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Sunday, March 8, 2015

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Moving Overseas with Cloth Diapers

My husband came home from work one day with "exciting news", as he called it. I remember it like it was yesterday. My youngest son was only a month old at the time. "The air force is sending us to Germany this summer!" He said as he came in through the door.

Germany?! Is he serious?! The crazy part is that one of the first things that crossed my mind (along with many other things), is that how would cloth diapering work there? Would it change? Do they even have washers and dryers?

I started my research and decided we would just kind of wing it. When moving day came, my youngest son was 7 months old. I had spent months stocking up on covers and flats for the move. This was probably the smartest thing I did. It made laundry easier/quicker, and I could hand wash it if needed. I packed up all of his pockets and all in one's and sent it with the movers. My word of advice is to WATCH where they put that box of diapers because I spent a month looking for that "lost" box and it turned out it had been mixed up with a forgotten kitchen box. Other than that mishap, shipping the diapers with the movers was a smart move. They were insured that way!

I got to our new house and used a water test trip that I had bought a few months back. It turns out, we have hard water. I bought some Calgon to add to our wash routine to prevent any problems.

The next trial was that I noticed that the washer size is significantly smaller than what I was used to. I have to do laundry more often and do smaller loads, but it's been doable.

The detergents here are different than you would find in America. You won't find Tide laying around unless you find it at the commissary. I couldn't even read the detergent bottles, so I went with Eco Sprouts from Kelly's Closet and so far it's been working well for us. You can find a German form of Calgon in the German stores which excited me. The difference is that it's more gel like (although still liquid) and it's blue. It has worked just as well for us even though it appears different. I've noticed that a lot of things here appear very different, but you can make things work for you if you just get outside of your normal bubble. There is a lot of trial and error with moving somewhere different, but you learn to find what works.

My son is now 13 months old and we have been here for 6 and a half months. We did have an ammonia problem but I used some RLR and the problem was solved. Other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing.

Bottom line? Cloth diapering overseas can be different, but it's nothing impossible. It also helps that I can still get fluff mail sent to my APO address (kellyscloset has been proven to be QUICK with it too!) The post office probably thinks I'm insane with all my packages marked "cloth diaper" shown on the customs form, but that's okay! We love our cloth diapers! The washers here are all front loaders, at least from what I've noticed. They are VERY energy efficient here in Germany. You will find a lot of people using clothes lines to hang dry clothes instead of using their dryers, to save energy. It's rare that anyone will even bat an eye if you hang dry your diapers outside.

The best advice I have is just to RELAX. You can't change the situation sometimes but you can always learn to make it work.

By Ashley

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Boise Wiebers said...

You can add some decorative tape around the four sides of key boxes and even make colorful pictures on them to help later ID the box. said...

"Take a deep breath" - that's what I told to myself every time I move abroad. A lot of preparation in advanced, but at the end everything goes smooth. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)