Diaries Magazine

Cloth Nappies 101: Getting out and About with Cloth

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Cloth nappies 101: getting out and about with clothThis is now part 4 of my mini series on using cloth nappies. So far we've covered why you might want to use them, how to build a stash, and how to wash and care for your nappies. Today's post is all about how to get out and about with cloth. Several people I've spoken to in the past have said they don't use cloth when they go out, or when they travel, so I'm hoping today's post will convince you it's not that difficult at all.
The first thing you need to make sure that getting out with cloth is easy is a wet bag. This will be somewhere to store your dirty nappies while out, and once you get home you simply top it's contents into your home wet bag/bucket. I have a small and a medium wet bag for going out. If I'm just out for an hour or two I take my small wet bag, which will hold a few nappies, but if I'm out all day I take my medium which will hold a whole days worth. I also find it handy having the two wet bags so I can wash one and have the other ready to go.
Other than the need for a wet bag, using cloth when you are out is simple. You pack the number of nappies you think you'll need, change as normal when out, but instead of leaving the nappy behind you take it home again. It always makes me feel good that I leave a changing area without leaving anything behind. I use disposable liners, so if we have a poop incident when out and about, the liner just gets flushed down a public toilet, and the nappy thrown into the wet bag as normal.
Cloth nappies do take up slightly more space than disposables in a nappy bag, but there are lots of slim options which people like to take out and about - Flips are an example of a nappy which is often recommended for change bags.
That said, if you prefer to use disposables when out, then that's OK too! Different systems work for different families, but if you give cloth a go you might just be surprised at how easy it is.
As Simon's family live in England, we go over to visit once very few months, and have also been on trips away to a wedding and to London. The thought of traveling with cloth nappies was very daunting at first, but now I've done it, I can tell you it really isn't as awful as you'd think! That said, when we are at Simon's parents we have access to a washing machine which makes it easy. If you don't have that, it might make life more difficult, and a halfway point might be your best bet.
I have found there are 2 parts to traveling with cloth nappies: 1// making sure your nappies are clean  and dry, ready to pack and go 2// using them while away.
1// when I am going away, I want to take enough nappies to last me for 3 days, so I can wash every 2 days and have the 3rd day of nappies to wear while they dry. This means I like to take around 15-20 nappies away with me. That means I need to have 15-20 nappies dry and clean, and ready to pack, which is trickier than it sounds if you don't have a huge stash. To do this, I wash two nights before I leave, and from then in I only use nappies I don't want to take with me - usually prefolds. I then wash these nappies the morning we leave, and leave them to dry when we are away (ready to use when e get home) The nappies I previously washed are then dry and ready to pack the morning we leave. Nappies take up around half our suitcase, but I am pleased to report we always have space left over in the suitcase, even with the nappies!
2// I use my normal nappies to travel and just pop them into the wet bags I take as we go, then wash at Simon's parents as normal. I always end up bringing home a wet bag of dirty nappies, which isn't a whole pile of fun to have to tend to when we arrive home, but I suppose it's no worse than any other unpacking.
However, if I am going to go somewhere without a washing machine (as I did when we went to London for 3 nights) I have to do something else as I simply don't have enough nappies (or space!) to pack 30+ nappies for that time. So, instead, I use disposable inserts in my cloth nappies - a halfway solution. I use Flip disposable inserts, which have no plastic in them and so can even go on a compost heap as they are biodegradable! They sit inside my Flip covers, and I just toss them in the bin and put a new one in the same cover when I change her. This means I can go for a few days using "half" cloth nappies without having to use disposables. These sort of disposable inserts are a great idea if you are going away and don't have a huge number of nappies, or won't have access to a washing machine, and there are lots of brands to choose from which would probably work in any nappy wrap.
Cloth nappies aren't just for using at home, they are really easy to use when out, or when away from home, too. The key is to have a few wet bags, and be really organised before you leave for a longer trip. If you use cloth nappies but haven't tried them while out, give them a chance and see how you get on - what's to lose?
Last up in this series is a bit of a pick and mix of  things which didn't seem to fit anywhere else!
Don't forget to enter my competition to win £60 of Ecoegg goodies here!

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