This is a wonderfully, equipping guest post written by Linda Auge. After reading it, I felt completely confident in my ability to “win the sale”!
Being a Military Mom has many challenges, one of which is moving every couple years. This means finding a new day care provider for my Little Ones as we move around. Thus I’ve gotten to have a little bit of experience with talking to and convincing potential new providers to use cloth diapers.
Many times, a day care provider is thinking those old fashion pins and plastic pants when cloth diapers are first mentioned. I have vetted many a day care or in home provider and this is what I have found.
1) When you go to ask all your other questions of the potential day care provider, take several of your diapers that you would want them to use on your baby, as well as your wet bag. Show them the diapers. Many times, they will stand in horror at the idea of a yucky, smelly, difficult diaper until you pull out that very cute, easy to use cloth diaper.
Planet Wise Wet Bag, a Tiny Hiney Wet Bag, a Thirties Duo Diaper Black Bird, an EcoBloomers ACU, a Kawaii Heavy Wetter Blue Dotty, a Best Bottom Blue Giraffe, a FuzziBunz Light it up Blue size medium, and an array of cloth wet wipes.
This is just a sample which I personally use for my LO at his daycare.
2) Explain to them why you use cloth, whether it is for environmental, health or financial reasons. Then, explain to the provider why it is good for them – less trash, fewer medications she might have to use on the baby, and earlier potential potty training. Most providers are very understanding, especially if baby has sensitive skin, and you come prepared with a Doctor’s note stating so.
3) Explain to them how you diaper your baby, and show them each step. End with putting the soiled diaper in the wet bag you provide. Especially for large centers, a cloth diaper is actually easier for the provider if they are just putting it into your wet bag.
4) Be flexible. I have found that most care providers want an AIO style diaper. This means an actual AIO, a pocket that is ready for use, or even an AI2 that is ready to use. However, realize that the provider will change the cover with every change. I have also found that most providers are willing to use cloth if they don’t have to do the ‘work’ of emptying the diaper. I have always found that the provider is willing to fold it over and snap or Velcro it shut. Then, they can easily put it in the wet bag for me to ‘deal’ with when I get home. Even families who are tight on funds can usually find good quality pockets, AIOs or AI2s from the second hand market without breaking the bank. I personally have 8 pockets for the day care (my LO goes full day) and then I use AI2s or whatever I desire at home.
5) Ask for a trial run. Ask them to try it for 2 weeks. Most times by the end of the first week, the care provider is now used to working with the cloth diapers, and it isn’t the scary thought that it was at first. Make sure you have taken the time so show her how to use the diapers and provide tips and pointers, such as fit and tucking anything in to disallow wicking. This way there are as few hiccups as possible. Providing a good wet bag is often key. Smell may be the final excuse a provider tries for and if the wet bag is good, and is able to hold in all of the smell, there is less of an argument.
6) Come prepared with your state’s laws. Even the military is governed by regulations. For the army specifically, it is AR 608 4-14f that states you can use cloth diapers with a doctor’s permission. Most Doctors will be quick to write you a note requesting authorization to use cloth diapers, since they know that cloth diapers are a healthier choice – yup, even military Doctors.
7) Finally remember to bring a smile and that a “would you please” goes very far when you talk to your new or current day care provider. Be prepared to stand your ground; if the provider tells you it is against the law or against regulations, very politely ask them for a copy of that rule. There are only a few states that can produce that because there are only a few states where they actually have a rule against the old fashioned pins and plastic pants. Since it is usually left up to the provider, ask again for a trial run.
There are many roads in our life that we will get to walk down and the choice of using cloth diapers for our babies is one of them. Know that you have options and that your care provider should have a similar philosophy as you to ensure that your LO is getting quality care.
For more information on using cloth diapers in a daycare visit the RDIA. There you will find a pdf tip sheet for using cloth diapers in daycares and a listing of cloth diaper friendly daycare facilities throughout the country.
To further discuss the successes and struggles with using cloth diapers in a daycare setting visit the cloth diaper forum here at All About Cloth Diapers.