April 25, 2011

Cloth Diapers (and wipes!) on the Go!

Guest Post by Kate

Tips for packing your cloth-friendly diaper bag

I remember it so well; our first trip out of the house with our newborn. We were headed out to the hospital for his first well-baby appointment and I felt like I needed 3 hours to prepare for departure. In addition to making sure the car seat fit properly, that our son had been adequately nursed, making sure he wasn’t too hot, or too cold, or too anything, I remembered that I needed to pack the diaper bag. I was using cloth diapers, and cloth wipes, and the task at hand seemed daunting. After about 30 minutes of grabbing, packing and repacking, I was frazzled. I gave up, grabbed the spare disposable diaper and wipes, and ran out the door. We made the five minute drive to the hospital for the 10 minute checkup, and then returned home.  All that prep for about a 20 minute venture, and I was exhausted!

As a new mom, I was nervous leaving the house with my son—be it a five minute trip in the car or a walk to the coffee shop. Cloth diapers were still new to us, and at first we weren’t even sure what our diaper bag needed! But after a few trips out into the real world and some advice from good friends, we mastered the art of packing the cloth diaper bag. We don’t even have to carry disposable back-ups. Here a few tricks we learned along the way:

Pack your cloth diapers/covers/AIO (all-in-ones)/prefolds; and pack more than you think you’ll need!
    Every parent knows this; if you’re gone for an hour and bring one diaper, you’ll actually need 4. Be prepared.
      Pack your wetbag!
      You’ll need a place to store those lovely messes, and a wet bag provides the perfect storage. Wet bags are waterproof, washable, and close right up, making storage a cinch. Extremely versatile, these bags will serve you even when you’re no longer diapering your kids. We purchased a couple so that we always have a few that are clean. They fold up into the smallest of spaces when empty, making diaper bag prep simple and quick. Once you get back home, just throw the wet bag and contents into your diaper pail and it’s ready for wash.
        Cloth Wipes?  Check!
        When my son was brand new, we hadn’t figured out a good way to use cloth wipes in public. We were used to our all-natural solution to accompany the soft, organic wipes used for cleaning at home, but at first unable to transition those to the diaper bag. But we figured out a method that is easy and convenient, and now we never leave home without our cloth wipes (see below).

        Solution Time!
        Just because you’re leaving the house doesn’t mean you’re forced to use disposable wipes. My cloth guru girlfriend turned me on to squirt bottles; she fills them with the all-natural cloth wipes solution made at home (we use Baby Bum Drops) and sticks it in the diaper bag. When needed, just squirt the solution onto your cloth wipe and there you have it. Any liquid container will work: just fill before you leave and then moisten the
        wipe as needed when it’s changing time. Both wipe and dirty diaper disappear into the wet bag until you get home.

        Your sense of humor!
        Sure, this one is a little trickier to pack, or even remember, but as with every new experience with your little one, remember not to take yourself too seriously. I will admit that my son has actually worn a burp cloth under his diaper cover a time or two because mom wasn’t prepared when leaving the house. It happens! But he survived, and I learned to double check the diaper bag before leaving the house. Resourcefulness is just an added benefit of being a parent.

        Now, with my son almost a year old, leaving the house isn’t quite as daunting as it used to be. There are still days when actually getting out of the house seems to take hours, but not because of diaper bag prep. Follow this simple checklist and you’ll find that packing your cloth-friendly diaper bag is just as easy as cloth diapering at home; and who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire another parent while you’re out…

        Author's Bio:  Kate is a first-time, stay-at-home mom whose hobbies include learning something new everyday from her baby boy, creating delectable homemade baby foods, teaching cycle classes, trying to persuade her husband to become vegan, and of course, trying to change the world one cloth diaper at a time.


        Kate- I have to thank you! Your article (and Jenny Marvin) convinced me to start using cloth. I am in day 4 and loving it! And this article actually has answered a ton of questions for me about how to use the cloth wipes on the go- I kept wondering what the easiest way would be to do this. Thank you for saving my budget and the environment, one cloth-diaper-convert at a time!

        I am a new reader and have a question...when you have a dirty diaper on the go (a poopy one), how do you handle that until you get home? Do you dump the poop into the toilet and just put the diaper into the wet bag? And, what do you do with the cloth wipes afterwards? Thank yoU!

        Cloth wipes go right into your wetbag with the diaper ;)

        Now for my question: I use flushable liners for my daughter. If it's just pee I throw them in the trash.. But how do I handle solid poop on the go? I'd rather not have to disect my wetbag to get the poop nuggets before washing...