Traveling with Cloth Diapers

This is the next installment from our guest blogger, Libby Dowling. Libby believes in “all cloth, all the time,” so she is an excellent example for all of us and has some fabulous tips to make traveling with cloth a breeze!

Most cloth diapering mamas face the question of whether to use CDs while traveling. I have come across 3 basic travel scenarios during my years of cloth diapering: traveling without access to laundry facilities, access to a Laundromat, and full access to laundry.

No access to laundry facilities

This is probably the most challenging of the 3 scenarios, but still allows for the use of your cloth diapers. I tend to bring my least favorite diapers on these types of trips in case they get ruined or lost. A good option for these trips are prefolds and covers or the Flip diapering system. I bring enough to last the duration of the trip. Every night I rinse my prefolds and covers and hang them to dry. Most hotels have drying racks if you request them at the front desk. I don’t bother with a full wash, unless I find that I am running out of diapers towards the end of the trip. Both of these diapering options can be adequately hand washed with dawn soap to be reused if necessary. Another option (which I have never used personally) are hybrid type diapers such as the GroVia biosoakers and shells.

Access to Laundromat

If you have access to washing machines on a limited basis, it is good to decide how often you will hike to do your diaper laundry. I find packing enough diapers for half of the trip allows for some relaxation time rather than laundry time. All in 2’s and prefolds work well with this type of access. I tend not to bring AIOs due to the amount of drying time they take. I still recommend nightly rinsing of the diapers and hanging to dry on a rack to decrease the odor in a hotel room.

Full access to laundry

If you are lucky enough to rent a house or stay in a hotel with in room laundry, I say continue your CD routine as usual. I recently brought my fitteds and wool on a trip to Disney, and it was no different than being at home. If you are sharing a washing machine with others, I suggest spending some time in the bathroom thoroughly rinsing your diapers. You will probably get less resistance from non CDing people if the diapers you are throwing in their machine, or a shared machine, look relatively clean to begin with.

Some other helpful tips for traveling with cloth diapers:

1. Call ahead to the hotel to see what type of detergent is available so you can plan accordingly. I have used non CD safe detergents on vacation (adding extra rinses) with no ill effects to my diapers.

2. Flushable liners are a great option to keep messes minimal while traveling.

3. Figure out which diapers you might not mind getting ruined in case they get forgotten in a wet bag or left in a public restroom.

4. Purchase a larger wet bag for you diaper bag. Chances are you will be out and about for longer periods and will need a place to keep your dirties.

5.. Go for it!!! Make a commitment to be all cloth all the time. I always find the planning and thinking before a trip is much worse than the actual use of CDs on vacation.

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3 Responses to Traveling with Cloth Diapers

  1. carla says:

    We just got back from a 5 day trip including 10 hours on the road each way. I brought my full stash and continued as I normally would at home. I was going to my mom’s house, so I had full laundry access. lucky me!

  2. Holly Wilson says:

    Keep in mind also that many cd-safe detergents offer sample sizes. You can bring a couple of those along or even put a few loads’ worth in a small tupperware container. Once we switched to cloth, I have never used a disposable again- not even the time we went to my mom’s and I left all of my freshly laundered covers and pockets at home. We ran out & bought some of those stupid plastic pants and safety pins to use with my prefolds that I DID remember. It is totally possible to be all cloth all the time! My 2 month old has never had a disposable on at all! We brought cloth diapers to the hospital with us (looking back an excessive amount, but I wanted to be prepared if we had to stay longer for some reason). We packed 2 in my suitcase to have with us in L&D and a whole diaper bag full of AIOs for the rest of our stay. I had prefolds/covers in the trunk just in case. Sorry. I’ve kind of rambled on. LOL The point is, with a little planning you can do it!

  3. Gypsy Momma says:

    This is super useful that you have a review of different diapers that are useful in various situations. I have been traveling non-stop internationally since my daughter was 6 weeks old, and have cloth diapered (almost) the entire time during travel. However, I’m fairly certain I need to switch to a different cloth diapering system (I need to check out the Flips). I’ve been hesitant to do so because I was intent on buying one set of cloth diapers that would last me through multiple children, but I think I need to loosen up and try out hybrids and Flips!

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