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Sunday, January 22, 2012

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Weaning To Cloth Diapers Completely

Maybe you are considering using cloth diapers with your baby.
--Build your stash and go for it!!
Maybe you already use cloth at home, but use disposables while on errands around town.
--Get a medium zippered wet bag for your diaper bag and dive into cloth on the go!

But perhaps you find yourself in the situation I recently got out of...

My daughter has been wearing cloth diapers since she was 3 days old, with the occasional *gasp* disposable diapers mixed in. A few months ago, though, I vowed to wean our family onto 100% cloth diapers. Using cloth at home has always been a breeze. When my daughter was about a month old, going on errands with cloth became second nature, too. The trouble spots were long overnight trips.

Labor Day was the first trip that we took cloth on. I was mostly intimidated by using cloth on the 6 hour car ride, so we ended up using a mix of 'pure & natural' disposables, prefolds & pocket diapers on our trip. Using any disposables, no matter the reason, started to really annoy me. I hated spending money to buy diapers and then throwing them away. What's the point of using cloth "almost" all of the time, but not actually all of the time? You spent money to build up your cloth diaper stash, and here you are spending more money to buy disposables! Reusable cloth diapers are just more economical and better for the environment.

After that trip, I decided I would get over any intimidation, and we would only take cloth on our holiday travels (and other future trips).

I never thought we'd really be able to do it, but we did!! We spent a 3 day weekend at my in-laws for Thanksgiving (celebrated actually 2 weeks before the holiday), and took a week long Christmas trip to visit various family members. My daughter was in cloth the whole time, and we even survived a HUGE blow-out on the drive that required 6 wipes and changing all of her clothes. At one point, my husband said, "maybe we should go get some disposables," and I firmly said, "no!"

You may have read my earlier guest post on The Cloth Diaper Whisperer about swirling versus spraying diapers to remove waste...I'm not a fan of having to clean cloth diapers without a diaper sprayer. I prepared us for the challenge by buying some biodegradable liners. While they don't keep all runny messes completely off the diaper, they do a great job at containing the bulk of them. I planned to be on diaper clean-up duty the whole time, but my husband surprised me by pitching-in with a few of the diapers that needed dunking!

Here's what we do, and I hope this inspires you to ditch traveling with disposables:
  • Ask your host if you can do cloth diaper laundry at their home, or check with your hotel/campsite for facilities
  • Do laundry right before you leave, so that you have the most amount of clean diapers possible
  • Take the few dirty diapers you accumulate, between laundry and leaving, with you so that you don't come back to rancid smelling diapers (especially if you'll be gone for more than 5 days)
  • Pack diapers in a clean duffel bag or zippered suitcase, which will also serve as your diaper storage bin while traveling
  • Take your normal cloth diaper detergent, if you are flying but use liquid detergent, consider buying some powder cloth diaper safe detergent
  • Pre-stuff pockets (including doubling up a few for extra absorbency for naps in the car/plane)
  • Match up prefolds/flats with all covers you take, have extra prefolds/flats waiting
  • Prepare a few diapers with biodegradable liners laid on top, and keep the rest of the liners in a clean, easily accessible place 
  • Have two zippered medium wet bags to keep dirty diapers in while driving/flying
  • Take your pail liner to your destination, even if it doesn't have a close-able top, just twist it around itself, and keep dirty diapers where ever your host will let you
  • If possible, do laundry before heading home...although I have read about some parents who love the reaction TSA agents have when "inspecting" a dirty diaper suitcase

Kaylene Brown blogs at Letters from Momma about her experiences mothering a beautiful little girl who turns 1 in February. She also recently made the switch to cloth wipes, and loves it!

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