Traveling with Cloth Diapers
Traveling with Cloth Diapers seems a daunting task at first. However, depending on where you are going and how long you’ll be there it can be pretty simple once you get a system down that you like.
- Just take what you need: You don’t necessarily need your whole stash of cloth diapers. If you will have access to a washer you can wash every other day and take 15-20 diapers.
- Divide your travel diapers into two bags. We like to pack the majority of our diapers and wipes in a small duffle bag along with any other necessities we might need. Then we throw 2-5 diapers in our regular diaper bag with the wipes we will use for the day. Basically depending on how long we will be in the air or in the car we plan accordingly and put the amount of diapers we think we will use in the diaper bag.
- Get more than one wet bag. I like having my small wet bag that stays in or near my diaper bag for the diapers we use. Then a larger wet bag I keep with the small duffle bag of diapers. When the little wet bag gets full and I’m running out of diapers in my diaper bag I empty the small wet bag into the large one and reload the diaper bag with more diapers from the duffle bag.
- Have a backup: It is just fine to have some disposables with you if things get to stressful. Even if I don’t end up using them it is nice to know I have them just in case. Especially if this is a first time traveling with cloth it is great to have until you get the hang of it.
- Bring a diaper changing mat: These are great because there is not always access to changing stations or clean places to change the baby. This can be laid down to protect the baby while you are changing them. Put them on the grass or the back seat of the car and you have your own miniature changing station (this probably won’t really help if you are flying).
- Use disposable inserts: These are great for traveling especially if your baby is eating solids already. You can still mostly use the cloth but dispose of the poop while you are traveling.
- Bring your own detergent and a way to measure it: This is one that’s easy to forget. In a lot of hotels there is access to washing machines but who knows what kind of detergent they have. If you bring your own you can wash them and then hang them up over shower curtain rods or suitcase holders to dry.
- Make sure it is okay to use the washer: If you are staying with family you might want to ask them ahead of time if they are ok with you washing your cloth diapers in their washer.
- Don’t leave any dirty diapers at home: If you are going to be gone long you want to make sure the diapers at home have been cleaned. If they sit too long you dirty they may have the chance to grow bacteria or I’ve known people to come home to maggots in their diapers.
- Be realistic: It’s great to try to cloth diaper but if it isn’t realistic give yourself a break and buy disposables. Cloth diapering while traveling in most circumstances is completely doable but for me if I don’t have access to a washer I probably won’t be cloth diapering (Although some people do suggest washing by hand).
- Pre-stuff your diapers: Pre-stuffing your diapers can make changing so much quicker and easier while traveling.
In the Car:
- Store the wet bag in the trunk. Even with the wet bag blocking the stink it can still get out and circulate around the car. It is best to store your wet bag in the trunk when traveling with cloth diapers. We have a van so this doesn’t work for us. We usually try to put the wet bag near the back where it is accessible from the back and more out of the way while driving. You could also bring an extra trash bag to put your wet bag in to help contain the smell.
- Set up a changing station: Again this works great because we have a van with plenty of space. But we put all our diapers together and have a spot that we can lay out our diaper mat and change the babies.
- Bring a waterbottle: Depending on your wipe situation you may need a water bottle. We just keep our wipes dry and when it’s time to use them we run them under some water. So if we need to change a diaper in the car a water bottle is handy to wet the wipe.
In the Plane:
- Check some, carry some: When flying we like to check the duffle bag with the majority of the cloth diapers and carry one our diaper bag with the essentials we’ll need for the flight.
- Long Flights: For flights overseas you may need a lot of diapers because of the length of the flight. In such cases it would be wise to choose slimmer diapers because of the bulk. You can also use compression sacks to keep the bulk down (have a clean diaper compression sack and a dirty diaper compression sack).
- Check to see if you’ll have access to a washer.
- Use a service for cloth diaper cleaning.
- If you are staying at a RV or tent camp, prepare ahead and bring the quarters you will need for the washers.
And last but not least remember it is easier than you think to travel with cloth diapers. At first it seems like a lot to remember but if you travel a lot you will definitely get the hang of it. Most of our traveling is done for long stretches in a car and it doesn’t even phase us these days. Good luck! Let us know what tips and tricks you have for traveling with cloth diapers.