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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Cloth Diapering on the Go

When I swapped to cloth diapers, my son was four months old. I was sitting with an elderly woman during the day, and he went with me—so everything that he needed went with me every day. We took her out for lunch every day; to all of her appointments; to do her grocery shopping. Everything he needed for the day had to be portable, and it had to fit in a bag that I could sling over one shoulder. (What’s my diaper bag of choice, you ask? Almost twelve years later, it’s still the Similac bag that they gave me in the hospital when my eldest daughter was born. Sorry; they don’t make them anymore, and I’ve never found another one exactly like it anywhere.)

When you’re juggling an infant, a diaper bag, and a host of other responsibilities (other children; an older relative and all of their accompanying goodies, sometimes including a walker, her purse, and an oxygen tank; shopping bags…) you don’t want to over pack, because it’s just more that you have to deal with; the problem is, you don’t want to under-pack, either.

So what’s in my diaper bag? (Remember, this is just diapering supplies; he was primarily breastfed, though, so the diapering goodies and a spare outfit, and we were good to go.)

Diapers. For a full day out (usually 6-7 hours) with a four-month old right on up until he was eighteen months, I packed six diapers. (Yes. Six. Exactly six, every day.) If he was having tummy troubles, I might toss an extra in, but I don’t recall a single day when we actually used that sixth diaper. One diaper per hour that you anticipate being gone is probably excessive, but for a full day, that allows for a poop just after you’ve changed a diaper; unexpected soaking because he just drained an entire cup of water (or dumped it out in his lap at lunch); regular changes; and an extra or two…just in case.

Wet bag. I love Planetwise’s medium wet bag, and fully consider it to be worth every penny. I have tried other brands. Grovia isn’t bad for an occasional trip, but their drawstrings don’t hold up well after a year of daily use. Bummis…leaked. Both the original and its replacement. China cheapie wet bags ended up with broken zippers all too quickly. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) If you’re going to be out and about a lot with your baby, spring for the Planetwise. Really.

On a side note, tuck a couple of grocery bags down in the side of your diaper bag, or into a pocket that you don’t use for anything else. These are handy when you forget your wet bag, or if it ever overflows on you while you’re out in public. Should you be out and about and desperate, most cashiers will take pity on you and give you one; but that requires you to walk out of the restroom with a wet diaper in one hand and a slightly dazed expression on your face.

Wipes. When I swapped to cloth diapers, it took me about ten minutes to swap to cloth wipes, too. I took one look at my changing table, realized that there was not room for both a diaper pail and a separate trash can for disposable wipes, and I decided that made the decision for me. This is not necessarily true when it comes to your diaper bag. If you’re organized, and can put wet wipes in a tiny bag in your diaper bag every time you go out…congratulations; you’re better than I! I stuff dry wipes down in my bag and hope that I’ll be able to wet them down in the sink if they become necessary. Hint: it’s not always possible, and usually, the days when it isn’t possible are the days when I also forget to toss in a water bottle.

You might want a pack of disposable wipes for backup…just in case. Most public restrooms have trash cans conveniently located next to the changing table already.

Changing pad. You will be astounded by the places that you wind up changing your child…not to mention the places (even family-friendly places!) that don’t have changing stations. A receiving blanket folds up small, is neither heavy nor a space-sucker, and gives you a marginally clean place to change your child.

Diaper rash cream. CJ’s comes in sample sizes. They’re the perfect size for a diaper bag. I have to buy sample sizes in bulk, because my son thinks they are fascinating toys, and he frequently goes digging for them and then wanders off with them.

And there you have it! A cloth diapering kit that will get you through a day on the go without having to look around in shock and horror, desperate for something with which to change your child…as long as you don’t forget the bag.

By Emily

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Baby Diaper Bags said...

Nice blog.Thanks for sharing very valauble informations

Light Clean Simple said...

Do you find a particular style of cloth diaper easier to use on the go than others? I've read some people recommend flats and covers, but then others say pre-stuffed pockets or All in Ones are better. Any input on what you like to use?

Anonymous said...

Diaper rash creams are a NO-NO with cloth diapers. They cause build up and make your diapers leak. Coconut oil is a cloth diaper safe alternative.

Anonymous said...

CJ's is CD safe!

judi said...

With my oldest children an outing involved plastic grocery bags! It's so much easier to do outings now with all of the nice wetbags on the market.