Being a working mom of two, it is necessary my boys go to daycare. I work a split shift from home for a large company, so I am able to be home with them from 12:30 until they go to bed around 7:30 pm. After they’re asleep, I finish my shift. Because of this, I only need 13 hours a week for daycare, which is great. I have a lot of time with my boys and still get to work full-time. However, I didn’t want to give up my cloth diapers because my boys were in daycare.
I did a lot of research on health codes and asked a lot of advice from my cloth diaper community. I wanted to be sure I had all my information ready. At the time we decided to start, I had two in diapers and the boys were going through at least three diapers a session at daycare – if not more. I knew it was going to be a lot more “wallet-friendly” to have the boys in cloth during their daycare time as well as at home. The cost of daycare for two boys is expensive enough! Our daycare was very accepting of our choice, which made the process a lot easier for us. I am pretty sure we were the first family at our daycare to try this out.
It was determined that (in the state of Connecticut, at least) the soiled diapers needed to be placed in a sealed container, which was to be taken home each night and cleaned for use the next day. For this, we used a shoebox-sized plastic bin from the storage container section of our local “super-store”. This size bin nicely held three cloth diapers, which was typically perfect. We did keep a few disposable diapers on hand at the daycare in case there were a few extra “stinky” ones which required more than three diapers in one day.
My biggest concern was the use of diaper cream. Prior to cloth, diaper cream was applied regularly at daycare, providing we had given permission. Obviously, diaper cream is not to be used with cloth diapers, but I came up with a solution. I only asked that that it be used if he had some redness. Cole especially has really sensitive skin, so we do periodically coat him with a little cream on occasion to keep any skin irritation away. I purchased flushable liners to be used at daycare and bought a cloth diaper-friendly cream just in case some accidentally got on the diapers. The flushable liners also helped with the poop diapers, too, since it make it easier to dump in the toilet.
I came in and demonstrated the diapers, which I pre-stuffed for the staff every day. This way, they were able to ask me questions and be comfortable with using them. I think some of the staff was pretty surprised as to how easy they were. Over the last two years or so, cloth diapering at daycare has gone smoothly.
On January 5th of this year, Cole turned three years old. A few days after his birthday, he actually transitioned out of daycare and the early intervention program (an at home program for kids with delays or special needs) and into the public school system. He now attends a 3-5 year old program through our local kindergarten that is for children with special needs and “typical” peers. At first, I was afraid we would have to go to disposable diapers. I actually was a little nervous to bring it up with all of the formal meetings. When we starting visiting the classroom, I decided to give it a go and ask. What was the worst that could happen? They say no? So I asked. At first, they said we would have to buy disposables for school, but after I showed them the diapers and how similar they are to a disposable diaper, they agreed to give it a go! And so far, it seems to also be going well!
I know some people decide not to cloth diaper because they send their kids to daycare. I can tell you that with the right center, and the right research, you can successfully cloth diaper and have child care!
Jenn Kubicza is a mom of two little boys, one of whom has a neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman’s Syndrome and will require extended diapering.