Tag Archives: hybrid diapers

Traveling with Cloth Diapers or Hybrid Diapers?

My family and I just enjoyed a quick family trip out of town. It is getting to be summer and a great time for traveling and visiting family. I imagine others will be planning summer travel soon and wanted to share some tips on how to travel with cloth or hybrid diapers. Traveling with hybrid diapers is super convenient, and with these tips, traveling with cloth diapers may be easier than you think.

tips for traveling with cloth diapers on babybirdsfarm

If you saw my posts on getting started with cloth diapers or composting diapers, you know that we are big fans of using reusable diapers at home. Many parents wonder what to do, however, when getting on the road. Disposable diapers are convenient, sure, but we still had concerns about using them traveling, including the environmental impact, the cost of buying a product you use once a then throw away, and increased diaper rash. We found using the gDiapers hybrid diaper system away from home surprisingly easy! So far they have joined us on numerous long weekend trips and a three-state, two-week journey last summer. Here are some of my tips.

Plan ahead.

If you will be staying with friends or family, ask them ahead of time if they would mind if you washed cloth diapers in their washing machine. So far no one has turned us down, but we also let them know that we wouldn’t mind using disposables if they did. Tip: I brought a small amount of our dye- and perfume-free detergent with me.

If you will be needing a hotel, consider getting a vacation rental instead. We LOVE vacation rentals for the privacy, kitchens and amenities–not to mention value. So far we have stayed in a condo right on the beach in Florida, cabins in Big Bear, and (for our honeymoon) an amazing house in Bali. Two websites I have had luck on are vrbo.com and homeaway.com.  Just make sure the property you are considering has a washer and dryer. You will want it for laundry anyway. :)

Use disposable inserts.

At home we use gDiapers cloth inserts during the day and biodegradable disposable inserts for sleep. For long car rides and flying, we also like to use the disposable inserts. They hold more, can be changed less often, and can conveniently be tossed in the trash when done.

Even if you use strictly cloth at home, consider trying a biodegradable insert in your pocket diaper for travel. Although the fit is maximized for gDiapers, I’ve heard other families use them with other brand cloth diaper covers with success.

For a long trip (4-5 days or longer)…

… I liked setting up a mini diaper changing station, just like at home, with cloth diaper wipes and diaper area spray. I brought two waterproof laundry bags (one for clean and one for dirty) and washed the diapers every few days. I also liked packing all of the clean cloth diapers and wipes in a clean laundry bag for travel days. It made the suitcase a little more organized.

For a short trip…

…cut yourself some slack! On our last 2-night trip it just seemed easier to use a mix of gDiapers with biodegradable inserts and traditional disposable diapers (in our case, we like Huggies Pure and Natural) instead of taking our cloth diapers traveling. We also made it easy with disposable wipes. Hey, it’s vacation!

swim diaper

And don’t forget the swim diapers!

So far we like iplay’s plain white swim diaper and their swim diaper with a matching rash guard. Pack at least two.

Update: A version of this post has been republished on the gDiapers blog “Diaper Therapy.” Check it out!

what tips do you have for traveling with cloth diapers? Please share in the comments.

Thank You gDiapers!

Hi friends, sorry for the short lapse in posting. We took a trip up to the mountains to take Little Bird to play in the snow, and I took a mini trip to visit my sisters.

I wanted to start off by sharing my thanks to gDiapers! I had let them know about my posts on setting up a cloth diaper changing station and on composting diapers. To be honest, I was secretly hoping they would share one or both in their social media. Kelli at gDiapers surprised me with such a lovely response to the posts and asked if she could repost the one on composting the biodegradeable refills on the gDiapers blog. You can see my guest post here. Well, Kelli surprised me again by sending a sweet thank you note and a gift to Little Bird.

She sent two cute, cute printed gPants and a pair of gLegs! As you can see in the picture Little Bird was thrilled, too.

I know at least one person is going to ask what she is wearing and where you can find them so here ya go: The diaper she is wearing is called gSweet. As I mentioned in the cloth diaper post, most of the prints are limited editions, usually sold only on their website. I did find a few more of this print on Amazon in large and small. gLegs are made by Baby Legs exclusively for gDiapers, and there are still a few available on their website here. So cute! Who doesn’t love leg warmers? And they are great for potty learning.

Composting Diapers?

How to compost diapers on BabyBirdsFarm.com

Not that long ago it was International Babywearing Day. I posted on our Facebook Page about how babywearing (which is simply wearing a baby or toddler in a sling, wrap or other carrier) has made it easier for us to cook, garden and compost. My sister laughed at the mention of babywearing and taking out the compost, questioning if she was truly related to someone so crunchy. I had to take it a step further saying that I chuckled myself the first time I wore baby while composting her wet diapers. Composting diapers? Yup. It may sound impossibly crunchy but more and more parents are ready for creative ways to reduce their babies’ impact on their environment. It is their earth to inherent, isn’t it?

One man's trash...

I recently shared more about why we like cloth and hybrid diapers in this last post, which also talks about how to set up and organize your system. Please do not try to compost a conventional disposable diaper. It would take eons and the plastic and chemicals in it would not be something you want in your garden, let alone your food. We only use gDiapers biodegradable inserts, which, as far as I know, are the only ones that are “cradle to cradle” certified and completely biodegradable.

Although we love the fit, feel and ease of use of using the whole gDiaper system, we initially had only so-so results flushing the biodegradable inserts. My husband was afraid they were negatively affecting the plumbing in our older home. Then I learned that not all in my household had read the directions and were trying to flush the inserts whole. Check out this link for tips on how to flush gDiaper inserts. I recommend getting everyone who will care for baby on the same page, something that in those fuzzy first few weeks of parenthood I must not have done as well as I thought. I also recently learned that flushing the inserts is not recommended when you have pipes infested with tree roots. We have a couple dozen malaluca trees in front of and around our house and just last week the city was working on the sewers and pulled out this massive root ball. (See the picture in the gallery below.)

But composting the biodegradable inserts is a win-win in my book. Urine is an excellent source of nitrogen, and a good source of phosphorus and potassium, making the practice of composting diapers a boon for the garden. Healthy urine is non-toxic. In fact, diluted urine has actually been used directly as a fertilizer.¹ All plants require micronutrients and nitrogen is often in short supply. Vegetables, in particular, are prone to nitrogen deficiency.² (By the way, legumes, such as beans, are an exception, as they actually produce nitrogen. This is why co-planting nitrogen-fixing beans with corn and squash is so helpful. Check out more on this in my post on the Three Sisters.)

To be clear, we do not compost diapers with poop. In our home all poop is flushed down the toilet, baby’s included (and chickens’ excluded). The sewer system is much better equipped to handle human waste than the trash system. Did you know that technically you are supposed to remove and flush the poop from disposable diapers before throwing them away? How many people do you think do that??

…any way, the veggies on the Bird Family Farm looove Baby Bird! (And she loves them.) We put every wet insert, about two/day, along with a lot of kitchen scraps and some yard clippings into a continuous composter. To get the inserts to break down faster, you could rip them open, but we never bother. And, voila! Black Gold…

Black Gold

Click on any photo below to enlarge.

¹http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine  ²http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_deficiency

Everything You Need to Set up a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

Perhaps you are reading this post because you have decided to start cloth diapering and are getting ready and organizing! Hooray! You won’t regret it. Here is a list of everything you need to get a cloth diaper changing station organized, set up and running.

Organize a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

Maybe you are still exploring options. There are lots of reasons why parents today are choosing cloth diapers, including the environment, saving money, being softer and less toxic for baby, less diaper rash and looking cute! To see a lot of great diaper statistics check out this link.

My path to cloth diapers was kind of round about. My mom loved to talk about dunking poopy cloth in and out of the toilet. No way was I going to do that. (Of course, now that I am 16 months into this parenting thing, a little poop doesn’t faze me, but don’t worry, it is not a requirement anymore!) Neither was I interested in using diaper pins, folding up sad looking rags, or being the parent of “that” child with the pee leaks.

Luckily, sometime before I was even pregnant, I stumbled upon the website for a hybrid diaper company and bookmarked it. (Yes, this was in the days before Pinterest.) An option that uses less plastic, creates less waste and was less toxic to baby immediately appealed to me. As it turns out, hybrid diapers were my gateway drug to cloth. And what is a hybrid diaper? Basically, a reusable outer diaper cover with a disposable or biodegradable insert. They may also be used with a cloth insert.

A day or two after bringing baby bird home from the hospital, we realized cloth wipes were so much softer on her little bum than disposable wipes. In about a week (when she was back up to 7 pounds), she fit into newborn sized gDiapers. We started with the biodegradable inserts, but once we got over our fear of washing something with poop on it, we realized how great it is to use cloth. You buy it once (or twice) and done! No late-night trips to the store for a box of Huggies.

We are in no way endorsed by or receiving money from gDiapers. Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small percentage from them for sales made after clinks on these links. There are other great cloth diapers out there, and I know of moms who try lots of brands before settling on the ones they like. However, we started with their newborn pack and loved them. I have tried only one other cloth brand and hated them. I also believe that “one size” diapers that are meant to fit all babies from newborn to toddler… don’t. For us, the option to use gDiapers with either biodegradable or cloth inserts has been great. We use cloth during the day and biodegradable while she sleeps. We take the bio while flying on planes, but have been able to use cloth on vacation. For more on composting biodegradable inserts, check out the next post.

After it languished on our baby registry, we purchased the newborn package which includes newborn and small sized gPants plus a package of biodegradables. But I started thinking that maybe that wasn’t all I needed. Because you don’t put dirty cloth diapers in a diaper genie, do you? So, I am now writing the post that I wish I could’ve read 1.5 to two years ago!

Here is a list of supplies and products that help make cloth diapering easy as pie! As many of us do with our first baby, I spent hours upon hours researching each and every product. Please comment if you have any questions. In the photo below you can see our set up.

Organize a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

A- step can as a diaper pail – There is no need for a fancy diaper trash can, just use a well-made but inexpensive step can, such as this simplehuman one, and use a washable, waterproof liner (B) .
B- diaper pail liner – Tip: Buy two so you always have one available while the other is in the wash. Wash by dumping the diapers straight into the washer and then throw the liner in. (See? No touching poop.)
C- compost pail –  This can hold wet, as in pee-only (no poop) biodegradable inserts before going out to the garden. Even if you have a compost pail in your kitchen, it’s convenient for those middle of the night changes to have one in the nursery. For more on composting diaper inserts, check out this next post.
D- gDiapers gCloth Inserts – For full-time use, I suggest 24-30 cloth inserts.
E- gDiapers gPants  – For full-time use, try 8-10 gPants. This link is to a 6-pack, a great value to get started. but they also come individually or in 2-packs in other colors and patterns. I have seen the 2-packs at Target, Babies R Us and Whole Foods. The cutest, limited prints (and yes, one of ours has a ruffle-butt) are found on gdiapers.com. Tip: Attach velcro under a book shelf to hang diapers. <–Have to give Papa Bird the credit for that. He’s handy that way.
F- BabyKicks Natural & Organic Baby Wipes (the rolled up cloth wipes)  Plan on having about 40 wipes in total. These BabyKicks ended up being the softest after a few washes. We use these wipes for her hands/face and wash them with her clothes.
G- and/or FuzziBunz Wonder Wipes (folded cloth wipes) – After a lot of use the other wipes were softer, but I still like the size and shape of these wipes. Since we use these ones just for wiping her bum, we throw them in the diaper pail to wash with the cloth diapers.
H- a box of gDiapers Cloth Diaper Liners – These are a cool invention: easily pull off and plop poop into a toilet. The wet-only ones can also be composted.
I- aden + anais 3 Pack Muslin Washcloths – After wiping baby’s bum with a warm washcloth, I use a washcloth to gently pat dry.
J- gDiapers Biodegradable Diaper Refills – Tip: To really save money use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. The biodegradable inserts hold a lot more liquid than cloth, maybe even more than a disposable diaper. We prefer them for night-time and planes. Also sometimes you just want to change it up!
K- extra Gdiapers Snap-in Liners – I recommend purchasing an extra 6-pack. That way if one gets messy, it can be washed and the gPants can be worn again. I wash poopy snap in liners with the cloth diapers and wet ones with her clothes. Do not put them in the dryer.
L- hand sanitizer (similar) – This is handy in case you can’t wash your hands immediately.
M- diaper area wash  – We spray a spritz spritz or two on a warm, wet cloth. Such a nice way to wipe baby’s bum. (Tip: I’ve found Target has this for the lowest price.) After cleaning baby’s bum, gently pat dry with the wash cloth (letter I).
N,O – changing pad and its cover – Mine was a hand-me-down, originally from Pottery Barn Kids.
P- aden + anais Muslim Hooded Towel – This came as a set with one of the washcloths (I).

Not pictured:
Wet Bag
-Essential if you ever want to leave the house. This holds wet diapers, clothes, bathing suits, etc. without messing up your diaper bag.
Coconut Oil  – Yup, the exact same we use to cook. (And make belly butter.) This is the only diaper cream we use. (Keep in mind cloth diapered babies get less diaper rash.) Be careful, as many conventional diaper creams will block the absorption of cloth diapers. Coconut oil is the only “lotion” we let little one use.
Diaper sprayer – Optional, especially if you use the cloth liners.
Detergent –  I believe in KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid.) I like to use the same detergent for diapers as I do for baby’s clothes and our laundry. There are manufacturers of diaper-specific detergent, but as long as you are using an unscented, natural one, it will likely be fine. Please check out this comprehensive table to see if you favorite detergent is already on there and how it rates. Currently, I am liking BioKleen Cold Water Formula liquid detergent. It is not too expensive at my local health food store (Sprouts) and I haven’t had to strip, or deep clean, my cloth diapers since I have been using it.
Newborn pack – This link goes to the best price by far for the newborn bundle starter pack.

For reference, our little one has always been 50th to 70th percentile in height and 15th to 25th percentile in weight. She wore newborns from 2 weeks old to 5 weeks. She wore smalls from 5 weeks to 7-8 months old. Pictured are her mediums. She is still in them, and hopefully will potty train before she outgrows them! Since mediums fit up to 28 pounds, she might not ever need larges.

Again, please comment with any questions.