We love our cloth nappies. But they undeniably involve a little bit more faff than disposables, so staying away from home is a challenge. We’ve just returned from our first family holiday to Scotland. We went for two weeks, drove up and stayed in a holiday cottage. And our 8-month-old son was cloth-bummed throughout. The amount of planning involved in taking a baby on holiday is huge – and planning how to manage the nappies didn’t help. So here’s a quick how-to of how we found it.
Firstly, we planned for three full days worth of nappies. This would allow us to go to the laundrette every other day, then have one day for those nappies to dry. We were also going to do the long journey from London to the Highlands over three days each way. Our son currently gets through about 6-7 nappies per day. So we have 23-day nappies – a stash built up gradually over the last few months. They are mostly Baba+Boo pockets and we have some bamboo boosters for when we want to go out in the morning (he seems to wee a lot in the mornings) or when we’re taking him in the carrier (carriers seem to squish moisture out of microfibre. Adding a layer of bamboo helps). They all have a fleece liner. We also have five-night nappies (Two Wee Notions, two Tots Bots Bamboos, boosted with a wrap and a Minki). Night nappies take a little longer to dry, so I reckoned we’d need four days worth, plus a spare in case of an unscheduled nighttime change.
So that’s 28 nappies. Or, a collapsible crate’s worth.
Then we have the nappy bucket. Which isn’t big enough to hold more than one day’s worth of nappies. So we bought a large wet bag with a zip.
Then there’s our stash of 50 re-usable wipes. And their box. And the essential oils we use diluted for wipe solution. And the small wet bag for keeping some wipes in my handbag (with the change mat and wet bag for dirty nappies)
And the poo-blasting bucket and rubber gloves. Just in case the liners need a bit of a rinse.
That’s a LOT of stuff. Without even starting on clothes and toys and the buggy and all the other random things you take on holiday when you have a baby. We only have a Fiesta car!
So we bought a roof box.
We wished we’d bought a bigger one.
Once we were in Scotland we got into a routine with taking nappies to the laundrette that worked fine (it helped a lot that the laundrette was opposite our cottage). We found that we had to tumble-dry the inserts sometimes, as the cottage was a bit chillier than our centrally-heated London home and we didn’t have our heated drying rack. We reckon we spent about £20 on washing the nappies during our holiday. So not too bad. Thankfully the cottage did have a clothes airer – I should have taken the string or elastic in case I needed to improvise.
In spite of all the volume of stuff, we’ll definitely try to take our cloth nappies on future holidays. I’d have been gutted to have had to wrap my son’s bottom in nasty plasticky disposables after getting so used to lovely cloth. Not to mention the guilt over the landfill. But we could really do with reducing the bulk - it occurred to me that as microfibre is fluffy, we could probably dramatically reduced the size of our stash by using those roll-up compression sacks. I plan to give it a go – as I don’t think we’ll fit on a plane otherwise and our next holiday will be a few days in Sweden!
You can follow Ros on twitter as @fizzlephut