Thursday, February 25, 2010

Traveling with Cloth

I mentioned in a post last week that Sweet E was in disposables on our recent trip to California. It's not because traveling with cloth is difficult...I've done it many times (including two in cloth at Disney World!). Sadly, the new airline baggage restrictions have made it tough to fly with my diapers. They take up a lot of space...I usually pack a small duffle just for dipes. I didn't want to spend $50 to take my diapers, so disposables it was. BUT, if you have room in your suitcase or are taking a road trip, cloth diapering is a snap.

* Like I said, I like my diapers all together in one place, like a duffle bag. If you're road tripping, a laundry basket is perfect for the job. Diapers can be organized and right where you can see them.

*A nice, big wet bag is a must. This replaces your diaper pail. I love my extra large from Leslie's Boutique so much that I ordered one for dirty clothes too. When MJ has stayed at Giggy's house, my mom is amazed that the cute zippered bag does not smell in the least.

*Take a smaller wet bag or two for the diaper bag for outings, just like you would at home.

Now, if you're gone more than a couple of days, you'll have to wash your diapers at some point. I bring a tiny jar of detergent with me. If you're staying with family, hopefully you can use their washer and dryer. If not, bring a roll of quarters for hotel laundry or laundr-o-mat.

[NOTE: It has been said that public machines contain residue of heavy detergents and dryer sheets. I believe this is very true, however, one wash won't hurt your diapers, especially if they are natural fibers. Microfiber can be a bit more finicky...You know I can't stand the stuff.]

If you're lucky, you'll find a new HE machine with more options, like a pre-rinse and additional rinse. This is AWESOME, because it will save you a couple of bucks from not having to run those cycles alone. For the sake of this post, let's say you aren't so lucky. How you wash your diapers is kind of a judgment call. If they aren't super-soiled, you can skip the cold wash. You'll have more stains, but they'll be just as clean, and you can sun out those stains at home. You can also also rinse the diapers first to save a buck on that first wash. Again, it's totally up to you.

1. Cold wash, no detergent (use pre-rinse instead if available, or rinse by hand, or skip)
2. Hot wash with detergent
3. Cold wash, no detergent (use additional rinse if available or skip entirely.)
4. Dry on high. In my experience, public dryers do not run as hot as mine at home. If I don't dry on hot, I need like 4 cycles...and that's ridiculous.

Using cloth diapers on the road isn't much different from doing it at home. Do it once, and you'll never go back!