Traveling With Cloth

Posted 05-26-2011 at 10:23 AM by brewanothercup

Traveling with cloth can sound like a daunting task at first, but with some pre-planning it can be a breeze.  Here are some of my general tips based on a few of the trips we’ve taken:

1.) Over pack. I’m a notorious over-packer in general, so it’s hard when packing for myself and the baby trying not to overdo it. But, with diapers, you can’t. You’ll use them, and it is definitely better to be over-prepared than under in this scenario.  I suggest having enough for at least 3 days without washing, just in case. This goes for wetbags, too – I found that bringing 2 of our larger bags plus a medium sized bag was perfect.

2.) Pack wisely. If you’re taking more than one suitcase, split up the diapers. Bring more than you’d expect on the plane, because you can never predict what will happen diaper or lost luggage wise.

3.) Consider prefolds or fitteds. These dry faster since you can toss them in the dryer and don’t have to wait for things to air dry.

4.) Buy small sample packages of detergent to bring with you. Most companies make very affordable smaller sizes, which are perfect for traveling (and great to see if you’d like to try something new, too).

5.) Plan out laundry details before you go. If you’re staying with friends or family, you can easily use their machines (turns out I’m in love with my mother-in-law’s top loader!).  If not, see if the hotel has service you can use, or another alternative.  There are several websites and videos with tutorials on handwashing, too. Having an idea of how you’ll dry things is helpful as well.

6.) Consider a few disposable inserts. Many major companies make these (flip, grovia, etc.) and can be a convenient alternative; we bought a package but haven’t used a single one – cloth was very manageable while traveling for us.

7.) Be prepared to educate and share the cloth love! Lots of family members didn’t know we cloth diapered but were very curious as to how they work.  Educating the curious – and the potential diaper changers – will surely come up, but what a great opportunity.

Filed Under: General

Comments

16 Responses to “Traveling With Cloth”

  1. kathryn89122 on May 26th, 2011 11:01 am


    thank you so much! was wondering what i would do this thanksgiving when i go to visit family in east tx for the first time with our first LO. Thank you and God bless

  2. zandj on May 26th, 2011 3:21 pm


    Great article. Many are afraid to travel with cloth, for me it was always an excuse to get a place with a washer and dryer ;) over the last 3 years in cloth we’ve done a trips from the US to NZ 3 times with cloth and never regretted it for a second!

  3. LilRedRooster on May 26th, 2011 7:14 pm


    Loved this! I traveled with cloth and everything you pointed out was great! I found I spent a lot of time showing off the diapers, because people found them fascinating, haha. Totally manageable, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

  4. corrielainedd on May 27th, 2011 7:56 pm


    I traveled for 2 weeks to CO to visit my parents. I brought gdiaper’s, with some disposable inserts, and just bought more inserts when I got there with coupons. I would have prefered to have used real cloth, but packing 1 suite case for me and a toddler.. there was no room!

  5. Mamata3 on May 29th, 2011 5:03 am


    I will be going from Japan (military) to cali for 2 months, i have been stressed about bringing cloth with me. i hope it ends up being easy for me.

  6. ingodslove on May 29th, 2011 1:55 pm


    What about traveling with wool covers? Any ideas or tips? I’m new to wool and am planning a 10 day trip to AZ in Sept.

  7. sjberreth on June 2nd, 2011 8:32 pm


    I would consider something else besides wool for AZ in September. Your little one might get too hot. I had my daughter with me in Oct/Nov a few years back and it was still close to 100 degrees in the daytime.

  8. Catherine R. Hasselbring on June 3rd, 2011 11:16 pm


    I wouldn’t think trying a new soap would be a good Idea when on a trip. You never know if your LO will have a bad reaction to it.

  9. Nerissa on June 7th, 2011 5:55 am


    I agree with everything stated. We have taken many trips with cloth and never had a problem. If I know I wont beable to wash I rinse each diaper very well, put in wet bag and wash when we get home. PF are the easist, IMO.

    I would not try a new soap while traveling. That is just asking for disaster. Your LO could be sensitive to is or is could cuase build up ect. Bad, Bad sugestion

  10. JLenigan on June 7th, 2011 7:01 pm


    I love the idea of getting trial packages of detergant! I honestly didnt know how I was going to pack it! Thanks for the tip.

  11. mommatothreeunderthree on June 9th, 2011 3:03 pm


    Great advice. I have found CDing to be addictive…so I like taking them everywhere

  12. Mumof8 on June 10th, 2011 8:20 pm


    Has any one used a laundry mat on atria with cloth? Wondering about objections :)

  13. CarrieJ on June 12th, 2011 12:53 pm


    We just got back from a week-long vacation to the Outer Banks. It was the first time I was brave enough to bring the cloth diapers along and now I’m wishing I did in previous years too! They didn’t take up too much more room than disposables, and I just brought along an extra zipper wetbag to toss in the dirty ones. I brought along a clothes line and clothes pins and tied them to the railings under the deck, and it made the perfect place to hang clean diapers. And let me tell you – ocean air-dried diapers smell GOOD! :)

  14. RFsmom on June 21st, 2011 9:45 am


    @ CarrieJ – We are heading there this Sept for a week and I wanted to bring my stash along this time (We did a weekend stint in May & I resigned to using sposies bc I didn’t want to get home and not have any dipes to use.) I only have enough diapers to make it through 3 days (maybe)w/o washing, so I would definitely have to do a cycle or two while we’re there if I am going to make it all week. I have super hard water @ home and am worried about the difference in my washing routine down there since it usually seems to be a bit softer.

    I am surprised to hear that they dried in time by hanging them out under the deck since the air oceanside is sooooo humid. Were you staying somewhere off the water?

  15. yodaro on July 8th, 2011 5:18 pm


    We have done both, traveling with and without our stash of cloth diapers.

    For a week long trip from Los Angeles to New York we were able to cloth diaper all the time. For a 4 week stay in Europe we used hybrid diapers at the beginning but switched to disposables later on.

    Your advice to overpack is correct regarding cloth diapering but very cumbersome and expensive if you travel by air. Disposables are available anywhere and you don’t have to carry too much luggage around. Clever people travel light!

    For short trips such as weekend get-aways or visiting family where the amount of luggage does not matter cloth is ok. For any international trips I recommend to leave your cloth at home.

    My son is now 10 months old and we have been cloth diapering him since he was 2 months old. (We didn’t use cloth since birth because we got 2 months supply of disposables from the hospital and friends)

  16. lilmrsmchenry on July 13th, 2011 4:57 pm


    I just completed a cross country move with my cloth. I absolutely recommend flats if you are not sure about washing arrangements. They are pretty easy to wash by hand if needed, dry easily and since they don’t have layers, don’t really get the stinkies like others might if they sit a few days. Our 4 day drive turned into 10 when we had some car trouble on the way and I had no troubles with them. Another bonus is how trim they can be, I easily fit 4 dozen flats and 8 covers in a file box. This is about 5ish days worth of diapers for my 6 month old. I never had to worry about about running out.

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