A few weeks ago, our car started smelling really weird. At first, I ignored it because really, when does a car carrying two toddlers smell GOOD? But eventually we broke down and did a full-car clean out. What did we find in the back hatch area of our car? A slightly wet cloth diaper!
Fortunately, it was only wet and not solid waste. Can you imagine if had been poop? I can guarantee that we would have found it sooner!
Keeping up with diapers and wet bags is just another mom duty that comes along with cloth diapering. Even the best wet bag can’t contain odors more than a day or two, and poop diapers (especially those that haven’t been sprayed) have an even shorter timeline. Did you know that leaving dirty diapers in a pail for more than a week could even ruin the diapers permanently? It’s true!
The question is: how to make sure that no diaper is left behind during swimsuit and beach season, when clothing and diaper changes happen in all kinds of unusual places?
Wet bags, not plastic bags. Of course, we know that cloth is better for the environment and more durable than plastic, but it’s also easier to keep up with a larger and slightly more colorful cloth wet bag than it is to spot a stray plastic bag wadded up at the bottom of your trunk, which might contain a wet diaper.
Know your wet bags. I recommend wet bags in slightly different colors or patterns so that you can mentally (or even physically via written reminder) go through a checklist to make sure they’re all accounted for. For example, “Hm, where is the blue spotted wet bag?” – if the answer is “I don’t know”, it’s time to start looking before the smell alerts you!
Write “wash diapers” on your vacation checklist. Around my house, the morning that we leave on a trip with both our kids is always extremely chaotic. It’s easy to take a cloth diaper off a child, throw it into our regular diaper pail, and leave without realizing that diaper will spend our entire vacation in that diaper pail, awaiting our return. So make sure that your last trip through the house includes checking all diaper pails and wet bags. Personally, I have been known to put my kids in disposables before a trip, just so no one makes the mistake of leaving a soiled cloth diaper in the house somewhere.
Plan for travel washing. We’ve got some great past blog posts on traveling with cloth! Take a few minutes to plot out your washing days and times to ensure you’re laundering regularly when you’re on the road. It’s no fun to be stuck in a car or on a plane with a stinky bag of dirty diapers, wondering when you’ll have an opportunity to wash next.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes things still get lost! If you have a rogue cloth diaper and need some advice on whether it can be salvaged, feel free to give Cotton Babies a call at 1-314-892-1855. We promise you won’t be the first, or the last, to ask that question. We are always glad to help!
Jenny Bradford is a mom to two cotton babies, Little Sir born Oct. 2009, and Little Lady, born Feb. 2011. She lives in the Dallas, TX area with her husband, Christian, and can be found at Conscientious Confusion – a blog about living consciously, which often encompasses: green living, natural health, conscientious consumerism, cloth diapering, and living frugally.