When Your Daycare Doesn’t Do Cloth Diapers

When Your Daycare Doesn't Do ClothOur children are attending childcare for one year. For the first 9 months, the infant class teachers were happy to participate in using cloth diapers. We started the conversation kindly, and all three teachers were onboard immediately.

Not every journey is so easy. When our youngest son transitioned to the toddler class, his teachers were not as keen on the idea. If you’re considering cloth at a childcare facility that isn’t interested or just doesn’t know what cloth is about, here are a few things to consider in approaching the issue:

  • Know your state’s policies: Almost every state either specifically allows or does not prohibit the use of cloth diapers. You may have to sift through the policies of your state or you can google as cloth diaper state policies to find some lists already compiled. Verify that their information is still current and accurate. If your childcare facility is large or part of a larger entity, they may already have policy in place.
  • Consider friendly engagement: Begin the conversation, but there’s no need to go in cloth diapers blazing. Ask if they’ve ever used cloth, considered it, and would be willing to talk more about it. Be kind. For example, if they say your state doesn’t allow it and you know your state does, offer the information kindly. “Oh, that’s funny. I thought I was reading the other day that Texas did allow cloth in daycare. I’ll look into that more. If they do, I’d love to show you how easy it is!”  If there are other families at the facility that use cloth, work together when approaching the staff.
  • Demonstrate: Showing is a great way of them seeing that their worst fears aren’t likely. Take time outside of class time—when it is convenient for them, not in the rush of drop-off or pick-up times— to show them how the diapers work. Keep it very simple and to the point. I love to talk about pockets and flats and brands and styles, but that is not necessary when you are convincing someone about the ease of cloth diapers. Let them try out a few and then offer a trial run so they don’t have to have an absolute answer immediately.
  • Make it easy: We used Blueberry and bumGenius snap pockets as they are cut somewhat similarly. The other half of our daycare stash was Thirsties size 2 AIOS (no longer made) aplix. Each teacher had different preferences. We always had them ready to go, with a liner. They always had a few extra on hand. We sent a wet bag with a handle every day. I also took time to ask on a monthly basis how it was going and if there was anything we could do to keep it going well. Don’t expect them to take the effort to clean them as thoroughly as you might at home.
  • Find another facility: I know, it sounds like defeat. Instead, I encourage you to think of it as finding a more congruent fit with your parenting style.

If you end up using disposables at your childcare facility, use cloth at home! Especially over the weekend, we can get a small load of diapers and, after a prewash, I add a few towels in to get a full load that washes really well. Also, even if you don’t use cloth at the school, leave the situation positive for the next mama who comes along.

The diaper seeds you sow may harvest with another child in the coming years. The transition to cloth may prove especially difficult at a place where numerous people need to be on the same page (director, multiple teachers, possibly multiple classrooms for your family). Recognize that you are laying the groundwork that other advocates, perhaps some of the staff or another parent down the road, can build on. The road where all baby bums are fluffy!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Tags: baby, cloth diaper, cloth diapering, Cloth Diapers, daycare, infant, toddler

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