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 © Nagy-bagoly Ilona | Dreamstime.com

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