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Cloth Diapers and Daycare

Cloth Diapers and Daycare

Searching for anything about cloth diapers online can lead to a crazy amount of articles, but when I was preparing to go back to work and needed to know about cloth diapers and daycare —I came up short on information. What are the expectations? How many do I take? How do I make things easy on myself and my child’s caretakers?

First, you need to be educated about state restrictions. There are none. In fact, our state regulations do not make mention of cloth at all. The regulations only state that the caregiver provide: “At least one waterproof, sanitizable container with a waterproof liner and a tight fitting lid for soiled diapers.” This can easily be achieved by bringing a fresh wet bag each day for your daycare provider to use. Some may ask that you bring a small wet bag for EACH diaper, but that’s the craziest I’ve ever come across. I interviewed about a dozen daycares in the Scottsdale area (at the infant stage, and later when I changed jobs at the toddler stage) and I only came across one facility that claimed they could not use cloth diapers. I would have calmly (albeit aggravated) explained the actual law to them, but I had a bad feeling about the place as soon as I walked in, so I didn’t waste my time. If your provider refuses, I would suggest setting up a meeting to show them how easy it is. That works just about every time!

Next—what do you bring? You want to make it easy on everyone, so I highly suggest all-in-ones or pockets. Any diapers that can be changed all at once, and do not mess with inserts, etc. During the infant stage, you will need to pack more than you think. Here’s what worked for me:

Infant stage (all liquid-diet)

  • 7-8 AIOs/Pockets
  • About 20 cloth wipes a week (or disposables will work for day care too, if that’s easier)
  • 1 Medium/large wet bag
  • 2 changes of clothes
  • Cloth diaper-safe diaper rash cream (you will need to inform them that other creams can stain!)
  • Breast-Milk/Formula pre-made bottles
  • Any other sheets/blankets/comfort items that your daycare requests

Infant Diaper Daycare

Toddler stage (solids)

  • 5 AIOs/Pockets
  • About 20 cloth wipes a week (or disposables will work for day care too, if that’s easier)
  • 1 Medium/large wet bag
  • 1 change of clothes
  • Cloth diaper-safe diaper rash cream (you will need to inform them that other creams can stain!)
  • Lunch/Snack/Water Bottle
  • Any other sheets/blankets/comfort items that your daycare requests

Toddler Diapers Daycare

I love these Bumkins wet/dry bags, since I can pack the clean diapers in the front pocket, and they can fill the other pocket with dirty diapers throughout the day. I take a handful of wipes in at the beginning of the week, and bring in more as–needed. I also leave another small wet bag filled with extra clothes and disposables just in case I am particularly forgetful one morning. The key is to be flexible!

So, what do you do with the poop? I have never asked my daycare providers to dispose of the poop (remember, they have a lot of restrictions and steps to complete). I simply open the wet bag at the end of the day at home, and use my diaper sprayer to spray off any BMs. To help prevent staining, I use fleece liners on all of my diapers—and this has made it easier to get the poop off, and allowed for my diapers to look great even after using them for 18 months. I know a lot of people swear by these disposable liners as well.

A few other tips? I know some of the daycare staff I’ve worked with preferred aplix to snaps. I am not a huge fan of the aplix up-keep, but if it had been a deal breaker for them, I would have gladly purchased a few more. Also, not related to diapers, but helpful—when I first started packing the daycare bag, I clipped a  list of everything I needed daily on the inside. It was a quick, easy way to access everything I needed before I left.

I have had nothing but good feedback from those new to cloth, so I have been extremely happy. An added bonus is that you can physically confirm how many times your child was changed during the day—which is oddly comforting.

Leaving your child in the care of someone else is hard enough without having to worry about diapers—hopefully these tips can help!

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