January 18, 2011

Cloth Diapers for a Working Mom: Perhaps at Daycare Afterall

So... I mustered up some courage and took advantage of our most recent monthly Parent Call at our Daycare to ask about cloth diapers again. I sent an email to the director, who hosts the call, ahead of time to ask if that was the appropriate forum for such a question. I wanted to probe for any definite no's first. I also included a few links to some of the types of diapers we were using from the website we ordered from. I am not sure that she looked at them, but she replied to my email saying that I could bring it up, but she was pretty sure that the state of NC didn't allow child care centers to use cloth diapers. I replied by saying that other facilities in the same chain, in our same city were using them right now.

So I did log into the call later that day. At the end of the agenda, I got my chance to ask if the center had reconsidered their stance on cloth, restating that other centers in our area were using them. The director again said that for a fact, NC had outlawed them in the past, but that she would look back into it. One of the other moms said that another nearby center ONLY used cloth, and changed kids into them when they got there, and would put on a disposable to go home in, if the parents wanted. Wow!

Also, one of the other staff said that a possibility in the meantime would be to pack one cloth diaper for our little one to change into as his last for the day, to come home in. At first I thought this wasn't really only a drop in the bucket, but that to show that I was interested I should at least make the effort. And the next day, his teacher had no problem with it, and said that in fact at least one other baby (and her older brother before her) did the same thing. I felt relieved, and excited that this was catching on! And later I realized that he is only going through 5 or 6 during the day there, so 1 more to be cloth would be a 15-20% improvement. And what a great way to see if we can keep up with laundry every other day.

AND to top it off, while we were discussing this during pickup, one of the other moms asked, "Oh are you doing cloth?" which sparked a conversation about how we were doing them "after hours", and how she had bought some before her daughter was born, but hadn't really gotten around to using them yet.

Needless to say, I feel relieved, and not like a crazy hippie (at least not the only crazy hippie). And actually a little hopeful that we can do this more. We have at least a year's worth of diapering to go (or two, if my mother is right about boys and potty training...) so that would at least break even. I am shopping around for deals now!! I am going to need some of those travel wet bags...

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