sloomb Photo Credit: Venus Leah Photography

If you are contemplating cloth diapering and daycare, you're possibly feeling overwhelmed by all the options on both fronts!  There are SO MANY options, right?!? We gathered info and tips from some experienced cloth diapering parents to help you choose the right diapers and accessories, and to make cloth diapering a success for you and your daycare provider!  It turns out it's as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Talk to your daycare provider - Some daycare providers will already have a policy in place, or a preference for certain diaper types. There were a couple of daycare providers mentioned who would not use cloth diapers beyond perhaps changing a baby out of a cloth diaper and into a disposable.  One provider requested aplix closures instead of snaps, because snaps were harder on her arthritic hands.  Another preference was for a bin lined with a bag rather than a stand-alone wet bag.  If you can, talk to your daycare provider before purchasing cloth diapers, but certainly before sending them along!

2. Choose your diapers and accessories - you'll need diapers, storage for clean and dirty diapers, wipes, and cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream. 

  • Diapers - pockets and all-in-ones are definitely the most popular, though there were a couple providers who were okay with fitteds or even prefolds.  There is definitely more room for error with fitteds and prefolds, and sometimes there are subsitute care providers who may be completely unfamiliar, so this really depends on the specifics (and preferences) of your daycare set-up.  Send as many diapers as your baby or toddler uses in a day - the consensus seems to be 8-10 for a younger baby and 6 or so in the toddler days.
  • Storage - by far, the most popular clean/dirty storage was a medium Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag.  These wetbags are great!  Pack clean diapers into the non-waterproof side, and your daycare provider can put dirty diapers in the PUL-lined waterproof side.  These are also wonderful for day trips or just being out and about with your baby.  Another noted option was sending a trash can and pail liner, but that was at the request of the daycare provider.
  • Wipes - your daycare might provide wipes but, if not, send along a pack of biodegradable wipes
  • Diaper rash creammany diaper rash creams include ingredients (like cod liver oil) that can cause cloth diapers to stink or to repel rather than absorb urine.  Send a cloth diaper safe option, just in case your baby ends up with a rash.  And emphasize to your daycare provider that they should use what you sent and definitely not Desitin.  (If they do use Desitin or a similar cream, your diapers are not ruined.  You will need to spend some time stripping them, though.)
  • A sense of humor - things will go wrong.  It's the Law of Children!  Someone might slather the wrong cream on your child's rash; a diaper might be put on backwards; perhaps there will be mass confusion and your child will come home in disposables.  Laugh as much as possible.

3. Talk to your daycare provider again - once you've gathered all your gear, show it to your daycare provider and ask if they need a quick tutorial or refresher.  Some also suggest creating a one page, laminated how-to guide that can be placed at the changing station.  This way if anyone forgets, or there is a new staff member or a sub, there is always a reminder.

A final note on poop (of course there has to be a final note on poop!)
It is very rare for a daycare to dispose of poop from a cloth diaper.  This is a non-issue for an exclusively breastfed baby and for many exclusively formula-fed babies.  For a baby eating more than a little solid food, plan to plop and possibly rinse at home.