cloth diapers! Here are some easy pros and cons to help you decide which parts of your stash to bring with you, and which ones to leave at home.
Pros: Hand wash and line dry in a snap. Bring a little detergent and some rubber gloves, and you could wash in a hotel sink, in a camp-style bucket, or the vacation rental’s bathtub. They don’t take up much space in the suitcase, they don’t need special detergent or care, and you don’t need many to make it from one washing to the next.
Cons: If you don’t regularly use flats, especially as your nighttime solution, there is a definite learning curve. Try to experiment at home when you’ve got your “normal” diapers as a back-up in case you get frustrated. No need to learn all the fancy folds if you don’t want to. There’s always the option to tri-fold, too, which is how we roll at our house!
Pros: They wear like all-in-ones and wash like flats and covers. These work best if you have a washing machine available. Relatives who are willing to help with changes won’t be too confused by these, but they line dry just as quickly as flats, especially if you stuff your pockets with them! bumGenius and Rumparooz tend to agitate out on their own for us, so there’s no need to separate diapers before washing when you’d rather be spending that time enjoying your vacation.
Cons: Getting enough changes means either packing a lot of pockets or doing wash every day, depending on how old your baby is. For our 15 month old, we pack about 6-8 diapers a day, plus the supplies for our Sustaianablebabyish Snapless – Thirsties Small Hemp – Blueberry Cover overnight combination. So with washing every other day, we brought 16 pockets. This gave us enough for changes while the load was washing, but also took up a good portion of our suitcase.
Pros: Nothing to restuff after washing. No extra parts to worry about losing. Super easy for relatives to help with, and great for on-the-road or in-the-airport changes!
Cons: Unless you’re okay with throwing them in the dryer on low, these can take forever to line dry, so you’ll need to pack a significant number of diapers to make it between washings. The few exceptions are the bumGenius Freetimes and TotsBots v4 AIOs, which have “tongues” that separate out at one end to aid in drying time. You do need to “reassemble” them at the end, though.
Other Helpful Hints:
Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Now that you’ve got the song going through your head, please try to remember that you’re on vacation! Fretting about diapers is not the goal. If you’re worried about Aunt Suzy’s washing machine having tons of fabric softener residue just waiting to devour your diapers’ absorbency, then bring your least favorite diapers along and run a load of your own clothes first before you wash diapers. That way more of the residue is gone and you don’t worry if your coveted unicorn diaper gets destroyed because it’s sitting safely at home.
Be Prepared: Bring a few extra diapers and (gasp!) even a few disposables in case you forget your normal timing and diapers aren’t ready in time for your little one’s next change. On a recent trip, I was having so much fun with my sisters and parents that I completely forgot I needed to wash diapers. Good thing I had a few disposables at the bottom of my bag to tide us over! If you’re planning on bringing 15 cloth diapers, throw in 2 more as insurance.
Go Small: Don’t bring your full-size CJ’s BUTTer, or wipe solution, or coconut oil. Repurpose a small make-up or face cream jar, or buy a travel-sized container at a local store, so you can bring just what you need for the trip. Water proof changing pad liners work well in lieu of a full changing pad cushion, and zippered wet bags replace your entire pail while they keep things contained in between destinations. Be creative in how compact you can make your travelling baby station, and pack it all in the wetbags you’ll be using to contain diapers later. No one likes exploded ointment and babywash bottles all over the suitcase from the depressurized airplane cargo compartment!
The [Almost] Nerdy Wife.
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