The Nappy Lady Ltd

Cloth Nappies & Childcare

Cloth Nappies & Childcare

No need to worry about cloth nappies and childcare

Many parents worry that using reusable nappies is going to be a problem for their childcare provider and they will be forced to use disposable nappies. However modern cloth nappies are very simple and are much more common than they used to be. Many nurseries, childminders are absolutely fine with you using cloth nappies.

Consider the childcare you will use

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

How you live your life will affect the kind of reusable nappies you use on your baby, because you need to use a cloth nappy system that can be understood by others.

Nappy photo fitting guides for childcare providers

Whichever childcare you use The Nappy Lady has a range of cloth nappy fitting guides for childcare providers, that you can print and send with the nappies for them to refer to.

How many nappies are needed for childcare?

My calculation to how many nappies you need would be:
The amount of nappies your child normally goes through in the time period they will be at childcare plus 2.  That gives you one more change than normal plus one more emergency nappy.

Decide what you would like them to do with dirty nappies

Agree with your childcare provider about what to do with the dirty nappies. The usual options are

  • Parcel everything up in a small wet bag, poo and all, for you to deal with at home.
  • Drop the poo down the toilet and just bag up the wet cloth nappy.

Disposable liners tend to better than fleece liners for any form of childcare.

Examples of our best selling paper liners are below.

Free Download Popper Placement Guide

Download and print our childcare popper position guide. You colour in the poppers on our guide to easily show your childcare provider the best ones to make the nappy fit the best.


Things to consider for each type of childcare and reusable nappies

Grandparents, childcare and cloth nappies

When a grandparent is your childcare, 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 and Velcro fastening nappies would be a better choice.

While terry squares are not usually suitable for childcare, grandparents may be enthusiastic about terries with a nice wrap and keen to show off their folding techniques. They often love how easy Nappi Nippas are to use compared to traditional nappy pins.

You could invest in a nappy bucket or hanging bag to keep at their house - you can empty the bucket there and transport the nappies home in a wet 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.

Will a childminder use cloth nappies?

It really depends on the individual childminder, personally mine were perfectly happy to use reusable nappies.

Generally a good childminder will accept any reasonable arrangements that the parents wish. Check the changing schedule your chilldminder uses as they often change more frequently than parents do and you don't want they to run out of nappies.

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.

Cloth nappies at nursery

If your child goes to nursery, they will have their nappy changed by any one of a number of people, so the cloth nappy system you use should be the easiest possible.

A pocket nappy or all in one nappy is usually the best choice for a nursery. These types are 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 cloth nappies at nursery, or print a photo guide see our link above for the staff to follow.

Add a booster "just in case"

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.

Reusable nappies and a creche

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 all in one nappy such as the Wizard Uno or Little Lovebum Quickdry, 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:

Other things you'll need

Don't forget the things you would need even if your baby used disposable nappies.

  • Spare clothes
  • Wipes either disposable wipes or reusable wipes
  • Nappy Sacks if you're not using wet bag