Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cloth Diapering at Daycare

I've seen so many posts lately that discuss cloth diapering at daycare.  Everyone says how simple it is and then I read a long post with a million steps to using cloth diapers at daycare.  If reading these posts is as daunting to you as it is to me, well, let me see if I can help.

We are a family on a budget.  We switched to cloth diapers because we don't have a lot of money to buy disposables.  With 2 in diapers, it's even more expensive.  When I was researching cloth diapers I looked at the price of a standard pocket diaper and said, "ummm ..... NO!"  That was just too much money for our little budget.  I needed a system that would get me through 4 days for under $150.  At the time I worked from home Monday and Friday, so those were my laundry days and my husband gave me $150 to spend on cloth.  (Didn't want to make a big investment if we weren't going to like them, ya know?)

I knew I needed something easy.  Not just for daycare, but for my husband.  I got 2 day-packs of the Flip diaper system.  There were 12 diapers.  Enough for 3 days of daycare.  My husband could do them.  I still had $50 left.  I grabbed an Econobum Full Kit.  Perfect.  The Flip for daycare and my husband, the Econobum for me.  Since Audrey was on solids at the time and her poops had transitioned from the peanut butter stage to plopable lumps, I didn't need to worry about how to deal with poops.

I sent Audrey over in an Econobum, put 4 Flip inserts and 2 covers in a diaper bag.  She came home in a Flip and all the soiled diapers/covers were in a plastic bag.  I didn't even bother to send over a diaper bag.  I left all the changing materials with daycare and just sent the diapers over in a pillow case.  It helped that daycare was across the street and our friend.  There was no spraying when I got home.  No stuffing.  No quickly doing laundry.  No unstuffing.  Just plop in the diaper pail and be on with my day.

Enter Annie's birth.  OK.  Two in diapers.  I must have more.  Actually, with Audrey potty training and having a small stash of some homemade fitted diapers, I didn't really need any more diapers.  Just needed covers.  I increased my cover stash (thank you baby registry) and was good to go.  I now only work from home on Fridays, but still do laundry on Mondays and Fridays.  Audrey wears a cloth trainer to daycare (with an extra in the diaper bag) and now Annie is the proud wearer of the Flip diapers.  My routine is the same.  Send over with 4 diapers and 2 covers (maybe 3, because breastmilk poo gets on the covers).  Come home and plop in the diaper pail, restock diaper bag.  Wash on Monday night and Friday day.

When Annie started solids and her poo started to transition to that peanut butter stage, I put flannel liners (literally ... a cut up receiving blanket) in the diaper bag.  Instructed daycare to put a liner on the diaper and put it in a separate bag from the wet diapers if she poops.  Then I spray just the liner when I get home.  I could use flushable liners, but my frugal self is OK with spraying some flannel if it saves me money in the long run. Annie's poop is almost done with the transition from soft and gooey to hard and ploppy.  So our spraying days may be over.

So to sum up my routine:

Every evening (Sunday through Wednesday): put 4 Flip diapers and 3 diaper covers in the diaper bag.
Every morning: Put Annie in an econobum or homemade fitted diaper and put Audrey in a  cloth trainer; send girls to daycare.
When I get home from work (Monday through Thursday): put wet diapers in the diaper pail, spray dirty liners if any
Monday night: do load of diapers
Friday during the day (my work from home day): do a load of diapers.

I will fold and put away as time permits.  If time doesn't permit, they sit in a laundry basket and that's just where my diapers stay.  By not having to stuff diapers for daycare, I don't have to fold my diapers right away.  It's easy enough to leave them in the laundry basket and grab what I need when I need it.  If I have time to put them away - great, it makes my husband smile.


Krystyn said...

Nice that it works for you...I don't think our daycare will use all. I asked with our youngest and they said no. I didn't press for a reason.

Christine said...

I can't find the regulation anywhere, but I've been told that in California they can't say no to using cloth diapers.

We're also at an in-home daycare, so we have more flexibility than a full daycare center.

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