I have been lucky and always have been able to use cloth diapers on Sophia when we travel. It’s a lot like when you use them at home. But as with anything, you will have a few options and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
The Way We Roll #1:
When we go for a long weekend somewhere, if it’s less than 4 days, I make sure everything is clean before I leave. I bring enough wetbags to store dirty diapers for all the days we will be gone and enough clean diapers to last that long. That’s it.
I get rid of poo the same way I do at home, smoosh and plop. But if you need other ways to take care of the poo while traveling, please read The Three D’s of Poo Removal. It will cover other options such as the dunk and swish and disposable liners. After the poo is taken care of everything goes in the wetbags like usual and I wash when we get back.
The Way We Roll #2
We went to the Jersey Shore last week. (We had an AMAZING time BTW.) I was lucky enough that we had rented a house with a washer and dryer. Everything continued on exactly as it does at home. Well, almost exactly. You can expect that where ever you travel, if there is a washer and dryer, they will not work anything like the one you have at home. This particular rental had a very cheap washer and dryer. I had to manually select the cycles and stay nearby to get the washing and rinsing done to where I thought everything would be clean. The dryer took FOREVER to get everything dry as well. The year before we had a place that had the fanciest washer and dryer I had ever seen! I had a learning curve on just figuring the buttons out on the front loader. The dryer actually dried everything in half the time it would have taken me at home!
Just be prepared and go with the flow. I traveled with a little stash of my usual detergent, (Tide in case you are wondering), and figured if there were any problems I could just strip everything when I got home. At the end of the week I counted my blessings as everything had gone wonderfully and my cloth diapers had all come clean on vacation.
The Way I Haven’t Had to Roll Yet, but Could if I Needed to #3 & #4
Flats (and prefolds) clean better and dry faster than ANYTHING else you could use to cloth diaper with. That makes them super easy to travel with. Many families have even hand washed them in hotel rooms and dried them over the shower curtain. You can use them in any shell you have. Super simple!
Finally, it’s ok if you decide to just use disposables while traveling. There are a few earth and baby friendly brands such as Earth’s Best or 7th Generation. You don’t have to feel bad about it. A few days of using disposables to save your sanity is totally worth it. You might just be downright excited to get your little one back in fluff as soon as you get home but don’t stress a few days of not using cloth. Even part-time cloth diapering helps to save space in our landfills.
We’d love to hear your story if you have successfully used cloth diapers while traveling! Lots of our readers are scared of it and always ask what everyone else is doing!
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.