As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve headed back to work after an extended maternity leave. There have been tears, and will be more, but we’re so, so lucky that my husband’s mother is taking care of our little girl, just like she has for our son. For many families going back to work after maternity/paternity leave means using cloth diapers at daycare.
I thought it’d be fun to talk about cloth diapering and your sitter (whether it’s a relative, family friend, or daycare). I’ve already talked about the fact that CDing didn’t work with our son, but I’m dedicated to it this time around. One of the reasons it failed? We didn’t want to bother our MIL with one more worry. Not only had she not cloth diapered her sons back in the day (which, for some reason, fascinates me), but our son had bad tummy issues, so was a difficult baby to care for.
I’m hoping to broach the topic after she gets the hang of juggling both kids (and, some days, a third baby!). So, today, I thought it’d be fun to check out some tips on getting your sitter on board with fluff!
Broach the topic with kindness. Start by simply asking whether or not your sitter supports cloth diapering and/or whether they’d be willing to try. If they seem hesitant, use empathy. “You’re so busy with all these children and you do such a wonderful job, I know it seems like cloth will make your job harder. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
Then, state your case. Use your own personal experience to ensure how easy cloth diapering is and your reasons for doing it. Some do it for the cost savings (which, hopefully, any daycare provider would understand), others do it for eco-friendly reasons (again, knowing how just one child’s diapers pile up after a day should be an understandable concept to a sitter), still others even do it for medical causes (no one can argue with this, and if they do, move on). Every state has different laws and standards regarding the use of cloth diapers at childcare facilities, but only mention this after you’ve exhausted all polite, open methods.
Make it easy for them. We all know that everyone prefers different cloth diaper styles. No matter what style you prefer, you become comfortable with it by developing a routine. So, of course, we know that cloth diapering is easy after a bit of practice! But, many non-believers still hold tight to the stigma of difficult, time intensive diapering.
So, don’t fight it. If you’re used to using flats or prefolds with a cover, MAYBE your sitter will want to give it a try after you show her how it’s done. But, maybe it would be wise to show her some all-in-ones to introduce arguably the easiest version of cloth diapering. I know many who know the old-fashioned way of doing things are often shocked at how simple AIOs (especially ones with aplix) can be.
And while I appreciate it when my mother-in-law tosses my son’s jelly stained shirt or muddy pair of pants in the wash, I will be requesting – firmly but cheerfully – that she not wash a single diaper. Far easier for her and far easier for us not to have to teach her our some-would-say complicated wash routine.
Tout the similarities to disposables. Outline what diaper changing time would look like and compare it to the changing of disposables. If you give your sitter the AIO option, the only real difference would be that the diaper should be put into a wet bag for you to take care of at the end of the day. If you prefer disposable wipes, these can be tossed wherever they dispose of normal diapers.
Should the daycare center provide disposables for children, you can always mention the cost savings on their side of things. You’ve already made the diaper investment for them!
Try it out. There are always nerves trying out a new sitter and entrusting anyone with the care of your child. Fighting the battle for cloth can add to this anxiousness. Try to be patient and suggest a trial period – for the sake of your child as well as reusable diapers.
If the sitter is impatient with you, inflexible, or is overall insulting about any attempts to cloth diaper, this will also give you insight into the relationship you will have regarding other possible issues. If they give it an honest go but still have issues, it’s up to you as to whether you want to try a different facility. Good daycare is hard to come by, of course, but professionalism and kindness go a long way.
There are TONS of resources that have already covered some of these topics, so here are the links to some of my favorite write-ups:
What are your experiences with daycare? Are you lucky enough to have a cloth-friendly sitter, or have you tried to persuade a daycare to give it a try? Feel free to comment with your own experiences and advice!