How to Road-Trip with Cloth Diapers

In the cloth diapering world, diapers are referred to as fluff because of the cute little fluffy bum hiding underneath the onesie…or not, like in this picture.

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Cloth diapering isn’t just something one does. At least not for many of us cloth diapering moms. In many ways, it is an obsession. But what do you do when you are going on a long trip? Do you bring on the fluff or do you buy the ‘sposies?  

I’m not going to lie. Disposables are convenient. Children stay dryer longer so they’re a little happier on the long car ride and you can just toss when you’re done. No laundry required. But cloth diapers are wonderful. So, the idea of using disposables for four days…. I just didn’t want to do it!

We’ve done both–and truthfully, it really depends on the circumstances.  If you’re planning to cloth, here are some tips for traveling on the road. 

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Your kids might just “help” pack while you’re at it!

Bring plenty of fluff. No matter where you’re going, you don’t want to spend the whole trip doing laundry. For this last trip, I calculated how many diapers I wanted to bring and then started to pack them. Well, as I packed, I realized the truth. I needed all the diapers. We filled a big gym bag full of our fluff. It worked really well for us because we only had to wash once during our five day trip.

Use fleece liners. These are the most amazing inventions in cloth diapering… ever! Buy a $2 fleece blanket and cut to the size of an insert. 

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On left, is a fleece liner. On right, is a fleece liner. In the middle is the insert we used to trace a liner from an insert.

Then, place them inside the diaper.

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The best part about these is that they help your child feel dry longer. The fleece liners pull away the moisture from skin and into the diaper. These are great when your child is going to be in a diaper for longer periods of time or has a rash, but on a road trip, these are a necessity.

Not to mention, when you have to deal with icky, stinky diapers. Most of the time, the liner retains the poo, so then you can just toss that (since it barely cost anything anyway) and you don’t have to mess with the poo (other than dumping the majority of the it into the toilet as you’re supposed to do no matter what). Now, when we’re home, we just spray down the fleece liner, but when we’re out, we toss.

In the car, choose the diapers that have the best absorbency. In my opinion, that would be fitteds or prefolds. Pockets and all-in-ones are easy diapers for other people  to change because they don’t require covers or folding. However, they don’t absorb as much and need changing more often. For Brookie, we normally use trainers, but those are designed for potty training so they feel every bit of wetness,…definitely not a good choice for the car.

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Thirsties fitted diaper (top left), Thirsties cover (bottom left), GMD prefold (on top right), snappi (bottom right)
Consider using all-in-one’s and pockets when with family or friends. These diapers are the most like disposable so when others want to assist you by changing a child’s diaper, they can.

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bumGenius AIO (on left) ; Alva pocket (on right)
Make sure you have a place to wash and dry. If you are staying with someone, check with them first. Not everyone is comfortable with washing cloth in their machines. So, you’d have to consider a laundromat (which takes time away from your vacation) or see if your hotel has machines. You don’t want to be left with a bunch of dirty diapers and no time,or a place, to wash. That would be a nightmare!

We had a great experience using cloth this last trip! While we did have to stop the car a few more times, our children really enjoyed the extra breaks anyway. Washing was a breeze and the liners made clean-up hassle free.

Now, I wrote this post mostly for those going on road trips, although the tips would apply to plane or train rides as well. Even a the plane or train, you want to change as little as possible because…well, it’s kind of a pain. The last time we chose to fly, we opted to use disposables for several reasons. It really comes down to what is best for you.

If you are interested in cloth diapering, stay tuned. I am working on a series of posts explaining in more detail about cloth diapers, and the learning curve it takes to jump in. There is a ton of misinformation…and I’d love the opportunity to clear it up for my readers. The best way to keep in the know, is to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

So, cloth diapering moms, have you ever traveled in cloth? Do you have any tips to add?

Those who are considering cloth diapers, do you have any questions I can answer in my series? What makes you the most nervous about taking the plunge?

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11 thoughts on “How to Road-Trip with Cloth Diapers

  1. I use cloth at home and out and about. But we take disposables on any trip involving an airplane. That usually also means hotel so laundry facilities are iffy. Plus all that fluff takes up is much room in the luggage! I’m in awe of those that can travel with cloth.

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  2. Great post! I am not quite brave enough to travel overnight with cloth. On the other hand, my son always seems to get a diaper rash when we are traveling and he is in disposables. 🙂

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  3. You are so brave! The longest car trip I’ve done with cloth diapers has been 4 hours (round trip). We used to use Wal-Mart sacks but now I always bring two wet bags ( I have a Disney’s little mermaid one that I love 😍) so we don’t have to deal with the smell in the car.

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