So you use cloth diapers at home and it has been going so well! But now your little one is going to be in daycare soon and you wonder if you can still use your beautiful cloth diapers. But how do you start? This post will go through the basics of cloth diapering at daycare, from making sure it’s allowed and how to make it easier for the teachers and you! Also, gain access to your own editable printout for your daycare to use!
Are daycares allowed to use cloth diapers?
This is a great question to ask a potential daycare provider during your tour. If you’re lucky, your daycare provider will be very accepting of cloth diapers or already has other kids who use them! However, you may experience some resistance, whether the daycare is not comfortable using cloth diapers or they may cite that it is against the state law to use cloth diapers.
Double-check the state law prior to going on your tours so that you are familiar with the rules and regulations in your state. Almost all states legally allow the use of cloth diapers, but there are a few states that may require a doctor’s note. Here is a great link that makes it easy to find and search state and territory licensing regulations for each state! Just find your state in the drop-down box and click on the PDF link.
However, even if the state allows the use of cloth diapers in daycare centers, this does not mean that the daycare actually has to use them. If a daycare provider is hesitant, see if you can meet with the director and offer to do a demonstration of how easy it is to use cloth diapers and how they aren’t unsanitary as most people believe. Once they see the cute prints and how cloth diapers aren’t much harder than disposables, hopefully, they will be on board!
Thankfully, Remy’s daycare was accepting from the very beginning! They actually provide disposable diapers, but we don’t get a discount for using our own diapers. While an $8/week discount for daycare costs would also be nice, I’m still pretty happy with decreasing our carbon footprint and saving the planet. 🙂
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What type of cloth diapers should I send to daycare?
Your daycare provider is on board with using cloth diapers – hooray! Now it’s time to choose a cloth diaper style that is user-friendly. Try to avoid the prefolds and covers or all-in-twos. Instead, choose a cloth diaper system that is as similar to a disposable diaper as possible. These options include a pre-stuffed pocket or an all-in-one cloth diaper.
Our choice for daycare diapers was easy for us as our stash is 100% made up of Lalabye Baby diapers. The color-coded rainbow snaps make it super simple for the teachers to change Remy’s diapers. For example, we tell the teacher, “Remy is on green for the waist snaps,”. Easy peasy!
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What other supplies should I send to daycare?
Wetbag – Prior to using cloth diapers at daycare, discuss how the school prefers to store dirty diapers. Offer to send a wet bag to hold the diapers after each use. You’ll then bring home this wetbag of dirty diapers at the end of each day. Some daycares may have a policy of tying each used diaper in a plastic bag. Remy’s school does the latter, but then stores each wrapped diaper in the wetbag we provide.
Cloth wipes – If you use cloth wipes at home, you may ask if you can use them at daycare in addition to the cloth diapers. It may be easier to send cloth wipes pre-moistened, but you can also send disposable wipes. Since Remy’s school provides disposable wipes, we opted to do that instead of sending our cloth wipes.
Cloth-safe diaper cream – This is very important to bring as most diaper creams on the market are NOT cloth-safe and can actually damage your diapers or decrease their absorbency. We provide our favorite cloth-safe diaper cream to our school. They love the creaminess of this cream so much that the teachers recommend it to other parents, even though their kids use disposables!
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How should I send the cloth diapers to daycare?
There are essentially two options for sending the cloth diapers to daycare. You have the option of sending diapers for the entire weeks on Monday and just bring home the soiled diapers each day, making sure to bring in a new, clean wetbag each day.
The other option is to bring just enough cloth diapers for the day in a wetbag and bring it home at the end of the day.
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How do I teach the teachers?
Keep it simple! Really! You told your daycare how simple it is to use cloth diapers, so show them that it really is that simple. The only difference is with the snaps and that they don’t toss it in the trash after it is soiled. All they need to know is how to put on the cloth diaper and where to store them when they take them off! If your cloth diaper doesn’t have the rainbow snaps for quick teaching, consider snap blockers, which will close off the incorrect snaps and keep the correct ones open.
In addition, I educate the teachers on how to fold poopy diapers as shown below. This infographic was provided by the Lalabye Baby website. Don’t roll the poopy diaper like a regular disposable, because then you’ll have to deal with the fun stuff on the inside AND outside. Now that Remy is in the “ploppable” poo stage, his teachers actually discard the solids for me! You can even make it easier on yourself and and the daycare by using disposable liners, which are thin sheets that keep poop off of the cloth diaper. You can either buy the liners or I’ve heard of some mamas using Viva paper towels.
Educate how often to change a cloth diaper, but most facilities already have a policy in place on how often any diaper should be changed, disposable or cloth.
Despite reassurances of how easy cloth diapers are, some teachers do get intimidated. Thus, I put together a simple care sheet to hang by Remy’s diaper area. This way, any teacher that is changing Remy’s diaper has a quick reference guide to refer back to. I made the snap placement guide sheet and laminated it, so that as Remy grows, I can change the snap placements by erasing and marking the new ones! The infographic showing how to put on a cloth diaper was from the Lalabye Baby website.
Finally, keep the lines of communication open. I try to talk to each teacher that will be caring for Remy one-on-one in case they have any questions. I also check in with the teachers on a regular basis to allow them an opportunity to bring up any concerns or feedback.
Overall, we have had an amazing experience with using cloth diapers at daycare. The teachers have no problems with using them. In fact, some of the teachers have favorite prints, so I make sure to reserve those prints/colors for school days! If you’re wondering if you can use your beautiful stash of cloth diapers at daycare, wonder no more! Just follow these steps to work with your daycare provider while also making it easier for them. Remember, it’s a team effort! Do you use cloth diapers at daycare? I would love to hear if you do and what your experience has been like!