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Sunday, April 11, 2010

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Cloth Diapers at Daycare: Tools to make it happen

Running into difficulty getting your daycare to continue your commitment to cloth? Or are you a new mom returning to work and trying to find a daycare that will accept cloth? Unfortunately, the daycare industry has been slow to join the cloth diapering movement. Citing health concerns and time-management issues as the main roadblocks, many daycare providers may just need to be educated to make cloth diapering at daycare a success! The Real Diaper Association advocates cloth diaper usage in daycare and helps parents educate providers about the practice.

Here are a few tips for making it work.
  • Be upfront. Whether you are just looking at daycares or have already committed and are trying to change the policy, let them know from the first meeting that this is something that is important to you. It may even be worth a phone call to each provider on your list before you visit to see how they will react. If the reaction isn’t positive, maybe it’s not worth a visit.
  • Be thorough. Consider all types of daycare when doing your research. When a daycare center might not be flexible, an in-home provider might be your answer. There are many daycares popping up that do support cloth diapering…in fact some prefer it, so get online and start hunting for ones in your area.
  • Be prepared. Have a plan for how cloth diapering with work and come to the meeting prepared to share your ideas. Many daycares don’t have formal policies regarding cloth diapers, so hearing a plan of how it would work may make some providers more comfortable with the idea.
  • Be instructive. Bring a sample diaper along with you to show the provider exactly how it works. Most are probably thinking of the cloth diapers their mother used, so show them how far cloth has come! Don’t forget a wet bag and other accessories you’ll be providing so they can see the whole picture.
  • Be flexible. There may be a compromise to your proposal that would make everyone happy, so be open to their concerns and suggest an alternative that will work for both.
  • Be a guinea pig. Suggesting a trial-period might be the best way for both daycare provider and parents to test the waters. After 30 days, most will likely be converts, but having an “out” will make everyone more comfortable. Be sure not to sign a long-term contract until the trial is over to ensure you are not tied into something that isn’t going to work.
  • Be calm. Nothing is going to change with a negative or quick-tempered attitude on your part. A calm, kind demeanor will let the provider know that you are serious about making this happen and you want to work with them not against them.

For more tips of bringing cloth diapering to daycare, check out the Real Diaper Association’s Tips for Using Cloth Diapers at DayCare. Good luck!


Heather said...

sometimes it won't work. my DCP said cloth diapers we disgusting and wouldn't even try. I was desparate because my original DCP backed out after a month. it was either this one or possibly loose my job. I wish i had been more assertive in my request for cloth diapers. But now I stay home and have learned alot more so if i ever do stay home I'm armed with more knowledge

Rambling Rachel said...

Linking to this on my blog. Great post!

Cari said...

Good tips. We were nervous about this when we were looking but it turned out that almost everyone we talked to (all in home daycare) was open to it. The one person who was unsure did have an antiquated idea and was most worried about leaks - so consider that when educating someone.

Lindsay said...

LovE your ideas, I tryed to make it as easy as can be. I bring BG AIO and my daughter goes to a facility. I also purchased my wet bag from you, it's the one with the front opening to hold the clean diapers and the wet liner portion in the back. Makes it very easy to transport.

Jenney said...

I am the daycare provider that would LOVE to not have disposables coming into my house! I've tried to convince my parents that it could just happen at my house and even offered to use my own stash to diaper their kids...but none of them wany cloth on their kids. They think it is disguisting. It makes me wonder if they think MY kids are disguisting. I'm betting not or else I wouldn't have their children at my house 8+ hours a day...but still. It is odd to be on the OTHER end of this problem!

barbie said...

having gone through this already with my DCP, i can honestly say these are some great tips. I especially like the trial period suggestion. I think most Daycares that have negatives feelings towards CD would at least be open to a trial period (for fear of losing a client if nothing else) and soon realize how simple it is to use them!

Becky said...

i'm thankful that my main day care LOVES cloth diapers, however I have used a larger center type day care and found that they were not cloth diaper friendly. It was against their policy.

KaraD said...

I asked about cloth diapers when I interviewed DCP and found almost everyone said "No problem, if you'll teach us". They seem like them if I send pocket diapers, preferable with aplix as it's easier for them than snaps.


Laura said...

Awesome idea! Love it. I'm lucky to be a WAHM and don't have to use daycare at this time but if something changes, I will remember this idea for sure. Great idea for preschool time with clothes, blankets & such....again a few years down the road for me since my DD is almost 9 months.