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Cloth Diapers in Daycare

As long as children are not in daycare out of necessity, the decision to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers is a purely personal one. However, when it comes to daycare, the joy of securing a spot for your child may sometimes be overshadowed by concerns that the educators at the facility might reject the use of cloth diapers.

In this post, I want to show you options and provide practical tips on how to continue using cloth diapers even when your child is in daycare.

Cloth diapers and wetbag for usage in daycare
Cloth diapers in daycare

Is there any reason against cloth diapers in daycare?

From a hygiene perspective, there is no valid reason to oppose the use of cloth diapers in daycare. Whether to use cloth or disposable diapers in daycare is ultimately a personal decision for the daycare management or educators. Since daycare professionals, like a significant portion of the population, were not provided with training on diapering, they often hold outdated beliefs about cloth diapers.

Therefore, it might not be a good idea to mention that your child wears cloth diapers during the initial daycare visit or when signing the contract. Instead, it's recommended to always have a modern cloth diaper for demonstration purposes when discussing diapering and cloth diapers. This way, you can easily dispel any misconceptions and convince them that modern cloth diapers are just as user-friendly as disposable ones. Since daycare staff always wear disposable gloves for diaper changes, there should be no reason to consider cloth diapers less hygienic than disposables..

Daycare-friendly Cloth Diapers

For daycare, All-in-One or pocket diapers work very well. In these systems, the absorbent material is either stored in a pocket or securely attached to the waterproof cover, preventing shifting. The handling is similar to disposable diapers: take a clean diaper, lay the child on it, fasten the diaper, and you're done. The only difference from disposable diapers is that the daycare staff should place the used cloth diapers in a wet bag with a zipper, provided by the parents, instead of a diaper pail. This process should not create any extra work for the daycare staff.

It's a good idea to place a disposable diaper liner as the top layer inside the cloth diaper. This liner will catch solid waste, making it easier for the daycare staff to dispose of it, just like they do with disposable diapers. At the end of a daycare day, parents can simply take the soiled diapers home in the wet bag and bring fresh cloth diapers for the next diaper change.

The key to success: cloth diapers in daycare

There isn't a single formula for successfully using cloth diapers in daycare, as it depends on the daycare's policies and the openness of the staff. If another child at the daycare is already using cloth diapers or if the daycare and staff are receptive to the idea, you may only need to ensure that they accept your chosen cloth diapering system. If that's not the case, some cloth diaper consultants offer trial kits for daycare diapers. With these kits, you can easily find the cloth diapering solution that works for both your child and the daycare.

If your child is the first one to use cloth diapers at the daycare, it's crucial to engage the daycare staff and management and prepare them for this new approach. Following the points mentioned above can help address any remaining concerns. Experience has shown that, in such cases, using cloth diapers in daycare is usually not a problem.

Moreover, you can create a simple chart with the essential steps for using cloth diapers compared to disposable diapers and hang it near the changing station at the daycare. This way, new staff members or substitutes can easily understand how to handle cloth diapers without you having to explain the process every time. If the daycare is very open to the idea of cloth diapers, you might even consider presenting this information at a parent meeting.

My personal Experience

When my son started daycare in 2017, he was the first child at the facility to use cloth diapers. During the initial meeting with his assigned caregiver, I openly discussed the topic and showed her the cloth diapers we were using—an AIO system from Bambino Mio that we had purchased for this purpose. Cloth diapers never posed a problem, and by the time he was 2.5 years old, our cloth diapering journey had come to an end.

Three years later, our daughter began attending the same daycare. She was still the only child using cloth diapers. However, apart from the issue that the cloth diapers we used for daycare from the brother became leaky, there were no arguments against cloth diapers. So, we bought new cloth diapers for daycare. A few weeks later shortly after her second birthday, while in COVID-19 quarantine, our daughter decided to be fully potty trained so we needed no more cloth diapers for daycare.

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