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March 6, 2013

Traveling with Cloth

After such a fun month learning about different WAHMs, I thought I'd change gears a little bit and share about one of the "hot topics" of cloth diapers-traveling with cloth, and maybe learn some tips from all of you, as well!  We currently live in Richmond, VA, but all of our extended family is in Michigan, so we've traveled a lot with Myles.  And I've traveled both with and without cloth (although it does pain me a little to have to buy diapers that we'll just throw away!!).  Usually, the choice to bring cloth diapers depends on whether or not we have room either in the car or in our luggage if we're flying.
We took our first road trip when Myles was 6 weeks old (crazy, I know).  This is what the back of our car looked like (normally, you'd be able to see out the back):

Needless to say, on this first trip back, I didn't have room to take along my cloth diapers, so we just used disposables :)  
Since then, every time we've driven back to Michigan, I've made room in the car for my diapers.  Here are a few tips for road tripping with cloth diapers:
  • make them accessible:  I know this seems obvious, but there have been times when my husband has packed the car and my diapers have ended up on the very bottom of the pile.  Needless to say, he had to move everything around to make get them to the top, in the freezing cold, at a rest stop. :)
  • bring only what you need:  The first time I brought my diapers along, I packed pretty much all of my stash.  Looking back, I probably only needed about half of that.  Figure out how often you'll do laundry and how many diapers you go through in a day, bring a few extras and leave the rest at home!
  • don't forget detergent:  If you're lucky, you may be able to find CD safe detergent wherever you're going, but to be safe, just bring your own.
  • bring a quality wetbag:  You don't want smelly diapers in the back stinking up your whole car.

One thing I do miss when we travel is my diaper sprayer!!  Although I've tried using flushable liners, usually there is poop beyond where the liner goes, so I still have to shake the rest off into the toilet.  The easiest way to get rid of poop without a diaper sprayer is to first, remove the inserts.  That way they don't soak up a bunch of toilet water while you're "swishing" it in the toilet.  Next is to hold the diaper so that the fleece/inside of the diaper is facing out and you're holding the front/top and the back/top.  I always make sure that I have a wetbag handy and then just swish the diaper in the toilet water until the poop comes off!  I know, it sounds kind of gross, but as long as you're holding onto the top, you don't actually have to touch anything and it does get the diaper pretty clean.  However, I am always glad to come back home to my diaper sprayer :)
As far as packing up diapers for traveling in a car, I usually pack everything in laundry baskets, so I just packed most of Myles' clothes in the bottom of a basket and put his diapers on top.  All of his stuff was in one basket, so diapers were easy to get to (no opening/closing suitcases to get to diapers when we stopped), and when we got to our destination, I had all of his things together.

I think if you go prepared, traveling with cloth isn't bad.  I hated seeing how many disposables we'd go through in just a week of vacation, so I always appreciated having my cloth along.  The only issue we had was building up some "stink" problems while we were away, due to different water types and a different washer and dryer.  But usually you won't be gone too long, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Now, in my opinion, flying with cloth diapers is a whole other story.  Usually when traveling by car, there's a little extra space.  But only having whatever extra space I can make in a suitcase is a completely new beast.  In a few weeks, we're flying to Florida for vacation, and I'm planning to bring my diapers (depending on whether or not there's a washer or dryer in the rental home).  
Since I've never flown with my diapers before, here's my "plan" for taking them along:
-bring the smallest/trimmest diapers we have (probably prefolds/covers, since they'll pack nice and small)
-take the bare minimum number of diapers and do extra laundry if needed
-un-stuff pocket diapers so I can fold them smaller
-buy flushable wipes (I love using cloth wipes at home, but to save space, I'll probably just buy the flushable wipes, so it'll be easy to just dump everything in the toilet).

We'll see how it goes!  How about all of you-have any of you flown with cloth diapers before?  Any tips on traveling with cloth?


JaimeN said...

If staying with someone, ask if its ok to use their washer and dryer. Some people think its gross

Pix said...

I would be careful flushing "flushable wipes" ask any plumber they aren't really flushable. I hate for that to ruin your vacation.

For all trips we've done, flying for by car that are longer than a weekend we used the disposable inserts with covers. I like gFlushes alot (though I don't flush - see reason above) At least it's all paper pulp with no plastic and I can see use my covers -- you also can use the with pockets, just don't stuff the disposable inserts inside the pocket, lay it on top.

Good Luck!

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