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Childcare and cloth nappies

I'm going back to work - will my child carer agree to use cloth nappies? 

This is a common concern - however remember that the carer will be changing your child's nappies anyway - the only real difference to them is that instead of having a bin full of stinky disposables at the end of the day, they will give you the used nappies to take home and wash.  

Talk to the child carer in advance. It may well be that they've done this before, and can sort out the practicalities with you very easily - in which case there should be no difficulties. Some nurseries even have a policy of using cloth nappies on babies in their care, whatever nappy is used at home!  

If they are resistant - perhaps they haven't had a child in cloth nappies before - these pointers may help:

  • Nurseries will have to pay to have disposable nappies collected and taken away, so you can point out that using cloth nappies would reduce their costs and waste.
  • If you send the baby to nursery/childminder with the day's nappies already 'made up' - laid out in the wrap and ready to put on, this might be easier for inexperienced carers to handle. You could even put a flushable liner in each one.
  • Use paper liners, so they can dispose of your children's poo in the same way as disposable-nappied children's poo (however that might be!) - or, of course, flush it!
  • If possible, use cloth nappies which behave as much like disposables as possible - velcro fastenings etc - this will be easier for inexperienced/rushed carers to cope with.  All in ones or pocket nappies (provided ready to use) will be the simplest for them.
  • Don't send your favourite cloth nappies to nursery - we've heard stories of them being accidentally discarded with the disposable nappies!
  • Point out that, once the poo is got rid of, the nappy can be stored in a plastic bag and it is effectively no different than storing trousers which have been accidentally weed on by a potty-training child.
  • If all else fails, and the carer insists on using disposables on your child when (s)he is in their care, insist that (s)he should be wearing a cloth nappy when you drop him/her off, and a clean cloth nappy when you pick up again at the end of the day. Perhaps, once the carers realise how easy this is to accommodate, they'll relent on using cloth nappies during the rest of the day!