Cloth Diapers and Day Cares

Tell me if this has happened to you. You go into a really nice daycare. You meet the caregivers. You finally feel comfortable trusting your new baby with this center. Then you ask them if they allow cloth diapers.

They say no.

You get bummed, but it was as you presumed it would be, and so you accept their decision.

Here’s what you have to understand. To most people, cloth diapers are still the old pre-fold diapers with rubber pants and pins and wet-pails.

If you want to use cloth diapers all the time, here’s the effective strategy my clients used to get them to allow cloth in their facility.

  1. Have your diaper bag prepared like a well oiled machine, ready to rival the convenience of any disposable diaper change.
  2. Choose an easy to use diapering system with velcro tabs.
  3. Pre-stuff your diapers pockets before you leave your house so that the diaper doesn’t seem overwhelming.
  4. Introduce the topic with these words: “Oh, and let me show you the diapers we use because his skin is very sensitive.” presenting it as more of a necessity than an alternative choice.
  5. Show them the pre-stuffed diaper, and demonstrate very briefly that the velcro works the same on cloth as it does on disposables.
  6. Show them the diaper on your child pointing out there is no diaper cover nor diaper pins.
  7. Show them your wipes. Have them pre-bagged and moistened with a mixture of water and wipe solution to mimic disposable diaper wipes.
  8. Bring an example of a wet bag and explain that they are simply to use that in lieu of the garbage pail.
  9. Explain that they are not to empty the poop from the diaper, but rather they should just fold it as they would a disposable and place in the wet bag.

This method has been highly successful with my clients in the past. I’d love to hear your experiences with this method after you try it. I bet you will also be very successful.

Dawn Papple

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6 Responses

  1. Great help for those daycares that don’t accept cloth, I wish more of them would just ban disposables… So much waste and the disposables leak… Also I have heard with a doctor’s note some people have had good luck. But definitely showing them the diaper as you explain to them that this is what your child wears can be helpful. It can be intimidating as a child care provider to try something new, but many times trying pays off. That’s why I switched my daycare to a cloth diaper day care, I tried it and I could never go back.

  2. I love the suggestion to present it not as an “alternative choice” but as a necessity. Excellent tip.

  3. Jen, you go above and beyond in your daycare. If only every community had a daycare as dedicated to responsibility as your daycare is. You should be commended.

  4. Angie,

    Someone taught me awhile back that depending on how you present a topic, you can get a wide variety of outcomes. If you don’t ASK permission, and just present it as though this is what’s happening and they’d be politically incorrect to suggest that you use disposables, you eliminate the option for them to “approve it,” by presenting it as though you’re just informing them of how the system works, many people won’t speak up. When you give people permission to control your choices, they usually do. When you take that option away, many times they do not know how to introduce a contrary choice.

  5. […] hear all the time about the struggles parents face with getting their daycare to allow cloth diapers in their facilities. Here’s a new twist.  Jen Dunkle, owner of “What Do You See Childcare” in Fowlerville, […]

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