Yes, it’s doable!
Here was our situation: Family trip (as in, us with DH’s parents and
sibs). Cruise ship. No laundry facilities. (Obviously I did not choose
the ship.) Genna was getting potty trained, but not usually away from home, and with a
tendency to wait to tell us she needs to pee when she had approx. 8
seconds to get to the toilet.
We decided to take flat diapers, since they would wash the easiest
and dry the fastest, not to mention that they pack so compactly. I also
took several pairs of training pants because those would be easier on
the travel days than trying to deal with a diaper and cover in the
airplane bathroom. We also decided that we would throw away any poopy
diapers, rather than trying to get them clean by hand washing in water
of unknown temperature. (I wasn’t sure how hot the water on the boat
would get.) I packed enough diapers for two days of full-time diapering,
in addition to wipes and a few covers.
I hand-washed wet diapers and training pants in the sink in our
bathroom – one at a time – every time we had one in need of washing. I
rinsed them out under running cold water, then let them soak in hot
soapy water for a few minutes before agitating with my hands for several
minutes. I rinsed in hot water, then cold water, until I didn’t see any
more bubbles. We hung them to dry using clothes pins and skirt hangers.
The bathroom was too humid, so I actually hung them out on our cabin’s
deck. Our cabin mates (my MIL, FIL, MIL’s aunt, and MIL’s friend) were
not super impressed by this, but *shrug.*
There were a few days when we
had oily soot from the ship’s smokestacks covering everything on the
deck, and on those days, I hung diapers in the closet or in front of the
window from the curtain rod. I brought clothesline, but was reluctant
to just string it up somewhere.
This system worked well for us. Flats are not hard to wash by hand, they rinse clean
fairly easily, and they dry fast. PUL covers are trim and also easy-care.
I used flats that I made from birdseye fabric, and we used some liquid
laundry soap that I had sitting around the laundry room from our last
trip last summer. It was probably Costco brand.
Yes, we could have just switched to disposables. but I didn’t want
to. (And Genna got a horrible rash the one time she wore a disposable.)
Had we been using disposables, I would have had to devote a lot more
suitcase room to diapers, since I would have needed to pack enough to
last the whole 12 days we were gone. And I would have had to worry about
running out! And I’m honestly not sure what I would have done with them
on the ship. They don’t have plastic liner bags in the garbage cans,
and I wouldn’t have wanted to smell dirty disposable diapers all day,
As it turns out, using cloth was not a big deal. It didn’t take up
much time. It was no more effort than using cloth at home. It was not a
Written by Sarah Reid, of Wallypop and Boulevard Designs