Today’s post is answering probably the second most (if not THE most) frequently asked question I got from a lot of you when I started this series: “How do you use cloth diapers when you’re out running errands or when you’re traveling?”
If you’re new here, to catch you up, I’m sort of “interrupting my regularly scheduled programming” and doing a series on cloth diapering because SO many of my readers asked me about our experience. And since I was the research QUEEN before we had our daughter Lilly and before we started cloth diapering, I figured more information is always good.
Here’s where we’ve been in case you need to catch up:
- November: Cloth Diapering: The Beginning
- January 7th: Different Types of Cloth Diapers and What We Use
- January 14th: Our system: wipes, creams, storage, organization, and whatnot.
- Last Week: The Scoop on Poop – Using & Washing Your Cloth Diapers (I HAD to call it that…)
- TODAY: Out and About – Traveling with Your Diapers
- Tuesday, February 4th: Dealing with… Issues – dealing with the unforeseen stuff that sometimes come up with cloth diapering (mold and stink and ammonia. yuck!)
- Tuesday, February 11th: Cloth Diapering a Newborn
So, let’s get to it. Shall we?
Out and About: How to use cloth diapers when you’re out running errands or traveling.
Let’s first address the every day, day-to-day, out and about, running errands with your diapers.
Now, this is NOT a “What’s in my Diaper Bag” post – that will come later. But this is just to show you what I carry for cloth diapering in my diaper bag:
1. Diaper bag (obviously) mine is from Kate Spade / 2. Diapers (obviously) / 3. Wet bag / 4. Changing pad / 5. Wipes / 6. Baby bottom spray
How many diapers should I bring with me when I’m out and about?
The answer to that is TOTALLY going to depend on the age and stage of your baby and how long you plan to be gone. For the first three – four months of Lilly’s life, I was changing anywhere from 10-15 diapers a day. In the early EARLY days, sometimes 15-20 diapers a day. Yeah. That’s a lot of diapers.
So those first few months, if I knew I was going to be gone for more than three hours, I’d take anywhere from 4-6 diapers with me. If I was just running to the grocery store or something, I’d just take 1-2.
Now that I’m only changing Lilly about 5-7 times a day, I will only take with me about 1-2 diapers unless I’m going to be gone the whole afternoon or something. But if I know I’m only going to be out for a short while, 1-2 diapers is perfect.
What do you do with a dirty diaper when you’re out and about?
Well, pretty much the same thing that I do with a dirty diaper at home. I have two small wet bags, one is from Planetwise and the other my friend Stephanie at Ooh Baby Designs made for Lilly (and me) as a gift.
The ONLY difference is that I use disposable wipes when I am out and about as opposed to cloth wipes that I use at home. I know some moms use cloth wipes out and about, but I just haven’t figured out a system that really works for us for using cloth wipes when we are out running errands.
Honestly, if I’m out and about, I’m probably going to change Lilly in a bathroom, and using a disposable wipe is just easier and more convenient in those places. Also, I always have wipes on me anyway because they are perfect for cleaning up dirty faces, dirty hands, and other baby messes. So, rather than try and get a case for the cloth wipes, make sure they’re damp before we leave the house, etc… I just use the disposable wipes.
So, Lilly has a dirty diaper, I take her to a place to change her, lay her on the changing pad, take the dirty diaper off and throw it in the small wet bag and zip it up, wipe her, spray her, throw away the disposable wipe, put on a clean diaper, toss the wet bag back in my diaper bag… and we are good to go. And no, you will NOT smell the dirty diaper! The wet bag seals in the stink! 🙂 TRUST ME.
Spray her? What? Well, rather than carry the Motherlove cream that I adore so much around with me, I found this “Baby’s Bottom Diaper Ointment Spray” at the cloth diapering store near me and it’s PERFECT for on the go. It’s just so easy to spritz her bum real quick when I’m doing a diaper change than bring something I gotta rub on, etc.
If I am NOT near a trash can (for example, if I’m doing a diaper change in the car), I have these little disposable diaper baggies that I’ll throw the dirty wipes into… They’re like those poop bags for dogs! Haha!
What do I do when my baby is on formula or eating solids and I can’t just “wash the poo” and I’m out and about?
If your baby has transitioned to eating solid foods or is a formula fed baby, using the super thin, disposable diaper liners that sit inside the cloth diaper that I mentioned a few weeks ago are PERFECT for this. (Here’s an example – this roll has 100 sheets / liners and it’s only $11!)
OR, you can just throw the diaper in the wet bag as it is and wait until you get home to deal with it. And as far as washing goes, I just toss the wet bag and the dirty diapers in with all my other diapers and wet bags as normal. That’s why I have two small wet bags so that I always have one available if the other one is in use or in the wash.
It’s really SUPER easy. I don’t even think twice about it!
Side note: I also LOVE cloth diapering on the go because inevitably someone asks me what I’m doing and I get to show them the diapers and get other people excited about cloth. Yes, that makes me a massive dork and I don’t care.
Now, what about traveling or going on vacation with your diapers? What do you do then?
Before we travel, I have to assess and answer a few questions:
- How long will we be gone?
- Is there access to a washer / dryer where we are going?
We follow the blog called Land of the traveler, they have great advice regarding this, from them, we learned more than one trick and would recommend you do too. So, if the answer to the first question is LONGER than three to four days and the answer to the second question is NO – then we will just use disposable diapers. I really have no qualms about using disposable diapers if it’s just going to be easier in the long run.
We put her in disposables for church as it is… we have bought ONE bag of disposable diapers so far and aren’t even halfway through using it.
For example, in March, John, Lilly, and I are going on a DISNEY cruise! We are SO SO SO excited. It’s only a three-night cruise, but we will be gone five days… AND, since we are flying to Orlando, it’s just going to be too much to try and take diapers. So, we’re just going to use disposable diapers. No big deal.
BUT, if the answer to the first question is LONGER than four days and the answer to the second question is YES – then we WILL take and use our cloth diapers.
For example, if we go to the beach with my husband’s parents to their little beach rental, I know that there is a washer and dryer there that is easy for me to use and I can do diaper laundry there. PLUS, I can sun my diapes at the BEACH!! Best place to sun diapes EVER.
Now, Lilly and I actually JUST got back from traveling this past weekend. We went to my in-law’s house for a couple days while John was away on a business trip. Below is an actual photo of what I packed (a day in… I forgot to take a pic right when I packed it up). So, I have a small suitcase that I pack the number of diapers I’ll need for however long I’m gone, plus wipes, cream, and a wet bag.
Here’s the large wet bag I used while traveling. I actually LOVE this one because it’s a wet / dry bag and so the front pocket I can put her dirty clothes laundry in and the main pocket I can put the dirty diapers in.
Then, I bring the bag home and do diaper laundry as normal.
That’s it! I know it seems like it can be intimidating, but I promise it really isn’t. I don’t really do ANYTHING different when I’m out and out (with the exception of the wipes) than what I do at home.
So what do you think? Does this help and answer your question(s) with regards to traveling with your diapers? Do you have any follow-up questions? If you’re a CDing mom, what system(s) do you have for traveling with diapers?
Thanks for reading!