No matter how well you plan for a vacation, inevitably, you get to your destination and realize that you've forgotten something, or simply failed to anticipate all the possible scenarios that could play out.
This applies even more to bringing a baby with you whether they are cloth diapered or not. This summer, my little family has taken an inordinate amount of trips away from home and every time we go, we go with cloth diapers. In fact, I'm proud to report that not once, while away from home, has a nasty, chemical-ridden, plastic-y and loud disposable diaper touched my daughter's precious bum.
Was it difficult to use cloth? Maybe at times.
You just learn to go with the punches and make do with what you have!
Worth it? Absolutely!
Solving Sticky Situations
In our travels, here are some of the sticky situations my husband and I have encountered and the solutions that we found worked for us:
No Washing machine.
I've traveled many times to places without a washing machine. In such instances, all you really need is a place to soak your diapers. A hotel bathtub or sink will do nicely.
If you're going to be away for more than two days you will have brought your cloth diaper detergent with you anyway - so just use this inconvenience as a chance to strip your cloth diapers while your at it!
Give them a good, long soak in some all natural laundry detergent or dish detergent and rinse, rinse, rinse until all the bubbles are gone. Your diapers will smell so fresh when you're done that you'll want to hand wash them more often!
An unfamiliar washing machine.
Even if the place you're staying does have a washing machine, all washing machines are different and will treat your laundry differently. While visiting a friend over a couple of days, she was kind enough to allow me to wash and dry my daughter's diapers in her machines. Now, hers are much more fancy than mine are, and though I'm accustomed to an HE washer, hers seemed to use much less water than my HE does. This meant that I found I had to add more rinses to my wash in order to get all the urine out of the inserts.
It took me a few times, but right around the time I was ready to leave for home, I'd figured out the best method of washing my diapers in her machine.
This is absolutely not an issue because you can line dry your diapers just about anywhere.
I've laid my diapers over air conditioners, hangers, curtain rods, and even on my car to dry them in the hot, Southern sun while I was away on vacation.
Normally I line dry my shells anyway and machine dry my inserts so it's really only half a hassle for me not to have a dryer at my disposal.
Granted, it will take longer to dry your inserts this way but if it's sunny outside, why not use it as an opportunity to take advantage of the sun's natural and safe bleaching properties? And if it's raining or cold, use the luggage rack that the hotel provides and hang them near the heater.
No Diaper Sprayer
With a spray bottle, some dunking, or even toilet paper, poop can still be extricated from soiled diapers even if you don't have your trusty diaper sprayer with you. Yes, it may be more gross than using a diaper sprayer, but you're going to wash your hands and you will eventually wash the diaper that you dunked in a public toilet anyway.
No Diaper Liners
With some sturdy toilet paper or even a flannel cloth baby wipe, you can easily create a cloth diaper liner to avoid said dunking and prying of poop.
If you're going to go with toilet paper, though, make sure it's the tough stuff, not the flimsy one-ply deal you may find in some public restrooms. In either case, having a even a make-shift liner will make the disposal of poop much easier as you travel.
No Changing Pad
Failure to remember a changing pad does not have to be a big deal. If you cloth diaper with prefolds or flat diapers, just pull an extra one out and stick it under your baby's bum. If you don't have one of those, then a blanket will do nicely as well. If you're worried about messes and leaking, a grocery bag or even an empty wet bag underneath your baby accompanied by a soft blanket or prefold will really take care of things.
No Wet Bag
Though it's not ideal, it's not the end of the world if you forget your wet bag. A ziplock bag or a grocery bag will do nicely.
If you forget your baby wipes, there are so many possible solutions! If you're at a friends house, you can beg some of their cleaning rags. If you're in a hotel you can easily use the washcloths left in your room. If worse comes to worse there are plenty of disposable paper products you can use. Wet a couple of paper towels from the gas station bathroom or, use some tissues from your purse.
Traveling with cloth diapers doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to be stressful either! You just need to go into it realizing that you probably will find yourself in situations where you don't have all the conveniences of home and that you'll have to find a way to get around those things with a little bit of creativity and flexibility.