Many parents who attend our workshops want to know how to use cloth diapers when they are away from home. They can visualize how the system would work at home, but out and about or more far fetched – away on holiday or camping? How does that work??
It can be done! Here are our best tips for daytrips & outings, vacations and camping.
Daytrips and Outings: Not hard – at all. And you don’t need to bring a suitcase of stuff. What’s in our diaper bag? We carry 2-3 one step diapers (pre-stuffed pocket diapers or all-in-one diapers), a travel case of cloth wipes, a bottle of water (to drink or use on the wipes) and a wet bag to carry home the diapers we take off our little one.
Vacations: If you have access to a washing machine, whether it be in-suite, in building or at a laundry mat, cloth diapering can be done. Consider how often you can access the washer and then bring enough diapers to get you through. So you may only need one day’s worth of diapers or you may need three. Store your dirties in a drawstring diaper pail liner for easy transport and containment. Use flushable liners for poop management.
Camping: You can handwash your diapers and hang them to dry – we’d recommend a prefold diaper or pocket diaper system with this scneario, though. All in ones are best left to a washing machine’s skilled agitation to get really clean. Another alternative is to use a compostable gDiaper insert in one of your pocket diapers. This would allow you to use your pocket shell as the cover and either lay a gDiaper insert inside the diaper or stuff it inside. We have had good results with laying the gDiaper insert inside of the AMP Duo or stuffing it in the Duo or bumGenius Pocket. With this method you toss or bury the insert (use common sense, please, not by a water source and don’t throw in an outhouse) and all you have to rinse/wash is the pocket shell. There is minimal hand-poop contact if you use the insert on top of the diaper shell instead of stuffing it inside.
We get asked a lot about them, especially at our workshops. They are alluring…the promise of cloth (ie reduced enviro-guilt) without dealing with the poo because you flush it. Or without dealing with the pee diapers because you compost them. And they are darned cute…who can argue with that?? But are they all they are cracked up to be? Read on for our thoughts.
So we decided to give them a whirl – in the name of research. And to look at cloth reusable options for parents who have bought the system but no longer want to go back again and again to re-purchase the refill pads. They really add up ($0.50-$0.75 per pad).
the cute factor is definitely there
they are relatively easy to put on with velcro closures and seemed to fit my 11 week old and my 25m old well with respect to the liner coming in good contact with their skin – the elastic waist was a bit tight in order to get a good fit with the liner (left marks on their tummy)
You get two covers with the starter kit ($35) but more than two covers are needed otherwise re-loading the diaper takes a lot of time – if you had more – you could keep them pre-loaded and that would be handy
there is lots of “post diaper change” time commitment – you don’t get to just toss in the diaper pail – you must find a garbage to toss or go to the toilet, rip, swish and then flush (at least once)
they are NOT toddler proof with rear closures – velcro in any direction can be ripped apart (as I found my toddler running around starkers!)
with only one 11week old poo, the waterproof liner was stained as the poo did not stay on the pad
we were not flushing – I was way too worried about a steep plumber’s bill if I clogged the toilet – so had to deal with the poopy diaper – this involved waaaaay more poo-hand contact than cloth diapering
the flushable inserts bunched up in my toddler’s diaper leaving her delicate diaper skin smooshed up against the waterproof material of the liner
the flushables were reasonably absorbent, even for my toddler’s night time
11week old poo does not get absorbed into the pad like it does into cloth = more poo to clean off cheeks (IMO, the less, the better!)
Conclusions: cute, more work than cloth (even with the washing workload of cloth – at least its all condensed into one go, not at every change) would be good alternative for times where you can’t use cloth (ie no washer when camping, travelling), more work at the diaper change time than cloth, still need to wash the covers. A very expensive option – do you like to flush or compost you $?? Cost comparison here.
Findings: we discovered some great options for cloth inserts if you have the system but don’t want to use the expensive flushables all or any of the time. Stay tuned…