Using cloth nappies at a childcare centre

Cloth nappies daycare

When my children each turned 18 months old, I decided that a couple of days a week for them at the local childcare centre would be a fabulous. One, because I wasn’t getting much work done during daylight hours. And two, I wanted them to have some interaction with people other than me! For whatever reason, and at whatever age, you may be starting to think about childcare too.

Tips and tricks on making your child’s daycare love cloth nappies too

If you are anything like me, you may be pretty happy with your little cloth nappy routine at home. You’ve invested in some decent nappies. They seem to suit baby well, it’s working for you. You’re saving a bunch of money, not to mention the huge cutback on household waste.

So those feelings of reluctance to all of a sudden have disposable nappies back on your child are perfectly normal! This could be true for you whether the centre supplies nappies or asks the parents to send them in each day. For us, they were provided. But I still wanted cloth nappies on my children’s tushies.

Here are my top tips (and little tricks) on talking your childcare centre into letting you send your child in, in cloth nappies.

Start a conversation

If their answer to the following question is ‘Yes’, then your job suddenly become very easy. “Do you have any children in cloth nappies while they are here?” If they do, they probably have a cloth nappy policy or ‘routine’ of how cloth nappies function at the centre.

If you are the first parent to ask, then that’s awesome! You could be a key element in having not just yours but other children in cloth nappies at the centre too.

Get your cloth nappies organised for childcare

Have a sit down next to your cloth nappy stash and figure the following things out.

  • What style nappies in your stash are the easiest to use?

Styles that are most like disposable nappies are probably best. We as parents can get very good at using our cloth nappies but of course it has taken us time and we were learners at some stage too. For us, we sent our own Bum Rarpz cloth nappies in.

  • How many cloth nappies do you go through in the day with your child?

Add 2 to this number and this is how many you should be sending to Daycare. You always need just-in-case extras because of those super fun, yet messy activities like water play and painting.

Prepping your cloth nappies comes next:

  • When you send them into Day-care you need to have them ready to go for nappy changing. Have the absorbent soakers already inside the covers and pop a flushable liner inside each nappy. The staff will then be able to clean up any soiled changes quickly and easily. Depending on your child or depending on the centre, barrier cream can get used between nappy changes so the liner will protect your cloth nappy fabrics.
  • Name those nappies! Just like the change of clothing you send in, you should name your cloth nappies too. Your last name in the inner tag is a good spot for this. Fabric markers can do the trick as iron on name tags are not recommended for cloth nappies, (the waterproof laminate isn’t able to be ironed).

Storage for the wet ones

You will want to bring your cloth nappies home at the end of each day. So coming up with transportable storage option is your next task. A sealable cloth Wetbag is easy to bring back and forth from home. A bucket with a secure lid works too. Whichever you choose, I think the ideal spot for it to live, is next the disposable nappy bin at the change station. Discuss the best place for the storage to be with your Day-care. It’s best to have access to it so you can collect it at the end of the day.

Now watch me

Whether your childcare centre has used cloth nappies before or not, it’s a good idea to give them a little demonstration of how they work. Your own cloth nappies might be different to how others work.

Demonstrate how you put them on your child, and how you get the closures done up. Show them how you check the legs and waist to ensure a snug, but not-too-tight fit. Show how the inserts sit tucked inside as a corner sticking out can cause a leak.

Show how you pick up the flushable liner and pop it into the toilet for easy solids disposal.

Tell them they do not need to soak or rinse them at all, they are stored dry.

We are a bit unsure…

Cloth nappies have come such a long way since back in the day. That’s why we call them “Modern Cloth Nappies”. Many day-care centres will probably have already seen them around. Even if that isn’t the case, taking one of your own in to show them can really open up some eyes. A good line that I always come out with is; “If they weren’t so easy, I wouldn’t be using them!”

Here are some great points to take to a reluctant centre:

  • There is no need to rinse or soak your cloth nappies.
  • Solids are easily flushed with liners. Solids are also meant to be flushed in disposable nappies too. Most companies even instruct you to do this on the packet.
  • Storage for used nappies can be brought in.
  • Rubbish output for the centre will go down.
  • Disposable nappy costs for the centre will also go down.
  • Hygiene levels are completely relevant to the centre’s practices; the type of nappy doesn’t come into it (a study conducted in the United States even proves this).

I wish you the best of luck in sending your cloth nappies to Daycare!

Emma Cairns

Emma Cairns started the Rarpz label as a work-at-home-mum and qualified fashion designer. Based in Tauranga, Bum Rarpz nappies were launched in 2009 and have grown into a highly sought after and much-loved brand in the cloth nappy industry.

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