May 12, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane...with cloth diapers

This time of year, this is one of the questions we receive most often: Can we travel with cloth diapers and how?

The answer? Absolutely! Preparation and foresight is key. Here are some tips I've learned from traveling:

Plan around the use of washing machines. If you're staying in hotels, try to book a room in a hotel that has guest laundry (the self-serve kind). Only dry your inserts or prefolds. Hotel dryers can run VERY hot and may ruin snaps or PUL products (the waterproof fabric on your covers and diapers). Hang the covers and pockets to dry.

Take your own detergent. A baggie of your favorite detergent is worth the hassle. If you have liquid, pack it in your checked baggage so it's not confiscated at the airport. Double bag powders. If you have a bottle of detergent, put it in a baggie to contain any leaks.
If you have two pail liners, take them both. One can hold dirty diapers and the other can hold clean ones. One of our pail liners is a hanging pail liner (Doorknob Diaper Pail). At home, it's a liner for our plastic pail, but on vacation, we snap it around a doorknob or towel bar for an instant travelling diaper pail.

Take all of your diapers that fit. Every last one, even the ones you never use. You never know how long you'll need to go between washes and having extra diapers can really be beneficial.

If you fly, take 1/2 of your diapers in a carry-on and 1/2 in your checked luggage. If possible, spread them out to as many suitcases as possible, just in case a bag is lost.

If you can't find a washing machine, wash by hand. Most inserts will dry overnight, prefolds can still be used even slightly damp, and most covers and pockets will dry quickly.

For longer trips or trips totally without washing facilities, covers and flats are a great way to go. They are easily handwashed and dry very quickly.

We took a trip three years ago that really challenged our use of cloth diapers. First we had a 12 hour flight with two layovers, then a 3 hour drive, then an overnight stay where we washed diapers. Then an 18 hour car trip and a 3-day stay in the boonies. Almost broke down and bought disposables, but ended up finding a secret washing machine in the basement. Snuck in to wash diapers. Another 18 hour car trip, then a week at my Mom's with her machine. Then the flight home. We successfully cloth diapered the entire trip. During the long car ride, we had a huge bag of dirty diapers, but with the top twisted on our pail liners, no one in the van could smell a thing. Whew!

--Written by Heather at Cloth Diaper Outlet

May 11, 2010

Accidental Activist

When I started using cloth, it was for purely financial reasons. I'd toyed around with the idea throughout my pregnancy, but hadn't devoted any real thought to it - until, as I entered my third trimester, my husband was laid off of work. Living on only my income, with the "expense" column of our household budget set to explode, I looked for ways to lessen the blow as much as possible and lo! the decision to cloth-diaper was made.

Now, a year later, we've left the prefolds behind and use FuzziBunz exclusively. I no longer use cloth out of necessity, but out of preference; we've used disposables a handful of times (most recently on our 2-week trip to Mexico), and always return to cloth with a huge sigh of relief. Disposables smell terrible, they leak, they gap, I don't think they're as comfortable for my son as his super-soft diapers, and worst of all, he can get them undone on his own. Every time I hear about one of my friends' children getting their poopy diaper off, I am SO glad that I went with cloth!

But as much as I love cloth, even I was surprised when I began randomly telling people how great they were. Other parents at our church, long-time friends who are expecting, my entire Facebook network - pretty much everyone who knows us knows that we cloth diaper and love it. More than a few of my friends have at least tried cloth because of me; at least one is now a full-time CD mum. And just recently, I actually gave an expecting couple, who I'd never met before, a full FuzziBunz demo - right in the middle of the baby aisle at my grocery store. My love of cloth has turned me into a full-blown fangirl.

Those are amazing, they exclaimed. Where can I get them?

Well, let me tell you about this great online store...
--Written by Alannah F.