Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Traveling with Cloth!

Our next blog series is about traveling with 100% cloth diapers. 

Our little family at the beach for the first time in San Diego!

In May of 2010, we traveled to the west coast to visit my brother and his (then) pregnant wife in San Diego.  I fell in love!  I am a Texas girl through and through, but I could definitely see myself living in San Diego.  Beautiful pretty much sums it up.  We stayed at their 2 bedroom condo, all 8 of us (9 if you include the tiny baby in my SIL's belly;) -- my brother, his wife, my parents, my husband, our (then) 2.5 year old, our (then) 6 month old, and myself.  It was a tight fit, but we had so much fun! 

I decided to go with 100% cloth for the trip, mostly because I was so excited about it!  My brother and his wife showed interest in using cloth for their impending arrival, so I also wanted to show them how easy it was.  They had a small washer/dryer (the 1/2 size kind that is stacked) in their condo that they said I could use.  I forgot to pack detergent, so we got some Tide Original powder while there. 

I packed most of the diapers we had, enough to wash every other day.  I was nervous about checking them, since it's a LOT of money to trust with the airline.  I've never had my luggage lost, but I just knew that this would be the one time they did.  So I packed them all in my carry on so I could keep them close. 

I used Flips with stay dry inserts for the airport and plane rides, there and back.  Very easy.  Well, as easy as it can be to change a diaper on the plane...

Meeting M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

While there, I waited a couple of days until we were almost out of diapers before washing.  Big mistake.  I was used to our normal sized top loader at home.  Their tiny washer could only do about one day's worth of diapers, so I ended up having to do 2 loads on that very busy day.  And the tiny dryer took forever to dry, so all of the pocket shells and Flip covers I line dried in the bathroom, wherever I could hang them.  From then on, I washed every day.

Mid-trip, we planned a trip to Disneyland!!  We had a blast!  We spent a full day there, then stayed at a nearby hotel before another fun-filled day.  And yes, I still used cloth.  I found it was so easy, and not any more difficult than changing disposables while on vacation.  The only difference is our diapers didn't stink up the bathrooms when I was done. 

My little chunker wearing his special
Mickey Diaper (made by Doodle Dypes)!
We were gone a total of 8 days, and E was in cloth 100% of the time.  Riley was on the verge of potty training, and in undies and training pants while there, with cloth at night.  I was so nervous before the trip about juggling laundry while on vacation, but it was much easier than I anticipated.  I just threw in a load while we chatted, then they dried while we went to lunch or dinner (or bed).  I washed each day when I had the chance, and it was not the least bit difficult.  Nor was I tempted to buy disposables once we got there (which I secretly kept in the back of my mind). 

E wearing one of my favorite prints,
made by Doodle Dypes,
at his great-grandfather's house.

Empowered by an 8 day vacation, I knew that our upcoming 5 day long weekend at my husband's grandfather's lake house would be a breeze!  Last 4th of July we packed up to visit my husband's favorite place in the world.  I finally had enough to cloth diaper both of my kids full time (since Riley started going back and forth on potty training), just in time for this trip.  So this time last year, I just put the large basket of diapers in the van along with everything else.  I changed him just like I would with disposables. 

When we stay there, we are outside pretty much the entire time.  It is beautiful there, and right on the water.  The cloth diapers were easy to use while there.  I just made sure our diaper bag was stuffed with enough diapers for the full day, along with wipes and a wetbag.  Easy Peasy.

I knew I could use the washer and dryer there if needed, which I did plan on doing at least once.  I took some detergent with us, but never used it.  Riley did well with potty training that week, and I kept putting off washing the diapers.  That trip we made it the entire 5 days without washing diapers!  We got home in the middle of the night, and I immediately threw the diapers in the wash for an overnight soak.  I added some white vinegar to counter-balance the ammonia that was built up from 5 days worth of sitting and let them soak while we slept.  First thing in the morning, I did several hot wash cycles (minus detergent after the intial wash), then dried them as usual.  They were stink free by mid-day, and we were good again. 

Not last year, but one of my favorites!
This is Riley at 11 months, with his daddy,
at his favorite place!
No cloth diapers under his shorts,
we didn't know about them then.
We have since done a few more long weekend trips with 100% cloth.  After our first trip with cloth, I have never even considered doing disposables while traveling, since cloth is just as easy.  If we go camping or travel somewhere with no washer/dryer access, I plan on using flats and covers and handwashing.  Flats are ideal for handwashing since they are thin and wash/dry easily. 

I hear many people express concerns about using cloth while on vacation.  I encourage you to at least give it a try!  I was so nervous it would be a hassle, but quickly realized it was not.  I am glad I tried it, and will continue to use cloth while on vacation.  Different trips may require something different, but we will find a way to make it work! 

Brenda and her husband, Ryan, are the blessed parents of Riley (4 years) and Eli (19 months).   They enjoy spending lots of time together, especially on the few occassions they travel together.  Their preferred method of travel is by car, it's always an adventure!  You can read about their adventures in Brenda's blog, Adventure's of a Crispy Mama.  Brenda is the founder of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and the DFW Cloth Diaper Project.

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