Cloth Nappies & Childcare
Saturday, 2 August 2014
You may use many different forms of childcare for your child, depending on your circumstances: your return to work, time for grandparents alone with their grandchild, your visits to the gym, crèche facilities at the supermarket etc. How you live your life will affect the kind of cloth nappies you use on your baby, because you need to use a system that can be understood by others.
We have a range of cloth nappy fitting guides for childcare providers, that you can print and send with the nappies for them to refer to.
Whoever looks after your child, they must have enough nappies, wraps and liners (as appropriate), plus clearly understood arrangements about what to do with the dirty nappies. With some caregivers, you may be happy for them simply to parcel everything up in a bag, poo and all, for you to deal with at home. With others (particularly if they look after your baby full time), you will want them to drop the poo down the toilet.
If your child has a single regular caregiver (eg. a grandparent), you can easily demonstrate how to use your preferred choice of nappy system. Bear in mind any physical needs they may have - poppers may be difficult for an older person or those with limited mobility, for instance. Older caregivers may be enthusiastic about terries with a nice wrap, given that they probably have some experience of these in their past, especially if you show them how easy Nappi Nippas are to use. You could invest in a nappy bucket to keep at their house - you can empty the bucket there and transport the nappies home in a plastic bag for washing. Or you may decide between you to put on a wash at their house before you leave, for them to hang to dry later, so that they keep their own set of nappies for when your child is there.
A childminder outside the family might prove tricky. Although a good childminder should accept any reasonable arrangements that the parents wish, you may find some resistance to using cloth nappies. Plenty of childminders will happily use cloth nappies at the parent's request, but they may not feel they have been given enough to change baby as frequently as they would like. If your childminder prefers to change your child's nappy more often than you usually do, make sure they have enough to do so, and be grateful for the cooperation! Take time to show them how to use whichever system you prefer, but bear in mind that speed and ease of change will be important to them, as they also have other children to take care of.
If your child goes to nursery, they will have their nappy changed by any one of a number of people, so the nappy system you use should be the easiest possible. A pocket or all in one nappy is the most similar to a disposable nappy, for those less familiar with cloth. Talk through with your child's key worker to make sure the staff know how to change your child's nappy, or print a photo guide for the staff to follow. Or you might consider using eco-disposables, however make sure you understand how and why your disposables call themselves 'eco' as this is a whole other minefield!
For a nursery or childminder, you may consider adding a booster to your choice of nappy 'just in case', to give a bit more absorbency and peace of mind.
While you are at the gym or shopping, your child may go into a crèche of some sort. Certainly, at the shop crèche, they will be looking after a lot of children at once, and you may decide to change your child yourself before you go off, leaving them with a spare disposable just in case of poo emergencies. At the gym crèche, they probably only have facilities for a very small number of children (maybe only 3 or 4 with one staff member), but equally you do not know how experienced or interested they will be. I would suggest doing something similar. However, if you have a ready-prepared one piece nappy, they really have no excuse, and they are almost impossible to get wrong.
While it may go against the grain to have any kind of disposable, bear in mind that in a situation like this if your child has a poo, they are more likely to be left in it than be changed if the clean nappy is perceived to be difficult. If you are at the gym, or somewhere where you can be easily located, you could avoid this simply by asking them to come and get you if a nappy change is required, or at least give them the option to do so. I know this does nothing to normalise cloth nappies, but it’s the real world we’re thinking of here, and in the real world, things don’t necessarily work out how we want them to. Anyway, with a bit of luck your child will have conveniently pooed beforehand, thus reducing the likelihood of this eventuality needing to be covered.
Our best selling All In One nappies are an easy option for childcare: