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Thursday, November 6, 2014

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Cloth Travels

Our family loves our cloth diapers, so when we had the opportunity to take a few vacations with Little B, we jumped at the chance to use our cloth away from home.  We have visited family near and far, camped, and moved across country, all while sticking with cloth.  We’ve learned quite a bit along the way that can be applied to any type of adventure:

  • Invest in a travel system:  We normally use pockets, but they take up a lot of room in a travel bag.  Space is at a premium on airplanes, and even more so in a tent!  Hybrids or covers and flats or prefolds are great for travel because they take up less space and launder quickly.  We love the Flip system for travel because of its versatility (and super cute prints!).  Their organic daytime inserts pack very small, and their nighttime inserts are super absorbant.
  • Test your system: Nothing would be worse than finding out your travel system doesn’t work for you in the middle of a plane ride or a hundred miles from civilization.  The first prefolds we bought for overnight were not absorbent enough, but they did work great for naptime.  For night-time we found that a Flip overnight insert wrapped around a sustainablebabyish doubler worked great. If you more compact systems don’t work for your family, bringing a couple of your regular overnight diapers won’t take up too much extra space.
  • Liners are your friend:  Away from my beloved sprayer and spraypal, what I feared most was dealing with poop.  On our first trip with baby, we used flushable liners.  They worked well, however it became clear that Little B found them uncomfortablem so we switched to Bummis fleece liners for his comfort and resorted to the dunk and swish.  A peri bottle can also work well as a travel sprayer and can come in useful when camping.
  • Bring ALL the wetbags:  You can never have too many wetbags when you are traveling or camping.  A large wetbag or two can keep your wet diapers until they can be laundered, and small or medium bags are great for outings.  You may want to store dirty diapers separately from wet.  Make sure you have extra wetbags for when yours are in the laundry; we once had to stack dirty diapers in the bathroom while we were waiting for our wetbag to dry.  If you are going to be in the car for a long time or camping, roll-top wetbags prevent wicking or leaking if the bag ends up in a weird position.  And always remember to hang up your wetbags at night if you’re camping!  Losing your stash to raccoons or a bear would not be fun.
  • Traveling with cloth wipes:  For trips less than 3 days, I pre-wet 10 wipes per day of travel and store in Planet Wise wipes pouches.  For longer trips, I wet enough to get us to our destination then bring dry wipes and make up wipe solution there (warm water can also be used).
  • Laundry on the go: We do not wash diapers when we travel for 3 days or less, however if you wish to buy a smaller travel stash or will be gone longer than that you will need to wash your diapers away from home.  I make sure to wash at home the night before we leave, and bring any soiled diapers with us to wash at our destination if we will be gone longer than that.  With a little forethought and organization before and after your trip, no diapers need be lost to mildew or mold.  Detergent sample packs pack well, otherwise premeasured powder detergent can be put into zip-top baggies.  Eco Nuts also work great as travel detergent.  If you do not have access to a dryer or if you don’t want to stay at the Laundromat all afternoon, flats and covers hang dry in a matter of hours.  
  • Give yourself permission to cheat:  So you have your travel system, your wetbags and your liners; you’ve scoped out nearby laundromats; you’ve packed and prepared, but it is still scary.  You CAN do it, but babies are babies and anything can happen.  When we drove from Minnesota to Colorado in one shot, I was too tired to think about doing diaper laundry as soon as we got to our new house.  Disposable Flip inserts and disposable wipes saved my sanity.  And sometimes simply knowing that disposables are there as a backup, make it easier to forge ahead with cloth without trepidation. 
We hope these tips can help your family with travel during the upcoming holiday season and beyond.  Travel with cloth is totally doable – even fun- and more comfortable for your little one. Plus who doesn’t want to show off that cute, modern fluffy bum to family and friends.  Happy cloth travels!

Bio: Leah is a scientist, partner of John and mommy to Little B and her three furbabies.  They love outdoor adventures, cooking, crafting and cloth diapers!

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