How to use cloth diapers at daycare
Using cloth diapers at daycare (either in-home, or at a daycare facility) is a great way to extend the savings and benefits of cloth diapering you enjoy at home. Many daycare providers have already adopted policies for working with cloth diapers. Although every state in the United States has slightly different rules about cloth diapering at daycare, most states allow the use of home-laundered diapers in daycare (except New York, which requires the use of a diaper service without exception).
There are some basic things you’ll need to purchase and keep in mind when cloth diapering at daycare
1. Provide clean diapers
The number of diapers you provide daily will vary depending on your child’s age, and the length of time they’ll be at daycare. Young babies will use around 4-6 diapers during a normal 9-hour work day, while toddlers only need 3-4 diapers. Bring an easy-to-use style of diaper, preferably in all the same brand or style. Daycare workers may have limited experience with using cloth diapers, and consistency will help them be more successful. Teach your daycare provider how to put on the diapers by showing her a diaper change. Some daycare providers have policies about the style of diaper they will use. For example, many providers will not reuse diaper covers throughout the day, so select a pocket or “All-in-One” style diaper to fit this requirement.
2. Bring a clean wet bag or pail liner
Soiled diapers will be placed into a wet bag or pail liner throughout the day at daycare. A medium sized wet bag will be large enough to fit all the diapers used during the day. Some daycare providers require the use of a “diaper pail” (which could be a flip-top garbage can) to provide extra containment for soiled diapers.
3. Think about transport
Getting clean diapers to and from daycare can be a hassle, unless you create a good system to transport everything. Some parents prefer to use “wet/dry” bags, packing the clean diapers in the dry compartment, and returning soiled diapers home in the wet compartment. I recommend using a tote bag, and packing it with diapers, wet bag, and other supplies your child will need for the day.
4. Pack diapering supplies the night before
The morning before daycare is never a good time to be packing your daily diapering supplies. By packing the diapers and wet bag the night before, you’ll discover if you’re running low on diapers and have time to do a quick load of laundry. You’ll also be less stressed during the chaos of getting out the door in the morning.
5. Ask about cloth wipes
If you’re using cloth wipes at home, why not use them at daycare? Fold wipes into a reusable pop-up container and moisten them with a wipe solution. Daycare staff will appreciate how easy they are to use, and how few wipes are needed to clean up big messes.
Blog Contributor: Nissa is the author of the Cloth Diaper Guru blog is a cloth diapering mom, researcher, writer and has a PhD in life sciences.