Can I Take Cloth Diapers on Vacation?
Cloth diapers can do anything and venture anywhere disposable diapers can. It stands to reason if you can take cloth diapers on outings - like the grocery store, playdates, and church or community events without concern, then taking cloth diapers on vacation is the next logical step. Ask yourself this, "Do you pack paper undies when you head out of town?" Of course not! Give your baby the same creature comforts you would want.
Packing cloth diapers for a trip - think of it as an extended errand.
Planning ahead is key for any successful trip - especially when babies are involved. Packing a supply of cloth diapers for a vacation is much like packing a diaper bag for cloth diaper outings - you just pack MORE.
Ask yourself these questions when packing baby's cloth diaper stash for a trip:
- How long will you be gone?
- Where will you be staying?
- How will you get there?
- What laundry access will you have?
How long will you be gone? This may seem ridiculous to mention, but it does help with the basic math of how many cloth diapers to take on vacation. If you will be gone overnight, you need to pack two (2) days' worth of cloth diapers. If you will be gone for one week, you need to pack enough diapers to take you through three (3) days, including the holdover time while you launder your cloth diapers. We do not recommend taking more than a three day supply of cloth diapers; they can become cumbersome to carry and bottom line, soiled diapers of ANY sort smell. The shorter the periods between washes, the fresher your diapers will remain.
Where will you stay? If you are visiting family, you will most likely have use of a washer and dryer and can follow your normal wash/dry routine. However, don't assume you can use their washer or dryer - call ahead and ask. If they don't like the idea, take a few extra cloth diapers to hold you over between visits to a local laundry facility.
If you are staying in a hotel, an RV, tent camping, or any other temporary set-up, be sure to take along quarters and detergent for a laundry facility; if camping, an environmentally safe natural soap or detergent is needed.
How will you get there? Some vacation trips take only a few hours in your vehicle, but others will involve extended drives or even airplane rides - in both cases, we recommend packing a few pocket diapers. Pocket Diapers are well-suited for long car rides or flights because they can be stuffed for more absorbency and have a built-in stay dry liner for comfort. Your baby will feel drier, even with the compression of sitting in a car seat for hours on end, making it a more comfortable trip for everyone.
What laundry access will you have? There are only a few situations where laundry facilities are unavailable, but even then cloth diapers are truly the best option. The difference is not so much the number of cloth diapers you should pack (again we recommend no more than 3 days' worth), but also the style of cloth diapers you should pack.
If you are tent camping, hiking, or far from any laundry mat, take quick-drying, trim, cloth diapers. Depending on the length of your trip, you may be hand-washing your cloth diapers in a bucket, riverbed or stream, and hang-drying. Fitted or All-In-One style diapers are not a good choice for trips like these, but pocket diapers that come with micro-inserts, or prefold diapers with lightweight diaper covers like cloth diaper wraps or pull-on pants are effective and by comparison, quick-drying.
Cloth Diaper Packing List for Vacations
When you are traveling it isn't the time to pack all the cloth diapers in your stash; this isn't a trunk show, it is a trip - make it easy on yourself. The following recommendations will vary accoding to the age and wetting habits of your baby.
- Cloth Diapers - Two dozen (24) of any style.
- Cloth Diaper Covers - Six (6) of any style. Of course, these many be unnecessary if you packed cloth diapers that do not require cloth diaper covers, like pocket diapers or all-in-one diapers.
- Baby Wipes - About two dozen (24) wipes. You know how many you use when changing diapers. I would pack no less than one baby wipe per diaper change, along with whatever bottom cleaner, diaper ointment, or diaper lotion you use during diaper changes.
- Waterproof Diaper Tote - Wet and dirty cloth diapers need a waterproof place to be stored and sealed away from clean diapers. Take two (2) large waterproof tote bags - one for dirty diapers and one for clean. You might also want an additional small diaper tote to place in the diaper bag.
Taking your cloth diapers on outings or vacation is not as inconvenient as you may think, and at the same time, it keeps your baby or toddler comfortable, which makes the trip better overall for everyone.