But My Daycare Won’t Allow Cloth Diapers

Baby waiting for diaper change

A concern we hear a lot from parents is that their daycare provider won’t take cloth diapers. While the first answer you get might be, “No!” we have found that daycare centers often just need to learn more about cloth diapers before they are willing to change your baby’s reusable diapers in daycare.

Sometimes success is in how you frame it for your provider. Prepare by doing the following:

  • understand the laws and regulations,
  • know your daycare provider’s policies,
  • be willing to educate kindly, and
  • consider using very easy diapers for daycare.

Does the law prevent daycare providers from using cloth diapers? In Canada, no law restricts the use of cloth diapers in daycare; in the U.S., there are a few restrictions, but they are rare.

What you are probably hearing behind the statement, “The province (or the state) doesn’t allow us to use cloth diapers,” is a fear of cloth diapers. We can deal with that.

Before you jump in on the offensive, though, take a deep breath and think about what the person really means. Your goal is to have this person use cloth diapers on your child. You have a better chance to reach your goal if you make them an ally.

Can a policy really restrict the use of cloth diapers? Many daycare providers have policies against cloth diapers. Misinformed though these are, you need to work with them to change policies if you are going to reach your goal.

Some policies against cloth diapers were written when the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children, an organization that certifies daycare providers) had a policy against allowing cloth diapers without medical reason. The NAEYC changed their policy, but a lot of those old policies are still in place. It’s time to change them, and you can help.

Without confrontation, gather the facts specific to your province or state and the certifying body for your provider. Make an appointment to talk to the person who has the power to change the policy. Take copies of the policies. Take an easy cloth diaper to show, such as an all-in-one or a pocket diaper. And, help them to understand that this change is about the babies not the adults.

I shouldn’t have to fight this! You’re right. You shouldn’t. But, you do, so do it kindly. These are the people who take care of your child every day, so it’s important to maintain good relationships with them.

I want to emphasize that it’s not worth antagonizing the people who care for your child. Change is difficult, and people don’t like being told they are wrong. So, adjust your approach to help them want to make a change in policy, if necessary.

If you really can’t communicate well with the daycare provider about the issue of cloth diapers, look for other options. Find a cloth-diaper-friendly daycare provider.

But, they won’t use my diapers! It’s easy to compromise on which cloth diapers to use. Considering having a daycare set of diapers.

Even if you use flat diapers or prefolds at home, you want to make the process as free as possible from hesitation on their part. Provide diapers that are very easy to use in one move. All-in-one diapers or pre-stuffed pocket diapers are familiar enough in shape and function that most daycare centers will accept them.

If you don’t normally use these diapers, but you are trying to save money, how about buying a dozen used diapers from another parent as their child has learned to use the toilet. You always have options.

Bonus. How can you make it easy for everyone involved?

Did you know that some daycare centers use diaper service to make the changing of diapers easier for everyone? If you have a local diaper service, talk to them about whether they could consider servicing daycare. If they are willing to work with you, that is one more option you can present to the daycare center. Just be sure to tell them how this will make their job easier.

For more resources, see the Real Diaper Association’s research and tips on cloth diapers in daycare.

Cloth Diapering Basics

Recently, we’ve covered our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like

What! We’ve got the answers.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

Don’t Cloth Diapers Leak?

Surprised baby

One of the questions we hear often is: “Won’t cloth diapers leak?” Of course, any diaper could leak, so we help our customers choose and care for their diapers properly to avoid the dreaded blow out or the wet bed.

With any diaper, you need to consider these issues to be sure that you have no leaks:

  • the diaper needs to fit well,
  • quality design and materials really does matter,
  • overnight calls for extra absorbency, and
  • sometimes laundry issues can cause problems.

Does size really matter that much when diapers are all one-sized? Size does matter. You need to choose a diaper that fits your baby’s size and shape.

We still focus on fit even when a lot of the diapers we sell are one-sized diapers. Most newborns will not fit well in so-called one-size diapers. Tiny legs don’t block leg openings. When a diaper is too big, a baby will pee right out the leg opening. Even if you plan to use one-size diapers, it helps to start with newborn cloth diapers.

Sometimes the issue isn’t size but shape. Even a bigger baby with skinny legs will need a diaper that has adjustable sizing for legs to prevent leaks. If a diaper slips down on a baby with a low waist, you end up with gaps at the legs. Choose a low-rise diaper to prevent gaps.

Also, check to be sure that the absorbent part of the diaper isn’t sticking out. If that happens, it could act like a wick drawing all of the moisture out of your baby’s diaper onto clothes and bed. At the end of a diaper change, check and tuck to be sure that the diaper is completely inside the cover.

Your baby’s size and shape do matter. We have experience with a variety of styles, sizes, and brands, so we can help you find the best fit to keep those little legs dry.

Aren’t all diapers pretty much the same? We see a big difference in the quality of cloth diapers. Quality does matter. When a family has been using cheap knock-off diapers and we introduce them to the real thing, they are amazed at the difference quality can make.

Sometimes the issue with leaking is design. Brands that have been around for a while have had time to incorporate customer feedback into their designs, adjusting the shape of a diaper for maximum wetness protection.

Other times, the issue with leaking is materials. A surprising number of inexpensive diapers include no absorbent materials at all. We sometimes wonder if these products have ever been tested for absorbency because they just don’t work as well as we expect.

Quality diapers have good reputations, and they are invested in your diapering success. We only carry quality brands we trust. Look for customer ratings and reviews to learn what works for other families.

How can I avoid leaky nighttime diapers? The key to a dry bed overnight is using enough absorbency.

Even if your baby seems to be sleeping through the night, it’s likely s/he is waking once or twice to pee without being so fussy that you wake up. That’s a lot of moisture to expect a diaper to hold until morning.

If you find that your baby’s diapers leak by morning, start by doubling up the absorbent part of the diaper. Add a second prefold or an extra insert, for example.

For heavy nighttime wetters, we recommend hemp boosters because the fibers are very absorbent. Because they are so absorbent, they hang on to water in the wash, and they are more difficult to clean well, so just be sure that you use hot water and plenty of rinses to keep hemp from getting stinky.

Why does my baby pee right out of the diaper? If urine flows right off the diaper without even being absorbed, you likely have an issue with laundry.

Oily residues on on any diaper material can cause the material to repel rather than absorb. This residue can come from diaper cream, fabric softener, even build-up from detergents that haven’t been rinsed properly. This is usually more of a problem with polyester diapers, but it can happen with any diaper if there is enough oily residue.

We are happy to help our customers troubleshoot laundry issues. Come in or call to tell us how we can help.

If the problem was diaper cream, be sure that the diaper cream you choose is safe for cloth diapers. Even then, you can prevent issues with your diapers by using a diaper liner.

If your natural fiber diapers are new, you do need to pre-wash several times until they are fully absorbent. If your new cotton prefolds are leaking, the fix is easy: wash 3-5 times on hot, and you are ready to go.

Occasionally, a diaper will leak. When that happens, figure out why, and you can prevent it from happening every time.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we’re covering our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “I don’t have time for cloth diapers,” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?” What! We’ve got the answers.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com 

Aren’t cloth diapers gross?

Baby waiting for diaper change

We get asked if cloth diapers are gross, and we aren’t sure what to say, other than, “No.” That idea seems to be stuck in people’s minds, though, so let’s examine it and unstick it.

These are the issues I see:

  • any type of diaper leaves you with the same clean up,
  • except that you also wash cloth diapers;
  • accessories can make it easier;
  • a shift in perception can change everything; and
  • you can always give the job to someone else.

But isn’t it easier with a disposable diaper? No, think about it. Cloth or disposable diapers, it’s still a diaper change. No matter which type of diapers you choose, you still have the same clean up at diaper time: wipe the baby, switch the diaper, and dump the solids.

Even disposable diapers should be dumped because waste belongs in the wastewater treatment system, not in landfill. We know a lot of people don’t do it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should. Think about the accumulation of that waste rather than the treatment of it. All of those babies and mountains and mountains of their poop. What a gift for their future.

No matter what diaper you use, dump the solids.

But isn’t cloth diaper laundry gross? It isn’t, especially if you don’t leave the diapers for a week to stew.

Just wash every couple of days, and the smell stays under control. You could use gloves at diaper washing time, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

If you meet someone who thinks that diapers are going to leave a washing machine stinky, help them think through the fact that the washing machine is cleaned over and over with hot water and cleaning chemicals. Washing machines do not hang on to residue of human waste. Clothes washed in a machine that has washed diapers will not come out smelling like diapers. Not even the diapers come out smelling like diapers. When you do diaper laundry right, cloth diapers are clean and fresh after washing.

Is there anything that makes it easier for me to clean up after a diaper change? There is, actually. We carry a bunch of clever cloth diaper accessories to make things easier for you.

With a reusable diaper liner, the poop just slides off into the toilet when you dump; with a disposable liner, you pick it up by the ends and dump it with the poop into the toilet.

If the smell from your pail bothers you, try a deoderizer. Don’t use a spray with odor-masking stronger odors. Try our volcanic mineral deodorizer. It absorbs odors without adding masking chemicals.

What is the most important thing I can do to keep diaper changes from being gross? Shift your own perception. It’s only gross if you think it is.

You don’t need to let yourself be controlled by the random thoughts your brain provides you. You can take conscious control and reprogram your thinking.

Try thinking this several times before each diaper change: someone I love so much I could burst needs me for these few short years to help with this job of cleaning up after elimination. This is easy. This is important. I do this with love.

Having done this not only for my babies but for my parent, I understand at a profound level that this kind of care is an act of compassion and love.

So, show it.

When you are changing a diaper, don’t scrunch up your nose and think how much you hate it. That’s the face your baby will see when s/he is completely focused on you. Go make that face in the mirror and ask if that’s what you want your baby to know about you.

In that moment of diaper changing, shift your focus to your baby. Focus on your love and compassion. Look at that little face and just let yourself smile. That genuine smile of love, the smile that reaches your whole face and warms your whole baby, that is what you want your baby to know about you.

What if I really can’t handle it? If you really can’t handle the mess, I have an easy cloth diaper solution for you: diaper service.

If the mess gets to you, you just let someone else handle it. Over two years you will pay more than you would buying and washing your own diapers, but you don’t have to wash them.

Think about the job of a diaper service. They take many, many dozens of wet, poopy diapers and they use their specialized knowledge of laundry science to get them so fresh and clean that you want to bury your face in them when they are delivered back to your doorstep.

Keep in mind, though: even if you let a diaper service clean your baby’s diapers, you still need to clean up your baby, and that’s going to be the same no matter what diaper solution you choose.

Honestly, it’s baby poop. It’s not that scary.

Cloth Diapering Basics

We’re offering our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “I don’t have time for cloth diapers.”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

I Can’t Afford Cloth Diapers

Baby counting money

When money is tight, it can be tough to squeeze out enough for diapers. We have a few tips to help you save money on diapers.

Consider these factors to save yourself money:

  • whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers;
  • which style of cloth diapers you choose; and
  • what to do if even the least expensive cloth diapers are too much for your budget.

Which diapers will save you the most money? The first choice most parents make is cloth or disposable diapers. Cloth diapers win the math every time.

Compare the cost of cloth diapers with disposable diapers over 5,220 diaper changes. (See our “Baby on a Budget” article to see how we came up with that number.)

Total diaper cost

  • $1,200 Disposable Diapers @ $.23/each (major brands)
  • $679 Disposable Diapers @ $.13/each (low-end brands)

Even a high-end option like one-size, all-in-one cloth diapers plus newborn size is less expensive than disposables for one child. If you need to cut the budget, you still have more inexpesive cloth diaper options.

  • $600 Cloth All-in-one (AIO) Diapers plus Newborn
  • $240 Cloth One-size AIO Diapers
  • $231 Cloth prefolds with sized covers
  • $177 Cloth prefolds with one-size covers

The problem, of course, is that you need to come up with that money all at once rather than $20-30 at a time. If you put away $12 per week starting in your 5th month of pregnancy, you will be able to buy a complete cloth diaper supply in your final month of pregnancy. All done!

Which style of cloth diapers is least expensive? If you are limiting your budget even within cloth diapers, there is actually one best choice: prefolds.

Budget choice: prefolds with one-size covers

We carry several choices of prefold and flat diapers. We like the Bummis Beautiful Basic Starter Package and the Bummis Newborn Cloth Diaper Package. Both are currently on special, so you save even more. (These are sized packages, meaning you need new diaper covers as your baby grows. To save more, buy prefolds separately with one-size diaper covers. These adjust as your baby grows.)

Bummis Beautiful Basic cloth diaper package

What if even cloth diapers cost too much? Volunteers across North America build local cloth diaper banks for low-income families.

If even a prefold package on special is too big an expense for your family, talk to us at bynature.ca about free or very low cost diaper options. If you are in the Simcoe County / Georgian Bay area, stop by the byature.ca store and fill out a diaper bank application. Outside that area, drop us a note, and we’ll help you find a cloth diaper bank in your area, if one is available.

How can you save a lot of money cloth diapering? For more tips, see the Real Diaper Association low-income cloth diapers tip sheet. They give details on starting small, upcycling, buying used, keeping wash simple, and, of course, diaper banks.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we’re responding to common comments by our customers, like “I don’t have time for cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

I Don’t Have Time for Cloth Diapers

All-in-one cloth diaper from Tots Bots

Are you sure you don’t have time to use cloth diapers? If you choose to use cloth diapers, you can use time-saving strategies and no-fold diapers to fit into your busy schedule. Your choices make a big difference.

Consider these factors to save yourself time:

  • which style of diapers you choose;
  • how many diapers to have on hand, which leads to
  • how often to wash diapers; and
  • simple cleaning habits.

Which style of diapers will save you time? If time is your limiting factor, choose a diaper that doesn’t require stuffing or folding.

Perfect choice: All-in-one diaper

At bynature.ca we carry several brands of all-in-one cloth diapers (or AIO diapers, as many call them), like the Tots Bots Easy Fit one-size diaper

All-in-one one-size diaper

To save time, have more diapers on hand. That means you won’t need to wash as often. There are drawbacks to this approach, though.

  • Money. You will need to invest more money up front to buy more diapers, if you wash less often.
  • Clean Diapers. Your diapers will be easier to clean if they don’t sit dirty as long.

Doing more small loads of cloth diaper laundry will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to buy as many diapers, and the diapers won’t suffer damage from sitting too long in waste.

Save time AND money with simple habits. Every morning, before you get busy with your day, start a load of laundry. Every other day, make that diaper laundry.

That means you need enough diapers for 3 days—two days between washes and one day to get the laundry done. For a newborn, you will need 35-40 diapers for this method. For an older baby, you will need 25-30 diapers. For a toddler who is nearing potty learning, you will need 18-20 diapers.

Save more money by washing more often, at least during the newborn months when you will be changing diapers more often.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we are answering some of those common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diapering basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

We want to answer YOUR questions. Tell us your cloth diaper questions in the comments below.