ON THE ROAD WITH CLOTH DIAPERS

Tomorrow we will be packing the car and heading North for a weekend visit with family and friends. Not only will I be packing Easter baskets and finery, but I will also be packing up a cloth diapering stash to allow my girls comfort while traveling. I am wondering just what I will need, of course I generally take more than I need, but I remember one visit that my eldest ended up using grandma's dishtowel while her diapers were drying. We have been making almost monthly visits North and have taken two extended vacations since beginning our cloth diapering journey. Let me share my experiences and allow you to have confidence in using cloth diapers on the road.


Needs for diapering on the road: Your cloth diapering needs while traveling will vary depending on the age of your baby and your baby's elimination routine. You know your baby best and can use the following guidelines to develop the best arrangement for your family.

Diapers: Evaluate how many diaper changes your child requires in a day add two to this number for a safety net. Use as many AIO or Pocket Diapers that you have. Plan for two days of diapering.
Diaper Covers: Covers generally don't take alot of room. I suggest taking all the diaper covers that currently fit your baby.
Cloth Wipes: I suggest 20 cloth wipes.
Wipes Solution in a bottle: Having wipes and solution with you means you can change a diaper anywhere you are a self-contained system. We use just a bottle of water.
Wet Bag: A wet bag gives you a place to put any soiled diapers.

Diaper Changing Pad: I highly suggest a cloth large enough to place your child on completely. A large receiving blanket would even work. Some of the places provided for changing diapers is unsightly. You may be changing in the seat of your car. Be prepared. I recently changed my daughter on the floor of a gas stations convenience store--serves them right for not having bathrooms. I refuse to make my babies sit in poop! The weather was too cold at the time to change her diaper in the car.

Diaper Detergent: A small travel size of your diaper detergent should be taken. If staying longer than just the weekend you will probably need to wash diapers. You don't want to be running out looking for detergent or depending on what your extended family may use.

How a weekend of cloth diapering goes: We generally pack up our supplies into a large Rubbermaid tub. When we get to Grandma's we just place it on the floor in the bedroom. Diaper changes are done on the floor and all the supplies are easily available from the tub. Dirty diapers are placed in our Bummis Wet Bag and set aside. When we leave we can place the Bummis Wet Bag in the tub and take it back out to the car. When we get home we wash the diapers. We do take a small diaper bag with us to use if we are out and about while visiting.

Our first extended road trip with cloth: On our first extended vacation as parents we visited Pensacola, Florida. We took our cloth diapering supplies and my new wool diaper covers; I figured I might as well try using cloth, if it didn't work I could easily find disposable diapers at any local store. We stayed at a hotel that had laundry facilities on-site. Using cloth diapers on this trip was easy. I had cloth diapered at home for months and this was the easiest way for me to diaper because it is what I knew.

How our road trips with cloth worked: We definitely pick hotels that have laundry facilities on site. We are usually out and about all day on these trips so each day we load up 6-7 diapers in a backpack along with a Wet Bag, wipes and wipes solution. While we are out, Clean comes out of backpack; dirty goes into wet bag and back into backpack. When we get back to the hotel we wash the diapers collected and repack the backpack for the following day. Night diapering is as easy as at home. We depend on BabyKicks Doublers stuffed into a Fleece-Lined Happy Hempy Fitted diaper and PinStripes and PolkaDots Wool night diaper covers for maximum protection.

Why I don't use disposables on the road:
  1. Friends have told me of severe diaper rashes that don't clear up until they are back home.
  2. I am not extremely familiar with disposables.
  3. I trust my cloth diapers, especially overnight.
  4. My cloth diapering system is self-contained. I never have a dirty diaper that I don't know what to do with. I am prepared to change diapers anywhere.
  5. Disposable diapers smell really bad clean or dirty. The smell of cloth diapers can be contained.
  6. I love cloth diapering!

Camping with cloth diapers: I have not yet experienced this type of adventure but from the stories of other women using cloth diapers while camping, I would determine that using cloth diapers would be far superior than lugging out a huge bag load of disposables after your week in nature. The comments seemed to state that using cloth diapers and rinsing/washing them out was a more sanitary choice. Disposable diapers did tend to attract nasty flies and vermin. Caregivers using cloth diapers while camping actually seem to prefer the Birdseye square diapers. Large square diapers that require a lot of folding but wash and dry extremely easy.


Camping Tip #1: While camping, just about everything can get wet....but you want your baby's bum to stay dry. Diapers are exposed to everything too...even the falling Dew at night (even in a tent). Keeping clean diapers in a wet bag prevents them from wicking this moisture inside of them and protects them if the tent leaks...maybe the only thing that will be dry is the diaper ;)

--submitted by Becca