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Traveling With Cloth - You Can Do it!
With the availability and ease of disposable diapers vowing to stick to cloth diapering when traveling may seem extreme. "Maybe I'll use disposables - just for our trip. It will be so much easier!", you might think. If you are using cloth diapers exclusively at home, there is no reason to believe that your child's diapers cannot come along on your trip. You'll have to plan a little and bring a few necessities. The rest will be as easy as following your washing routine at home.
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Planning and Organizing are Key
First of all, you will need to estimate the number of diapers and covers to bring on your trip. Keep track of the number of diaper changes you make in a typical day. Then, decide whether you would like to bring enough diapers to last the whole trip or if you'd rather bring fewer diapers and wash them along the way. Always throw in a few extra diapers and covers to make sure your bases are covered. Be sure you bring your trustiest diapers along to avoid the hassle of leaky diapers on the road. If you use cloth wipes estimate the amount you'll need to bring and fill a large bottle with your wetting solution.
Don't forget your detergent and other laundry necessities if you are planning to wash the diapers during your trip. It's a good idea to bring a roll of quarters or two if you'll likely do laundry at a hotel or laundry-mat.
A waterproof tote or wetbag is essential for storing used diapers. Be sure the bag is fully waterproof so you'll be free of leaks. Always remove solid waste from a diaper as soon as possible - and before storing with the other diapers in the wetbag. Bring some plastic bags for storing soiled diapers until you can find a restroom for proper disposal of the contents.
The supplies listed above can all be stored together in a small suitcase, duffel bag, or laundry basket. Be neat and tidy when you pack so your supplies can be transported together whenever you need to change a diaper, whether at a rest stop or your destination.
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Dress your baby appropriately for the trip to avoid diaper leaks. If you will be spending many hours in the car make sure your baby is wearing a comfortable but super-absorbant diaper and trusty, leak-proof cover. If your child's car seat gets soaked it will be hard to dry and uncomfortable for the rest of the trip. Loose-fitting clothing can help keep your baby comfy and reduce the chance of wicking and leaks.
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Packing for Air Travel
If you will be spending hours on a plane bring diapering supplies with you in your carry-on bag. You will only need a few diapers (hopefully!) but bring several covers and some extra baby clothes in case they get dirty. Your remaining diapers and supplies can be packed in a small suitcase and checked in at the ticket counter. A small plastic bag will do the trick for storing used diapers during the flight.
New regulations prohibit passengers from bringing anything liquid on board the plane, so don't bother packing wetting solution for your wipes. Use water from the plane's bathroom or bring a small package of disposable wipes.
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Washing Diapers While Traveling
Will you be washing diapers at a friend's or relative's house? At a laundry-mat? Either way, it's nice to come back home with clean diapers!
When at a laundry-mat you have the luxury of using more than one washer. This can help to save time if you have diapers and/or covers that require different washing methods. Follow your typical home washing routine. If you are new to washing cloth diapers, wash first on cold water with a tiny amount of detergent to rinse, followed by a warm or hot wash with a regular amount of detergent. If necessary, end your wash routine with an additional cold water cycle to rinse all the detergent from the diapers.
Most diapers and covers can be tumbled dry on a regular or low setting. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying. If some of your covers, pockets, or all-in-one diapers need to be air-dried, hang them to dry at your hotel.