The first time we traveled after starting to use cloth diapers, we used disposables. Our son was 3 months old. We were gone for 3-4 days and we “couldn’t” take cloth. It would be too complicated. Better just to take disposables, right?
A few months later, we decided to go on a trip to visit friends in another state. Our son was 6 months old and hadn’t worn disposables in a while. I called beforehand to see if they were okay with us bringing cloth diapers. They said yes, and the adventure began.
The night before our trip, after our son was bathed, changed and ready for bed, I tossed the diapers in to wash, so we’d have fewer wet/dirty ones to bring along. The trip involved a 3-hour flight. I was nervous about the airline losing our diapers (clean or dirty) so we crammed everything into our carry on bags.
We carried on everything: a backpack with wipes in the front pocket, pocket diapers in the middle, wet bag, prefolds and covers in the back pocket, along with a labeled baggy of cloth diaper safe detergent. We also packed a diaper bag, with 5-7 pocket diapers, 7-8 wipes, a peri bottle of wipe solution with a closing lid, a tub of CJ’s BUTTer, a medium sized wet bag, a change mat, and the usual change of outfit, receiving blanket, toys, etc. The two wet diapers from the night before went in a wet bag in the duffel bag with our clothes.
I realized I had a problem in the line to x-ray our bags: I had forgotten to empty out the peri bottle of wipe solution. Thinking quickly, I dumped its contents on a receiving blanket and tossed the wet blanket into my empty wet bag. Everything went through fine, and we collected our bags and went to the gate.
Fast forward to boarding. We were lucky, since our airline didn’t reserve seats, but we qualified for family boarding. We got seated (window and middle seats). Our son was sleepy, nursed and took a nap. When he woke up, he was wet. I went to change him, and oops! No wipe solution. Enter monkey blanket. It was basically one huge wet wipe. I changed him on my lap, and it was easier than I expected. Even the grandma sitting in the aisle seat was impressed. We had one other diaper change (a poopy one!) which I somehow managed to change on my lap, using the monkey blanket wipe, and not getting poop on me, the plane, or my son’s clothing. It was easier than I thought it would be! My husband even shared some of the benefits of cloth diapers with our grandma seatmate.
We continued to use our cloth diapers for the rest of the 6 day trip. Our friends let us wash them at their house, and we even used the opportunity to let them try some of our diapers out on their toddler while we were visiting. One night, the father forgot the daughter’s diaper bag at home and she pooped while we were having dinner at a restaurant. I just unsnapped the rise snaps on my son’s bumGenius 4.0 and presto! bumGenius saved the day!
Here’s my 5 tips for cloth on a plane:
1) Make sure everything you need for a diaper change is easily accessible.
2) Pack light: only take the diapers you’d normally use (we didn’t use some of the less favorites we brought with us)
3) Don’t forget to follow TSA guidelines for liquids in your carry-ons!
4) Bring a change mat and you can change a diaper anywhere! (There’s not always a changing table available!)
5) Pack your easiest diapers in your diaper bag. Aplix made it a lot faster and easier to change my son on my lap. Snaps would have been much more complicated.
We had a great visit and enjoyed sharing about cloth with our friends. And in case you’re wondering, I DID remember to dump and refill the peri bottle of wipe solution for the flight home.
Bio: Jen Harvey is a stay at home mom, who loves hanging out with her husband and 8 month old son, sewing projects for her family and friends, and sharing her love of cloth diapering!