Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Many Cloth Diapers Can You Fit In A Van?

Cloth Tushie Tuesday fans ... we're back with another installment!!  Traveling with Cloth!

Mommie V

I find cloth diapering to be incredibly easy.  Even the challenges we have (mostly rashes) have been pretty easily overcome.  I don't have a complicated wash routine, I have a relatively simple stash (when I leave well enough alone).

So when the time came to take a road trip with my mother and her two sisters (my cousin and her daughter joined us too) to see a cousin 3 states away, I knew the time had come to put my cloth diapering mettle to the test.  Would I travel with cloth diapers?

Given how sensitive my daughter is to disposable diapers, my answer almost immediately was yes.  Also, some of these family members had been part of a conversation that went a little something like "cloth diapers?  We'll see how long that lasts" and I saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate that we were doing very well cloth diapering, thankyouverymuch.

So, how many days are we going to be gone?  We're staying in a hotel room and there's no sign of a laundromat nearby?  How many diapers does she usually use a day?  I did all the calculations and decided how many I thought I needed.

I requested some advice from Jellybean Mama.  After all, it appears she drives from the Carolinas to Canada with her kid regularly, so she MUST have some tricks up her sleeve.  In her email she recommended to take twice the number of diapers and wipes as you think you will need.  I took her literally, and doubled the number.  That took us up to ... right about our entire diaper stash.
Too many to fit in that one tote.  Need a bigger tote bag.
Better, but they still don't all fit in there, either.  Gonna have to use both.

Doubling the number is easy when it's just another pack of slim disposables.  Cloth diapers take up space, yo. 

76 diapers in two totes.  I used just over half, I think, for the whole trip.
I packed most of the diapers in the "way back" and enough for the full drive through in the mondo diaper bag "up front".  I packed every wet bag we owned, plus the new one I had bought for the occasion.  At the beginning, I changed her every time we stopped, about every two hours.  After that first day, I relaxed on that.  On the way home I wanted her to sleep, so I put her in a massive nighttime diaper and let her ride.  You get into a groove for what works, and it will be similar to your normal routine.

So here's my advice:

Calculate the number of diapers you think you will need based on how many days you plan to travel, and how many diapers per day your babe uses.  I wouldn't exactly double that number, maybe one-and-a-half times is good.  If you have some backup prefolds/covers, take those.  They don't seem to take as much space as the pockets, and they'll do in a pinch if you do need to delve into your "extra" stash.

Make sure you have enough wet bag space, both in big ones (for the hotel room/guest room/camper) and small ones (for the travel/diaper bag).  You don't want to be lugging around your last four days' worth of diapers in your huge hanging pail because you didn't bring a wetbag for the diaper bag.  My big hanging pail holds 3-4 days, my medium hanging bag holds 3 days, plus the new bag, so I had plenty of hanging pail space.  Then three small bags for the "out and about" trips.

Use sposie wipes.  It's easier.  When you're at a rest stop on the side of the road, you don't want to have to find a water supply to wet your cloth wipes for the poo-of-the-century.  Unless you're very used to carrying your own wipes solution, and you have enough for your whole trip, sposie wipes are easier.

Scout out a laundromat as your "just in case" backup.  We did find a laundromat driving around the first night, and I kept it as a mental note in case I ran out or she started having poos that stunk up the van and they forced me out.  While I personally wouldn't find laundromat washing an ideal scenario, I knew it was there if I needed.  Also, the family we were going to visit said that I was welcome to wash diapers there if I needed to (once the surprise was out that we had arrived!)

Oxy-clean when you get home.  Normally I wash every couple of days.  After this trip, when I pulled the oldest diapers from the bottom of the bag, they were pretty musty and gross.  I just did a regular wash, then noticed they had the musty/almost-mildewy/stinky smell after she peed.  I put them all back into an oxy-clean soak and that killed it.

Honestly, I didn't find it cumbersome to cloth diaper while traveling.  Perhaps flying might have changed my approach (those two totes with the diapers were only a portion of all of the junk we packed into that van just for me and my girl).  Flying I might do more prefolds, which can lie flat in a suitcase and can take up less space than pockets, but I would need some microfiber for nighttime.

Think about how you normally cloth diaper, and then just think about how you'll need to alter that a little on the road.  It doesn't take much to be able to continue your cloth diapering routine, saving the planet and your baby's behind at the same time!

Thanks for coming by for Cloth Tushie Tuesday.  Have you ever traveled with cloth?  Thought about it?  Planning it?  Wouldn't do it on a dare?  Link up your post!

1 comment:

Serifm said...

We are planning to travel with cloth in April and I will definitely be coming back to this post. Side note: Your diapers are so pretty all lined up like that!