Travelling with a Child in Diapers

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Cloth diapers and trip to New Orleans

May 2009

My 15-month-old daughter is still wearing cloth diapers with wool covers most of the time although we have done pottying/elimination communication parttime with her since she was 2.5 months old. When we are very attentive, she can go diaperless and she will cue us before she needs to go. If she has had any wheat, she is ''incontinent''. When it's cold, we leave her in cloth diapers most of the day, and she doesn't cue as much. Anyways, we are going to New Orleans in June where the weather is 80-90 degrees and most likely staying in a hotel so laundering.... not sure.

What should we do about her diaper situation? It seems too hot to put her in diapers. I'm of half a mind to let her go about in training pants and deal with any misses as they come. We haven't done EC/pottying on the road before. I do not want to do disposables because she like me has sensitive skin and will get a heat rash in that kind of weather. (I am only looking for responses from people who have experience with cloth diapers or EC.) let the good times roll...

We also used cloth exclusively at home and out around town. But when traveling, we used disposables. I think dealing with messes when you're traveling are going to be a lot harder than at home because it won't be your floor, it'll be the hotel's carpet or the restaurant's or museum's or whatever. Do you know she'll get a rash? Most kids can (and do) wear disposables without any problems. Sarah

Hi fellow ec mama: I'm also ec'ing a 15 month old, with practice in hot climates, and we use cloth diapers for back ups. I suggest: first decide what your priority is: travel convenience or ec. If it's travel convenience - don't be afraid to switch to disposables while travelling (but change them as if they were feel-wet cloth.) Meanwhile, go nakey butt in the hotel room (bring your usual potties and clean up tricks.) If you get more comfortable, go with disposable trainers for outings. If your priority is ec, bring an assortment of cloth trainers, disposable trainers, and your usual overnight back-ups, and enjoy the local scene at the laudromat. Since the climate is warmer than you are used to, alos bring along a tube of vaginal miconazole in case your babe's bottom gets yeasty (a beefy red rash and you only use the cream where you see the rash.) That's it! ECing on the road is really fun - I hope you enjoy it! bac-out is my friend

My baby used Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers on a trip to India last May (110F.) We were told that cloth was better than disposables in the heat. I did take 7th Generation disposables along for times when we were away from laundry facilities. Worked great -- no diaper rash! Rasa

Maybe you can try cloth training pants with thick inserts. You'll have to wash at the hotel either way if you really can't do disposable. Or, try a laundromat near the hotel. clothdiapering family

We used cloth exclusively with wool (usually) or cotton covers for my son for the first year and a half. My son only pooped once every 7 to 11 days (seriously!) so it was no problem even when we travelled. I kept the peed diapers in a plastic bag till we got back to the hotel to rinse them. But, eventually, my son began to have more regular bowel movements and we ended up putting him in disposables when we travelled because I just began to feel too guilty about the sanitary aspects of hauling poop around with us-- especially after my son developed a little case of diarrhea and then my mother and best friend also did a short time later during our visit (and I had been using their bathroom's for a laundromat of diapers). At that point I decided to be more moderate about my diaper choices for the sake of everyone- and we allowed disposables to join the mix.

I didn't like the idea of it, but my son did fine in the disposables- in fact, I must admit, he actually can go much longer in a regular disposable without getting any diaper rash than in cloth (that chemical gel has a purpose). But we generally used Tushie's disposables (no gel, no bleach(wood and cotton), hardly any plastic except at the tab and not on the skin) and they were great.

I guess I am suggesting you give yourself more diapering options while you travel. Bring a few disposables, but also bring the potty trainers and the cloth diapers. If you have a long day out and about the disposables will really shrink your load. I would plan to put on the disposable during any times you might see some poop or could not manage a dress change! Use the trainers for when you are relaxed and can take a little extra time to change clothe. Swap it up as you need. Oh and If it's going to be really hot (not in A/C areas), I might also look into a trimmer diaper cover than the woolies- maybe like a g diaper cover- those are handy in the summer because thier bold cotton colors look like baby bloomers so that you can dress her in just those and a summer top. lola

First let me tell you that I have successfully potty training my two kids with EC and have done some traveling while in diapers.

I didn't get if you are traveling by air or car, So what comes to mind is to try again to use some disposable diapers,usually by this age they outgrow some skin sensitivity (my daughter was sensitive as an infant but not as much as a toddler) I'll get some pull ups, that way is easier for you. Actually the wool cover will keep her warmer.

I have the portable potty you can use just anywhere in the plane or car.Try to have her seat every 2 hours and I think since she's use to it she'll go. A pink potty works wonder too! You can build some excitement about it! Can you tell how often she needs to go? You can try to sit before you hit the road, or board the plane. In the road, you can lay a plastic bag and 3 cloth diapers in the car seat, and you can use 2 gerber training pants, with 2 it will absorb most of the pee. Also I did my own training pants, I sew more cloth from my cloth diapers into the gerber training pants, and that was what we used for some time. About poo does she have a schedule? If so, you'll have to stick to it or she might get constipated. In the hotel if you go with cloth, the training pants dry faster than the cloth diapers, actually the cloth diapers will never dry unless you dry them in the sun or dryer. WOW really lots of things come to mind,Please send me and e-mail if you have more questions. faby

We started part time EC with our daughter when she was 1 month old, #2's were fully in the potty by 4 months and she was fully potty trained at 15 months. She was similar to your daughter in her ability to cue. We waited till we went to Hawaii, a hot environment where we would be outside most of the time or there were would not be tons of carpet. She could run around diaper free and dry quickly or be in a bathing suit should she have an accident. She only had two accidents in the week we were there, both at the condo so easy to clean up and deal with. We made sure to be attentive and took her to the potty regularly. Sounds more troublesome than it really is. We had her in slightly padded underwear (the gerber 18mo were small enough), not pull-ups (note many of my friends who went the pull up way had trouble with their ECed kids). So going to the bathroom is quick and easy, no diaper or anything to deal with, just dropped her drawers and slapped her on. We did carry a baby bjorn toilet seat around in a backpack for her comfort. By the end of the week she was telling us no pee when we would try to take her at the hour then she would tell us she had to go within the following hour. After a week of being home she ran in from playing in another room to the potty announcing ''potty time!'' with glee.

Oh one note we did fly with diapers, just couldn't deal with the possibility of a squishy seat.

If you don't want to fully train then I would suggest bummis whisper wrap outers with the prefolds inside. They are very light, dry quickly, and breathe really well. Those are the ones I use on a regular basis and found my daughter was pretty comfortable even in the hot LA summer heat. lex

Camping and packing out diapers

April 2000

We're planning a 3-week canoe trip this summer, in the desert canyons of Utah, with our 2.5-year old. We've done such trips before, before my son's arrival, and he's done a lot of camping with us, so we've got most of the drill down. But I would love suggestions on what to do vis-a-vis diapers. We will not be anywhere near a trash can to throw out disposables (which we use now), so we'd have to pack 'em in and pack 'em out (yeck). However, using cloth could be difficult - we switched to disposables because he was getting all-body rashes from the cloth (probably from the relative roughness of the material, but we've never known for sure). A fairly brief period in cloth would probably be okay, but it would entail lots of washing, diaper-boiling, etc. He has used the potty a few times, but I'm not betting on him being trained by the time of our trip at the end of May. Any suggestions as to approaches to take? Anyone ideas or tips on how to make either kind of diaper work better for us? Chris

We took our 9-month old son backpacking for five days last summer, (with a little help from our 8 friends who helped us carry some of our share of community cooking gear, food and a small amount of our stuff). To answer the diaper question, of course one packs them in and out. But my husband cleverly let all the wet-only diapers completely dry out in the sun on a rock (anywhere from a half a day to a couple of days), which lightened them considerably. These were disposable diapers. Not to be too graphic, but you could also bury some of the baby poop properly, just the way you would your own, and then dry the diapers out. Needless to say, keep everything a distance away from your friends!

If you must take the cloth diapers, I know people who have taken a camping pressure cooker (available at REI) and boiled their diapers. But then you get into the trade-offs with fuel consumption and extra work, and potential pollution. Personally, I would use the disposable ones for any kind of trip like this. Have fun, Amelie