Here are 10 tips for taking a vacation with cloth diapers in tow:
1. Bring more than enough detergent. Especially if you are going somewhere where cloth diapering isn’t the norm. We use Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda.
2. Keep in mind that all washers are dryers are different. The rule of thumb for cleaning cloth diapers is that soap and detergents need to be used sparingly and be completely washed off the diapers at the end of the cycle. This can be tricky with some of the newer HE machines or machines that are low capacity. Always set the machine to heavy-duty and extra rinse if you think there won’t be enough water.
3. Invest in a good dirty diaper storage solution. Like a sealed container or large zip-up wet bag.
4. If you’re using a laundromat you can’t be sure of what residue has been left in the machine. I often wash our clothes first with mild detergent in the hopes that some of the harsher residue will be removed before I put my precious cloth diapers in.
5. Different water types have different effects on your diapers. We are from the Pacific Northwest, land of soft water. I haven’t had any issues with hard water yet, but keep in mind that you might need to switch detergents if you’re switching water types on your travels.
6. We use pocket diapers because we like that you can dry the inserts in the dryer and only have to hang-dry the outer covers. It will be much more of a time commitment if you are travelling with all-in-ones and have to wait for them to air dry. We bring hangers with clips to hang our diapers in the back window of the car when we drive.
7. Taking time to do laundry on your trip can feel really annoying. Plan it into your day and make it fun. Bring special snacks and activities and make it a family event. Laundromats can be really interesting and beautiful. Or send the kids off and settle down with some tea and a book. Make laundry time your time.
8. Pack some great chlorine free disposables. Sometimes life gets tricky. If it’s between an amazing hike or doing your diaper laundry, pick the hike and wash tomorrow! Cloth diapering is supposed to be enjoyable. Good for the earth and good for you.
9. Try EC. We’ve been doing EC with Henry since he was 6 weeks old. He hasn’t pooped in his diaper since he was 5 months old and we catch a few pees every day. This has been HUGE for our traveling and cloth diapering. It means on a good day we are only wetting a few diapers so our stash goes a long way. And it keeps the stank down. . . .
10. Plan ahead. If you are going to be staying with family and friends, in hotels, campgrounds or at an air b’n’b think about laundry when you book! It feels great to be able to wash your diapers in the evening and let them dry over night as opposed to washing during a laundromat’s business hours.