Travel with Diapers

As mentioned in a previous post, our family recently travelled with our cloth diapers.  Our boys have taken many trips by both plane and car, and we haven't travelled with disposables since the very first trip, during which I got pooped on both coming and going!  

 Here's what I do to make it work:

 1) Make sure we'll have access to a washer and dryer

  • Double-check that family is ok with this.  Some people are not comfortable with the idea of diapers in their washer or drier.  I do use liners, especially if the owner of the washer and drier is bothered!
  • I have done diaper laundry in coin-operated machines.  It's not ideal, but for a few days away it can work.  I try to time it so I only have to use them once.  And I bring a book or something else to do and make laundry time my down time!  

2) I do diaper laundry as close to the time we are leaving as possible.  Usually this is the night before.  I just aim to have as few dirty diapers in my luggage as possible on the way out of town.  On the way back I sometimes aim for the same, while other times I am minimizing laundry done elsewhere (if it's going to cost $5+ per wash, if it is such a short trip I did not arrange washing, etc)

 3) Pack the diaper bag* with:

  • both of my medium wet bags
  • all the diapers I will need between home and when I will dig into the luggage
  • diaper liners (trying to be a good guest, I use these when we travel to minimize poop making it into the washer - especially since we do not travel with our diaper sprayer).  My favorites are the flushable/biodegradable liners, which I wash and reuse multiple times if they're just peed on.
  • wipes and wipe solution (I pack the wipe solution in a TSA-approved spray bottle)
  • rash salve
  • a lap pad, or an extra prefold, or even a flannel receiving blanket  for laying on floors or changing stations.

4) Pack the luggage with the rest of my diaper stash and a small container of my preferred detergent and my scoop.  Also pack my two hanging wet bags in the luggage.

5) Plan to spend some extra time washing and possibly stripping diapers when I get home.  Whether I'm using a home washer and drier, heading to a laundromat, or washing at a hotel, there is a high likelihood that something - drier sheets, certain detergents, hard water, etc - will have left a residue in the washer or drier that will deposit itself on our diapers.  More often than not, I do return home with stinky diapers!

Then we can do diaper changes just like we're out for a day trip...only with more storage available for wet/dirty diapers, and some liners that make disposing of poop in a public restroom a lot easier!

The other thing that stinks (pun intended!) about traveling with cloth is that it's bulky.   We have somehow avoided paying extra luggage fees for the sake of the diapers (mostly because we usually fly Southwest), but it is undeniably more bulky than disposables (which you can also simply buy at your destination).  

But, somehow, cloth is what we do - every time! 

How about you?  Is there something I've missed, or some situation you've experienced and made work while away from home with your cloth diapered babe?


*If we're in the car, we usually forego a huge diaper bag and just put all the diapers in one duffel bag and make that accessible.  We also use one of our hanging wet bags instead of the medium ones. 


Brea Carlson is thrilled to be blogging regularly for The Green Nursery as a long-time customer and fan of the shop.  Unless otherwise noted, Brea has purchased all items mentioned in her posts.  Though she is being paid for her time spent writing, her opinions are her own and cannot be bought.  Brea also writes at Contentedly Crunchy and for the BABS Blog.