Over the River and Through the Woods… in Cloth Diapers
December 2, 2013 8:00:00 AM EST
It’s the holiday season! It’s a time for giving, sharing, spending time with loved ones, and for a lot of us, traveling. Sometime it’s near, sometimes far. When you’re traveling with a little one, you’ve got to make sure you’re prepared before leaving the comforts of home. Here are my tips for making traveling with baby a little easier...
Before leaving home, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the diaper bag stocked with everything you’ll need.
- · An adequate amount of diapers and wipes
- · Change of clothes
- · Toys to keep baby occupied
- · Diaper Balm
- · Snacks and Sippy cup for toddlers
- · Couple light blankets
- · Wet bag for storing dirties
- · A good carrier
For car trips long and short, it’s good to have a few things in your diaper bag to keep baby occupied. Clutching toys, rattles, and teethers can help entertain little ones on long, boring car rides. Sometimes a little music helps too. If you're lucky, your little one may sleep most of the way.
For long car rides, you’ll need to take into account and add time for stops to feed and change baby. For toddlers, it’s good to bring along snacks and a sippy cup to help tide them over until you can find a rest area. Babies on the other hand… they aren’t going to want to wait, especially if they’re hungry. Crying is a late sign of hunger, so try to keep an eye open for signs they are ready to eat such as lip smacking or rooting around.
Once you reach your destination, and are greeted by family and friends, it may be a good idea to wear your baby. All the new faces and people wanting to pinch your little one’s cheeks may be a bit overwhelming for him or her. Keeping them snuggled up in a carrier may also help keep germs at bay and less passing baby around. I found wearing my toddler very helpful during our Thanksgiving get together with my family! It kept him close to mama where he wanted to be, while keeping me hands free to help out in the kitchen. He has become obsessed with climbing and as long as he was in my arms, he was safe away from stairs and tabletops.
Facing in toward mom or dad and having a wide seat is best, as this position keeps pressure off the hips and spine. Forward facing can be uncomfortable for both the baby and the wearer after a while, and all the commotion of the holidays may overstimulate your little one. Facing in toward mom or dad allows them to snuggle up where they feel safe. It also allows for easy nursing for mama and baby.
Short Trips (away just a few hours - overnight)
For short trips, you can easily continue your normal cloth diapering routine. Use a light blanket to lay your baby down on for changing to make it more comfy and protect surfaces. You can either bring pre-moisten wipes, a spray bottle or peri-bottle of premixed solution or plain water to wet dry wipes as needed, or just wet wipes in a sink before changing. Then store your dirty diapers in a zippered, waterproof wet bag. These bags hold in wetness and odors. Some wet bags even have two separate zippered sections for storing both clean AND dirty diapers.
Long Trips (away 2+ days or more)
If you’ll be away from home for a couple days or more, you’ll want to talk with whoever you’re staying beforehand to make sure it’s ok to use their washer to wash diapers. If you worry about build up in their washing machine from non-cloth diaper safe detergents or fabric softener, you can first do a hot wash without detergent. This may not get rid of all the left over detergent and softener, but it should help. When you get home, you can always run your diapers through a few hot washes without detergent to get rid of any build up that may or may not be on your diapers. Remember to bring cloth diaper safe detergent with you!
If you don’t have access to a washing machine, flats and covers are an awesome cloth diapering option while traveling. Flats are a single layer square of fabric that can be folded and secured on you baby and used with a waterproof cover. Since they are natural fibers and a single layer, they are super easy to clean and can even be easily washed by hand. Covers can also be hand washed and both dry quickly. I used flats and covers when we went on this summer. I washed them in the sink and hung them to dry in our hotel room. It was really quite simple and even hubby mentioned he was happy that we didn’t have a trashcan full of disposable diapers stinking up the room.
If you think it’ll be too much dealing with washing diapers while away from home, but still want to keep your baby’s bottom looking super cute in his or her cloth diapers, hybrid cloth diapers are a great option! A hybrid is an all-in-two that offers both cloth inserts and a disposable option! The shells can be reused a few times before washing and can easily be washed by hand in a sink or bathtub with a pinch of cloth diaper safe detergent and hung to dry.
Wherever you decide to go, and whatever you decide to do, just do what works best for you and your family, whether its cloth diapers, hybrids, or disposables. Although the holidays are supposed to be a time to be joyful and happy, they can sometimes be a bit stressful, especially when traveling with little ones. If continuing to use cloth diapers works for you, do it! If you decide you want to use disposables while you’re away, go for it! There’s no need to feel guilty about your decision... What works for one person may not always work for another.
Using cloth diapers works for us. It saves us money, is comfortable for our baby, and is super cute. That’s why I’m going to continue using them on our holiday travels. I can’t wait to coordinate my little guy’s holiday getup with his cloth diaper! I’m going to make a pair of red and green leg warmers from a pair of socks, and pair them with a green diaper and a Santa hat! Pictures to come! :)
Safe travels and happy holidays!!!
*I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is the mother of a dinosaur expert, a set of twins somehow born 13 months apart, and a wild baby boy. She enjoys being outdoors with her kids, going on walks, swimming, fishing, and yard saling with her hubby. She started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN, and also helps out with TGN’s twitter, so if you want to chat about cloth diapers, or just want to say “hi”, go ahead and send her a tweet!