Monday, January 11, 2010

Diapering on the road

We haven't ever bought disposable diapers for Acorn. He had them in the hospital, for several very good reasons. And we brought the leftovers home. But we've never used them - the first thing we've done upon arriving home from each of his four hospital stays, once things are all put away and settled, is to put him in a real diaper.

Traveling cross-country with a toddler is a challenge all by itself. Doing so with a special needs kiddo (and his several suitcases of medical equipment) is an even bigger challenge. So why would we even think about complicating things by adding cloth diapers?

Because we're used to them, so they're not an added complication. They're just part of every day life, kind of like the trach, the suction machine, the g-tube...

Our trip was 4 days, 3 nights, and most of 2 of those days were spent in airports or airplanes. Not knowing what the laundry options would be, we planned to rough it - we purchased birdseye flats (mostly unbleached Little Lions, with a few no-brand), used, on This way, if necessary, we could hand wash diapers in the room, and dry them overnight on every available hanging surface. We also packed our trusted Thirsties duo wraps as covers - the hardest thing to dry on them is the aplix across the front. We got the Bummis flushable liners to help keep poo from soaking into the diapers  (bought locally from a diaper store). We packed 4 pockets for use on the plane ride home. Finally, we compromised and dug into our stash of disposable wipes (in travel sized packs, from the various hospital stays), largely because I didn't know how well they'd wash.

The first day was a travel day. We left home at 6, got to the hotel around 2, and went straight to the rehearsal dinner, returning to the hotel around 8. In that time, we had 4 wet and one dirty diaper. I decided to wash by hand rather than searching for another solution, because we were all tired, and I was afraid to let the hand washing go too long, for fear it'd take me all night:

In typical Acorn fashion, we also had to strip the bed that night, and him, because he puked all over it while I was doing diapers, so the clothes all got rinsed & hung in the bathroom (diapers aren't in this picture, but they were hanging from every towel bar, the shower curtain rod, and the shower head itself)

The next day, I learned that the hotel had laundry facilities. Since we were heading to the wedding, and getting back late, we opted to skip washing diapers that night in favor of throwing them in the washer the next day. Which we did.

We then had diapers from Sunday afternoon and night to bring home dirty, and enough pockets to get us out of the hotel that last morning, onto the plane, and all the way home. Of course, Acorn pooped in the first pocket before we even left the hotel, so we had to carry a very stinky diaper all the way back from Florida.

All in all, it really was no big deal. I liked having flats - trim, easy to carry, and secureable with one pin, which is always good on a squirmy boy.

The only problems with hand washing were (a) I forgot to bring gloves to make it easier on my hands, and (b) the midnight nurse insisted on putting calmoseptine on Acorn "just in case" he developed diaper rash (I guess she was worried about us driving to the airport?), and I couldn't get that washed out by hand. It came out just fine in the front-loading washer in the hotel though.

Would we do it again? The diapers, sure. The traveling with a medically fragile kiddo.....that's another blog entry.

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