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Sunday, April 13, 2014

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Cloth Diapering on Vacation: When Disaster Strikes!

My daughter was just 7 weeks old the first time we traveled with cloth, flying from North Carolina to Maine to meet her grandpa. A rash, a broken washer, and an unexpected extra night in a hotel left me thankful for my washer and my sizable stash back home.

We were going to use disposables for vacation, but the day before we left she got a rash after using them for just a few hours, so I quickly took stock of my diapers and made a plan. We had 20 pocket diapers, 3 AIO’s and a few covers and prefolds (which were gifted to me and hardly ever used). Then I remembered the flour sack towels someone gave us for our wedding, which we sometimes used for burp cloths or cleaning up spills in the kitchen. I knew I had no choice but to take my cloth on vacation.

I brought with me enough diapers to wash every other day: 3 RAR covers, 2 Flip covers, 10 newborn prefolds, 12 flour sack towels (fts), 1 XL Kanga Care wet bag, 1 snappi, and 20 home made flannel wipes.

Packing space was at a premium because I wasn’t checking bags (I’m crazy, I know!!) I was limited to the bottom portion of my LLBean backpack. The space, when completely stuffed full, measures 16x8x6 inches. I rolled all of the fst’s and prefolds, then laid the covers and wipes on top.

I left out 1 cover,1 prefold, and 2 wipes which I stuffed in the wet bag for the on-plane diaper change. I put that on the top in the larger pocket of the backpack for easy access. When I changed my daughter I just put the dirty into the wet bag and zipped it up. Lucky for me, the flight wasn’t super long so I only had to change her once in that teeny tiny bathroom!

When we arrived at my dad’s house we enjoyed visiting so much that it wasn’t until all but 2 diapers were dirty that I bothered to ask how to use his new washer and drier. He looked at me with a blank stare and I knew I was in trouble…. As he explained that the cold Maine weather froze the water pipe that led to his basement washer I was thought I was doomed. How would I wash my diapers? Enter hand washing.

I filled the bathroom sink with hot water and several fst’s, and donned the gloves I found under the sink labeled “toilet cleaning” so I wouldn’t get poo on my hands! Then I rubbed a bar of unscented Dove soap all over the fst’s and rubbed them together for several minutes. Once they were good and soapy I let the water drain and rinsed them out. When they were nice and clean I hung them up to dry and started on the next few diapers. Luckily by the third day it warmed up enough to thaw the water line and I used the washer for the next few washes.

Vacation was great, and after 10 days in a winter wonderland we headed home. We arrived in Washington DC for our layover only to discover that the flight back to Fayetteville, NC was cancelled. It was the last flight of the night, so my baby and I got a hotel and settled in for the night… It was about that time that I realized she was wearing her last clean diaper. Because I had expected to be home before dinner, I hadn’t bothered to wash all the dirties before we left. I quickly hand washed more fst’s and hung them up on the back of a chair right over the air vent and turned the air on high. She spent some naked time on a towel on the bed while I used a blow drier to dry one of her fst’s and we were good to go!

The next morning we finally made it home, and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see my washer and drier in my life!

Bio: Justine Cone is a cloth diapering mama of 4 month old baby Juliette. She is currently working as a Play Therapist, helping children with developmental delays discover the world through creative play.

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