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How to take cloth diapers on outings

Posted by Becca on 3/13/2012 to Cloth Diaper How-To
For many parents—even parents who cloth diaper—the idea of using cloth diapers when running errands, or on vacation is daunting. Face it, our culture has conditioned parents to think of diapering as a disposable thing. You change the diaper, you toss it, you never think of it again. It doesn’t faze parents to bring disposable diapers to change their babies, yet cloth seems far too daunting to attempt.

Using cloth diapers as opposed when out of the house is actually fairly easy. There is really only one key item that a cloth diapering parent will need to bring with them, that isn’t always necessary for disposable diaper changes—a wet bag. Why? Because the only thing that cloth diaper users do differently is that they save the dirty diaper.

Granted, some cloth diapers are much easier to use on the road than others. All in one Diapers and Pocket diapers are usually a popular diaper for travel because they require only one step—putting the diaper on. Of course, you can make prefolds and flats just as quick for travel if you pad fold them and lay them into your covers ahead of time. But honestly, it is possible to travel with any type of diaper successfully, no matter your diapering style.

Of course, once you know what you’ll need on your trip—be it short or long—and how to pack properly, cloth diapering in any and every situation can be a cinch! Here are a list of things that should be in your diaper bag (most of them things you’ll need no matter what kind of diaper you’ll be using)

1. Cloth diapers (also bring things like covers, snappis, pins, if you’re using flats or prefolds, or fitteds)
2. Cloth wipes you’ll find using cloth wipes with cloth diapers when out of the house much easier because you won’t have to put your wipes and your diapers in separate places once used)
3. A Changing Pad preferably a large one that will protect your baby from whatever surface you may have to use to change them.
4. Rash ointment, Choose a cloth diaper safe variety such as CJs Butter or Grovia’s Magic Stick.
5. A change of clothes, just in case—though this is much less necessary if you’ve stocked your bag with cloth diapers rather than disposables because cloth diapers contain leaks and blowouts much more safely than paper diapers.

Once you’re in a public place such as a restaurant, the grocery store, or a church building, find a changing station in the bathroom, or another private place to change your baby. All you really need is a flat surface and your changing pad and you’re set to go. Most changing stations in public restrooms have little grooves in the table where you can hang your diaper bag so you don’t have to place necessary items on the germy floor. This is also a great place to hang your wet bag so it’s ready for safe storage of dirty diapers. Of course, if certain restrooms are particularly gross or if a changing station isn’t available, a reclined front seat of the car or the tailgate will work just fine. As with disposable diapered babies, you can change a cloth diapered baby anywhere!

Preparation is key - have what you need at hand and take along your confidence! After a few outings you'll be ready to take your cloth diapers on your vacation the next time you head out of town! But beware, you’ll definitely get a couple of stares and spark up a few fun conversations about cloth diapers as people look at your baby’s fluffy bum with envy. You might even make some converts!