Using cloth in daycare is possible with the right tools and the right information:
1. Share the Facts:
Disposable diapers are made from plastic, synthetic rubber, oil and tree pulp. The result is an annual US consumption of 80,000 pounds of plastic, 200,000 trees, and more than 18 billion disposable diapers in our landfills. Additionally, disposable diapers are made of synthetic ingredients like plastic and synthetic rubber and natural ingredients like oil and tree pulp. While these ingredients themselves aren’t harmful, the process by which they are made and put together is. For example, the tree pulp in diapers is often bleached to make it white. The bleaching process creates a toxic byproduct called dioxin. Dioxin has been proven to have bad side effects ranging from minor skin rashes to cancer. Disposable diapers also contain SAPs (super absorbent polymers) - this is what makes them so absorbent. SAPs however, are the same ingredients that were used in tampons in the 80s that caused Toxic Shock Syndrome. Finally, babies with sensitive skin are more likely to develop irritations from the synthetic materials and toxic byproducts. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies who use disposable diapers develop diaper rashes - 16% develop severe rashes.
2. Do Your Homework:
Many daycares will try to say that it is unsanitary or even illegal to cloth diaper in a daycare. This is simply not true. Do your research and be prepared to share this information with your caregiver. State rules regarding diapers in daycare is public information and can be found on the web. Find your state's DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) website and search for their childcare rules and minimum standards.
Here's a link to Texas Childcare Standards and Regulations. Diapering information can be found on page 126.
3. Show How Easy it Is:
Do a quick demonstration for your caregiver showing them how easy it is to change a cloth diaper. Have them practice on a teddy bear or doll. You can also email them this simple video that shows them how easy it is to change a cloth diaper. Watch the Video
4. Make it Simple:
The simplest diapers for caregivers are Pocket, All-In-One or All-In-Two / Hybrid diapers. These types of diapers are recommended for daycares because of their ease of use and similarity to disposable diapers.
5. Be Prepared:
Be sure to include the following items in your diaper bag to make cloth diaper changes a breeze.
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