Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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Hit the road

PhotobucketMany individuals tout disposables as the easier diapering choice. However, as all you cloth diapering parents know, disposables really aren’t all that much easier than cloth. Yes, quite surprisingly, you will oftentimes hear cloth diapering parents say that, when traveling, disposables are easier. Easier? Really?!?

Living in beautiful, sunny San Diego has its perks. Oftentimes our family will hit the road and drive to Orange County, Los Angeles and even Santa Barbara for a day or two of fun. I’m still trying to convince my hubster into driving to San Francisco for a three day getaway, but so far it’s a no-go. Anyhow, being the cloth diapering enthusiast that I am, I insist on using cloth for all our road trips!

Here’s my cloth diapering checklist for a two day trip:

°Wicker Laundry Basket
°16-18 pre-stuffed pocket diapers (I prefer to use my bumGenius and Blueberry One-Size diapers for traveling)
°Waterproof Changing pad and a toddler-sized Prefold diaper
°2 dozen wipes (already wet and ready to use, stored in a small Planet Wise Black Curly Q wet bag)
°Large Planet Wise Black Curly Q wet bag (not pictured as it was in the wash so I used a substitute)
°Basic Laundry wet bag
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While on the road the laundry basket functions as my easily accessible storage center. I put it in the back of the car and remove items, as needed, from the basket (clean diaper, wipes, changing pad and wet bags) for each diaper change.

My general rule of thumb is to change my little guy every time we stop for a potty break and nursing session. After all, if I have to go, then he must have already gone too. Since I do more frequent changes I find I don’t need to use a doubler (except for the nighttime diaper); the standard insert for both the bumGenius and Blueberry One-Size diapers works well alone. However the microfiber/hemp combo insert for the Blueberry does hold significantly more than the bumGenius microfiber only. I also use homemade fleece liners to better contain any messes. Although, flushable liners such as the Bummis Bio-Soft liners will work well too.

PhotobucketI prefer to change my little guy in the car, rather than trying to find a facility with a changing station. We have a minivan so I change him by laying him down on the floor of the van between the seats (alternatively, the front or back seat of any car will usually suffice too). I put any messy diapers into the Large Planet Wise wet bag (this wet bag does a phenomenal job at containing any smells). Pee-only diapers and wipes go into the Basic Laundry wet bag. When all is said and done – I return the stuff back to the laundry basket in the back of the van and we’re on our way!

When we get home I restock any unused diapers and put any clean wipes into our wipe warmer. I dump the pee-only diapers/wipes directly from the wet bag into the diaper pail… then I proceed to rinse the messy diapers with our Diaper Sprayer before tossing them in the diaper pail too.

If you’re already accustomed to cloth diapering then disposables aren’t necessarily easier. Yes, disposables can be conveniently tossed into the trash never to be thought about again… but using cloth while traveling is really not that much trouble (especially for a 1-2 day trip). Besides, disposable diapers are made from plastics which prevent your child’s skin from breathing properly. If your little one is going to be sitting for a considerable length of time, wouldn’t it make more sense to pamper their bum in the wonderfully soft breathable cloth they are used to?

- By Serena

48 comments:

Kira said...

I agree that cloth is just as easy to do for quick trips out of town or if you're going someplace with easy access to laundry. I love the post, Serena! It makes me feel less kooky for insisting that my husband let me pack almost our entire stash of dipes for a 4 day trip to Big Bear. And I agree that the Planet Wise bags are indispensable! I have 6 of them (large for pee-pee dipes, medium for the poos, and small for my cloth wipes) so that I always have clean ones on hand. And they are SOOO great at containing smells.

As much as I hate using disposables, I have had to resort to them for longer trips. But I have still found a use for my CD's on such trips. The pockets serve as great "covers" for the disposables and help prevent blowouts on the airplane...

kira_williamsatyahoodotcom

Angela said...

I so have the 1-5 day trips down, mine are to places that I can wash her diapers,so it makes it much easier. I know have to figure out how to travel by air with them and a 9 day stay.

melissad.williams said...

I must admit, I have not yet gotten brave enough to use cloth while travelling. Of course, when we go on a trip it tends to be longer, like a week or so. These are great tips though! Maybe I will try it one of these days.

Katie said...

I've never used cloth while traveling - always just assumed it would be too cumbersome. This makes me want to try it for our next quick trip... although I don't have a spacious minivan yet, I think we can still pull it off! Thanks for the info!!

Shawna said...

We haven't traveled yet since I started using CDs and I will admit I first said we'd use disposables on trips... but after reading your post, I feel more confident that we can/should continue to use the CDs during that time, too!!

erinsmomma said...

Wow, thanks so much for the great checklist! I've been dying to take a trip with our daughter just to see if we could do it with cloth diapers only. And this is really helpful. I never would have thought about using a laundry basket for storage in the car!

Erika said...

thanks for that info.....we are planning a trip this summer (with a newborn) and i was wondering about what exactly i'd need and how i'd do it!!

Tanya said...

I thought it would be easier to travel w/ sposies- but our first cross country trip to introduce our new LO to the grandparents at Christmas was a Sposie nightmare- several huge blowouts (messy ones) and several diaper changes in an airplane bathroom. All the while mumbling to myself and letting DH know "I know for a fact my bumGenius would have contained this!" And we probably could have gone an entire flight with out changing a diaper! I am definately converted to CD even on trips!

Amanda said...

I recently started using the Bummis BioSoft flushables and they are SOOOOOO much better than the ImsyVimsy's. I felt like I was cheating my DD out of the Cloth Diaper experience w/ the ImsyVimsy's because they felt like paper. The Bummis BioSoft liners are as soft as the cloth diaper itself. Yay Bummis!!!!

I'm also very adamant about using my cloth when traveling. So far, a sposie has yet to touch my DD's bum since we decided to go cloth back in August. :)

Carol said...

Thanks for the tips on traveling with cloth. My LO isn't here yet, so I wondered how that would work.

Tanya said...

I totally agree that it is doable for a short trip for 2-3 days but what about a longer trip. I'd love to hear what people are doing for airplane trips and such. Thanks for sharing your tips!

Melissa said...

Traveling and using cloth can be easy. My only problem is that I only have enough diapers for 2 days w/o washing...and not everywhere we go has laundry facilities. Over Christmas we were gone for 2 weeks and I had part-time access to a w/d so we only used disposables occasionally.

Anne and Brad Mitchell said...

My husband and I traveled 14 1/2 hours by car over Thanksgiving and cloth diapered all the way. It just made more sense and we felt much better at the end of the day for doing it!

one day in the life of me said...

I have traveled a weekend with cloth and it was very easy. However I am still wondering how to travel for an extended period of time. We travel to my in laws for any where from 4 days at once to 7 days. While washing and using the cloth would be easy at their home. I don't like leaving any dirty dipes at home. What would you suggest?

Angela Sundara... etc said...

That's basically what I do, too. :-)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for a wonderful post! While I do use cloth on the road already, my way is so hectic. Now I think I can plan things and be a bit more organized and be less frantic with keeping up with cloth on the road. :)

A Psych Mommy said...

I live in San Diego, too!

I haven't been on a trip yet with my son, but we will be doing a getaway in the next month or two--I'm going to bookmark your post as a checklist on what to bring since I most likely will over or under pack. Thanks!

Meghan said...

I haven't traveled yet, but imagined that I would use disposables when we did. Thanks for the post, Serena! This really makes me think twice about doing that. It makes more sense to use cloth even on the road. I think with a longer trip, it wouldn't be that hard to find a facility to wash the diapers, just more planning. Also the flushable liners are a great idea! I also heard of using the gDiaper liners with a regular diaper cover for travel.

Kelly said...

I just went on a trip and it was not hard at all to CD on the road!! I, too change my DD in the car and it's so much easier to leave everything in the car. I like to travel light when in stores :)

Maggie said...

Thank you for the great tips and advice. I'm drinking it all in as I get ready to start cloth diapering.

Dani said...

Thanks for the travel tips! I have to admit, I usually use sposies when we go over to the inlaws for the weekend. I now realize that the key to using cloth while traveling is being organized and planning ahead.

Sheezwhiz said...

I love your system for cloth diapering on shorter trips, but what do you do for longer trips where laundry facilities may not be easily available (staying in a hotel for instance?)

Jon, Lindsey, Alex, and Ben said...

Thanks for the interesting post. I use cloth for our everyday trips out and about but only started cloth this fall so it has been cool. I guess I worry about this Summer and having messy diapers sitting in a warm car...it just seems like it would be miserable to clean up later.

calabaza said...

Our rule is to use cloth when driving and disposables when flying.

We just roll them up and deal with everything when we get him. Leaving the dirty ones in the trunk of the cold car during the winter time makes them less smelly and easier to deal with when we get home.

Montana Momma said...

Great post Serena. I have found that cloth diapering on trips is just as easy as well, even camping or cabin trips! I loved your idea about putting the pre-made cloth wipes in a planet wise bag. That makes a ton of sense! Thanks for the great tips!!

Chic Mama said...

Great suggestions- especially about the liners! I will definitely try that next time we go for a trip. I have diapered my son over long weekends at the lake. The first time we went up and I found out that the washer was broken I had to wash some dipes in the bathtub- not the most fun but not HORRIBLE either. The next time I learned my lesson and went out and bought a bunch of flannel receiving blankets before we left which I used as flats. We had plenty of diapers and my son looked so cute running around in what our non-cloth-diapering friends dubbed hi "loin cloths"! I actually enjoyed the adventure of the flats which I hadn't used before- it was great!

Personally, I always found that finding a trash can to throw away a dirty diaper wasn't always as easy of a task as I thought it would be (back when I still used sposies)! And the dumb diaper genie was WAY harder and more time consuming to empty than throwing my dipes in the wash! Plus, you never have to run to the store when you run out of diapers! I could never be convinced now that cloth diapering is harder! Sorry to ramble!

Senior Family said...

great post , i love all the tips . great set up for travel :) now what about just a few hrs or a one day trip ?? and how do you pack your diaper bag ? what do you use ? what kind of bag ? Thanks :)

Amanda said...

I am new to cloth diapering and took my one month old daughter out of the house in her cloth diaper for the first time today! (We just received them last Friday.) Thank you for the tips and advice on how to take a longer trip. I've used disposables on my first 3 children and for the first month with our new baby. I almost always put the dirty diaper in a plastic sack in my diaper bag to take home and dispose of. (I didn't like leaving smelly diapers in other people's garbages who didn't have children in diapers. Many people using disposables use a diaper pail. They don't put them in their bathroom garbage. So, why would I want to throw it in someone's bathroom garbage?) So, whether you're taking home a dirty disposable diaper or a dirty cloth diaper - I don't think there would be too much of a difference in convenience.

Matt, Sara and Kinsley :) said...

Have you ever done longer trips? We normally do 4 day trips.

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

Really enjoyed this post. I am one of those cloth diapering mama's who uses disposables when traveling, but after reading this I don't think I'll do that anymore. We are going on a trip at the end of the month, we will be gone for three nights, and back home on the fourth day. Do you think it's reasonable to use cloth on a four day trip?

Katie said...

This is a great post!! Thank you!! I usually use dispoables while traveling, but since the last time, I have decided that I would not do that again!!

My 10 month old gets a horrible rash when I use disposables on him and he got a horrible one over Christmas while traveling.

We are pretty lucky, when we travel for longer trips we stay at a condo style place where we have a washer and dryer available, or we go to my parents house where a washer and dryer are available.

Thanks for the disposable liner idea!! I do not use them and those would be perfect for traveling!!

Katrina said...

I'm on vacation right now and chose to cloth diaper while away from home. (The last vacation I did take 7th Generation disposables - I forgot how bad disposables stink!!). I'm so glad I decided to bring my fluff with me this time. I even took it along to Disney with me yesterday. It was just as easy as disposables would have been, and a lot cooler and more comfortable for Brendan. I too packed all BumGenius and Blueberry pockets - I'm just washing diapers everynight since I'm staying with family.

Jess said...

Oh Serena, THANK YOU for this post! I haven't traveled yet but when I do I'll have this to fall back on :)

Cecile said...

Waow, you are so organised! I wish I had even a little bit of your organisation skills... I haven't dared using cloth on trips yet, but after reading your post, it sounds easy enough.

EdenSky said...

I changed over to cloth slowly, since I couldn't afford a whole stash right at the beginning. First I used cloth only at home during the day, then I realized it wouldn't be hard to do it for short outings, then I ventured into overnights and finally I graduated to full time including trips away from home. It's strange how reluctant we can be to try it, but now I find it much more convenient that using disposables. When we're away from home I don't have to worry about running out of diapers and having to buy more. No sack full of dirty disopsables you don't know what to do with on a camping trip. No Pampers baby stink in your car. No pile of garbage left at a friends house. And let's not forget: No messy blow-outs to clean out of the carseat.

Liz said...

I really like your "road trip setup"! We are going to be visiting my family for the month of July and I am REALLY looking forward to packing the cloth diapers and not having to worry about how many sposies I would need :) We might be driving (from GA to RI) so I will be implementing your ideas!

one_lucky_mom said...

When we have gone to my in-laws cabin we totally do cloth. I would rather do that than sposies myself as well and just wash when we get home.

Montana Mama said...

I must say, I've been a little hesitant to try cloth on the road, but this gives me a little courage. :) Thanks for the good ideas!!!

Day to Day Tripper said...

I prefer them when I travel because I can trust they won't leak!

Day to Day Tripper said...

I prefer them when I travel because I can trust they won't leak!

AScott said...

These are some good tips, I didn't think about using a basket for easy access. I do the same thing and change my baby in the car, we both don't like public changing tables. The possibility of germs freaks me out and it scares her becaues it reminds her of the doctor's office! So much less heartache to do it in the car and easier!

Aisha said...

Serena,

Thanks for this post. I always wondered what you would do with a small wet bag...This is a great idea. I generally don't use cloth wipes especially since DD is in daycare (I thank God that I'm able to continue cloth diapering her and don't want to push the babysitter over the edge!).

Meghan said...

Great tips! I like the idea of the wet bag for wipes. I may just do this for my diaper bag for day trips out!

Kelly Wels said...

Hi one day in the life of me,
I just traveled to Virginia. Right before I go I wash all of Riley's diapers. While in the wash I just put him in a g diaper. (Yes, I have a few on hand!) They do work nice in these situations. Other than that I take cloth with me. At my in-laws I just wash everything there.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Senior Family,
When I travel to my in-laws I do the following:
Send a box ahead of time via UPS Ground. This has my clothes, the baby clothes, and my cd stash.
This way I don't check in anything but a car seat.
Next, I use a Columbia Diaper Back Pack. I keep 6-7 pocket diapers, cloth wipes, and my Northern Essence Foaming Solution (trial size). PERFECT!

Sara in Seattle said...

Thank you for the tips! On our trip we used disposables and it was a total failure. I even ended up having to use a Thirsties cover over the top of the disposables anyway because I was getting blowouts (eww!). I definitely need to get a couple more Planet Wise bags, though. And I need to figure out how to manage to take them on the plane. We already felt a bit overloaded with luggage (with the diaper bag, carseat, etc.)--my husband and I are used to being a "carry-on only" couple so this is an adjustment for us.

Serena said...

Hi Ladies!

Sorry for not posting on here - I didn't have a chance to go through all the comments until today.

I was delighted to read the overwhelming response from many of you who now feel like they can tackle the adventure of cloth diapering while traveling!

I'm sorry to say I don't have experience going more than a couple days... however, there are more posts to come about cloth diapering while traveling; be sure to stay tuned to the blog!

Also, if all goes well, I hope to travel overseas later this year for a couple weeks to visit family and I intend to cloth diaper (still working out the logistics since the washing machines where I'll be going aren't like the machines here). =)

A Psych Mommy: You mentioned you're also in San Diego - HOW COOL! I thought you might like to know we have a VERY active Real Diaper Circle that meets regularly in central San Diego as well as North County - if you're interested contact me and I'll give you the details!

Melia said...

I am so excited to take our upcoming trip now that I have read this post! I can't wait to prove family wrong about cloth diapering on the road!! It is an 8 hour trip for us and they just don't see how that will work! Why is it that people think that when you decide to change something for the good of your family and home that they have a vote in your decision?? They all think I am weird, but who cares!!