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Traveling with cloth diapers.

May 21, 2013

So you’re strolling down the beach. You lean down to scoop up a perfect sand dollar and oh oh EW! There’s a discarded disposable diaper laying on the sand right next to it! Blech! Vacation time doesn’t mean we need to resort to making more garbage. Abby of Baby Bird’s Farm guest blogs for us about traveling with gDiapers and cloth diapers, cause hey, we think there should be more sand dollars and less diapers left on beaches.

Traveling with Cloth Diapers or Hybrid Diapers?

My family and I just enjoyed a quick family trip out of town. It is getting to be summer and a great time for traveling and visiting family. I imagine others will be planning summer travel soon and wanted to share some tips on how to travel with cloth or hybrid diapers. Traveling with hybrid diapers is super convenient, and with these tips, traveling with cloth diapers may be easier than you think.

If you saw my posts on getting started with cloth diapers or composting diapers, you know that we are big fans of using reusable diapers at home. Many parents wonder what to do, however, when getting on the road. Disposable diapers are convenient, sure, but we still had concerns about using them traveling, including the environmental impact, the cost of buying a product you use once and then throw away, and increased diaper rash. We found using the gDiapers hybrid diaper system away from home surprisingly easy! So far they have joined us on numerous long weekend trips and a three-state, two-week journey last summer. Here are some of my tips.

Plan ahead.

If you will be staying with friends or family, ask them ahead of time if they would mind if you washed cloth diapers in their washing machine. So far no one has turned us down, but we also let them know that we wouldn’t mind using disposables if they did. Tip: I brought a small amount of our dye- and perfume-free detergent with me.

If you will be needing a hotel, consider getting a vacation rental instead. We LOVE vacation rentals for the privacy, kitchens and amenities–not to mention value. So far we have stayed in a condo right on the beach in Florida, cabins in Big Bear, and (for our honeymoon) an amazing house in Bali. Two websites I have had luck on are and  Just make sure the property you are considering has a washer and dryer. You will want it for laundry anyway. :)

Use disposable inserts.

At home we use gDiapers cloth inserts during the day and disposable inserts for sleep. For long car rides and flying, we also like to use the disposable inserts. They hold more, can be changed less often, and can conveniently be tossed in the trash when done.

Even if you use strictly cloth at home, consider trying a gDiapers disposable insert in your pocket diaper for travel. Although the fit is maximized for gDiapers, I’ve heard other families use them with other brand cloth diaper covers with success.

For a long trip (4-5 days or longer)…

… I liked setting up a mini diaper changing station, just like at home, with cloth diaper wipes and diaper area spray. I brought our waterproof laundry bags and washed the diapers every few days. I also liked packing all of the clean cloth diapers and wipes in a clean laundry bag for travel days. It made the suitcase a little more organized.

For a short trip…

…cut yourself some slack! On our last 2-night trip it just seemed easier to use a mix of gDiapers disposable inserts and completely disposable diapers (in our case, we like Huggies Pure and Natural) instead of taking our cloth diapers traveling. We also made it easy with disposable wipes. Hey, it’s vacation!

*gDiapers’ note – While we agree that parents should not feel guilty about their choices, it’s good to note that disposable diapers like Huggies Pure and Natural are not completely disposable at all, since they will never ever ever go away. On another note, use gPants without an insert for a swim diaper! One less thing to pack. 

swim diaper

About the author – When not babywearing while composting Abby (also known as Mama Bird) can usually be found in the kitchen. Or blogging at Baby Bird’s Farm and Cocina where she shares adventures in natural parenting, urban homesteading and seasonal cooking. She and Papa Bird are proud parents to a 16-month-old girl and to a twinkle in the eye. She works part time as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Join the Baby Birds Farm community on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or by subscribing to the blog.

7 thoughts on “Traveling with cloth diapers.”

  1. We did an 18 day roadtrip from Cleveland to Denver and back with our son who turns 3 tomorrow exclusively in gDiapers with the flushable inserts. The design of gDiapers covers is great for this, if they need washing it is easy to hand wash them in the hotel sink and hang them to dry. They were usually dry the next morning after hanging over the shower rod overnight. I wash them in the unscented castile soap that I bring as body wash for the family (I’m allergic to the perfumes in soaps). I reuse an old baby medicine dropper bottle to keep this soap in my purse and diaper bag. We took about 8 gPants, a dozen snap-in liners, and set out with one bag of inserts since we knew there were Babies R Us stores that carry them along our route. I have my 3rd gBaby asleep in my lap as I write this (he turns 6mo on Saturday and has never had anything other than a gDiaper on him, same as his elder brother who used hand-me-down gPants from HIS elder brother who was in gDiapers once his umbilical cord fell off – tiny size didn’t exist back then 😉 ). I have done several road trips exclusively in gDiapers, including back when the gPants had a moisture barrier in the “old style” (and we’re reusing those on the youngest too – they’ve held up very well!), without ever having to resort to buying disposable diapers. At home, we use prefolds in the gPants due to heavy wetters that flood the gCloth. Nights can be totally reusable for us with a gCloth on top of a prefold!

  2. Great tips. We use the gDiapers disposable inserts and have taken several week long vacations using them without any problems. If staying in a hotel pack extra liquid soap (laundry detergent, dish soap, or baby wash) to hand wash liners and spot clean gPants in the sink or tub. They will dry quickly hung over a towel bar or shower rod. Also, take at least two wet bags: one for dirty wet which can be washed when you get back to the hotel and one for use while that is drying or for packing almost dry clean gPants & liners when you’ve got to pack up before they’re completely dry!

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