Long answer: For the last year, our daughter has been the only one in her daycare’s infant class in cloth, and some days go better than others. Some of the staff and college-age volunteers have commented that they like them a lot, so I guess that’s something!
Our suggestions to make your daycare diapering experience go smoothly:
1: Keep it SIMPLE!
Our first experience with cloth was Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds which worked great for the newborn/infant period, but I knew that I wanted to use pocket diapers when we got into larger sizes, without a separate cover to fasten. Daycare started shortly after that.
We began with BumGenius pockets. The 3.0’s were the latest and greatest at the time—still going strong in our “home” stash. We didn’t ask the staff to unstuff the used pockets, but I realized quickly that I did not enjoy doing that 10 hours later when they were wet, dirty, cold and clammy. Ew. I even tried skipping that step one time… let’s just say that was not a success.
So began my search for what I would consider daycare (or babysitter or out-and-about) diapers. Still easy to use, without requiring extra steps for them or grossness for me. Over the last year, I have built an out-of-the-house stash that includes:
-organic BumGenius all in ones (now called elementals)
-Smartipants sleeve style diapers
–Grovias with snap in organic cotton soakers
–Kissaluvs marvels all in ones (really pockets, but the insert is attached and agitates out on its own)
–itti bitti tutto (snap in) – although I will admit I like to save these for home because they are so soft.
2. Send enough of everything, ready to go.
My girl is a pretty heavy wetter, so I tend to double stuff or use a stay-dry doubler, depending on the diaper.
On average, she’ll go through 5-6 changes while she’s there, enough to fill a medium PlanetWise wetbag. We send 6-7 diapers in on a daily basis.
We send cloth wipes soaked in a solution of BabyBits, folded to dispense from a regular sized disposable wipes dispenser. That usually lasts a week. I’ve written hints for cloth diapers written on the outside of the container, too.
We have Grandma El’s cream there, as well as some wipes to use as a liner if the need arises. They’re pretty quick to use diaper cream in large quantities, and even though Grandma El’s is CD approved, I like having that extra layer to keep my dipes absorbent.
3. Send the biggest wetbag you can.
We just got some of the large PlanetWise bags, and I love them. Their handle means they can hang on their own and it’s obvious if a wet diaper or wipe isn’t in all the way. It’s never completely full at the end of the day. And I can hang the bag from the stroller when we hike to the parking lot.
4. Do the laundry early in the evening.
Gotta get that drying cycle started as early as possible. We wash every other night. We line dry the wet bags, all in ones, and covers. The inserts, doublers, and wipes go in the dryer. In the morning, the Smartpants and the Grovia covers are ready to be stuffed or snapped and go back to school, the all in ones and the wetbags take an extra day to dry fully.
When we get home with the full wetbag on a non-laundry day, I get rid of solid poop and transfer the dirty diapers into the pail at home. A mother’s day present of a diaper sprayer makes things so much easier!
5. Provide helpful mini-lessons to new staff, and address issues quickly but nicely.
Some pitfalls that we have encountered that require periodic reminders:
-Staydry doublers sometimes cause confusion and get put on with the microfiber facing baby, a no-no.
-All these diapers are snap closure, 2 or more snaps per side. Although this shouldn’t be any trickier than Velcro or the disposable tabs for the rest of the kids they change, sometimes only one snap gets used and we end up with wicked wing droop.
6. Keep a cheerful attitude.
I’ll admit, there are days where I’m cursing the wet wetbags, the diapers falling off my baby, and the late laundry cycles. But overall, we have a routine that works and allows us to work without worry… too much…
Tara Massini is mom to a beautiful 16 month old girl who likes shoes, tickling, dogs, and bubbles. She and her husband work at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL, and are lucky enough to have the daycare right there.