How to Continue Traveling with Cloth Diapers with Part Time Cloth Diapering

Discover why we love part time cloth diapering and why it’s perfect for traveling with cloth diapers.

part time cloth diapering is ideal for at home and for traveling

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When we found out I was pregnant, we discussed raising our children in sync with eco-conscious values. Cloth diapering came up frequently.

First, I think cloth diapers are oh so cute. Practically speaking, they’re manufactured with less chemicals, cause less diaper rash, and create less waste.

And they save a ton of money. Money I’d rather have in my wine fund.

If I’m being honest, though, the commitment scared me. Would it be too messy? How much laundry will I really be doing? Is a disposable just easier?


Our compromise was to become a part time cloth diapering family!

What is Part Time Cloth Diapering

Part time cloth diapering is exactly what it sounds like: flexible cloth diapering without a full, 100 percent commitment. You can use cloth diapers AND disposables.

It’s an ideal solution for anyone interested in cloth diapering but concerned with traveling, daycare, or overnight diapers.

Of course I save on disposable diapers, but this middle of the road solution cuts down on diaper laundry and extra cloth diaper products, too. Think extra absorbency pads, overnight stashes, and just the sheer amount of cloth diapers.

Let the mommy police come after me, but I also think it’s a guilt-free way of doing both. If you want to do your best but know you’re not perfect, this might be the right solution for you!

Why We Chose Part Time Cloth Diapering

We chose to commit to cloth diapering for the financial and environmental benefits.

Initially, with my older son, we went the part time cloth diapering route because of child care. Daycares typically don’t allow cloth diapers.

When we had a babysitter, she adored using our cloth stash. My mom, however, preferred disposables as she was used to them. I wasn’t going to argue with my free child care provider.

I also never used cloth overnight…and I still don’t. Cloth diapers, on their own, are not as absorbent as disposables. I didn’t have the energy to deal with the trial and error of finding the right add-ons when my kid soaked through his diaper at 3am. I just wanted to sleep.

When my second son was born, we took a similar approach. Now that I’m home with him full time, I actually cloth diaper him a bit more. We still use disposables overnight and sometimes while we’re traveling.

we love flexible, part time cloth diapering

What Cloth Diapers and Accessories Do We Use?

A hybrid system is ideal for part time cloth diapering families. We personally use the GroVia Hybrids which consist of two parts: a waterproof shell and an organic cotton pad insert.

Change the cotton insert each diaper change, and the shell as needed. For part time, we have about eight shells and twenty four pads.

Additionally, we use bamboo bio-liners. Liners sit on top of the cotton pad and separate solids, making for easy clean up.

The liners are thrown out while the pads and shells go into a wet-bag until laundry day. I do diaper laundry about every three days.

You can find an easy-to read breakdown of the major cloth diaper styles and materials here.

Traveling With Cloth Diapers

YES! You can enjoy traveling and still use cloth diapers.

Part time cloth diapering is a PERFECT solution while traveling without driving yourself nuts. You still want to enjoy that beachside piña colada, right?!

Traveling With or Without Cloth Diapers?

Traveling with cloth diapers is not as scary as it sounds.

If we’re taking a day trip, or even just one overnight, I usually use cloth. A small wet-bag holds what I need and I simply wash them when we get home.

When we take day trips, I always change the boys right before we get into the car so they have a fresh cloth diaper with maximum absorbency.

In both cases, the cloth takes up no more room than packing disposables.

For longer vacations, the decision is based on whether or not laundry is available. And sometimes how long the trip is.

If we’re visiting and staying with family, I definitely plan to use my cloth stash. Many hotels and AirBNBs have laundry rooms, as well.

I DON’T bring them if there is no laundry or if the laundry is only a service. Cloth diaper laundry is very specific so I prefer to do it myself.

The last thing I want when we’re traveling for a week or two is an entire stash of dirty cloth diapers sitting in the corner. For this reason, we also don’t use cloth on cruises.

Related: Cruising with a Baby

Regardless, I always bring extra disposables with us when we travel for convenience.

Cloth Diapers and Add-Ons for Travel

For short trips my normal part time cloth diapering stash does the trick.

With longer trips, we opt for a few convenient add-ons that make traveling with cloth diapers easier.

I love GroVia’s biosoaker pads because they basically convert a cloth diaper into a disposable one, but are still more eco-friendly. Simply put the disposable pad in the reusable diaper shell.

I’ll throw a few soaker pads and an extra diaper shell into our diaper bag when we’re out exploring. An extra travel size wet-bag is great for day trips or on the go, too!

Many cloth diapering mamas love to travel with prefold diapers. Using the same hybrid shell, the prefold can also be used as an insert. Since they’re thinner, they’re ideal for daytime use, but take up very little luggage space.

Additionally, all-on-one cloth diapers change easily (even standing up!). Though they take a bit more effort to wash, they’re convenient on the go.

I personally use a combination of my regular hybrid diaper, soaker pads, and disposables. Ultimately, it’s all about what you and your baby are comfortable using.

Traveling with cloth diapers is not as scary or messy as you think!

Do you cloth diaper your kids? Have you heard of part time cloth diapering? Do you travel with your cloth diapers? Let me know your tips and tricks!

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how to cloth diaper when traveling with part time cloth diapering

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  1. May 16, 2017 / 7:26 am

    I’m 37 weeks pregnant. I’m going to cloth diaper and can’t wait to see my boy’s little bum in those adorable prints!

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:34 am

      Congrats!! I should’ve added that they’re also way cuter than disposables. We seriously love the grovia hybrids if you’re still shopping around 🙂

  2. Lin J
    May 16, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    J had a diaper rash, yeast infection for her first 6 months. We switched to cloth and in one night her rash completely disappeared. Great choice for baby and the environment!

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:25 pm

      Wow that’s incredible!! Fingers crossed, we’ve had no rashes so far!!

  3. Lucky Mom
    March 17, 2020 / 8:09 am

    A refreshing perspective. I like to think of cloth diapering like using real plates and silverware – you do it when you can, because it’s less wasteful and just generally nicer. But when you need to, paper plates and plastic forks are really convenient, even though their use should be limited, for the sake of the environment.
    I’m about to start cloth diapering my third baby, and we’ve been through various levels of part-time vs full-time CD’ing. Anytime a disposable doesn’t go into the landfill is a win.
    BTW, even though we mostly CD full time, I’m still a “normal” mom too, as are the majority of CD parents ?

    • Tori
      April 6, 2020 / 11:43 pm

      That’s a great analogy!

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