Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On the Road With Cloth Diapers

To date, Sweet Pea has never worn a disposable diaper. Before she was born, I thought I would want to use cloth most of the time, but that it would be too much of a hassle to use while traveling so she would go in disposables on the road. Thanks in part to a friend from out of town who visited us while using cloth on her baby (you're awesome, Wendy!), I started to think maybe it wouldn't be that much trouble after all. So far, Sweet Pea has worn cloth everywhere we've gone, from two-hour road trips, to ten-hour cross-country trips by airplane, to three-day camping trips, and everything in between. I have changed her on the trunk of our car, in my lap, on the floor at the airport, on the ground on a towel, and on changing tables in public restrooms. I would say it is probably a little more difficult than using disposables, but totally worth it to me not to have to spend extra money to use plastic and chemicals on my baby's bum.
This is a photo of our camp-site from when we went "car-camping" last May. You can see the diaper pail by the back wheel of the car.

When we travel, I think about how many hours we'll be on the road, estimate a diaper change every two hours, and then pack a couple extra. I generally prefer to travel with all-in-one or pre-stuffed pocket diapers for the convenience of one-step changes, although they are a bit bulkier to pack than simple pre-folds and covers. We bring our cloth wipes, a squirt bottle of water (actually my peri bottle from post-partum), and a wet bag. I have two large Planet Wise wet bags, and one medium Goodmama's. They are all zipper closure, which I prefer. If we are going to be away from home for several days I either pack all three wet bags (like for flying), or one to two wet bags and our actual diaper pail (for driving trips). So far, I haven't had anyone question me about washing our diapers in their washer, and we have even used laundromats a couple of times (recently at the coast when we stayed in a hotel, and on our camping trip on the second day when we went into town to eat at a restaurant). One time Average used the laundromat washer without even putting any soap in. He figured that there was probably enough soap residue left in the washers, and the diapers came out looking and smelling clean!

Recommendations for traveling with cloth:
  • bring plenty of diapers
  • think ahead about when and where you will do your wash
  • bring flushable liners for flights in case of poo (even though the zipper seals in the smells pretty well, I'd rather not have to deal with it)
  • you might want to bring a small container of your own laundry soap

Now go for it! Don't be scared, it's just like using cloth at home. And, if you run into any trouble, you can always buy disposables, but you probably won't need to.

2 comments:

  1. Great tips! I love your 5gal bucket. I have an orange one from Home depot I use!

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  2. Thanks! My dad gave us that bucket - it has a screw-top lid. He used to use it for rafting trips, but it works great for dirty diapers!

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