Cloth and Daycare

Posted 09-7-2010 at 05:08 PM by brewanothercup

Many daycares are now cloth diaper friendly and eager to help families in any way they can.  Though laws differ from state to state, typically any daycare can accept cloth diapers as long as parents are laundering them and remove dirty diapers each day.

Using cloth exclusively – including while at daycare if you’re a working parent – means you’ll still enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of cloth diapers. Here are some tips on helping your babycare providers (and you!) transition to using cloth at daycare:

  • Try to have about 30 diapers in your stash to avoid washing everyday.  Washing every other day will allow your covers time to air dry and will give you and your washing machine some quality time apart.
  • Having several wetbags will help. Right now we have three in our rotation and that seems to be the bare minimum. Each day we send a new wetbag to daycare and wash the bags when we wash the diapers. In the mornings, we pack a small diaper bag with clean diapers and stick the wetbag on top for them to just toss everything into at each changing.
  • Find daycare friendly diapers. I prefer prefolds at home, but we send pre-stuff pocket diapers to daycare. This way they are doing no more work than they would with a disposible diaper. We’ve noticed our son needs to be changed more often with the prefolds, too, so it’s easier to do at home when he’s with us.
  • Send plenty of diapers. At three months old, we’re sending about 8 diapers a day. We haven’t gone through this many (at our request, they change him every 1.5 hours instead of the state-mandated every hour) yet, but this leaves one diaper an hour just in case there’s a poo emergency or giantic pee tsunami.
  • Make sure providers have any special instructions in writing. A lot of people don’t know to not use standard diaper creams in cloth diapers, or don’t know how an extra long insert should be stuffed into a pocket. Any special things in your routine should be in writing in case questions come up while your little one is at daycare.
  • Don’t forget wipes! Some centers provide wipes, while others request that you bring your own. At home, we make our own solution and use homemade wipes; if someone else watches our son, we send the spray bottle along and let them know they function the same way as conventional wipes…only better and more enviornmentally friendly!

Depending on the situation, you may also consider labeling your diapers if there are other babies in cloth at the center.  Having a washing routine for days you do need to wash helps, too – we tend to throw everything in the wash as soon as we get home so that it’s in the dryer by the time we are having dinner.  A lot more places are willing to do cloth than I would have ever imagined, and with a little organization, using cloth can easily continue at a daycare center.

Filed Under: Cloth Diapering, General

Comments

11 Responses to “Cloth and Daycare”

  1. wordmama on September 8th, 2010 2:10 am


    Our daycare had no problem with our cloth! The teachers all complimented me on how cute, soft, and clean they are! The first few days they would argue over who chose the diaper (we have a mutt stash of different prints) and who got to change her! lol

  2. wfiles on September 8th, 2010 4:19 am


    I have two little ones in diapers and our daycare provider has always been open to cloth. One thing she finds helpful is if we send two wetbags each day. She likes to put wet diapers in one and poopy diapers in another.
    I also always send one-size diapers and premoisten my cloth wipes just to simplify things for her.

  3. 2WolfeCubs on September 8th, 2010 3:57 pm


    I am actually the director of a childcare, and I agree with all you said! Also I will add that it really helps any apprehension with teachers if you sit and show them how cloth diapers work, even if they are as basic as a BG aio. Also, you may want to do a little search and see what your state laws are if your Center is licensed. Some laws may specify that soiled diapers should be bagged individually, which would mean you need to provide extra wetbags each day. But coming from our side of it, my teachers have always given good feedback and have no problem using cloth!

  4. nugget_101st on September 8th, 2010 4:10 pm


    I am still trying to beg my daycare to use cloth. My son is only in daycare 4 1/2 hours so I dont see the huge problem with cloth.
    Does anyone know where to look up state laws on cloth diapering in daycare?

  5. GirlMorg on September 8th, 2010 11:20 pm


    Some daycares require a doctor’s note stating cloth is recommended.

    Most doctors will do this without any problem, but some will give you heartburn because they don’t want their staff to have to do the note. There is a way around this though (and you get a note that says exactly what you want).

    I called the doctor’s office and found out how many inches down their letterhead went. Then I typed up the letter myself and took it to them (making sure I left room for their letterhead on the top). Then they took my letter, used the copy machine and copied it right on top of their letterhead and then stamped the doctor’s signature on it.

    Easy as pie. Was in and out of the office in two seconds without any problems or issues. The doctor was not even bothered, just the receptionist. Just don’t put the daycare’s name on it. Make it general, that way if you change daycares you can still use the same note.

    I also have two girls that watch my daughter. One at my home and one at hers. Neither one minds the cloth. The one at my home does not like the poopy ones though, but she is actually just a mommy helper so I am still in the home and can change that one if there is an issue.

    It can be done. But I agree. Pockets are the only way to go when it comes to a daycare. And the SAME pocket. Don’t mix it up with different brands. It will just be confusing for them. Have all the same brand that velcros the same etc. so there is not any confusion and make sure they are cute/colorful not just plain white so they will think they are neat and want to use them.

    A lot of times my daughter does not even wear pants. Just a shirt and a cute diaper.

  6. MamaCaroline on September 9th, 2010 7:01 pm


    Only one daycare had an issue with cloth for us, but since they were the most expensive, we easily ruled them off the list quickly without regret.

    Our state law does not require changing every hour. Our daycare does it every 2, and that seems to be the norm. We are required to provide a foot-operated pail with a lid (they can’t touch the pail with their hands per state law) and we have two pail liners that close at the top (for ease as I bring them home full of dirty diapers) that we rotate as we wash. We provide wipes, but just bring in biodegradable disposable ones because it’s easier for them.

    We have gotten comments like “I usually try to avoid changing the cloth-diapered babies, but his are so easy!”

    Our son is 4 months old and we bring in about 5 diapers a day. We usually come home with a clean one.

  7. MamaJules on September 10th, 2010 8:40 pm


    I had seen so many people here on Diaperswappers and elsewhere say they couldn’t find a day care that would use cloth. When my son started day care at 3 months old, I just assumed they wouldn’t use them so I didn’t even ask. When he was 4 months, I decided to just ask and see what they said. I brought in a cloth diaper and a wet bag to show them (we used Fuzzi Bunz at the time), and the teacher was perfectly fine with them. When the director saw them, she was so excited — she even asked how much they cost, because she wanted to get some to use on all the babies!

  8. elorasmom on September 11th, 2010 4:07 pm


    we were grateful to find a home daycare with a clothdiapering breastfeeding momma! She loves that we do cloth diapers and gave us a lot of good tips :)

  9. Lisa921 on September 13th, 2010 12:29 am


    This is great advice. We have been sending cloth to daycare for a while, and I would agree about having a larger stash to allow for air drying, and at least 3 wetbags. At first I tried to get away with only about 15 diapers and 2 wetbags, but this left no extra room for line drying. I also would recommend sending a few disposables to daycare as backup, and just leaving the diaper cream at home so there’s no chance that they would accidentally use it with the cloth.

    Since they have change diapers so often at daycare due to state regulations (in our state, it’s every 2 hours minimum), it makes even more sense to use cloth. We used to buy so many disposables, which was a waste of money and a LOT of trash.

  10. Lisa921 on September 13th, 2010 12:32 am


    Oh, and we generally try to stick with velcro diapers (BumGenius or Thirsties). The snaps can be tricky for some caregivers. I once found a Fuzzibunz hanging off my daughter with the hip snaps totally undone :)

  11. love2bmom on September 13th, 2010 12:55 am


    My kids don’t currently go to daycare, but I just started cloth diapering and am so amazed at how easy it is. I ordered all in one Bum Genius elemental diapers from Cotton Babies and they are as easy as disposable and fit great. I think more people need to be open minded about cloth diapering. It is so great for baby and the earth to use cloth.

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