I must confess, for a long time now, I haven’t even carried a diaper bag unless we were traveling more than about a half an hour from home. I’ve found with cloth diapers, it’s not really a necessity.
Since we don’t need to worry about blowouts anymore; I started leaving a hybrid/sposie insert in both vehicles for emergencies along with a spare cloth wipe. I just leave one in the glove-box or back pocket of a seat, easy as pie. This could be done with a ‘well loved’ or ‘previously loved’ diaper as well. What does the cute factor matter in an emergency? I have found ‘not much’. So most of the time when I leave the house, I don’t even bother with a bag. However, there are times when I might want to do multiple shopping stops (for the holidays), or visit friends and family, when I NEED to have that bag packed.
When my daughter was a newborn, we had that ‘hospital freebie’ bag packed until the seams were about to burst. Diapers, wipes, a few spare outfits, nose suction thingy, tylenol, a blanket, toys, and so on. Most of the time you had to take everything out to find what you were looking to locate. I probably did not need half of what was in there, but I wanted to be prepared, just in case. However, back then I was traveling with disposable diapers.
When I realized that I was having way more blowouts on the road than I did at home with my cloth (I was doing part time cloth back then) and I was leaving dirty diapers for my family to contend with, I decided to make the switch to cloth diapers full time. It was really a lot easier than I thought it would be to travel with cloth diapers! For newbies, you might want to ‘upgrade’ to a larger bag for an older child, since you’ll have larger diapers.
Middle of the road/infant type traveling is probably the best kind that I’ve come across so far. You know your child’s needs by now, you’re not as paranoid about taking every single thing your child could need with you, and you know the basics. Diapers, wipes, wetbag. Toss some toys in the car seat, a snack and a spare set of clothes just in case, and you’re ready to go.
I now have a toddler who is considering the potty as an ally, at least some of the time, I found that I have come full circle. I don’t have nearly as many different things in her bag, just plenty of the things that we do need. Since we’re going to the potty every hour, I put in roughly 1 diaper/hour. We want her to feel dry consistently, which is the reason for the diaper overload! I passed my large wetbag to a friend who I am trying to convince to cloth diaper, so I judge whether I need 1 or 2 medium wetbags and toss those in as well. A large generally holds around 10 or so, which is plenty for a day trip. I use one of those (gulp) Huggies travel wipes containers and wet ONE wipe and put it on the outside pocket of the bag. That way, it’s handy for any mess you might come across in your travels. Messy fingers from a cheerios snack, that impromptu fast food stop your hubby requests because he didn’t eat breakfast (ever try cleaning your kid’s fingers with a fast food napkin?) and of course, the inevitable ‘mess’ when you’re traveling with a small child that’s bound to crop up are all good reasons to travel with a wet cloth wipe. If you end up using the wipe, then just grab an extra out of your stash, get it wet at the restaurant/pit stop and put it back in the case.
I’ve found that using one of these containers is much better than a wet bag, even one made for the purpose. I like to have a completely soaking wet wipe, and even water proof containers can leak at the closure if they flip upside down, and start to wick on the outer fabric. I’ve found that keeping one wipe on the outside of the bag is worth 5 wet ones in a zippered pouch at the bottom of your bag. Plus, there’s no forgetting a bunch of wet wipes and letting them mildew if you only do one at a time. Because we’re in the throes of potty training, I generally do take an extra set of pants, plus a pair of babylegs if we’re going somewhere to stay for a few hours. That way, if we have more than one mess we’ll still have warm legs to go home with!
By Jill S.