So, you’re finally used to your cloth nappy system and your baby is happy in those colorful bottoms. You’ve probably even developed a cleaning routine you could do with your eyes closed! But, what about when it’s time to hand your baby off to a daycare or sitter?
Convincing care providers to use cloth nappies can seem like a daunting task. Often, sitters and daycare providers have a negative image of cloth nappies based on common myths. As a result, they may be wary of adopting your cloth nappy system or even refuse to try it all together. Here are some tips to help convince your daycare provider to use cloth nappies and ways you can make it as easy as possible for them.
FIND OUT IF YOUR DAYCARE HAS A CLOTH NAPPY POLICY
Some daycares have written policies stating that they won’t accept cloth nappies. These policies are often based on hygiene concerns. You’ll have a hard time convincing them to make a change if this is the case. Moms who have tried endlessly to make their cloth nappy process as easy as possible for caregivers are often met with resistance from daycares with existing policies. Of course, a cloth nappy policy may simply state what kinds of cloth nappies the daycare center accepts and whether they are allowed to reuse nappy covers after changes.
If the providers don’t have a policy on cloth nappies, you should still expect some hesitance. Try to find an open-minded caregiver who shares your environmental and chemical-free values. They’re more likely to accept your requests to use cloth nappies on your baby and have enthusiasm about your choice. Settle their concerns about hygiene by describing your lengthy wash process and how it results in adequate sanitization.
TELL THEM HOW CLOTH NAPPIES BENEFIT THE DAYCARE
One huge benefit of cloth nappies to a daycare center is a reduction in the amount of waste the facility has to throw out. Often, daycare providers have bags of disposable nappies they have to deal with, so they may appreciate fewer nappies in their bins.
Tell your daycare provider about why you’re using cloth nappies. For example, you may want to discuss the various environmental or economic benefits with them and show them how their daycare can get involved by accepting cloth nappies. Tell them if you made the switch because your baby has an allergic reaction to the chemicals in disposables. If your daycare provider shares some of your values, or understand the health reasons behind your choice to use cloth, they’re more likely to get on board.
SEND YOUR EASIEST CLOTH NAPPIES TO DAYCARE
USE ALL-IN-ONES FOR SIMPLICITY
You’ll have the most success with cloth nappies at daycare of you provide them with the simplest type of nappy you have. All-in-one nappies are the most similar to disposables and require little extra work from the caregiver. They require no additional steps over disposables. In fact, they go on and come off in the exact same way. Some daycares won’t reuse cloth nappy covers due to hygiene reasons, so try to avoid all-in-two nappies or pre-folds. If you need to purchase a few extra nappies for your daycare stash, check out Little Piglet’s collection of simple all-in-ones.
PRE-STUFF YOUR POCKET NAPPIES
Pocket nappies require a few extra steps which you can do at home to keep it simple for daycare providers. Prepare pocket nappies for daycare ahead of time by pre-stuffing the inserts. Let your provider know they can place the soiled nappy directly in your wet bag without removing the inserts first. If your child is a heavy wetter, you may prefer to use pre-stuffed pocket nappies with boosters, so your daycare doesn’t have to deal with leaks.
GO WITH VELCRO
All-in-one nappies with Velcro closures may be easier for first-timers since they mimic the closures on a disposable nappy. They can also provide a better fit for daycare workers who are worried about leaks. Snap closures are slightly more complicated for people unfamiliar with them. However, they are preferable if your baby likes to try to remove their nappy!
MAKE IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE
TELL THEM YOU’LL DO ALL THE EXTRA WORK
For many daycares, poopy nappies will simply be placed into your provided wet bag. Most daycares won’t deal with tipping out waste into the toilet or giving them a rinse. However, some daycares may be willing to dispose of dirty liners in the trash can. Respect what the daycare center is willing to do and provide them with what they need to do it. Tell them you’re willing to do all of the cleanup yourself later, and all they have to do is pop the soiled nappy into the provided wet bag.
SEND EVERYTHING THEY NEED
Send 2 wet bags with your child to daycare. One should be left empty for filling with dirty nappies. Place 6-8 clean nappies, disposable liners, and a nappy-safe baby cream in the other. You may even want to lay the liners in each nappy ahead of time so they’re ready to go. Make sure you let the daycare know that using other nappy creams may damage your cloth nappies. You should also send a supply of disposable wipes along. If you really want them to use your cloth wipes, make sure they’re pre-moistened in a zip-lock bag.
INCLUDE A FEW DISPOSABLES
If you’re okay with it, send a few disposable nappies along with your cloth nappies. There may be some cases where it’s just easier for your daycare provider to resort to disposables. For example, they may appreciate disposables when your kid is having digestive issues and their poops are a little less forgiving. This is also useful if multiple people will be changing your baby as one person may come along who is unfamiliar with the cloth nappy process. Instead of leaving your baby in a wet nappy, it’s better that they put them in a disposable.
DEMONSTRATE HOW TO USE CLOTH NAPPIES
This could be the first time the daycare provider has been exposed to cloth nappies, so be thorough when you explain the process. Remember the questions you had when first started using cloth nappies. Demonstrate to the caregiver how to put on the cloth nappy by describing each step. Go slowly and make sure they understand everything.
Show them how to remove the waste from the nappy, store the soiled ones, and put on a clean one. If you’re using snap-closure nappies, make sure they understand all the points on the nappy that need to be snapped and secured. Show them how the cloth nappy should properly fit since they’re bulkier and more cumbersome than disposables. Finally, be sure to show them how to prevent leaks.
Sending your child off to daycare for the first time can be scary. Adding cloth nappies to the event gives you a few extra things to remember before leaving the house. We suggest packing your nappy bag ahead of time with everything your daycare provider will need for the following day. Now, it’s time for your baby to go play and make some new friends at daycare!