Saturday, March 19, 2011

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Cloth Diapers in a Home Day Care

I initially started cloth diapering my son because it just seemed more natural. Disposable diapers are papery, have an odd odor, and no amount of printed on cartoon characters is going to improve their looks.  However, obviously getting started in cloth diapering is a financial undertaking, and I hoped to save money, as well.  I started cloth diapering my son when he was about 4 months old. I was working full time, and while he was at daycare he wore disposables. I used cloth on the weekends, in the evening, and through the summer (I’m a teacher).  With this system, I don’t know that I saved a ton of money. I probably broke about even, and maybe saved a little.

My daughter was born six years later, and I knew I would start with cloth right away.  She first wore Kissaluvs size 0’s with Thirsties covers, and then when she was about two months old, I switched to FuzziBunz smalls and BumGenius.  When she was about three months old, I went back to work.  I was using a different home-based care provider this time around, and I approached her about using cloth diapers. I brought along a FuzziBunz and wet bag to show her how it would work, and after seeing how simple the cloth diapers were, she readily agreed that using cloth diapers would be just fine. It’s no more work to change a pre-stuffed pocket diaper than a disposable one—the main issue was keeping all of the used diapers in a wet bag. Every day when I take my daughter to the sitter’s house, I bring along 4 pre-stuffed pocket diapers, 4 moist cloth wipes (in a disposable travel holder), and a small wet bag. The diaper bag also contains some Grandma El’s diaper cream, and a few disposable diapers and wipes in case of an emergency. For my cloth wipes solution, I use 10 oz. of water, 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract (to prevent a musty smell), and a drop of baby soap. This system has worked out perfectly.  When I get home from picking her up, I go through the wet bag and separate the diapers and inserts, spray the diapers off if necessary, and toss them in my large wet bag. I wash cloth diapers about every 2-3 days.
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Before approaching my sitter, I did check the laws for day care homes.  These may vary by state, but in Illinois, the code specifically mentions cloth diapers. According to the Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes, “A toilet shall be easily accessible so that the contents of reusable diapers may be disposed of before placing the diapers in the diaper pail. Disposable diapers and their contents shall be  disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. “

My daughter Campbell is 8 months old now, and she’s been cloth diapered 99.5% of the time since the day we came home from the hospital.  She’s only worn disposables a handful of times.  She currently wears FuzziBunz size mediums and BumGenius.  I wish I had kept better records of what I paid for the diapers I have and how much I’ve earned back by selling the ones we are no longer using, but if I had to guess I’d say we are currently getting close to the break-even point and from now on we will just be investing in detergent and water, assuming she is like my son and wears size medium through toddlerhood.

I am very thankful for my open-minded sitter who is willing to use cloth diapers. No only are we saving money, we are helping the environment, she has more natural fibers against her bottom, and she looks adorable!

Jan Scott
Mom of Evan, 6, and Campbell, 8 months

10 comments:

fancygrlnancy said...

My son has been going to his home care provider since he was 3 months old. He is now 2 years 9 months and has been cloth diapered the whole time. She was fine with the cloth. She used cloth on her children and really liked these ones, of course being easier. I don't know what I would have done if I had to take him somewhere that would not do the cloth. I am so happy to have found her for many reasons, but a big one is that she will use cloth with my son.

Jenney said...

I am a home daycare provider and offer to cloth diaper OTHER people's children who do not normally use cloth. So far I haven't had any takers, but the offer is always open.

Christine said...

I'm thankful that my husband is staying at home with our son. I think the disposable diapers smell horrible, and this way I know there won't be any issues with me using cloth!

Emily F said...

I have a home daycare and started cloth diapering with my 2nd child. I actually converted one of my daycare families to use cloth diapers. I think it is actually easier on me than the disposables. I HATE taking out the diaper trash from the ones who use disposables.

.:karen:. said...

How many wetbags for daycare do you own? 3 and do laundry every 2nd or 3rd day? Been trying to figure that out since you obviously wouldn't want to bring a used one back...

Megan B said...

I also am an inhome daycare provider and a mother asked if I would try cloth with her daughter... I told her I'd give it a week or two and we'd see if it was do-able. Within 2 weeks I started my own stash of cloth for my then 4 month old daughter! She was my 3rd and finial child but I still believe I saved a ton, especially when a friend gave me 10 diapers that her daughter had grown out of! I totally agree that Fuzzibunz (or another pocket diaper) is the way to go. Much easier than dealing with prefolds and covers! Moral is that it's always worth a shot in asking. Most people (me included) have no idea about 'modern' cloth diapering and just need to see how easy it really is!

Jan said...

Karen--I own 3 wet bags.

Catherine said...

Jenny- I am right there with you!I watch another little girl who is the same age as my son. I keep suggesting- I even said I would wash them myself, and finally said I could just use mine. Still a no go :( I HATE the disposable diaper smell(they use luvs- ikkk), and it is still gross in my trash even though I empty the poo just like cloth.

Lara + Chris said...

Where I live, there is no distinction between cloth and disposable in the statutes. I am just waiting for someone to tell me it's illegal so I can whip out that bit of knowledge. :)

Stephanie said...

I would like to add that : On disposable daipers the manafactures directions for disposables is that the Poo ( or solids )to get knocked off and flushed as well! Nobody I know has ever done this, but to complie with all state sanitary laws they are suppose to. Fecal matter by law is suppose to get flushed, No matter what diaper is used. ( If you just toss cloth diapers in the wash dirty is it the same as flushing, because the dirty water all goes to be treated.)