The holiday season is finally here and it’s time to start packing! But what about the nappies? If you use cloth nappies you might be considering whether or not to bring them on holiday with you. Can you? Is it feasible? Or should you admit defeat and bring your disposables.
The summer is here (sell sort of in the UK) and we are going off on holidays, home and abroad and deciding whether to take our reusable nappies with us.
Well you can. I did last year in Portugal. As long as you have a washing machine, the hot weather will dry them super quick, so that you only need a few days worth of nappies with you. They will take up less luggage space than a week or two’s worth of disposable nappies too.
If you use a two part system like Bummis Duo Brites, then one wrap will last 3 uses (only once overnight), so you can take less with you and have less to wash. After all it is a holiday, so you don’t want to spend ages on washing instead of enjoying yourself!
If your holiday involves staying in a hotel or somewhere with out washing facilities, then you can get Hybrid systems, where you get a reusable wrap (easily cleaned in a bathroom sink and quick to dry) and can use a disposable pad. This way you are not completely going to using disposable nappies. Flip, make such a system and the wraps can then be used when back home over your other nappies or with their own reusable pads.
Don’t forget about reusable swim nappies too. A couple of these should work for a holiday depending on how much time you will be spending by a pool/beach. Not only do they come in pretty designs but they can work out cheaper than using disposable ones. Swim nappies (both disposable and reusable) are only designed to catch poo not wee. You can use these for your trips to swimming pools and lesson back home too but remember that some pools and swim schools in the UK will ask you to use two nappies, with one being a Happy Nappy.
Can you take real nappies on holiday?
The basic answer is definitely ‘yes,’ but it depends on several factors.
Firstly where you’re going and how long for, secondly the age of your child(ren) and finally whether or not you have access tp a washing machine or washing facilities where you are going.
If we were traveling, we would use disposable nappies sometimes and reusable nappies other times — it all depended on the activity and the location of where we were staying. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my reusable diaper packing list, as well as some tips for using reusable nappies while on vacation.
I hope that these suggestions will reassure you that you are not required to switch to disposable nappies whenever you are away from home and that it is actually very simple to continue using cloth nappies while on vacation, regardless of whether you are staying in a luxurious resort, a tent, or a Booking.com! Many of us are devoted to the cloth nappy lifestyle and don’t want a minor event such as a vacation or a staycation to throw a wrench in our plans. Whatever the incentive, whether it’s sheer willpower, medical need, or ethical considerations, it CAN be done!
Best Nappies to bring on Holidays
What you already have and prefer are the ideal cloth nappies to bring with you on your trip. However, if you have a wide selection, you don’t want to bring them all so choosing the best type is critical.
In order to avoid wasting valuable packing space and incurring additional baggage fees, you must also avoid running out of nappies. It is therefore critical that you calculate this correctly! The most space-saving and lightest reusable diaper solutions are two-part nappy systems and one-size all-in-two reusable nappy systems. The inner absorbent material can be changed while the waterproof wrap can be reused up to a maximum of three times, on average. If you don’t have access to a washing machine, these nappies are much easier to wash by hand than other types.
Some nappies are better than others for traveling with, and if you have something like the flip nappy system then it’s very easy to get their biodegradable inserts to take on holiday with you. You don’t want to waste valuable luggage space on nappies, especially if flying and only allowed hand luggage so you can see if there are local suppliers who can deliver them directly to your hotel.
Being space efficient with your nappies is vital so go for the slimmest ones you can. Also, if going to a hot country a thick nappy might cause heat rash or in the very least be a bit heavy in the heat.
What are the washing facilities like?
If you don’t have access to a washing machine, then you will either need to go with a hybrid nappy solution or hand wash. You can do a nappy wash by hand.
If it’s only a short trip and there are no washing machines you can always take dirty nappies home in large wet bags. Or check out local garages or laundrettes where you be able to clean nappies in coin-operated machines which are becoming more popular.
Is there a washing line or somewhere for hung nappies to go? Does the facility have a tumble dryer?
How often will you wash on holidays?
Our recommended wash routine is every 2-3 days and you probably don’t want to deviate too much from this on holidays.
If you are going somewhere hot, leaving soiled nappies baking in a bag somewhere is NOT ideal! Also, in very hot countries they will dry really quickly so you can get away with much less as the turnaround on drying times will be dramatically reduced.
Don’t let washing nappies take over, you can always get a few disposables when you are there if you are having too much fun and don’t want to leave the pool to wash!
How many nappies on holiday?
It is recommended that you bring enough nappies for two days of use. To wash more or less frequently, simply adjust the amount of water to your desired level of cleanliness. If you don’t have enough reusable diapers to fill a complete washing machine load, keep in mind that you can add other items, such as soiled clothes, to the temperature wash to make up for it.
Extra inserts are always useful to give you extra nappy options. Again, natural fibres might be more suited to hot weather.
What else should I bring apart from cloth nappies?
Remember to include a wet bag or two to store dirty nappies – this is especially important if you are going on a short weekend trip and will be cleaning the ordinary cloth nappies once you return home.
A large wet bag should hold about 10 nappies.
Bring your own detergent (or buy detergent some while you’re there) if possible. The place might offer washing powder but you may not know the brand and it might be an all in one containing fabric conditioner. Before you do your first nappy wash in strange washing machines you might want to do a machine maintenance wash on it first and clear out any detergent build up in the pipes! Then proceed to do your usual nappy wash.
Bring your paper liners or fleece liners with you on the holiday. Check if the place you have has a line or things like pegs to dry them!
Don’t forget your changing mat and perhaps a swim nappy!
Cloth wipes! Don’t forget your reusable baby wipes which will come in very handy for all sorts
Night nappies. Three should be ideal.
What about camping with cloth nappies – no washing machine?
Camping and Glamping are becoming increasingly popular as a fun alternative to traditional lodging options such as Airbnbs and cottages.
However, not all campgrounds will have access to a coin-operated washing machine, so check with the campground before you arrive.
Using reusable nappies is still possible; all it takes is a little foresight and the willingness to do the handwashing. All you’ll need is a bucket and a plunger, which will come in handy later on.
A cold pre-rinse/wash followed by a warm wash with a non-bio detergent is recommended (commonly recommended by manufacturers to use non-bio powder rather than liquid detergent). By agitating the water, you can assist the nappies in blending more effectively with the detergent, as has been done traditionally with textiles. It is possible to learn how to wash reusable nappies by hand.
I hope you have learned a lot about how to use cloth nappies on holiday. Check your washing facilities, bring two-piece nappies which are slim and opt for a hybrid like flip which gives the best of both worlds! Don’t forget your accessories and of course swimwear if going to a beach or pool! Most of all, have fun and don’t stress over nappy washing!
This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.
Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).