Article by Deborah Duffy of Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, with the scoop on cloth diapers and daycare.
You found your ideal cloth diapers and have spent the last year perfecting your routine. Now you’re on the hunt for that magical daycare that will lovingly care for your precious little one and welcome your stash of cloth diapers with open arms. Is that too tall an order, especially in this daycare market where space can be tight?
Daycare Providers Say Yes to Cloth Diapers
I spoke to a number of daycares in Metro Vancouver, and to many local parents, and the overwhelming majority said that cloth diapers are accepted in their daycare setting. Talia Erickson, Administrator of Budding Children’s Garden and Daycare in Vancouver said, “We totally allow for and support parents sending cloth diapers,” and most of the daycare operators I contacted shared that sentiment. Some caregivers even expressed a preference for using cloth for reasons ranging from less frequent diaper rashes to speedier potty training.
According to Jessica Wiser, Director of Core Education and Fine Arts (cefa™) Langley, the widespread acceptance of cloth diapers in daycares today is part of a philosophical shift in the industry. Whereas the traditional approach required children to slot into the framework created by the teaching staff, the new approach is more child-centric. As part of this “child first” philosophy she emphasized an importance on consistency with what is practiced at home and believes that families can expect teachers to adapt to the diapering system that the child is used to.
Working with Your Care Provider
Some of the daycare providers I spoke with do set limits on the diapers they will use, for example requiring all-in-one or pocket diapers that more closely resemble disposables. By and large, however, parents were able to use the same system at home and daycare, and often that was a more traditional type of diaper such as a flat or prefold diaper with cover.
If the daycare you have chosen doesn’t use cloth diapers you may find that with a little information, and some flexibility on your part, you can change their mind. Many people have never seen or handled a modern cloth diaper and are unaware that they have evolved from the days of massive squares of cloth, pins and plastic pants.
Making Cloth Diapers Daycare-Friendly
What can you do to win your child’s daycare over and make the transition easy for them?
- Introduce a few different styles of cloth diapers and let them choose. While you may love prefolds, a user-friendly all-in-one diaper might be more in their comfort zone and your willingness to compromise could get you far.
- Offer to use flushable liners that make clean up a breeze.
- Send diapers ready to go, with each fitted diaper in its cover or pocket diapers pre-stuffed, and a liner laid in each one.
- Include a wet bag with a drawstring or zip closure for storing used diapers.
- Be supportive!
Cloth Diaper Resources
There are a number of resources to help in your daycare search. The Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA) and the Real Diaper Association (RDA) have developed a Daycare Directory for North America. You’ll find quite a few listings for cloth diaper-friendly daycares in British Columbia, and the list is growing all the time. The RDIA and RDA have also created a helpful Tip Sheet to guide parents in finding suitable daycares and introducing cloth diapers to daycares.
For cloth diapering families searching for daycares the future looks good! It is very likely that your perfect daycare will also be perfectly happy to cloth diaper your baby.
Deborah Duffy is the owner of Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, a Vancouver-based online store that sells modern cloth diapers and offers local diaper workshops. She’s also Mom to two little boys, one in cloth diapers and one in undies!