I was of the mind that it couldn’t hurt . My husband, completely on board with cloth diapers at home, thought it would be a waste of time to even ask. So, after a few months of cloth diapering on evenings and weekends when my son wasn’t at day care, I debated what to do.
We didn’t start using cloth diapers until right before my son turned 1. I started in with caution, but quickly fell in love with all of the benefits and realized the extra work was minimal. Once I had a routine down at home — and knew the diapers wouldn’t be putting an extra burden on anyone — I got the itch to cloth diaper full-time, which would mean getting our day care to use them.
I spent several days working up the nerve to ask our church-run day care facility about using cloth. Then I’d talk myself out of it (or my husband would). Finally, on a morning when I had a few extra minutes and a fresh load of laundry done, I simply grabbed one of my pocket diapers and brought it along with me to drop off my son.
“I have something to show you,” I said when we arrived.
My son’s care giver shrank back nervously as I pulled the diaper out of my bag and winced a little as I said the words “cloth diaper.” Just as quickly, however, she touched the diaper and visibly relaxed.
She said what a lot of people say — that her aunt used cloth back in the day and it was nothing like this — as I showed her that the diaper goes on and off just the same as disposables.
I explained that if they agreed to use them the only difference would be that instead of throwing them in the trash, they’d be throwing them in our zip-up wet bag for me to take home to wash. I was intentionally careful not to come across as confrontational, and I explained that I’d been doing it at home without any problems.
“That’s it?” she said.
“That’s all there is to it?” another caregiver asked.
Within two days I was sending the diapers to day care for a trial run, and I guess I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was that there have been no issues whatsoever.
In fact, the ladies seemed to be enjoying it — choosing their favorite colors and competing over which one to put on next.
I think the key thing for them, as it was for me when I started my journey into cloth, was getting to see the diapers in person. They sound a lot more intimidating than they really are. I also had the system down so that I could explain to them how it would work: I’d bring the diapers stuffed and ready — pockets with Velcro — so that changing his diaper stays essentially the same. I had the bag for them, as well. By Day 2, I was already introducing them to some different kinds of diapers.
My own conversion to cloth took awhile, but within no time my day care and I had a good routine going. I am thrilled to no longer be buying any disposables whatsoever. In the beginning I never thought it’d be possible with a son in day care, but sometimes, all you have to do is ask. You might just find that asking is as easy as using the diapers!
By Jessica W.
In the photo: My son, Tucker, naps on his cot at day care.