Saturday, July 23, 2011

Musings From a Cloth Diaper Addict: Traveling with Cloth Diapers

My family and I recently took a trip to Austin, TX for a week.  The only other week-long trip we have taken since Scarlett joined the family was to Syracuse, NY when she was only 3 months old.  I had just started cloth diapering at that point, and the thought of traveling across country with cloth diapers was still a little too overwhelming. 

Scarlett is now 10 months old, and I am a much more seasoned fluff user.  Taking our cloth diapers on this trip wasn’t even a question, what else would I do? Since I see a lot of questions about traveling with cloth on my favorite cloth diaper Facebook pages, I thought this would make an interesting challenge to chronicle. 

Now, I have to admit right off the bat how lucky I am.  We stayed with my extremely maternal and environmentally friendly aunt, who happens to have the nicest washer and dryer I have ever used.  One time, I even came back from an outing to discover she had stuffed my diapers for me! Certainly, not everyone traveling with cloth will have these amenities, but hopefully you will still find some tips helpful.

Part 1: How much fluff will a fluff addict stuff, when she stuffs her fluff in packing cubes?

My first plan of action was deciding how to pack them.  Its harder packing something that you have to use the entire trip.  This was an 11 hour car ride and, even though we were driving at night, I couldn’t be sure of how many diapers I would use.  I don’t have that many diapers to begin with, so I brought my entire stash, minus a few doublers and prefolds - 17 pocket diapers, 28 wipes, two prefolds, and a couple extra bamboo inserts. 

I keep all my diapers in a rather small 25 quart storage bin.  I could have just snapped the lid on and taken that, but it would have needed much more space in the car and would not fit in my suitcase (a suitcase that would hold all my two daughters’ and my belongings).  Since I have a ginormous suitcase, I like to take advantage of it and fit everything for three people into one bag.  This is where my wonderful Ebag packing cubes come into play.  Ebag packing cubes are an OCD packer’s wet dream and they made packing my cloth diapers a breeze.  No, I am not getting paid to endorse this product, I just love it that much!

I use the travel size all the time to store my stuff for the diaper bag.  I like having it all in its separate bag, since my diaper bag is pretty big.  My husband will usually just take the packing cube when he takes the baby out.  In it, I keep two cloth diapers, two cloth wipes, wipes solution spray, a plastic bag for dirty diapers, and a reusable changing pad.

My everyday cloth diaper travel bag.

So I packed this as usual and then put all my other diapers and wipes in a large-sized packing cube. I didn't want to leave any dirty diapers at home for a week, so I just brought along my In and Out - No Mess Diaper Bag by FuzziBunz to keep in the car.  Now, I'm not getting paid for this either, but may I just add that I friggin' love this wetbag.  It hangs on the door, stays closed yet gets airflow, has a zipper at the bottom for easy washer loading, has a little thingy on the inside to put some essential oils on to keep it smelling yummy, and I can wash it right with my diapers.  It rocks.  Why bother with a travel wetbag, when this way, I had it when I was there, and I could use it to store dirty diapers on the road.  The handy-dandy thing even attached to my suitcase, which meant one less thing to carry and less risk of dirty diapers spilling out in the car.

My entire stash ready to go, including wet bag with a few dirty diapers.

Here is what it looked like all ready to go.  Notice that the packing cubes even have convenient handles on them? I also love that I can see what is inside without opening them up, which is essential when you use a bunch of them for everyone's clothes.

This bitch is ready to do some cloth diaper traveling!

The large bag fit perfectly into my suitcase.  The travel bag went into the diaper bag, which was put at arm's reach in the car, and the wetbag was connected to the outside of my suitcase.  I could have kept it separate, but I liked having everything fit into one bag - when you're carrying an infant and wrangling a 5-year-old, the fewer bags the better!


Do you need fancy-dancy packing cubes? Of course not, but keeping the diapers in any kind of separate bag (instead of just in my suitcase with the rest of my belongings) has many advantages.  On the road, once we used the two diapers in the diaper bag, we just took the big bag out of the suitcase and kept it at arms reach.  At my aunt's house, the four of us shared two rooms, which happened to be on opposite sides of the house.  So we never quite knew where we would be changing a diaper.  Luckily, it was all very easy to transport from room to room.  It was also easy to take it with us on all-day outings; whenever I only take one or two diapers with me, Scarlett decides to take 4 or 5 poops.

***This post was originally written under my previous blog name, Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance.***

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