Now that babyT has been on two holidays, and one staycation and many weekend stayovers at family’s and having exclusively cloth diapered on these, I can assure you Cloth Diapering is #FTW
When I started off cloth diapering, I made sure I followed everything to the T (not babyT’s T) and generally made stuff more complicated than was warranted. But over the months and now with a year of CDing behind me, I think my routines and CD schedules are easy-peasy and I weave CDing around my life events and not the other way around. My household has not seen one disposable diaper since the early months of Ts life (I regret even that) and I have gone on to prove to family members that CDing is natural and easy and doesn’t inconvenience even on the go.
We just got back from a wedding in Mangalore and we cloth diapered over 5 days. We were staying in a hotel, and I am not sure if they had laundry service as I never bothered to find out, but we cloth diapered, oh yes, we did! Here’s how we did it. We took along:
- 10 Pocket diapers with good old microfibre inserts
- 7 Natural fibre AIOs for the nights & during the wedding events
- 3 Hybrid diapers with disposable inserts for longish outings, road & air journeys
- Grovia Biosoakers (disposable inserts for hybrid diapers)
- 3 Fleece liners (never leave home without my colourful fleecies 🙂 )
- 2 Wetbags
- 15 Reusable wipes
- Tiny bottle of coconut oil
- CD friendly Detergent: Soapnuts by Bubblenut wash
Home to airport to hotel and vice versa:
For road and flight journeys we relied on our Grovia hybrid shells and Grovia biosoakers. Ok I admit that I was very skeptical about using something disposable, but Grovia assures that they are environmentally friendly, in the sense that they are made of biodegradable and compostable materials, contain no chemicals unlike sposies, and are fragrance / dye / chlorine & plastic free. And they are so incredibly thirsty. One biosoaker lasted us around 5 hours, no thanks to getting stuck in road traffic and a delayed flight due to fog. I had no intention of leaving it on so long. But after those 5 hours, while the biosoaker was heavy with pee, it still had capacity to hold some more & the gussets it comes with made sure no leaks sprouted.
For smaller trips which involve lesser amount of traveling time we are good with one All-in-One. I mainly use Superbottoms Plus. It has an organic bamboo cotton soaker which in itself is quite abosrbent. But I add a booster during trips.
The main reason I wanted to use Biosoakers was because I did not want the hassle of lugging around dirty diapers or inserts in a plane or enter the wedding party smelling of ammonia. It was a close family wedding & I was quite involved with the ceremonies to pay minute attention to dirty diapers. Earlier trips had also shown that it was not so easy to find a spot to change or that babyT would cooperate for a change between journeys. Although I am quite impressed with the performance of Grovia Biosoakers, it remains debatable whether they are truly good for the environment. But it did mean a lot of convenience on our holiday.
For the day & smallish outings
Pockets and good quality micro-fibre inserts held well for day times and any other times we were just lounging around in the hotel room or our family’s homes.
I use pockets by Superbottoms and their stay dry soakers (meant for covers, but I use them for pockets too.) They are incredibly thirsty and justify their price, as they hold around 3 – 4 hours for us. Micro-fibre also dries fast making it the best to use while travelling.
I rely entirely on my natural fibre AIOs – Blueberry, Thirsties & SuperBottoms, for nights or longish outings. I add a very light booster as babyT is not a very heavy wetter and we are good for the night. With the exception of Thirsties NAIO, the other two brands also dry reasonably fast, making them ideal for CDing on vacation. I did have one night of leak as babyT is a tummy sleeper, but I carried extra AIOs for the night so we were alright.
Storage & Laundry
I store all soiled diapers in wetbags. My ‘Superbags’ from Superbottoms are guaranteed leak proof, very spacious and keep all stinks in. I store the diapers in them before rinsing and once rinsed too. On vacation, once I reached the hotel room, I drip dried the rinsed diapers on the towel rack or hanging rod, until laundry day was possible.
I have washed CDs in the hotel room but this time around I had access to the washing machine at my uncle’s home and I washed twice. Nonetheless I have fond memories of me washing diapers in the hotel room – it was my birthday, we were in Goa and while babyT and his daddy slept (like a baby, may I add)… I was washing cloth diapers. And I enjoyed the quiet moment as I ushered in my birthday, doing what I love best.
Many hotels provide a detachable drying line in the bathroom or the balcony. I usually dry stuff in the bathroom over the towel rod or the balcony. I have carried my own rope to tie up in the room, but never felt the need to actually use it.
How to plan for CDing while on vacation?
If you would like to extend your commitment to cloth diapering and want to try it while on vacation too, give a thought to these areas.
How many days will you be away?
This is basic and simple math, if you use around 5 diapers per day and plan to do laundry on holiday, carry enough diapers to last you for around 3 days. So that’s about 15 diapers. This is still a comfortable number even if you plan to launder every day. Always carry more diapers than you will need.
I do recommend taking along diapers which have good capacity and will hold well for longer periods. So I leave behind my fitteds which only last me around an hour and trust my pockets with microfiber to last us at least 3 – 4 hours.
The number mentioned above does not include night time diapers. For nights, I just take along 1 diaper per night that we will be away and 1 extra for good measure. This takes care of any leaks or accidents.
How will you manage poop incidents?
This trip, we managed poop incidents with our Grovia biosoakers. All I needed to do was plop the mess in the pot and throw away the soaker. However you may want to carry along liners – disposable or reusable to hold mess. There’s no guarantee that you will find a sprayer or the time to clean poopy diapers.
If you don’t have any liners or the thought of cleaning them still seems like a pain, cut up some old cotton fabric and use them to line your diapers. You can just throw them away when soiled and still be rest assured that they will degrade naturally and not harm the environment.
I would also recommend you carry wet bags vs. plastic bags. Wet bags are washable and reusable. Also they contain the messiest of messes, so it is worthwhile investing in a couple of these. Make sure what you are buying is waterproof and leak-proof in case you’re planning to toss it into your diaper bag or other luggage. Not all wet bags give you zero leaks. K
Where are you traveling to? What is the weather going to be like?
This is a very important factor… are you off on a beach vacation or are the hills calling? How much humidity the place faces and how much sunshine you’re going to get will determine how fast your diapers dry and in turn will help you decide how many diapers to carry along. If you’re visiting Mumbai in the monsoon (not exactly a vacation spot, I know) but chances of your laundry drying even over two days are slim. J
What access will you have to laundry facilities?
This is most important of course. If you are going to be away with no access to any laundry facilities, then you will have to rely on hand-washing where you’re going to be staying. I don’t give cloth diapers away to hotel laundry services because it is just too complicated to explain to them about extra rinse and no softeners etc. Besides you never know what else is going into the wash with your clothes. >:-)
So carry detergent along in a small container. I carry soapnuts along because they clean effectively without needing several extra rinses. They work well with all types of water – hard, soft etc. They are also gentle on skin and don’t harm baby skin even if some residue remains on cloth.
You may also want to consider carrying a small piece of coir rope (not plastic) along to put up a drying line. J
Cloth diapering on vacation is easy. It may seem difficult to think about, but once you’ve tried it you’ll see that it is no different from how you would cloth diaper in your regular space. Always be prepared and plan ahead. You should sail through if you’ve done your preparation well. And don’t be afraid to fall back on a sposie if need be. Your mental sanity and peace and the much needed R&R on vacation score much higher.