May 16, 2012

Our week in --*gasp*-- disposable diapers!

Last week our family was privileged to take a family vacation.  We flew out of town and stayed in a hotel for 4 nights and 5 days.  And, as with any long trip, the question came we take our cloth or use disposables?

Always before, with either of our children, we've taken our cloth diapers.  We once traveled for 2 weeks with cloth with our daughter.  Last spring, when our son was 8 months old, we were gone 9 days with hybrid diapers (a cloth cover and a disposable insert).  So you can say I've done it all...except, that is, disposable.  I've actually never traveled with disposable diapers.  For a lot of reasons, that's what I chose to take this time.  Here's my story...

The night before our trip, I put Colby to bed in a disposable diaper, the first he's worn since he was in the hospital at birth.  I washed all of our cloth and dried them so that no diapers would sit dirty or wet while we were gone.  The next morning, at 3 am, I woke Colby to get him ready for our trip.  And for the first time ever, he was soaked from his armpits to his knees.  We've NEVER had a nighttime leak with cloth diapers.  But this disposable (a major brand beginning with P. And ending with pee, as it turned out.) leaked everywhere.  I had a moment of panic...this was what I'd packed for 5 days, what if they didn't work?

I put him into his next diaper and got him ready.  At the airport, he blessed us with his morning poop.  I changed him and discovered that if he'd sat down, the poop would have gone right out the diaper, it was that close to leaking.  And, holy cow!  Disposables don't have any elastic whatsoever at the back of the diaper.  Whoa.  LOL  It's clearly been a while since I've used a disposable diaper!  So far, I wasn't impressed.

We continued with our trip, arrived at our destination, and sure enough, Colby was wet again.  His shorts were damp from another leaky disposable.  He's not a heavy wetter, one insert in a pocket works just fine for him.  But these disposables...did I buy the wrong size?  And what was with all the red marks?  Poor little guy had red creases in his thighs from the diapers.  I didn't have them on too tight, but the elastic left some mean-looking marks, though the marks did fade within a few minutes if he didn't have a diaper on, so they weren't really worrisome.  We don't have that problem with our cloth diapers.

Just for fun, because he's cute!
Thankfully, that was the last of the leaking and we did just fine the rest of the trip.  I have to admit, throwing away the dirty diapers was nicer than toting them home with us (though I've never minded doing that).  Our son has some of the most awful poopy diapers, I was actually pretty happy to throw them away for a few days!  It was also nice that I could tuck 6 diapers into a small pocket on the stroller, leaving the bottom free for jackets and sunscreen.  Usually, that space is full of diapers, wet bags, and wipes.  And at the end of the trip, I came home with no dirty diapers and to a dryer full of clean cloth.  However, I couldn't wait to get Colby back into cloth.  I put away the last 4 or 5 disposables that we had left, maybe we'll use them someday, maybe not.

Considering I literally threw away $9 in diapers (and another $2 in wipes) it was an eye-opening week.  But I think of it this way: I paid $11 to not have to worry about diapers on our trip.  And it was worth it.  But week after week after week?  That adds up to a lot of money!  Just one year of disposables at that price is $ could buy some really nice cloth diapers with that!

I'm a die-hard cloth diaper user, hardcore to the max.  I take cloth camping, I take cloth on long trips, I adamantly use cloth even when there are easier options.  So what's my take on disposables?  Like every disposable item, they have their times when the convenience is worth it.  Paper plates are great for picnics, plastic grocery sacks are perfect for cat litter, and disposable diapers are nice for traveling.  But take extra clothes, you just might need them.


Great perspective, Heather. I have not missed the up-the-back-poop-blowouts we had with disposables one bit! Those were HORRIBLE!!! And, yes, we went through lots of extra clothes. I think I might even do less laundry with cloth than I did with disposables... it takes a lot of loads to get poop out of clothes. :)

If you need to use sposies again for any reason (traveling is usually when we are most on the fence!) you can always put a diaper cover over it for extra protection against leaks! After we had a MAJOR poop explosion on a road trip in a sposie (I'm talking out the diaper, out the leg of his shorts, and ALL OVER THE CAR SEAT! And it was a FOUL smelling one! Truly en epic mess) anytime we have to use one, I put a Grovia cover over it just in case ;) (Any cover would work, obviously, but the trimmer covers fit better since sposies are much thinner than most diaper inserts!)

Thank you for this! You actually made me feel better about using disposables for an upcoming trip we have where we will be gone for a week and a half! I have the option to do laundry on this vacation but I know my routine at home and I don't want to have to try to figure out a routine with a strange washer and dryer and strange water. It's vacation I keep telling myself. I will however have a cloth swim diaper. :)