I know one of the things that often puts people off using cloth nappies is the thought of having to deal with them when you are out and about. Maybe you could be convinced to use cloth nappies in the house when you knew you weren’t going anywhere but don’t fancy the idea of having to bring your dirty nappies home with you when you’ve been out. Or even worse – what about using cloth nappies on holiday? Doesn’t that mean a lot of work when you should be relaxing?
Well, I thought I’d share our experiences of using cloth nappies on holiday and when we’re out for the day at home, because it really isn’t that difficult! I wrote last week about how we were coming away to the Lake District for the best part of a week and that I wasn’t sure whether to use our cloth nappies while we were there. We’re back home now and I’m happy to report we did use cloth nappies all week and it was really no more effort than it would be at home. It certainly didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t on holiday.
I made sure I did a nappy wash the day before we were going away so that most of our nappies would be clean and ready to use. As well as the clean nappies though, I also took our nappy bucket with the remaining few dirty nappies with us. There were a couple of reasons for this; firstly it meant we had all our nappies with us. We have enough nappies to wash every three days but if I left some at home then I would need to wash more often while we were away. Secondly, it meant I wasn’t leaving dirty nappies sitting at home for the whole week.
We then just used our nappies exactly as we would at home and I did two nappy washes while we were away. I probably could have managed just with one but the second wash meant I was bringing mostly clean, rather than mostly dirty, nappies home with us. The only tricky part was figuring out the right programme to use on a different washing machine to the one I’m used to. The first wash I used the machine to dry the nappies but it didn’t seem to have a low setting so I was a bit worried about damaging them. They were fine but the second time I just hung our all-in-one nappies on the clothes airer and only dried the night time bamboo nappies in the drier. I also took our washable wipes with us – it’s not much extra to take or wash and if we’re using the nappies we might as well use our wipes too.
The only thing that was a bit more difficult than at home was going for days out while we were away. We use cloth nappies all the time at home but even if I do take Toby out somewhere we’re only likely to need one nappy change at the most while we’re out. Cloth nappies definitely do take up more room in my changing bag than disposables would, but when I’m only carrying one it doesn’t matter too much. I have a couple of disposables in my changing bag too in case of emergencies but I have never had to use one yet! I have a small wet bag that I take few of our washable wipes in and then another zip up wet bag to put any dirty nappies and wipes in to bring home again. If we’re out all day then it does mean carrying more nappies so the changing bag can get a bit full, but other than that it really isn’t too much of a problem.
The only other small problem I have come across when using cloth nappies away from the house is when we have a dirty nappy and the baby changing facilities we are using don’t have a toilet. With our cloth nappies we always flush any poo down the toilet before putting the used nappy in the bucket to wait for washing. But if there is no toilet in the same place as the baby changing then there are only a couple of options; either put the dirty nappy, poo and all, in the wet bag and bring it home, wrap the poo in something and put it in the bin with the disposable nappies, or take the dirty nappy into the toilet afterwards and deal with it there. To be honest we have never actually had this situation but it is something I do worry about when it’s time for a nappy change out and about.
So, having said all that, if you use cloth nappies at home (or you are thinking about doing) then there really isn’t any reason why you can’t use them away from home too (as long as you can wash them – I’m not sure what you’d do if you were staying in a hotel with no washing facilities). Having this week in the Lake District has pretty much convinced me to take all our cloth nappies to France for our holiday at the beginning of next month. I know we have access to a washing machine and hopefully the weather will be nice enough that the nappies will dry quickly outside. I have taken advantage of some Real Nappy Week discounts to buy an extra night time nappy (we use the Tots Bots Bamboozle) and a few extra day time nappies too so I should be able to stretch the nappy wash to every four days rather than every three. And when it comes down to it, I love our cloth nappies, I know they work for us and I just don’t think I could bring myself to put Toby in a disposable now!
Have you ever used cloth nappies on holiday? I’d love to hear if you have any experience of using cloth away from home.