Whether it’s a vacay or staycation many of us are committed to the cloth nappy life and don’t wan’t a little thing like a holiday to disrupt that. Shear determination, medical or ethical reasons, whatever the motivation, it CAN be done!
This is not to say that anyone who does want to use disposables while away shouldn’t, it is pretty much what they were designed for anyway. In fact, 31 years ago my Mum saved up to be able to afford disposables on holiday so she didn’t have to take the terry towels with her!
It all depends on the nature of your holiday…….. One of the first things I look for is whether the place I’m staying has a washing machine, it’s just habit now!
Let’s see what the right option for you is………
Carry on exactly as you would at home. Store wet and dirty (poo removed as much as you can) in an extra large wet bag or two. When you get home wash the nappies across two loads with plenty of detergent at 60 degrees after a rinse cycle or short cold wash.
Invest in Prefolds and Muslins to bulk out your stash and use inside wraps a few times before you need to change the wrap . If you have already used the wrap on your travels you can hand wash to allow you to use a second time with a different insert.
Buy some biodegradable soakers, for example Grovia Biosoakers. These will bulk out your stash and allow you to use wraps before changing. If you have already used the wrap on your travels you can hand wash to allow you to use a second time with a different insert. Dispose of the soakers responsibly.
Use the facilities to wash your nappies. If you see signs to say that washing nappies is prohibited (unlikely) ask staff if it acceptable to wash wet only nappies. Many campsites and similar accommodation would much rather you used and washed your cloth nappies than fill their bins with disposables!Remember the machine is going to be different to yours so check dosage and keep an eye on them.
Some things to keep in mind….
- If you will be spending time in water each swim nappy us one less nappy option
you need to factor in. Reuseable swim nappies can be hand washed/rinsed, dried and reused incredibly quickly and easily. Remember they are not absorbent!
- Your choice of nappy will make a huge difference, packing lots of All In Ones for example will not only take up lots of luggage space but will be a lot harder to hand wash if you need to. Two Part nappies with an insert and wrap take up much less space, are easy to hand wash and dry really quickly.
- Even if you don’t use them usually, disposable liners might be handy to deal with solids more easily when you are not changing baby near a toilet.
- Wet Bags are your friend! When you are packing store all clean nappies in an extra large wet bag, take another empty extra large wet bag with you. As you change nappies put the used ones in the empty bag and as one gets full the other empties. Take as many smaller wet bags with you as you can for changing out and about.
- Take pegs, a clothes line and your usual detergent with you if you plan on using
- Leave a couple of clean nappies at home to use on your return!
How to hand wash your wraps and pocket shells…..
Remember we are not trying to wash anything absorbent so we don’t need to worry about detergent build up or any unseen yuckiness. We just want to remove any urine or faeces if you are unlucky from the surface to get another use out of them before you get home.
If you have access to a bath, that is perfect. A sink or bucket will do the job but you might need to do a few batches at a time.
Step 1. Rinse. Use a shower head, a jug or sluice in the bath or sink.
Step 2. Scrub. Use soap, shower gel, shampoo it doesn’t matter too much. You don’t need to use a lot at a time.
Step 3. Rinse. Get rid of all the suds. If sluicing you might need to change the water a few times.
Step 4. Wash. Fill whatever vessel you are using with water as hot as you can manage to have your hands in. Add some detergent, they usually give hand washing dosages. Give the wraps a really good sloshy wash. Rub things together and agitate as much as possible.
Step 5. Rinse. Last rinse to remove suds.
Step 6. Wring out and hang to dry. On a nice day this won’t take more than a few hours maximum.
For peace of mind you’ll naturally want to give everything a really good ‘strip’ wash in your washing machine when you get home but this method will definitely give you a clean wrap or shell to use again.
Et voila! You have successfully achieved a great holiday and used cloth nappies on your little one throughout! You’ve continued to achieve all the environmental and lifestyle benefits you were at home! Give your self a BIG pat on the back and here’s 100 golden cloth nappy points for normalising cloth nappies!