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If you are a cloth diapering mama and traveling this holiday season I hope this post is helpful to you. With the holidays right around the corner, lots of folks are thinking about packing up and heading out to get in cars, in planes, on trains, etc. Travelling during the holidays is never the most fun of times. Traveling with children makes things even more complicated.

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Travelling with a baby in cloth diapers?

At least, that’s the way a lot of parents feel about the matter.   But there is no need. Traveling with cloth diapers can actually be quite painless and simple. Even though my daughter was only born 18 months ago, I have already traveled with her countless times– on trips both long and short– without the use of paper diapers.

Here are a few of my tips for helping make traveling with cloth diapers a littler easier:

10 Tips for Traveling with Cloth Diapers

1. Relax

Like a lot of things in life, it’s going to be easier than you think. So take a deep breath and try to enjoy your travels as much as possible. If difficulties do arise, simply try and to find the best solution possible.

2. Pack lots of diapers in two separate bags

Most likely this goes without saying, but be sure and pack LOTS of diapers.

When I travel my “purse” is my diaper bag and my “carry on” is a suitcase stuffed full of diapers, washcloths, and diaper covers. If you neatly fold and compact all your baby’s “gear”, you will be surprised how much you else you can fit in besides diapers, such as items you need for yourself.

If you have a traveling companion, leave the larger bag with them when you need to do a diaper change and only take your small bag.

It’s nice to be able to have lots of diapers as back-up, but not have to carry your large suitcase every time you need to do a diaper change.

3. Pack your first bag (your diaper bag/purse) medium/light

My “purse” when I travel is a medium-sized diaper bag (actually a converted book bag).

I pack this bag with the essentials that I would need if I were merely going out with baby for an afternoon: 4-5 cotton diapers, two extra diaper covers, washcloths, a wet bag, and a change of clothes.

This bag isn’t super heavy so I can easily carry it around and carry baby at the same time. You could also use a backpack for the same purpose.

4. Pack your second bag (your “carry-on”) VERY full with back-ups for everything in your first bag.

My second bag I have with me is stuffed full of diaper necessities.

I essentially take what I have in my diaper bag and multiply it 3-6 times for this bag, depending on how long I am going to be traveling. Then, when I am running out of anything in the diaper bag I replace it with items from the larger carry-on bag and trade them for the dirty diapers.

That way my diaper bag/purse never gets super heavy from carrying around lots of wet or soiled diapers.

5. Bring several small “wet bags”

These are helpful even for things that aren’t diapers.

I would recommend investing in several wet bags. (When you outgrow using diapers you can always use them for wet swim or beach gear!) I like to have a few extras on hand when traveling.

(Note: if you don’t have wet bags you could always just recycle a few plastic grocery bags if you have them on hand.)

6. Bring one very large “wet bag”

This choice I make is not the most eco-friendly but I feel like since I am traveling with cloth diapers instead of disposables, somehow, the earth will forgive me. I pack a giant, thick trash bag in my carry-on suitcase.

When I have a small wet bag full of dirty diapers I dump them into the large plastic bag, roll it up very tightly and put it inside the suitcase.

7. Master the art of the “vertical diaper change”

While this one is not absolutely necessary, it is extremely helpful in many situations.

I use the “vertical diaper change” all the time. Our culture is not very considerate of parents and babies in many ways…. A lot of places do not have changing stations. Or when they do, they look like they haven’t been cleaned in fifty years and are just plain gross. Rather than put my baby daughter down onto a changing station that looks like that… I learned how to change a diaper without needing to place her down.

Typically, I sit on a chair, have her on my knee, place the diaper under her, and then hold her towards me with one hand while I use the other to fasten her diaper on. It probably looks awkward, but it’s been very helpful in those situations where laying her down to change her just was not a good option.

8. Focus on the positive

If things get difficult or complicated with cloth diapering while you are traveling, try focusing on the positive. You are doing something most parents wouldn’t even try. You are taking the values you hold at home on the road. That’s wonderful.

All the reasons you choose to cloth diaper at home (saving money, helping the environment, etc.) are the same reasons you choose to cloth diaper while traveling. Good for you. That’s something to commend. Now, having said that, let me contradict myself in the next point…

9. Have back up

I find that even if I don’t use them, it’s always nice to have at least a few paper diapers in my packed things, just in case. Even if I don’t end up using them, it’s nice to know that if needed, they are there.

10. Bring your sense of humor

Traveling is difficult to a certain degree no matter who you are. There are always unexpected situations that arise. Those are the things that are beyond your control. What you can control is how you respond to them.

As with anything in life, a good dose of humor goes a long way in helping you cope. Above all, love your little one. And remember, they are only little (and in diapers…) for a very short time.

Wishing you easy, fast, and safe travels this holiday season!


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