This post is all about traveling with cloth diapers. “Impossible!” You say! “Nay” I say! I have done a great deal of traveling since having my son last November. We have driven and flown. Used cloth diapers and not. I am going to go through the many different plans and schemes I have used for traveling. Perhaps you will be inspired to give it a shot on your next vacation.
Way back when, in February, my husband and I had the brilliant idea to drive from NY to NC. My son was 3.5 months at the time. I will spare you the gory details of how 12 hours turned into 15. I will tell you that as new parents our car was packed to the BRIM with things we “had” to have. Baby bath tub, bouncer, 20,000 onesies, burp cloths, etc. Shoved into the baby bath tub to save space were CLOTH DIAPERS!
I lovingly packed my diapers, pre-stuffed, and my cloth wipes, my spray bottle, and wet bags, into my baby bath tub. We were staying with family and I had discussed ahead of time the idea of washing poop in their washer. They were ok with it! I literally brought my entire stash, which consisted mostly of Bum Genius 3.0’s at the time.
I also remembered to bring a small ziplock of Tide Original and my blue Dawn, which was my wash routine at the time. Even being busy with family and friends I had plenty of time to throw my diapers in the wash. My Mother-in-Law was even helpful and pulled them out of the dryer for me and stacked them neatly. She didn’t stuff them though. She knew enough not to wash them for me.
Tragically, the water in Charlotte was different than NY and my wash routine didn’t work well there. I came back with repelling issues and had to strip. It was still worth it to use my own diapers in Charlotte though!
The next trip was a biggie. We flew from Syracuse to San Antonio Texas. This was a family trip also, so we had access to laundry. At this time I had purchased G Diapers and Gro Baby. My plan of attack was to use G Diapers for the night before the trip while I washed diapers and for the flights. While in Texas I packed only Gro Baby and lots of soakers (space saving) and my overnight diapers, which at the time were Blueberry Deluxe One Size. I packed a hanging wet bag, but skipped on the cloth wipes this time and used disposables.
Again, trouble occurred. I had a hard time keeping up with laundry since I packed so light. Trying to fit cloth diapers, even Gro Baby, in a suitcase and your own items means you only have so many. The other problem I ran into was running out of disposable wipes. I thought I had plenty but apparently you use so many disposable wipes!!! I felt like I was using 10 for a poopy change. It was crazy! Plus, my son had an upset tummy and was pooping so much I was using all of my diapers quicker than usual.
Then, my diapers were leaking all over. Repelling, again. WHY ME? The last leg of my trip I had to use disposables that my Mother-in-Law brought all the way from NC. The same package she had for me when we visited last time but didn’t need. I used a combo of those and my G Diapers. I didn’t have enough covers to use them full time for the rest of the trip. I wrote two posts about this trip. Here and Here.
Tampa. SIGH. My husband and I went to Tampa for a few days. On this trip I didn’t even attempt cloth diapers. I was disheartened by the two previous trips where my diapers started repelling after washing in my location. Plus, being such a short trip I was somewhat ok with using disposables because I would be gone such a short time. Two days before we left for the trip we went on a hunt for “eco-friendly” disposables. I had heard of a brand that was based from corn. I didn’t find it but instead bought the Huggies Pure and Natural. I later found out that the orgainc cotton mentioned in the commercials was only on the outside. What was touching the skin was the same as a regular Huggies. Shoulda known. It also still smelled just a terrible as a sposie. More about this trip here and here.
On this trip I realized how much I hated the thought of sposies. I felt guilt with every diaper I threw away. And, I seemed to change him even more than with cloth. He felt “squishy” like he was wet all the time, but when I took it off it was light. I think the cloth diaper companies took the knowledge that parents change when the diaper feels squishy and manipulated the diaper to feel like that with a tiny bit of pee. You change more, so they make more!
On our next trip I flew out to Charlotte again, just me and my son, to visit family. This time, I had an ingenious plan! Since we never used a car seat on our flights (I nursed him almost the entire time on my lap) I always checked it. To bring cloth diapers with me this time I packed an entire garbage bag full and stuffed it into my car seat, and put that in a car seat bag for traveling. I basically snuck them in! I didn’t have to take up valuable luggage space or pay extra to pack them in a separate suitcase.
This time I was using Rockin’ Green detergent from a sample I had. My diapers didn’t repel at all. This was a turning point for my laundry routine. I ditched the Tide and started using detergents meant for cloth diapers. If you want to read my original post about this trip, click here.
For our quick trip to Boston MA, which we drove, we just used cloth like normal. I packed lots of wet bags and placed my small wetbags from each day into a larger wetbag. This worked great to contain smells! I met another cloth diapering mama on this trip and wrote about how strange it was.
Vegas Baby!!!! My most recent trip was from NY to Las Vegas, with just me and my son. I only got one suitcase, which I already had to pay for, and I wasn’t packing a car seat. Packing cloth diapers was out of the question! I started brainstorming ways to use cloth and found a local diaper service in Las Vegas. I worked with them to deliver to my hotel and pick up. For my flights I used Gro Baby’s new Bio Soakers! I wrote a post about it already, which you can read here.
For my next trip, which will once again be Charlotte NC in November, I am planning on packing my diapers inside of the car seat bag again. It worked so well that I am going to do it again!
If I ever get a real vacation where I am not visiting family, I will look for a local diaper service. If there isn’t one, I might have to use disposable cloth diaper inserts. Truth be told, I do not like bringing poop back home with me. I wouldn’t mind people using disposables if they were the exception to the rule, not the rule. After all, that was the reason they were invented in the first place!
Readers, do you travel with cloth? Why or why not?