Help us help families cloth diaper on the road!

Help us help families cloth diaper on the road!

My oldest son, who is 3 1/2 years old, has taken 8 round trip plane trips in his short life, and probably 15 road trips. He's FAR better traveled than I was at least until my mid-20s. His diapers (and his brother's) have made all those trips with us, and thank goodness for it! My dad likes to claim that we're all flying for free these days, thanks to our diaper savings. That might be slightly overstating it, but the fact remains that several thousand dollars of diaper savings over the course of two children HAVE helped us keep up with our east coast relatives while enjoying the sunny San Diego lifestyle!

When our first baby was only a few months old, we traveled to New York. I had several disposable diapers left over from his newborn days and he was still quite small so I figured, rather than throwing them out, I'd use them for the flights. What. A. Disaster. Before we even got on the plane, I was changing him from head to toe and bathing him in an airport bathroom sink after an explosion the likes of which I had never before (nor since) experienced using cloth diapers. All I can say is thank goodness it happened in the airport and not on the plane - I can't imagine doing THAT change in one of those tiny airplane stalls! From then on, I haven't bought or used a single disposable diaper, and we have continued to travel - by car, by plane, cross-country, internationally, staying with family and friends, in a tent, in hotels, even in a rainforest - literally!

Along the way, I've learned things to make it easier to use cloth diapers on the road. I've also been fortunate to know a bunch of moms who also use and travel with their cloth diapers, all of whom have been very generous with their advice. Unfortunately, not all parents are similarly connected, though many of them have the same desire to continue to experience all the financial, environmental, and health benefits of cloth diapers - even when they're traveling. To help them, the next phase of the Real Diaper Association's 100% Reusable Cloth Diapers campaign is focused on this aspect of cloth diapering. Here's where you come in: Can you add your tips to mine so RDA can put together an exhaustive plan for parents to use when planning a trip with their reusable cloth diapers?

There are doubters that say that using cloth diapers on the road is impossible - or it can only be done in certain really easy travel situations. I'm proud to say I've used my reusable cloth diapers in a bunch of atypical travel situations - with complete success! - and I know I'm not the only one! Don't let this myth stand uncontested. If you have used reusable cloth diapers while traveling, stand up and be proud - then share your tips! We'll even give you a badge to show off a little bit...
My baby wears cloth diapers on the road
Heather McNamara Executive Director, Real Diaper Association


On our first trip with a baby (2 weeks old) we used some of the disposables people gave us when he was born and it was a mess. We wished we had brought the cloth diapers. So on our second trip (4 weeks old) we brought the cloth diapers. I underestimated the amount we'd go through, so my tip is to bring as many as you can! We were camping and kept the whole diaper pail in the trunk of the car but that might not be a good idea for warm destinations. I have not yet dared do a plane trip with cloth but I have packed them in my luggage to use at my destination. Also, I ordered an extra set of low-cost one-size diapers to keep at grandma's house.
We have been on 3 trips with cloth including camping. We bring 2 pail liners- one for clean one for used and make sure the used one can close well. We haven't washed while out of town and loved it. We use all in ones and pockets normally however we found prefolds/covers were the easiest to pack and travel with so thats what we took. While camping we use flats because we can wash them in the showers and hang to try in the campsite easily :)
I have cloth diapered both my children "on the road." The first, I cloth diapered all through our move back from Germany. That includes an 8 hour plane ride followed by a hotel stay. I made sure to pack our diaper bag full of diapers and a couple of changes of clothes. We stayed in a hotel for two days, and I washed and dried the diapers there with no problem. When we went to stay with my in-laws on vacation, and then my family, I kept the diaper bag packed with diapers and a wetbag, as well as the larger part of our stash in a suitcase. While staying with my parents, I used a laundromat to wash the diapers. Two summers later, my husband was back from a deployement in Iraq, and we went on vacation to Boston, and then Disney World, we cloth diapered the entire time, using the washer and dryer of the friends we stayed with in Boston, and then the hotel machines at Disney. It was really no problem washing the diapers, as we needed to wash our clothes as well, so I got them done at the same time, or one load right after the other if I only had one washing machine available. When consider the pain and cost of disposables, using cloth on the road is a time and stress saver.

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