Have Diapers, Will Travel

If you’ve read this post, you know that we use cloth diapers exclusively. Because of Oliver’s sensitive skin as an infant not using cloth wasn’t really an option.  So, we took (and still take) our diapers with us everywhere, including countless camping trips, Disney, the beach, etc.  When Oliver was about 15 months old we had a week long trip planned to Walt Disney World.  At the time, more natural disposable diapers were just starting to become a “thing”.  I was hoping to not have to drag cloth through the Disney Parks, I figured I would buy some to use just for the trip.

My first trip to the store I stood in the diaper aisle at Target totally overwhelmed. There were so many choices! And different sizes? He was wearing a one-size system (made by Cotton Babies) picking a size seemed weird. I don’t know why, but that is what stuck out to me at the time.  Also? They were expensive, it had been a long time since Zoe was in disposable diapers and I had a little sticker shock.  I ended up leaving without diapers, but probably a cart full of other crap, because it’s Target.

At the time I worked for The Little Seedling, and we happened to have samples of the Grovia Disposables (no longer made).  The next time I was at work, I grabbed two in different sizes to try. Easy.  No commitment. That night we put one on Oliver, and he wouldn’t walk. He stood there totally still, every time he made the slightest movement the diaper made a sound and he looked behind him.  It was hilarious. I figured that he would get over it, but after a few minutes he took the diaper off. Well, that was a problem.  I didn’t think about the fact that he typically wore diapers with snaps, so even if he was inclined to take it off, it wasn’t easy. The disposable took him seconds, not something that I wanted to deal with, especially on vacation.

I decided that maybe trying the disposable inserts for my current diaper system was a better compromise.  I could use our current Flip Diaper covers and just use one of their disposable inserts.  Flip covers could easily be hand washed washed in the hotel room sink and they dry quickly.  That wouldn’t be so bad.  I bought some inserts to try. Like the young, only two kids, inexperienced mom I was, I thought it would be a great idea to try it on an outing to Target. As we were rolling through the front doors there was pee dripping down his legs.  OMG.  He was wet from his belly button down to his ankles. We took a detour to the bathroom and of course I didn’t have any extra clothes with me, because isn’t that life?

After that experience we tried a few more times, they leaked every single time unless I used three of the inserts.  At that point it made the cost of them outrageous, so we relented to the fact that we would be washing diapers in one of the beautiful Disney World washing machines.  Here’s hoping its magical!

Our travel diaper tote, it holds enough diapers for 2-3 days, wet bags, wipes, liners, and rash cream.

And you know what? It was honestly fine. Because we had the flip system with their inserts and flats that we used with the flip covers, they didn’t take up that much room and we had a stroller already to carry all the dirty diapers in the wet beg.   I also purchased “Saddle Bags” for our stroller and that was great for storing diapers we needed (and all the other crap you need for a day at the parks.) I had a lot of diapers so I got away with only washing twice that week.  The washing facilities at our resort were right next to a small pool, so I got to relax by the pool while they washed, that’s a win after running through the parks all day.
That trip pretty much sealed it for us. We’d be taking our cloth diapers with us everywhere.  Here are a few things that I’ve found helpful when traveling with cloth diapers.

  • We have a small size tote we always use to pack our diapers in. (See above picture) I can fit everything diaper related in there. And it’s really helpful having it all together.
  • Bring small samples of your regular detergent. We use Allen’s from here. You don’t want to be messing with new detergent while traveling, go with what you know.
  • You will use more wet bags than you think. I don’t know why, but I always regret not bringing at least 3-4 of them.
  • If you normally use a diaper sprayer, consider disposable liners or even fleece liners (go get fleece from the fabric store and cut it to butt size) It makes dumping those poop diapers easier.
  • An All in Two system or cover and insert system, is great for travel. They’re typically easier to wash and less bulky to pack. We really like flats and covers. If those aren’t your jam for every day use, it could be worth it to buy them just for travel.
  • For more rustic destinations (camping) hand washing isn’t as terrible as it seems. We made a camp washer and found doing small loads every night was the easiest. Be careful not to use too much detergent, or you’ll be rinsing for days.
  • For shorter trips, we’ve just waited to wash until we get home. This works best if you can give your diapers a quick pre-rinse and hang them to dry before throwing them in the wet bag. They don’t get stinky that way.
  • Know your laundry options.  Are you using Aunt Betty’s washer? Is it the laundry mat? Don’t stress about washing exactly as often as you do at home.  If you have enough diapers to make it longer, DO IT.
  • If you’re road tripping, natural fibers diapers tend to leak less than a microfiber based diaper. There’s less “squish” factor. Adding an extra hemp insert, is always a good plan for extra leak insurance.

Looking at this list it looks a little daunting, even for me. You will find that just like everything you do in life, the more that you do it the easier that it gets.  Since we traveled so much with Oliver, by the time the other two came around it wasn’t a question if we would use cloth diapers while we traveled.  Soon enough you’ll be a cloth diaper pro and answering questions about your baby’s fluffy bottom in rest stop bathrooms.

This may not be for everyone though. Want to use disposables while you travel? No judgment from me, you gotta do what works for your family.


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