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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Cloth Diapers at Day Care While Working Full Time

So you made the decision to cloth diaper, awesome! Those first 6 weeks flew by, maybe you didn’t even start until week 3 when you were good and ready. Then 6 weeks comes around it is time to go back to work....full time…outside the home. You feel like you just got a good wash and folding/putting away routine established and going back to work is just going to put a wrench in everything! Not to mention you are going to be navigating pumping if you’re breastfeeding, Mommy separation anxiety when thinking about giving a child you just delivered a little over a month ago to someone that is not you, all while still cleaning the house and making time for your dear hubby! Whew! That is exhausting just thinking about returning to work!  If you are lucky like us, you will find a loving daycare that will accept your obsession love for cloth diapering. Here are some tips to get you started.

Will you phleeease use my cloth diapers???

Asking can be a hurdle in itself. Here was my indirect approach for our babysitter while meeting with her in her home: “Would you mind if I change his diaper here, quickly?” Start changing and right when she sees the diaper say, “oh have you seen these new modern cloth diapers? Look how cute they are! Let me show you how they work!” Hook, line, sink ‘em. Make sure to do a full demonstration on just how easy and similar they are to disposables, just instead of putting in the trash can, they put in a wet bag! (this works best if you bring your cutest diapers possible!)

What types of cloth diapers have worked best for us at daycare?

Our stash consists of a mixture of many different types of cloth diapers, as I was once given the recommendation of not investing in a large stash of one kind, right of the bat.  I’m glad I listened because I have found there are ones that I do not grab to put on very often! For the most part, we have found that sending pre-stuffed pockets (Kawaii & bumGenius 4.0) and all-in-ones (bumGenius Freetimes) have worked the best for us. For the all-in-ones, I did show day care how to put it on, because with the Freetimes, I didn’t want them accidentally putting the microfleece side against skin!   In a pinch, when diaper laundry just did not dry in time, I have sent my GroVia hybrids, with the snap in inserts pre-snapped in the cover. In this case, they did not reuse the shell, they put the whole diaper in the wet bag after a change.

What is in our day care diaper bag?

  1. 6 Diapers (remember pre-stuffed!). Between 4 and 9 months old, I have found this to be a sweet spot number for my day care provider, him being there 8 hours. That is roughly a change every 2-3 hours with one to spare. Knock on wood, she has never run out!
  2. Wipes. I send about 15 cloth wipes each day, dry. She has a spray bottle she uses to get them wet and then she puts them in our wet bag. Sometimes, this is another hard subject, so don’t feel bad if you have to send a pack of disposable wipes!
  3. Toys.  Mainly his favorite soft monkey rattle for nap time.
  4. Change of Clothes
  5. Stick of Cloth diaper friendly ointment Easy because they do not have to apply with their fingers! We use a Grovia Magic Stick!
  6. Light Blanket
  7. Breastmilk/formula/food
My laundry room happens to be right inside our door from the garage, so I drop the bag there after we get home and pick it up on my way out. There is always diapers drying so it makes it easy to grab 6 new ones and go!

Fitting in washing diapers in the *small* amount of time at home

Juggling working and an infant is tough, then throw in making sure you wash diapers every two days and you have a challenge on your hands! For me, I really make sure I stick to washing every other day. Because I have a pretty minimalist stash, especially of the types of diapers mentioned above that I actually send to day care, I find this is the perfect wash time to make sure I never run out of clean diapers.

On a wash day, when I walk in the door, I set the diaper bag down in the laundry room, keep little man in his car seat on the floor talking to him, and immediately start the load. This way by the time I finish nursing him or taking the dogs out, the first warm pre-wash cycle is done and I can start the main wash. Our main wash cycle is 79 minutes, which is right about when I am ready to clean up the kitchen from dinner! While little man is in his high chair still, I can then take what needs hung out of the wash (I don’t dry AIO’s or covers, and the rest goes in the dryer (mainly inserts, pre-folds and boosters). Then by the time little man is snug in bed I can take the rest out of the dryer to finish drying on the drying rack.

There you have it. My take on cloth diapering at day care while working full time. It can be done! Do you do anything differently? How do you switch up your diaper bag or wash routine?

Bio: Stephanie is a working mom to a 9 month old who loves everything about cloth diapers!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Licensed daycares in my state aren't allowed to cloth diaper due to hygiene reasons. :-( Wish I could find an individual to babysit who wouldn't mind using them!