Tips for Using Cloth Diapers on Vacation

As you know I love cloth diapering my children.  My son potty trained at 2.5 years-old and my daughter will be about the same age when she is potty trained.  At this point we have been through a couple of vacations while fully using cloth diapers.  I really thought that it was going to be difficult and way too much work, but really it wasn’t that bad.

My family takes a yearly vacation to the beach with both my side and my husband’s side of the family.  Last year I used disposable diapers for the 4 day vacation with my family and noticed that my son took 3 HUGE steps back in the potty training.  Before the vacation he would tell us when he went and would want to be changed immediately.  He was really getting good at noticing when he went.  After using disposable diapers for the duration of the vacation, he no longer mind sitting in the pee, and he wouldn’t tell us he went.  It took a couple of weeks to get him back to where he was.  After that I knew that the second vacation I was going to cloth diaper him and my daughter the entire time.

I knew that the week vacation we take with my husband’s family has a washer and dryer, so it was no big deal to be able to take the cloth diapers and continue using them throughout the week.

Below are tips of cloth diapering while on vacation:

  • Bring twice as many as you think you might need
  • Bring 2 wetbags/diaper pail liners
  • Bring cloth diaper safe cream
  • Bring laundry soap you use for the cloth diapers
  • Bring disposable inserts or liners to cut down on the laundry
  • Think about using prefolds, as they are easier to wash and dry
  • When you get to your location, scope out where you are going to keep your diaper pail or wetbag
  • Think about bringing a hand washing machine, if you know that their will not be a washing machine

It is something that can be done and something that people do all the time.  Please comment with other tips you have for using cloth diapers while on vacation.

Ashley

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Cloth Diaper Calculation

When my mother cloth diapered us, it wasn’t the most popular mainstream thing to do.  Actually it was somewhat looked down upon as “hippy” or “Weird”.  In 20 plus years the times have changed.  Since I made the switch to cloth diapers I have met more people who cloth diaper and follow the same eco-friendly ways.  In my endless nights awake, I stumbled up a blog post about cloth diaper calculation. Move it Forward Everyday had actually done a really good calculation comparison between disposable diapers and cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers can be expensive or very inexpensive depending on what you get.  For my husband and I, it was always about the cost savings, so I didn’t really care what the diapers look like (yes there are some really cute ones), I only cared about function.  So we sat down recently and calculated how much money we have saved using cloth diapers.  

Before we started we were spending on average $54 on Luvs (using Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save) for both my children a month. When we first started we purchased cheap diapers from china on eBay.  These diapers work great, but are cheaply made and in my opinion do not last long.  For us it was more about not spending a lot of money on cloth diapers not knowing if our lifestyle would accommodate all the extra washing and taking care of the messy diapers.  Purchasing cheap diapers allowed us to save up money to purchase better quality diapers as money permitted.  After about 3 months of cloth diapers we had enough money to purchase better diapers and a full stash.  We purchased 24 brand new cloth diapers for $135.  October is a year, and we have saved at least $500.  This amount includes deduction for purchase of cloth diapers, and additional $5 per month in water bill.  This amount does not include the resale value of the diapers.

Now I know how addicting it can be to purchase all the cute prints or colors, but we decided to cloth diaper to save money.  I was not going to get addicted to purchasing a large stash.  The 24 diapers lasted us 2 days with 2 in children.  This amount will vary from family to family (my youngest was 6 months old when I started).  Keeping that in mind has really made our savings even more.

So what if you don’t have the extra money for a full stash? There are many different ways to get a starter stash for even pennies. 

  • Use old t-shirts/sweatshirts (buy baby safety pins to hold together)
  • Use flannel receiving blankets (use baby safety pins to hold together)
  • Make your own (Joannes, eBay, Hobby Lobby, Hancocks all sell the supplies to make them)
  • Buy used via facebook, eBay. craigslist
  • Buy on eBay 
  • Prefolds and Covers are extremely inexpensive

There are a ton of videos on Youtube on how to sew cloth diapers, how to fold cloth diapers, and so much more information.

Personally, when we we started we didn’t have a full stash.  We figured out how much each disposable diaper cost us and for every cloth diaper we used we saved double the amount of the cloth diaper.  We also took that time to calculate an average amount of diapers we used per day.  Once we had enough for both for 2-3 days we purchased our full stash.

To save an extra $12 a month on wipes, we slowly moved to cloth wipes.  We were already doing the laundry for the diapers, it wasn’t anything to add the wipes.  We don’t do anything special, just wet with water and use.

Want more information on Cloth diapers? Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on Cloth Diapers.

Ashley

Why I Decided on Cloth Diapers

As some of you know, I have 2 children under the age of two, which means 2 in diapers.  If you have children, then you know having 1 in diapers can get expensive….just multiply that with 2.  My daughters diapers we didn’t have to buy because we had them left over from my son, but my son was another story.  Between diapers for him and wipes for both, we were spending close to $60 a month!

I have always been interested in cloth diapers and being a first time mom it seemed way too much to try all at once and I couldn’t justify spending $15+ on a cloth diaper.  So about 20 months later, I really started getting into the details of it, plus I found ebay (that is for a whole different post).  I found that I could get a really cheap cloth diaper for about $1.  I knew the quality wasn’t going to be the best, but I was just trying it out and if I liked it then I can get the better quality ones.  I figured that if I use the diaper 5 times then I would have made my money back.

Little did I know that I would absolutely love it.  I mean as much as anyone can dealing with a dirty diaper.  I have found that it isn’t any harder than disposable diaper, it is just different.  Instead of putting my diaper in the diaper  genie, I clean it off and put it in the diaper pail.  When I am out, I just wrap it up like I would normally and put it in the same plastic bag I would use if it was disposable.  Every 2 days I do a load of laundry.  It really is nothing more than that.

So would I recommend it to all parents?  No.  It isn’t for everyone.  I personally think that for a first time parent it could be a challenge to do on top of learning to cope with a new infant.  I wouldn’t recommend it to a parent who only has time to do laundry once a week.  Though for most parents it is doable, and it save tons of money!

We still use disposable diapers for night time and mostly when we are out, but that is more because we have them and they are open.  I know in the future we will be all cloth.  We have bought some better brands for my son that fit him better, but I haven’t found anything wrong with the cheap ones.

For more information on cloth diapers go here for part 1, here for part 2, here for part 3.  All three posts are guest posts written by Evelyn Langdon who is a mother of three boys and uses cloth diapers.

Crunchy Living: Homemade Glue

This is a great nontoxic recipe for homemade glue.  It won’t have the same stickiness as the store-bought glue, but it works.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Mix the flour and sugar together.
  2. Pour in the water slowly, continuously stirring.
  3. Cook over low heat, continuously stirring.
  4. Allow to Cool.

 

Do you have any recipes for homemade glue?  Please share!

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: In the Kitchen

Here are some easy recipes for the kitchen that are eco-friendly.

  • Liquid dish soap: Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on it, srub those dirty dishes.
  • Grease: On a sponge, put liquid soap and sprinkle baking soda and scrub area.
  • Dried food in microwave: Make a paste with baking soda and water, scrub with a sponge
  • Mask scents: Citrus peel and fresh mint on the stove.

Do you have any ideas that are natural to keep your kitchen clean?  Please share with us!

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: Liquid Fabric Softener

I posted my recipe for homemade laundry, some questions I got were for a recipe for homemade liquid fabric softener.  After some research I found one that is homemade, it can be as “green or nontoxic” as you want.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups hair conditioner
  • 6 cups water

 

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bottle.
  • Shake until well mixed

 

If you have tried this recipe, please let me know how it works!

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

As part of getting rid of toxins in my house, plus save a little money, I have been on the hunt for different products that I can make at home.   I normally buy the big container of liquid hand soap, which last a while, but I noticed that I can make my own for even cheaper!

Ingredients:

  • A bar of Soap
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Grate or finely chop the bar of soap
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil
  3. Turn off heat and add in soap
  4. Continue to stir until combined
  5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes
  6. Stir again
  7. Allow to cool for several more hours
  8. Place in soap dispensers

 

Personally, I would have a cheaper pot to make this, so that you are not using pots that you cook in.  To make a bigger batch use 1 ounce bar soap for 1 cup of water.

 

Do you have any greener products that you make at home?  Please let us know!

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: Homemade Febreeze

As part of ridding my house of toxins, I have done tons of research on different homemade products.  I wanted something like Febreeze, but didn’t want the chemicals.  Here is a recipe I have used.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10-12 drops of Essential Oil
  • Water

Directions:

Combined all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake until well mixed.  Enjoy!

 

Do you have any homemade products that you love?  Please share

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: Homemade Sunscreen

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, almond or grapeseed are good)
  • 5 tsp Zinc Oxide
  • 1 TBSP Beeswax or emulsifying wax
  • 3 TBSP natural aloe vera gel (not the kind with alcohol or propylene glyco)l
  • 1/2 cup distilled water or brewed green tea (strained)
  • 2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)
  • Essential Oils of Coconut Extract for scent (optional) [do not use citrus essential oils since they can actually cause burning]

How To Make Natural Sunscreen:

  1. Heat Oil and beeswax on double boiler until just melted.
  2. Remove from heat, and add vitamin E and essential oils.
  3. Put into bowl that will not be used for food, and add zinc oxide powder, set aside.
  4. In small pan, heat water or tea and aloe vera until just warm.
  5. Add the water/aloe mixture slowly while whisking vigorously or use an immersion blender.
  6. Add any additional essential oils or fragrances

An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen:

  • Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (make sure it doesn’t contain citrus oils)
  • Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide
  • Mix well
  • Use as Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I personally have NOT tried this recipe yet, it is on my list to try,

Do you have a homemade recipe that you want to share?  Please email me!

Ashley Myers

Crunchy Living: Uses for Coconut Oil

There are a ton of different uses for coconut oil besides cooking.

  • Moisturizer
  • Eye Cream- Rub under the eye to remove puffiness and bags
  • Preshave- Rub on the area before you shave
  • Aftershave- Rub on the area after you shave
  • Deep Hair Treatment- Message into hair after it has been washed, leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse throughly
  • Defrizzer for Hair- Put a small amount on your hands and finger comb through hair
  • Make up Remover- Place a little dab on a cotton swab and rub off makeup
  • Stretch Mark Cream- Rub into skin daily in the area prone to stretch marks
  • Diaper cream-Rub on the bottom of a child using a diaper
  • Bug Bites- Rub into the infected area, it removes the itch and burning
  • Stress Relief- Apply to the head in a circular motion
  • Increase Milk Supply- For Breastfeeding moms consuming 3.5 tbsp daily increases milk supply
  • Dandruff- Rub into scalp and let sit for at least 5 minutes, wash hair throughly
  • Furniture Polish- Rub a little on a rag and rub rag into furniture

Do you have any other uses for coconut oil?  Please let me know!

Ashley Myers