Thursday, December 17, 2009

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Our Cloth Diaper "Academy"

When it came time for our 20 month old son Wilson to start preschool 4 days a week I honestly didn’t even consider that I might find a place that would refuse to use cloth diapers. We've been a cloth diapering family since Wil was 7 months old, and sometimes I forget there's any other option. It's just...what we do.

Up until his recent enrollment in preschool at 19 months, I had been able to bring my son with me to my part-time job, and since our extended family lives out of state and we rarely get a babysitter, we haven't had to deal with anyone refusing to uphold our decision to cloth. So when we set about interviewing preschools in our area, I called the first one on my list and asked them every question I could think of except the cloth diaper question. After I hung up the phone, it hit me. "What if they say they won't?"

I regrouped and resumed my calls. This time I asked everyone the cloth diaper question first. I decided I wasn't looking for a place that was packed with cloth diaper addicts, and was not under the delusion I was going to find one either. The question I asked was "We use cloth diapers on our son. Is your staff familiar with cloth diapers, and if not, are they willing to learn?" I figured if they were going to say "no" to the "willing to learn" part, then we didn't need to go any further.

I'm happy to report none of them gave me a "no" response. For the most part, they were all up for at least learning about it. Good for me since one of the things I love best is talking about my cloth diapers! The school we eventually chose has been so great. They were one of the schools I interviewed who never had a cloth-diapered child, but were very excited to learn all about it.

On our initial visit and tour I sat down with my son's teachers and showed them everything they needed to know about the wonderful world of cloth. It's been three weeks, and things are going well. Wil attends school from 9am - 3:30pm and I usually pack 2 Gro Baby shells, 5 soaker pads, 5 flushable liners, and a medium sized Planet Wise wet bag. I also gave them a bag of Gro Baby Bio Soakers and a couple ‘sposies to keep there, in the event he happens to have multiple blowouts and go through everything I’ve packed (thankfully this has never happened. The staff are becoming cloth-diapering pros, picking up on the lingo, and adapting beautifully! Who wouldn’t? Cloth is addicting after all but after all!

I have found the most important element in beginning to cloth diaper is just to be open to it. This applies to both parents and caregivers alike. As long as you can find a day care or preschool that is ready and willing, you have the opportunity to introduce cloth to a new group of people, which is always fun! In addition, you may be pioneering the way for future cloth diapering families looking for daycare… instead of hearing "we've never cloth diapered here before..." they will hear the welcome words, “Absolutely! We use cloth diapers here and we love it!”

By Stefanie

11 comments:

Shelly said...

Good for you for paving the way for other cloth diapering parents! I live in a more rural area, where the idea of CDing is almost unheard of:-)

Beth Irish said...

Wow! What a success story, if only every center would be that open.

Yara said...

I like this! So many people say they only cd part time because daycare or babysitter or whoever won't cd. I think that's just silly. They need to be willing to do it- you pay them!
I'm proud of you : )

Envirogirl said...

I felt the same when we decided to use cloth diapers on our son. We made the decision while I was still pregnant and almost decided it may not be worth the investment because we also thought finding a care giver that would use cloth diapers would be difficult.

We were wrong as well. In fact the care giver we chose grew up in cloth diapers and used cloth diapers on her children. And we are both having fun trying new diapers!!! It's great!

KaraD said...

I asked about cloth diapers when I was looking for a daycare. I found one that was willing to learn. I usually use Fuzzi Bunz, and sometimes my son comes home with some odd snap combinations!
They noticed that I usually use flushable liners with my pockets and asked if I wanted them to use them too. (I hadn't asked them as I wanted to keep it as easy as possible.)

Megan said...

I've never taken my kids to a daycare or anything, but I do put them in the nursery at church. I usually forget to even mention the cloth diapers....it's just what we do.

Mrs. Howard said...

Our daycare & preschool also was willing to learn. They had never had a child who was cloth diapered, but I sent in a "how-to" with prefolds and a cover until I could purchase enough BumGenius. They happily learned and now love them!

Crystal said...

That's awesome! I'm in the process now of teaching all our relatives how to use cloth when they watch our DD, but they are very willing to learn. There have only been a few mishaps and those happen because I forget that I have to explain the process since cloth is so normal for us.
aboverubies15 at yahoo dot com

Kelly said...

That is great. And a great way to think about introducing a whole new community to CDing. The word is spreading but I am saddened by how many people still don't realize there is another option outside disposables that is just as easy as disposables.

Alycia said...

Sometimes I get so excited about cloth diapering I forget that there are people outside of my happy little bubble that scoff at the thought of cloth. I understand, but I hate when people won't even give it a chance or at least try to learn about it. That's so awesome you found a daycare that'll CD...I'm hoping my DS will be with me until preschool and/or he's potty trained, but we'll see. I hope the daycares around here are even half as accommdating (whoa sp? lol)!

Attila & Tamara said...

Wow! I'm so glad you found a place that is so open! Good for you for being so persistent! For me, getting even my mother in law to use cloth is a battle!