Your little one is now on their way to daycare. It’s so exciting! They get to hang out with other kids, learn new things, try new things, maybe eat some new fresh foods, and just have a fun time.
The only thing is, you want to use your super cute cloth diapers at daycare too. Well, I want that to be a simple process for you. Here are some things to consider and go over with the daycare you choose.
Will My Daycare Allow Me To Bring Cloth Diapers?
I know cloth diapers can save money and the environment, but some daycares don’t allow cloth diapers. Ask the daycare when you go for a visit.
Do you allow cloth? If they say no, ask why.
Sometimes they don't know how to use them or what it entails. My daycare had never seen cloth diapers before we enrolled our kids. They only knew how to use traditional old school flats, diaper pins, and “plastic pants.”
Once I showed my daycare the different options, they were more open to trying them out and learning about them.
Some still might choose to not allow it, though. If this is the case, you can research other choices for daycare (if that is an option) or use disposable diapers.
If They Allow Cloth, Ask What Types They Allow
At first, I was sendingpocket diapers. Since I thought they were the easiest diapers for beginners to learn. They practically mimic disposable diapers, especially the hook and loop.
After a few weeks, I introduced them to our flats and covers. I folded the compartments in thirds, then in half, and put it inside the cover.
They tried themselves and were great at it! Especially since the cover can be used a couple times before washing, as long as it doesn’t get dirty.
Pack an extra diaper for nap time. You can never be too prepared when packing up your kids for daycare. What we like to do is have the daycare put two flats together for nap time.
This way, I know my little one won’t leak through the diaper. The two flats together will last a couple hours which is just enough to get them through nap time.
This was so easy for our daycare and it even made the laundry load easier during the week since they would just toss the dirty diapers in a bag for us.
This process is going to be trial and error when trying to find the right style diaper for your daycare.
Luckily, some daycares really like the best bottoms system! I think theImagine pocket hook and loop diapers are the easiest for daycares and are a great learning opportunity.
But What About The Solids?
The next thing I would discuss is what to do with the solid. I am lucky enough to have a daycare that will put the solids in the toilet, this makes clean up much easier.
Others will not as they consider it unsanitary, and that is okay. They need to follow their guidelines whether it's the rules or their own personal preference.
These rules will vary by daycare. I let my daycare know that whatever option they choose is fine. If they don’t want to, I tell them that putting everything in the wet bag is acceptable. Once I get home, I deal with everything then.
I asked my daycare director some questions regarding cloth diapers, and here is what she had to say:
1) Why are you ok with using cloth diapers?
I like to make the parents as comfortable as possible and try to accommodate them as best I can. This is a personal preference thing, just like if a parent wants to use breastmilk or formula. The more comfortable they are, the more at ease they are with having their children here.
2) Is there anything that would hinder you from allowing cloth diapers?
Professionally no. My only concern would be making sure there was enough room to store them. It’s also a great learning opportunity for my staff. The more experience they collect the better. Personally, no. They help the environment, and I love that.
3) Would you ever consider cloth diapers unsanitary?
Only if it became an un-contained explosive BM and I didn’t have an excellent way to clean it up. If it was bad enough, I would talk with the parents about considering extra padding or better fit diapers.
Making Adjustments Based On Conversation
Going off what the director had to say. I would make sure to pack a couple extra diapers and wet bags. I pack enough diapers to be changed every 2 hours, pulse 2-3 extra.
Make sure to consider something for nap time, so if they are going to be there for 8 hours, that would be 6-7 diapers a day. I tend to be paranoid and send more. Hahaha.
Make sure the wet bags you send have a handle on them. My daycare loves thePlanet Wise medium-light bags. They like to hang the bag off the changing table for easy access.
I also sent extra wet bags as well. Not only for explosive BMs that might need their own bag but for dirty clothes as well.
Some daycares will allow cloth diapers, but they have different methods of changing dirty ones. Some say each dirty diaper needs to be in its own bag.
Some say they need to be in plastic bags. An excellent alternative to plastic bags would bePlanet Wise ziplock bags. This is another way to introduce another reusable product.
Some of these rules are state laws, and some are just rules the daycare has set. For example, some states say cloth diapers need to be in an airtight bag.
This is why the Planet Wise ziplock bags would be great! I would then ask if those bags would be put into a large wet bag to keep them all in one place. It’s much easier to take home one larger bag over 4-6 smaller bags.
What Else Should You Pack?
I also make sure to packcloth diaper-safe diaper rash cream and some barriers. The barriers I send are usually fleece that I cut into rectangles or baby washcloths.
Make sure you talk to your daycare and let them know that the usual creams provided cannot be used with a cloth diaper.
If they feel the need to use these creams, then they need to use 2 of the barriers I have provided. Sometimes this happens because they ran out of mine and did not have any extra available.
Another thing to ask daycare is if they would consider cloth wipes. I feel they probably would be ok with this if they are ok with cloth diapers.
You just need to talk to your daycare and think of how to keep them in a wipes container, wet or dry. Another option would be in a small damp bag and get them wet right before use.
If you are going to send cloth wipes, ask if you need an extra wet bag for them or if they can they be tossed in with the diapers. But, again, this is probably going to be a preference thing.
If they are ok with using cloth in the beginning and start to get leaks, this might discourage them from using cloth diapers again.
This can be easily fixed though. Look at whether the diaper is not fit properly or if there just isn’t enough padding. After figuring out which one it is you can offer solutions.
Another good thing to send would be pictures of how to get a good fit.Nicki’s diapers chatter page on Facebook has some outstanding fit pictures.
You can print it out on 8x10 photo paper and send it in. What I did was print it off on standard paper and laminate it.
This was super helpful because the daycare could hang it up and anyone could use it for reference.
On Last Thing To Consider...
One last thing to think about before you pack your diaper bag for daycare. Do not send your most favorite color or print.
They could get ruined, lost, or even tossed out. When I send diapers, I pick my least favorite ones. This way, if something happens, I will not be super disappointed or upset.
Of course, it will still be painful, just not as bad as losing my favorite limited edition diaper.
What If They Still Say No To Cloth Diapers?
I live in a tiny community, and we only have one daycare in our county. If they were to say no to cloth diapers, I found an excellent alternative to chemical disposable diapers.
They arebiodegradable disposables by GroVia. They are 100% plant-based and can be used with any cover.
Sometimes your daily diaper bag will not work for a daycare and needs a little bit of change.
The number of diapers you need, extra clothes, extra products etc. are all things you’ll need to prepare for. Sometimes one backpack style type will work the best for home and another for daycare.
You might even need a larger backpack for daycare to hold all the extra stuff. You can find some cute Planet Wise backpacks on Nicki’s diapers website. Not only do they tend to hold more, but they can hang on a hook at daycare!
If your daycare says no to cloth diapers, ask why? Is it because of a bad experience? Is it a law where you live? Could it be because they don’t want to?
If they’re on the fence about it, ask if you could do a trial period and see how it goes. Offer to show them how they work and that it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If they say yes, start to discuss the options above.
But If They Still Say No...
Ask yourself if this is a deal-breaker, or can you swing it possibly with the biodegradable diapers mentioned above.
Another thing to consider is if your daycare will not use your cloth diapers. Is this the daycare I want? Can I go somewhere else?
Some people say using cloth at daycare vs. disposable diapers will be a $100 difference. Even if another daycare may seem more expensive, if they allow cloth diapers then think of all the money you would save not having to buy disposable diapers.
One reason a lot of daycares are currently not allowing cloth diapers is because of Covid-19. This is for sanitary reasons. They can still let them after regulations ease up, but for the current time being, they cannot.
This might be a good opportunity to try those GroVia biodegradable diapers until they can allow cloth diapers again.
Not only does my daycare like cloth diapers, but they love the prints. Sometimes I make it a theme day or match the weather outside.
They always comment on how much they love the prints. Sometimes, they don't put pants on just so they can look at the diapers, just like us at home!
Cloth diapers at daycare can be a lot easier than people think it is. I think there is a lot of confusion out there on cloth diapers and how to use them.
Once I showed my daycare how easy it was, they were much more open to it! The director even mentioned wanting to use them on her future kids. Some of the workers there have switched as well after falling in love with cloth diapers just like I have.
I love my cloth diapers, just like all the other cloth diapering parents out there, and I especially love mine fromNicki’s Diapers!
I am super excited that we were able to find a daycare that let us bring them in. I’m also so happy that you are considering cloth diapers at daycare as well. This may seem overwhelming, but you’ve got this!