Kat’s post today about how to pack a diaper bag for daycare takes another tactic. While many moms focus on bringing the easist diapers Kat believes whatever you have will do the job! She also tackles bringing cloth wipes to daycare and how she packs those up for the day. Thanks Kat!
So your daycare provider is onboard with cloth diapers? Great! Now what to pack and how much? The biggest inconvenience with using cloth at daycare is having to pack the diaper bag everyday. However, you may not need to pack a diaper bag everyday depending on the size of your stash. It also depends on the storage space your daycare provides. The best part of using cloth at daycare is the ability to keep a few disposable diapers and wipes for the just in case- especially important while you are figuring out how much to bring. There are a few things to consider when packing a diaper bag with cloth diapers: what type of diaper to use, the age of your child and how long your child will be away from home. There are also some little extras that will make your cloth at daycare experience smoother.
There are so many types of diapers out there; what is best for daycare? Whatever you have! They’ll have to learn just like we all did. Otherwise, easiest is best- especially if your provider is hesitant. AIOs, AI2s, and pockets top my list. AIOs are so easy for daycare employees because they are changed just like a disposable. My stash also includes gDiapers, which are similar to an AI2. They require an extra step of snapping in their inserts, but you can send a few covers all set with inserts. After the diaper change is done, your provider can then change the insert, so it’s ready to go for the next change. The bonus for parents with AI2s: they take up less space in the diaper bag. Pockets are just as easy as AIOs for your provider as long as you stuff them at home. Always give your provider a tutorial. Show them as many times as they need. I have never used a disposable liner, but I see them as an extra step that makes using cloth less convenient for your provider. You may want to skip them; however, your provider may prefer that the poop is going into the diaper pail and thus may prefer your disposable liners. Keep the lines of communication open- it is important at daycare well beyond the use of cloth.
The next thing to consider is the age of your child and how many hours she will be in daycare. You may want to include travel time between daycare and home if it is longer than an hour and you have a newborn or need to run errands. My daughter started daycare at six weeks and was miserable when wet. She demanded a change about once per hour. She was at daycare from 8 am until about 5 pm. I expected nine diaper changes per day but planned for 12 and could easily fit that many of those sweet little newborn dipes in my bag. Pay attention to how many diapers your child goes through for a few days and base it on that.
Cloth wipes at daycare? Absolutely! Pick up a wipes pouch. It’ll keep your wipes handy, organized, and clean. Most are waterproof too, if you like your wipes pre-moistened. Pack as many wipes in there as you can. Mine is made to fit ten but I squeezed 15 in there. Sometimes poop takes a few wipes! I filled a squirt bottle with my wipe solution and sent that as well.
At the end of the day, there is 8+ hours’ worth of dirty dipes and wipes to cart home. Get a wet bag- actually get two or three because you’ll want to wash it with regular diaper laundry. I am totally guilty of washing mine once a week though since I only have one. I have one with a snap and can hang anywhere. Daycare hung it from their diapering station- right next to the diaper pail. Plastic grocery bags work fine too but don’t contain the stink. Besides you are re-using diapers, why not re-use a bag too?
Another consideration is diaper rash cream. My daughter was the only baby there who did not use a diaper rash cream on a regular basis. In the time that she attended daycare on a daily basis, I never even sent one. It is important that the cream you send is “cloth diaper safe.” Daycare employees are not going to take the same precautions to protect your diapers from repelling like you will.
Using cloth at daycare does take a commitment, just like using cloth at home. Yes, I lugged all this stuff back and forth every day. And yes, you should too! To truly reap the cost savings benefit cloth diapering has to offer, you’ve got to use them as much as possible. Be prepared: know what type(s) you will use and plan the number according to your child’s age and how long they will be away from home each day. A few little extras will make your cloth in daycare experience even better. You want to make your provider’s experience as good as possible.
Kat Wrublevski is a full time mom and part time massage therapist living in Lake Placid, NY. She founded the Adirondack Natural Parenting Network, whose mission is to bring local parents together to share ideas and knowledge, because she wished there was a local resource to turn to when researching cloth diapering. Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/