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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Traveling With Your Cloth Diapered Baby

'Tis the season to travel!
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To travel with your cloth diapered baby you will need detergent, a storage solution, flushable liners, and a place to wash your diapers.   
You don’t want to be without a cloth friendly detergent option when you need it, or be stuck with buying a far too large amount of detergent for the time you’ll be away. I find that packing away pre-measured snack bags of my homemade powder detergent is a simple and mess free solution to the problem. Options like soap nuts and Nellie’s Laundry Nuggets (which are cloth diaper safe) are a compact way to carry detergent along as well.

For storing used diapers on the go, have several wet bags that you can drop off dirties into in the car or your hotel room. You can also use gallon size Ziplocs as a cheap alternative, simply turn them inside and wash them so that you can get the most out of their use. By doing this you help keep your diaper bag light and less stinky! You can also get a drawstring pail liner to store them in as well. This is our favorite solution for longer car rides as we don’t have to worry about running out of space to put our dirty diapers!  Our favorite storage solutions for cloth diapers are Planetwise products.   They have many products to choose from for cloth diaper storage.  

What about the poop?  The best solution I’ve come up with in this case is using a flushable liner. These dryer sheet –like liners allow you to lift away the bulk of a poopy diaper without interfering with the absorption of the diaper. And if you happen to be out backwoods camping with baby, you can simply bury it. They biodegrade quickly so you can be sure that you won’t be leaving more than what you came with when packing out.

Since baby will be sitting in their seat for a longer period of time, place a prefold at the base of the seat to avoid having to strip the entire seat to clean in the event of a compression leak! There is nothing more daunting than having to put a car seat cover back on after washing it, so you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble with this tip!

If you’re flying, make sure that you have a TSA approved size spray bottle for your wipe solution and creams. It would be unfortunate to have to give them up if they aren’t compliant with size requirements!

Not up to bringing along cloth?   No worries, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a natural disposable diaper while away.   I've done both and don't regret either way.    Our favorite brand of natural disposable is  Poof Diapers.   They are antibacterial, biodegradable (yes, they really are), chlorine free, polymer free, chemical free, and Non-GMO.   

Happy travels!

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Thank you so much for visiting We Heart Cloth brought to you by Susan.  I hope you will find the information contained here educational and entertaining.  Here you'll find my favorite cloth diaper stores and products.   I am thrilled to help families find the diaper and accessory combination that is right for them. 

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Today's Cloth Diapers

Congratulations, on your decision to go cloth!  By now you have heard the plethora of benefits that cloth diapering has to offer your pocket book, the planet, and your precious one’s behind.  After making the decision to go cloth I felt empowered; that is until I actually had to buy the diapers. There are a multitude of styles, variations, and brands that can be quite overwhelming.  Ask fellow cloth families, and you get contrasting opinions. I spent months combing through websites and visiting specialty boutiques before I was able to understand the differences and choose the right system for our family.  So before you get hooked on the adorable prints and solids, make sure you understand how the diapering system works and what that means for your family!   The following guide will explain the modern cloth diaper and its variations.

All cloth diapers consist of two main parts, the soaker and the shell. The soaker which can also be referred to as an insert or pad, is an absorbent layer to collect waste.  The shell is an outer layer that keeps clothing dry. How these parts are constructed and subsequently assembled is where the major differences appear.  In general there are four major categories of diapers to choose from: 1) prefold and cover,  2) pocket,  3) all in one, and  4) hybrid.

1) Prefold and cover:   This is the cloth diaper that most people are familiar with and the one your mom or grandmother will assume you are talking about.  It consists of an absorbent layer, which can be a prefold or a fitted diaper, and an outer shell or cover (your Grammy will call these “plastic pants”).  The prefold is a square of fabric that is sewn so that the center panel has the greatest absorbency.  A fitted diaper can also provide absorbency in this duo.  Fitted diapers are a sewn garment that resembles a disposable diaper that will either snap or Velcro around your baby’s bottom.  In either case a waterproof cover is needed to contain the moisture.  These covers, called shells, secure the waste using man-made (ie. TPU/PUL) or natural (wool) water repelling material.  The shells adjust to your little one’s body by Velcro, aplex (a much nicer Velcro), or snaps. Depending on how you choose to secure the prefold, you may need to use pins or a less scary tool called a Snappi to hold it in place.  There are Better Fit Prefolds that require only a trifold without the use of pins or Snappis.
2) Pocket:   Pocket diapers are essentially a shell that consist of a waterproof outer layer and a soft, usually fleece, inner layer. These two materials are joined together on all sides except one to create a pocket. Pocket diapers require an absorbent layer be stuffed in the opening. Often the shells come with a soaker pad, however you can also use a prefold diaper in the pocket.

3) All In One:  All-in-one diapers are the cloth version of a disposable diaper. There is nothing to stuff, fold, or secure. They consist of an outer waterproof layer and an inner absorbent layer sewn together.

4)  Hybrid:   Hybrid systems are unique in that they allow you to use a waterproof shell with either a cloth insert or a disposable insert option. Usually the disposable pad has been made to be more environmentally friendly than a traditional disposable.

Keep in mind that there are many variations of these diapers on the market. So once you have decided on a few to try, explore the options that each brand has to offer. Each company has its own methods to make your cloth diapering experience easier, more pleasant, healthier, and better for the environment. For example there are organic varieties, natural fibers vs. man made, fabrics with antimicrobial properties, snaps vs. Velcro, American made, and the list goes on!

So how do you decide which system is right for your family? Each system has its merits, and you may find that different systems work for different purposes in your family’s life. I would suggest trying several out to see which works best for your individual situation. You may find that a certain system works well for you, but your neighbor didn’t like it at all. To help you determine which to try, read through the following list of pros and cons for each system.

Prefolds/Inserts and Covers:
-Cheapest of the systems to purchase new, so you are able to get a large stash
-Absorbency of natural fibers increases with use
-Many folding and pinning options to meet the needs of your baby’s body
-Covers can often be used multiple times before washing
-Prefolds are very absorbent, easy to care for, and dry efficiently
-Large variety of shell material
-Wool shells don’t need to be washed frequently due to the natural fibers and are super soft
-Man made shell material can often simply be wiped out after use
-For one child you can easily function with a small number of shells
-Requires the purchase of multiple sizes of prefolds, fitted layers, and shells to meet the needs of your growing child
-You will need to experiment to find the right folding method unless you use Better Fit Prefolds
-May require the use of securing devices such as a snappi or pins
-Tend to be more bulky
-Lack the newer “stay dry” technology
My favorite cover/prefold system is Bummis Super Whisper Wrap with Better Fit Prefolds

-Easy to use, especially for dads, grandparents, and day care
-Inner layer often exhibits “stay dry” feature as moisture is wicked through the fleece layer to the absorbent layer below
-Usually provides a trimmer fit when compared to prefolds
-Most require the purchase of at least two sizes to meet your child’s needs through potty training
-You have to stuff the diapers
-You have to un-stuff dirty diapers
-Each shell can only be used once before needing a wash
-Need to have enough pockets and inserts for about 2 days of diapering (approximately 18 to 24)
My favorite Pocket Diaper is the FuzziBunz One Size Elite and FuzziBunz Perfect Size.

-Very easy to use, functions just like a disposable
-Easy for dads, grandparents, and day care
-Don’t have to un-stuff the diaper, just throw the whole thing in the wash
-Trim fit, not bulky like prefolds
-Many brands offer a “one size” option that adjusts as your baby grows through potty training
-Diapers are on the high end of the price scale
-Need to have enough diapers for about 2 days of diapering (approximately 18 to 24)
-Take longer to dry
My favorite All-In-One Diaper are bumGenius Freetime.

-Easy to use, cloth pad snaps in and disposable pad has sticky tabs
-Convenient choice for on the go or when a disposable may be more desirable
-Shells can be used multiple times before washing, just replace the inner pad
-Trimmer fit
-Many brands offer a “one size” option that adjusts as your baby grows through potty training
-Diapers are on the high end of the price scale
-Disposable pads may be pricey
My favorite Hybrids are Best Bottoms and GroVia.

Lastly there are a few other items that will enhance your cloth diapering experience.  Doublers are an additional absorbent layer that can be added for increased absorbency. Think about your own needs, at certain times of the day you visit the restroom more. Your little one’s body works the same way, so doublers are great to have on hand for added over night protection or whenever you find you need a little more absorbency. I highly recommend that you find and use a cloth diaper safe ointment or balm. Using traditional diaper rash treatments can lead to decreased absorbency of your cloth due to build up on the fabric. In the same regard, I suggest a cloth diaper safe detergent as regular detergents can also lead to decreased absorbency due to build up. While it may cost a little more than a regular detergent, you will still be saving money using cloth. Lastly wet bags are a must have for cloth. Gone are the days of soaking diapers in a pale, in fact this is often discouraged by manufactures. Wet bags are generally constructed of the same waterproof materials as the shells. They come in many sizes and can be kept in your diaper bag or nursery to collect dirty diapers. When it is time for laundry, simply dump diapers and bag into the wash!

There are many options and styles that can meet your needs. Start slowly and choose a few styles to try!

Alexis B. works part time as a science instructor and is the mother to a beautiful baby girl. She is enjoying her exploration of everything “mama” and “baby”. Currently she is delving into the concepts of attachment parenting, baby wearing, and baby lead weaning. She has a wonderfully supportive husband who loves science just as much as she does and is most importantly her best friend.

Let's go swimming!

It's that time of year...the hot sun and the cool pool, even better the sunny beach. Let's go! But wait...baby needs a swim diaper! Our favorite is the appleCheeks Swimmer. It is made specifically for pool use.
It is constructed of two layers of 100% polyester mesh that allows water to comfortably move through the swimmer while keeping any solid out of the water.   Plus, it is cute to boot!     

Check out some of the reviews:

Amanda C. 
The AppleCheeks swim diapers are the perfect solution to all of your swimming pool fun. I hated chemical filled swim diapers because I was already putting my daughter in a pool full of them no need to add in more so close to her bum. Plus the constant having to buy disposables was frustrating when my husband would pack the last one and not tell me. 
They have a mesh inner and a fabric outer with no layer of pul in them. This helps so the urine isn't trapped in side. The mesh is perfect though for helping keep messes in place! I am giving it 4 stars because the outer fabric tends to snag easily if your little one sits on the concrete of most pools. This isn't a problem though if you cover them up with a swimming suit. We instead prefer to match our rash guards to the swim diapers. It is not something that would stop me from buying it again.

Shannah Mort
This is a great swim diaper! It is trim and adorable. The inner lining is similar to what you would find in a gym short, it's an athletic mesh type fabric. The nice thing about this swim diaper is that the mesh liner allows the water to filter through the diaper while containing the solids, unlike other swim diapers (including the disposable ones) that hold in waste while also getting bulky when wet. I live on a lake so i am sure I will be ordering several more of these diapers. Totally Twilight is a gorgeous royal blue color, I really like it!

Melissa Fletcher
I've got several size ones all ready to go for swim season! They fit her perfectly! And worked like a charm in the bathtub. lol

Krystal Layher 
We have used several other bands of swim diapers but nothing compares to Applecheeks. We like the customizable sizing. The swim diapers fit closer to the body than the pocket diapers so they last a little longer in sizing. My daughter has been in size 2 pockets since she was 17lbs but she is still in the size 1 swim diaper almost snapped all the way in at 20lbs. They have a very soft breathable inner and outer fabric, so babies don't get heat rash from a plastic material being on their bottoms. We also like the colors because they match a lot of our swimsuits. Great value for the quality!

Ashley B 
I looked around for awhile for a nice swim diaper and these are the best. They hold in any accidents, they are so trim, the water is never retained because it's all mesh and best of all, they're so stinkin cute! We have a stash of these for summer time.

Blueberry Basix All-in-One Diaper

Can I give the Bottom Line at the beginning?

The Bottom Line: I LOVE THIS DIAPER! I think it is my new favorite! If I'm ever blessed enough to have another baby, I want my entire stash to be filled with this diaper!
Ok, now for the details...

This is an All-In-One diaper, but what makes it awesome is its pocket design. It has a total of 3 layers of microfiber sewn in. The insert is attached on one end so it comes out easily in the wash, which makes the drying time so much quicker!

Basix comes in 3 sizes and snaps on the side, so no issue with wing droop here. There are 3 rows of snaps on the tabs which help to get the perfect fit every time.

The super soft fleece on the inside helps to wick away moisture and keep your baby dry. I have had this diaper for a couple months and I've yet to see any pilling on the fleece. Did I mention how soft this fleece is? It feels like a cloud!

My most favorite feature is that I can stuff it with my hemp inserts. That has been my main issue with other AIO diapers. It's so hard to add absorbency! Not here. My heavy wetter little one is always dry in the mornings when I use this diaper.

Plus, the price is right at $21.95 for a US made diaper! And don't forget all the adorable prints and colors!