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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Convincing Day Care To Use Cloth Was Pleasantly Easy

I was of the mind that it couldn’t hurt . My husband, completely on board with cloth diapers at home, thought it would be a waste of time to even ask. So, after a few months of cloth diapering on evenings and weekends when my son wasn’t at day care, I debated what to do.

We didn’t start using cloth diapers until right before my son turned 1. I started in with caution, but quickly fell in love with all of the benefits and realized the extra work was minimal. Once I had a routine down at home — and knew the diapers wouldn’t be putting an extra burden on anyone — I got the itch to cloth diaper full-time, which would mean getting our day care to use them.

I spent several days working up the nerve to ask our church-run day care facility about using cloth. Then I’d talk myself out of it (or my husband would). Finally, on a morning when I had a few extra minutes and a fresh load of laundry done, I simply grabbed one of my pocket diapers and brought it along with me to drop off my son.

“I have something to show you,” I said when we arrived.

My son’s care giver shrank back nervously as I pulled the diaper out of my bag and winced a little as I said the words “cloth diaper.” Just as quickly, however, she touched the diaper and visibly relaxed.

She said what a lot of people say — that her aunt used cloth back in the day and it was nothing like this — as I showed her that the diaper goes on and off just the same as disposables.

I explained that if they agreed to use them the only difference would be that instead of throwing them in the trash, they’d be throwing them in our zip-up wet bag for me to take home to wash. I was intentionally careful not to come across as confrontational, and I explained that I’d been doing it at home without any problems.

“That’s it?” she said.

“That’s all there is to it?” another caregiver asked.

Within two days I was sending the diapers to day care for a trial run, and I guess I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was that there have been no issues whatsoever.

In fact, the ladies seemed to be enjoying it — choosing their favorite colors and competing over which one to put on next.

I think the key thing for them, as it was for me when I started my journey into cloth, was getting to see the diapers in person. They sound a lot more intimidating than they really are. I also had the system down so that I could explain to them how it would work: I’d bring the diapers stuffed and ready — pockets with Velcro — so that changing his diaper stays essentially the same. I had the bag for them, as well. By Day 2, I was already introducing them to some different kinds of diapers.

My own conversion to cloth took awhile, but within no time my day care and I had a good routine going. I am thrilled to no longer be buying any disposables whatsoever. In the beginning I never thought it’d be possible with a son in day care, but sometimes, all you have to do is ask. You might just find that asking is as easy as using the diapers!

By Jessica W.
In the photo: My son, Tucker, naps on his cot at day care.


Anonymous said...

So glad to read this. I am currently trying to get up the nerve to ask our daycare about it. I don't know why I am scared to ask. I mean I pay them! Lots!!!
I also just started cloth diapering my almost 1 y/o and became an instant convert. I need to do it full time so that I justify purchasing more and feeding my new addiction.

raye said...

When I first looked for daycares the first question I asked was if they would take cloth diapers, so once I found one that would and I felt comfortable with I felt like we were destined to be at that center until my son was potty trained. When I had the opportunity to move him to the center at my workplace I thought it wouldn't be possible because I wasn't going to give on the cloth issue. I brought a diaper in and they agreed without hesitation! In fact one person there is pregnant and now considering cloth. I too used to be afraid to ask, but it is amazing how receptive people are after they see them!

Heide said...

I asked my day care without even showing them and they said "no sweat" without hesitation. I was impressed! I also head that using the word "reusable" instead of cloth might help closed-minded day care workers from cringing at the question off the bat.

Pamela said...

I've done mostly smaller in-home places and it's never been a problem, especially when I show them all they have to do is toss it in a wet bag.

I do send the "easier" diapers, though. PUL pockets with either snaps or velcro.

I have enough in my stash to give them a weeks' worth of diapers and it's been easy.

A Gluten Free Mommy said...

I've used cloth diapers for 4 years now (two different kids) and 99% of the day care centers here in Las Vegas said it was illegal. Which is bull. I looked it up. They lied. When I finally found a daycare that would accept the cloth I was thrilled and it was the best decision I've made. My kids love their daycare and I love the at home feeling that they get by not being in a commercial center!

A Gluten Free Mommy

Dr. Vicki Danis said...

I had no problem with my daycare provider (who is an in-home provider). In fact, she was quite excited. My daughter is a heavy wetter, so changing her often was key and that took some adjusting. We used a wool soaker for nap-time with no problems as well.

Ladies, have no fear! Be strong and stand up for what you want!

Anonymous said...

Glad your daycare was so supportive! I wouldn't be scared so much asking, be more the disappointment if they said no because of misconceptions.

Nicole Pond said...

We've used cloth since our first day at daycare at 3.5 months with little problem (one teacher just didn't like them, but since they provided disposables, and she was retiring, I put up only a small fight ;)). Most states have laws regarding the handling of cloth, but it's certainly not ILLEGAL in most states. And of the three daycares I looked at, the other two NOT provided diapers with the price of tuition, neither could say no...if that's all I brought, that's all I brought! We use pockets, so how hard could it be?

newmami_rgv said...

That is so awesome... I sure hope when and if we put our daughter in daycare they will be accepting to using as yours was.
Thank you for the great post
CJR @ The Mommy Blog