Wednesday Windows: Cloth Diapers and Daycare

One of my main goals for the year is to make it so that all parents in Virginia have the option to use cloth or disposables in daycare.  I really don’t like that we are being told what we must use on our child in daycare.  We are forced to put chemicals and paper on their butts unless they have an adverse reaction.  And well, I don’t like that.  To me that is like says lets use them as test subjects to see if trash will cause a rash.

I think what needs to happen is that there needs to be a plan in place for parents that wish to use cloth diapers.  I don’t think parents should be told their child must wear disposables. AND I don’t think parents should be told that their child must wear cloth.  I think it should be up to the parent to choose what their child wears as long as it does not harm the child or anyone else.  I think that maybe there should be some guidelines about the type of cloth diaper so that it is easy on everyone.

All-In-One, pocket diapers, and some hybrids should be more than acceptable.  And if the daycare is up for it, prefolds or flats and covers too.  I think so many people are close minded about it because they think of pins and plastic pants.  They have not discovered modern cloth diapers.  They work just as well as disposables and better most of the time.

I am currently working with a few other moms to get the wording changed for Virginia.  We have started an online petition to try to raise awareness.  We are looking into exactly what needs to be done in order to get the wording changed.  I have posted it everywhere I can think of.  I even posted it on my personal facebook account.  One of my sisters, who works in a daycare, told me “good luck with that!” meaning: you don’t have a chance.  I would love to show her that her little sister can make a difference for the better!

Both of my children are in cloth diapers at a daycare that told me NO CLOTH DIAPERS!  Every daycare I talked to told me no cloth diapers since they are unsanitary.  I am not going to touch the unsanitary portion at this time.  For now I will continue to talk about our experience.

We picked a daycare that was close to home.  We went through several disposable diapers with my son and after a week or two he would get a rash. We went through several non-prescription and prescription creams all before he was three or four months old.  He also had at least one diaper a day that would leak all over his clothing at daycare.  We had poop going in our washer at home anyway, so I got the okay to wash cloth diapers at home.  We had used a service for a few weeks when he was born and prefolds were not for us.  I purchased several styles to try and figured out what worked for us.  On the weekend, while in cloth, his rashes would clear up.  During the week he would break out again.

At this point I did all of the research to see if there was anything out there that could help me get my son in cloth.  That was when I found the state guidelines for daycare.  And there was a wonderful little section that addressed cloth diapers.  That the child must use disposables unless they had a reaction to them.  At which point in time they must have a doctors note and follow all the rules for disposables with cloth.  I then called daycare and asked them again if he could use cloth diapers.  I explained the situation and told them the page number to turn to in their manual.  I was then told that they were pretty sure it would be fine and they would double check with their corporate office.  They wanted to make sure it wasn’t a company policy since they were told absolutely no cloth diapers.

I did call the correct state office to talk to someone about the situation.  I wanted to make sure there were no loop holes.  I found that all certified facilities must follow the state guidelines unless they had an exception.  My daycare did not.  The example they gave me were facilities associated with churches had some religious exceptions.  I don’t see how that would apply to cloth diapers, but I didn’t care at the time.  I got my note, my step to open trash can, a few wet bags, and a few more cloth diapers!  I brought everything into daycare…AND THEY FELL IN LOVE!  I had so many people working there asking me questions and wanting to know more information.  I converted a few people.  It was a beautiful thing!

So why do I care so much about this since both of my kids are in cloth at daycare?  Why do I care since if you have a way to wear cloth diapers if you have a note from a doctor?  Why work so hard if there is a chance you will not obtain your goal?  I will tell you why.  No one should have to go through what my son went though to be allowed to wear cloth diapers.  No one should have to get a note from a doctor for something that is better for their child (and legal without a note).  If you don’t try, you lose anyway.  I don’t give up easily!  Plus, it should be a parents right, not privilege to put their child in cloth diapers at their daycare.

This is also a topic of interest for the Real Diaper Association and the Real Diaper Industry Association.  They have started a cloth diaper friendly daycare list.  To me that isn’t enough.  It is an excellent start, but I believe we need to work harder.  The closest daycare on that list to me is 30+ minutes away.  That isn’t an option for me.  We need a daycare that is on our path to and from work to insure we have enough time to drop off and pick up before it is penalty time.  I know a lot of parents are in the same boat as me.

The petition we started is for Virginia residents only.  If you are not in Virginia, I encourage you to find an RDA Circle Leader or RDA member in your state.  Have them help you to get the wording changed in your state.  Start a petition.  Get help.  Get the word out there.  It is all about information and education!  Please let me know if you would like help with this or you do not get a response from someone in your state.


  1. Hi! I happened to sulmbte upon your blog and thought this was an interesting post. Honestly, I haven’t read any other posts regarding your cloth diapering choices, but you touched upon it in the video, which brought me up to speed. I have worked and currently work at a daycare. My first thought about your video subject was that it must be hard to find a center that would accommodate cloth diapers. It sounds like you had a bit of a challenge but found a place that worked well with your needs. I actually loved how you approached it with the center staff and tried to explain that they aren’t so scary anymore. :) My mom used them on me 28 yrs ago and I’m pretty sure they were the safety pin kind. I also thought your tips were great too. Your belief that it shouldn’t impact the teachers was also refreshing. Not everyone shares your view on how a relationship between teachers and parents should be.I wish you much success. Just think…before you know it you will be potty training! 😀