10 tips to Cloth Diapering on the Road

I have 3 daughters, Rainey, Breeze and Aspen. All of whom have been cloth diapered since birth to potty trained (Aspen is still in diapers).  However, with my first 2 we were more stationary. In one location. With the birth of our 3rd baby (9 years after our 2nd) things had changed. We became a vagabonding family prior to her birth! We had used Michigan as our home base the first year we went on the road, then Florida then Nevada. But these are just “home bases”. Aspen was born in May 2015 and 3 days after her birth we hit the road on a cross country cycling trip from Canada to Florida- 1800+ miles. Her and I in the minivan following Scott and the 2 older girls as they cycled. YES, she was 3 days old! Plus, in the near 11 months of her life she has been in at least 25 states and flown on 15 planes. So, I have traveling with cloth diapers DOWN! None of my girls have ever used disposables.

So here is what I have learned about clothing diapering on the road and hopefully, even if you are taking a weekend trip, you can find some advice that will help you in your journey.

Aspen, Olympia WA April 2016
GroVia ONEs

1) Breathe…. It is not THAT hard… promise!

2) Keep it simple. When Aspen was born we had it all, and the van was loaded up with prefolds and Rumparoos covers as our main go-to. But, she leaked everything. I started off the cycling trip hauling an array of diapers. From pockets to prefolds to fitted and so on. It was a mess of a system. We changed over to GroVia hybrids and that work ok until the dryer incident (I will cover that a bit father down in IMPORTANT #2 in section #6). We now use GroVia ONEs exclusively.

3) When you call to book your hotel ask if they have a washer and dryer. I have found, after spending nearly 50 straight nights in a hotel, that Hiltons nearly always have a washer and dryer.  Rooms typically run around $100 a night and they are clean hotels and I don’t have to hunt and sit at a laundromat.

Diaper day at a hotel
Diaper day at a hotel

4) Bleach is ok. Seriously, I have tried a lot of stuff to get stink out- and bleach, just a little, and it prevents the drama of stink and that is one less thing you need on your plate. If you are going for a quick weekend/week trip, don’t sweat it. If you are living on the road or looking at a 10+ day trip, get you some when you get to your destination. Don’t want that spilling in luggage! Some laundromats sell single packets for $1.

5) This could be the best “sanity saving” tool ever! Get a cart. Seriously. It not only makes traveling in airports with diapers so much easier, it saved my life on our bike trip when I had a newborn and luggage to get into a hotel room all by myself.

6) Laundromats: I am giving this it’s own little section because I have a few things to say!
– First thank God for laundromats! Seriously! And the ability to buy detergent on the road for $1.
– There are places where laundromats have signs that you can not wash human waste. I only saw one sign and after I had already washed my diapers. I think it is a big deal in places like Oregon, or at least I heard this from my Grandma that signs are all over their laundromats- but I didn’t see it. I find it funny too- because in places like Oregon, they are so natural and hippie, but yet are against cloth diapers. The irony.
IMPORTANT #1– When washing diapers at a laundromat be HIGHLY aware of what is left in a washer. I was in Reno, NV and tossed in my diapers and didn’t check. Someone had left an ink pen in the washer. My diapers, although functional, were ruined visually.
IMPORTANT #2– Reno, NV was just a bad day to wash diapers… So after the above insistent with the ink pen I tossed my diaper in a dryer on high. BAD MOVE! All my covers melted… like- a total disaster. I mean melted! I had maybe 3 covers that were functional enough to get me to Petaluma California later that day where I spend nearly $300 replacing my whole system after a deep discount from the store (this is where section 2 comes in and my first introduction into GroVia ONEs).

My melted covers
My melted covers



7) Truth time… I use disposable wipes. The Naturals 99.9% water kind and here’s why…. I was having a dang time on the bike trip with cloth wipes. She would run our quick, or I would be pouring water on dry ones.  They were freezing or got musky. I just couldn’t win. So, it is what I do- and I am ok with that!

8) The poop! What about the poop? Well truth be told she just started getting more chunky poo. She is just starting to eat a bit more solids daily. So, I just take a wipe and wipe what I can and call it good. It is what it is. I have thought about getting the GroVia liners, buuuttttt…… they are like $8 for 100 and she doesn’t poo every time but yet I would need a liner in just in case every time and that is just one more thing I have to haul and order and haul and order. So, we just deal. I never had a sprayer with the older girls and I lived.

9) Sometimes you have to be creative. I have hung my diaper covers to dry on a bike rack, over bunk beds, sprawled out on our dash and laying in the grass. Life isn’t always perfect, so you have to find quick solutions.

Diapers on the bike rack
Diapers on the bike rack

10) When on a plane what to do? All airlines allow you take a diaper bag for your baby free. So, I take all her diapers on a carry on- we have 24 GroVia ONEs. And I take a few of my large wet bags and tuck them inside.  You never know if that day will be a 5 diaper day or a 10, so I just take them all. I keep 2-3 (depending on the flight time) in my purse (large bag) under the seat plus wipes and put the rest in the overhead. Also I keep one change of clothes in my purse.  But I NEVER check on my diapers. I would freak an ever loving house if they got lost.

We love our cloth and are totally committed to them. As far as the GroVia’s we use, we find they never leak and work great for night time. They are a bit bulky, but I will take that for my sanity!

Happy cloth butting! 😀

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