Cloth Diapers Go to Day Care

Day 13 – Cloth Diapers Go to Day Care!  Today marks quite an important day for us – Lil’ B turns TWO!  Not only does she turn two but she’s also 1) having a bye-bye boobie party AND 2) starting day care for the first time.  Think this mama can handle it all?

I work full time from the home and she had a nanny part time until about 6 months old.  Then she transitioned into an in-home child care provider.  She’s been with “Nani” for over a year and really enjoys going and playing with her friends.  We’ve always had the plan of moving her to day care when she turned two.  Why?  The in-home provider is great – don’t get me wrong.  She got lots of love and attention and that was important for the first 2 years.  Over the past 6 months we’ve noticed some minor things that we weren’t happy with.  For starters Nani still puts the kids in high chairs everyday to eat – yes even the 2 and 3 yr olds sit in high chairs.  The funny thing about that is that she also has a plastic picnic table (kid sized) sitting in the same room – but she only let’s them play there.  Another thing we noticed was that she tended to baby her in other ways – she still feeds her with a spoon by hand!  Ummm….she’s two…she knows how to use utensils and needs to be independent.  Anyways – we decided it was time for her to move to a more structured provider.

We knew right away where we were sending her – the same place her brother went.  Sure there were things that annoy us about all the rules and regulations that come along with day cares but they are all with good intent.  The thing that scared me most about going to day care was approaching them with our cloth diapers.  Since we’re going on 2 years in cloth there is NO way I’m going to send her to a place that won’t allow cloth.  Two weeks ago we went in to see if they had openings and I brought up the subject.  If you’ve never had this conversation with a day care there are some easy ways to bring it into the conversation and make it seem like it’s ‘no big deal’…that’s just what I did.  After about 5 minutes talking with the director we simply asked, “So do you have any children in cloth diapers?”

I was SHOCKED (in a good way) when she said “Yes, actually we have one in cloth right now!  No big deal”  That was the end of the conversation…really…that’s it! 

Two weeks later I’m packing her bag (last night) for her big day!  Want to see what she took with her?  Can you guess all of the diapers in her bag today?

I packed a variety of diapers – only two of them were Velcro.  I also packed her new wet bag (Monkey Foot Designs from and her Nappy Balm (from ecoStore USA).  Each diaper was lined with a flushable Imse Vimse liner(also from to make handling the poop a little easier for the teacher.  I decided to pack disposable wipes the first day and have that conversation with the teacher later.

This morning we packed her lunch, the rest of her diaper bag (change of clothes,etc), and her nap lovies (blanket, pillow, and baby).  We already have a good morning routine down…we drop off Big Brother, then we normally head to Nannies.  When I didn’t make the turn to Nannies she yelled out “Nani, Nani” and realized we were going the wrong way.  It’s so funny to see a two year old realize when things are different.  I explained (again) to her that we were going to big girl school where she can color, play outside, and make new friends.  She was really excited about coloring…her favorite hobby these days.

The excitement continued as we walked in the front door of the center and she was still excited as we walked into the classroom.  Then it happened…fear set it!  She clung to mommy and wouldn’t let go of my leg.  I stayed with her showing her where her nap lovies were going (the cubby with HER name on it!), where her lunch box was going, and where her jacket was going.  All her new friends were really excited to meet her and I think she was a little overwhelmed with all of the attention.  My oldest had the same teacher (let’s call her Mrs. J) so I didn’t have to introduce myself and that felt very comforting.  I know she’s in good hands.

Then I walked Mrs. J through the diaper bag showing off the stash.  She was very comfortable and didn’t have any questions for me.  The only thing she had never seen before was the flushable wipes which really excited her.  Oh and she did ask me about cloth wipes…so maybe I’ll pack those for her tomorrow!  This is going to be such a good fit!

Before the tears...

I should be getting a phone call shortly with an update on how her day is going and I’m hoping it’s better than when I left.  She was screaming the second I turned and walked out of the room.  They have a video camera in each of the rooms so I could watch her for a few minutes before I left.  She just stood in the middle of the room crying.  I would do the same thing if my mommy left me with someone I didn’t know…but I know that she’ll adjust quickly.  Once the fun starts and she realizes that she has more freedom to explore the world I know she’ll want to go back.  It may not be tomorrow…but one day soon…she’ll want to go back.  Of course the rest of the week will probably be challenging as she adjusts to the new routine.  Just remind me of that tomorrow…

Need tips on how you can approach your day care about using cloth diapers?  Remember to stay positive and don’t make a big deal about them.

  • Remember how your spouse and family felt when you told them you were going to use cloth?  The day care may react the same way…
  • Show them the diapers and show them how similar they are to using disposables.
  • Explain to them that they are better for your babies sensitive skin (and the environment and your wallet…but you don’t have to tell them all that).
  • Explain that you will provide a wet bag (show them a bag) to store the dirties.  They don’t have to do anything but put the diapers into the bag and give them back to you.  No swishing, no rinsing, nothing.  After all…you’ll want to do that yourself anyways so that no one messes up your pretty little stash!
  • If they do hesitate at all about using cloth diapers explain that you would be happy if they would try cloth on a trial basis.
  • Provide the teacher with a mini lesson in how you do things so they aren’t intimidated.

Need more advice?  The Real Diaper Association has some great tips and resources (including a Cloth Diaper Day Care Friendly Directory) that you can use when approaching your center. 

RDA Cloth Diapers & Day Care Tip Sheet
RDA and RDIA Cloth Diaper Friendly Day Care Directory

Comments?  Questions?  Can you guess all of the diapers in her diaper bag today?  Hint: There are 4 different brands in her bag!

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8 Responses to Cloth Diapers Go to Day Care

  1. Jenny says:

    My son just started daycare yesterday, and they have been really open about using cloth diapers. I would love for them to use cloth wipes also, but i’m not sure the best way to bring them. We use dry wipes with a wipe solution at home. that just seems like to many steps for a busy daycare worker. How are you planning on sending your wipes?

  2. Calley says:

    Jenny – as for the cloth wipes I need to check with them today and see how the last mom did it. Options:
    1. Pack pre-moistened wipes in ziplock or other container.
    2. Pack dry wipes and spray bottle of solution.
    I’m going to guess that the first option may be easier for them. They had to store my nappy balm in a safe cabinet locked up away from the kids with a signed note! I can’t imagine what they would do with an unlabeled spray bottle of homemade solution. LOL! I’ll update you tomorrow.

  3. Jenny B says:

    LS goes to Mother’s Day Out and they had no problems with cloth – they had seen them before. At first, they didn’t change him often enough, though, and he would leak when they left him in his cloth for more than 2.5 hours. I solved that by adding a doubler to each pocket diaper I send to MDO! Also, I would put flushable liners (I use Bummis BioSoft) in the diaper he came to school in, and after a few days they actually asked if I could include the liners in the diapers I packed so that they could use them too! I thought that was really neat!

  4. Alexis Dunigan says:

    I really like the Monkey Foot Designs wet bag you have – what size did you get on the DiapersEtc website? I am trying to figure out what size to order b/c I like all of the wet bag designs on her website!

  5. Robin says:

    Happy birthday to Lil B :) I think your casual approach to bringing up the subject of cloth diapers was so appropriate. And I can’t wait to hear more about the other tot in cloth.

  6. Cinella says:

    Happy Birthday to Lil B! She’s a big girl now…. that’s so exciting and sad. Best of luck to both of you. That’s awesome that they were open to both cloth diapers & wipes… I hope I find one like that near us.

  7. Pingback: Tips for Using Cloth Diapers at Day Care

  8. Pingback: Packing For Daycare -

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