized wet bag. I also bring my hanging wet/dry bag with clean diapers packed on the dry side. After my smaller wet bag gets full, I move the dirty diapers to the large wet bag & replenish the diaper bag with clean diapers from the dry side.

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