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Monday, January 20, 2014

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Cloth Diapers and Babysitters

When we first started cloth diapering back in June, our son was just under a month old, I figured we would just have to use disposables at the babysitter’s. Through the summer we were fortunate enough to have my mom watching our little one, which saved money in child care costs, but still cost money because she preferred disposables. When she returned to work this fall, we found a new sitter. During our visit to get acquainted, I casually mentioned to the sitter that I would probably send a pack of disposables at a time to her house rather than in the diaper bag each day, simply for the ease of it because we use cloth diapers at home. I was shocked when she replied, “Oh I don’t care if you send cloth. I’m fine with using that too.” A sitter who wasn’t afraid to use cloth diapers! She was even excited about the new modern cloth diapers she’d seen in use at her daughter’s daycare.

A few weeks ago, I slowly started sending cloth diapers in the diaper bag. She has our 7 month old son for roughly 8 ½ hours a day, so I send 4-5 diapers in the diaper bag along with a medium wet bag. Here’s what goes in our diaper bag on a typical day:

Here are a few things I learned when switching to cloth at the sitter’s house or daycare:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask your child care provider if they would use cloth. Their answer may surprise you!
  2. Keep it as simple as possible for the care provider. Send pre-stuffed pocket diapers or AIOs. Consider sending aplix instead of snaps, since aplix is more like the closure on disposable diapers.
  3. Keep in mind the age of your care provider when deciding what diapers to send. If it is an older person (like ours) you may want to send aplix because snaps may be hard for her to fasten, whereas a younger person may have no trouble fastening snaps.
  4. Remember to put only cloth diaper safe products in your diaper bag. A person who isn’t familiar with cloth diapers may not realize that Desitin or A&D ointment isn’t safe for your diapers. Always make sure that you have a diaper safe cream in the bag for their use.
  5. You may need a bigger stash than you currently have. We started out with 18 cloth diapers. When we started using cloth at the sitter’s I had to increase that number to around 30 so that I always had enough for home and at the babysitter’s. This enables me to do laundry every other day but still have enough diapers for both places.
Some care providers may be hesitant to try cloth diapers, but if you are positive and upbeat when you talk to them about it, you may just get surprised and convince them to use them! Take along a diaper to show them when you talk about it. Often times just seeing a modern cloth diaper can ease someone’s apprehension about using them.

Bio: Becky is a public health nurse who shares her home with her husband, two sons (7 months and 5 years), and one furbaby. In her free time she shares life’s adventures on her blog at

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