Making Cloth Diapers Work While You Move

CLOTH DIAPERS in boxMy moving situation was a little different than what most people will experience, however I was still able to make cloth diapers work for the duration of my extended 5 month moving period.  This post will detail what I packed, what I stored away, and my plan of attack.

What I Packed:  I chose to simplify my stash, as I also do when I travel with cloth diapers, in order to make the most of what I was packing and make it simpler to wash and organize.  I packed roughly 18 diapers.  I chose to bring all of my bumGenius Elementals and many bumGenius 4.0’s.  I wanted my diaper stash to match and I have the most of both of these diapers.  I left my one of a kind diapers in a box.

I chose not to bring cloth wipes because I assumed I would only be gone for 2-3 weeks.  Had I known I would be in limbo for 6 months I would have packed a dozen.  I used disposable wipes instead.

Wet bags- I packed up my large Planet Wise Wet/Dry Hanging wetbag and my beloved Leslie’s Boutique travel wet/dry bag for the diaper bag and a smaller wet bag.  I purchased a Weehuggers Hobo wet bag (now Blueberry)  in transition and that thing will hold a ton of dirty diapers and is also handy for toting all of your clean diapers while moving.

I packed flushable liners but I never remembered to use them.  Either Everett pooped on the potty when I knew he had to go or I scraped the poop out of the diapers with toilet paper when I had to.  I survived 5 months with no sprayer and lived to tell about it.

What I Stored:  Like I said, I chose to leave many, many precious and favorite diapers behind in favor of a streamlined system.  One offs, prefolds, most of my fitteds and covers, and random styles of pockets had to live in a box until unpacking day.  I also left behind my pail liners, accessories, cloth wipes, snappi and pins, and extra inserts.  When I got my diapers back I debated rewashing them all but decided against it since I had enough going on.  They smelled fine out of the box and they would be washed soon enough.

My plan of attack: The day before I left my old home I made my packing decisions and put away the overflow.  Less really is more when you are away from home.  I was also flying so I had to pack all of the diapers into one suitcase alone with my own clothes.  Tip: For packing diapers fit best if unstuffed (when talking about pockets).  Roll the inserts and shells and shove them into small crevices of your bag.

I decided to use a few gDiaper inserts and pants for the last few hours before leaving so that I could wash all of the dirty diapers and not be flying with soiled ones.  (This is a personal thing, you are free to travel with dirty diapers but I just can’t explain why I cannot.  I just CAN’T.)

When moving from point A to point B there are a few things to consider:

How long will your travel take?  A few hours?  A few days?  A few months?

If you will only be away a few hours and have immediate access to a washer and dryer then there is really no big deal.  Box up your diapers or bag them up, move them to the new home, and use your diaper bag in the mean time.

If you will need a few days before having access to a washer you might have to use some hybrid inserts like GroVia, gDiapers, or another brand.  You might also have to use disposables.  I don’t like to leave my diapers dirty longer than 4 days.  Any longer and you risk some nasty smells and the potential for fungus and bacteria growth.  No one likes to open their wet bag and find mushrooms inside.

If you are taking an extended move like I had then you will want to find out if you have access to a washer and dryer where you are staying.  Many extended hotels have them but they are coin operated.  You could handwash in the hotel tub and hang the diapers to dry.  Or if you have temporary apartment housing or are staying with family you should have the ability to wash there.  Always ask family first- I know we all like to think our diapers don’t stink (they might not) but others aren’t as educated about what washing cloth diapers does (and doesn’t do) to a washer.   Tip: Don’t forget  to pack your own detergent in a small baggie!  I wrote about cloth diapering and living with in-laws on KellyWels.com.  You can supplement with hybrids or disposables during this time too if you need to when things get hectic or you run out of your smaller stash before wash day comes.

Getting settled back into normal life might take some time.  Don’t be so hard on yourself!  I drove 10 hours and packed a wet/dry bag full of diapers.  I then stayed in a hotel for a few days.  By the time I got into my new home and the movers had delivered the furniture I already had to do a load of dirty diapers.  It was the FIRST thing I did in my new home.  While fitting, it was exhausting and I didn’t even have a place to store the clean ones, I didn’t even know where the hamper was!  I used a few more hybrids while waiting for the diapers to dry and I’m OK with that.  Cloth diapering doesn’t need to be all or nothing and when your life is in upheaval you get a free pass.  

Some links to products I mention in this post are to affiliate partners.  A small percentage of any sales made when clicking through will fund DDL, so thank you!

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  • Meg P

    As a military wife looking at a move probably coming in less than a year with my first kiddo this was a super helpful post!  Even just for traveling (I could have saved so much room a few weeks ago if I’d unstuffed my pockets)!  I was really hoping you would decide to write a post about this so I could see how a pro does it!  Since falling in love with 4.0s I see some flips in my future for my hybrid option. 🙂 

    • Pixi6s

      fyi, you can use your 4.0 covers with no inserts and the disposable insert on top of them (between baby and staydry).  I’ve never actually done this, I would imagine you would need some drying/airing out after use, but it can work!

      • kimrosas

        It definitely works. I’ve done it!

        Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPad

  • Pixi6s

    Congrats!  We also moved in diapers but it was only a drive and a few hours.  Everytime we travel whether on a plane or camping we use gDiaper inserts.  At one point we did have gCovers as well but the last few times we just used them in the Bummis covers. Weekends at Grandmas and such the cloth comes with..  I was pleasantly surprised one trip to my Aunts, we were settling in for a 4 day stay (plane trip out) and she asked if I needed to use the washer for the diapers!  I thanked her but we had disposable with covers and didn’t need to take her up on it. Though she did have diaper covers drying on her towel racks!

    I additional suggestion while using the disposable inserts, it’s smart to pack some compostable “doggy poop bags” for pc disposing on a plane or public bathroom.  We also used them when visiting for several inserts (until it smelled enough that you didn’t want to open it again) for pc disposing their as well. Some people would say if using inserts why not just do full disposables, but I think they are smaller to pack – and I like that they are no plastic, even if its corn plastic. i already have my covers so why not!