I hope you enjoyed Jessica's guest post on Cloth Diaper Ins and Outs. This is a follow up from a child care provider's perspective.
TIPS & TRICKS
In general, cloth diapers are pretty much the same as disposables. Same general routine and diapering procedures. There are a few things I keep in mind, however.
I have to store the diapers and liners. Yes you have to store disposables as well, but those stack up neatly or are in plastic sleeves. For cloth, I use an IKEA plastic bin that stores the diapers and a roll of liners. I take the diapers out each morning and place them into the bin and hang the wet bag on the bathroom door.
I can't wipe with a cloth diaper the same as with a disposable. Most poop can be wiped off with a disposable, but if you do that with a cloth diaper, you get more poop on it than necessary, which you don't want. I keep a roll of toilet paper handy and will use that to remove the majority of the mess prior to using wipes. Otherwise, you will use a dozen plus wipes. I just plop the toilet paper into the toilet, since I change them on a pad on the floor of the bathroom. [State likes for the bathroom stuff to all be in the bathroom, and a pad on the floor saves my back from lifting 2 year olds.]
I need to think more about changing order. I change all of them at the same time, usually. If using gloves, it doesn't really matter, but I don't. I use a plastic bag for the nasties. I turn it inside out to grab the soiled liner off the cloth diaper, so I need to do the cloth diaper child first. Then I do the others and put the soiled disposables into the same bag.
I need to prepare the diaper before taking the other one off. This is basically true of disposables as well. However, pulling a liner off the roll requires two hands. laying out the diaper requires two hands, getting the snaps together takes two hands. If you have squirmy child, things can get messy fast. I always lay out the diaper with liner on top prior to laying the child down on the pad. I can put a disposable on one handed while holding a child in place, not so with a cloth diaper.
I need to be considerate of the parents and place very poopy diapers into a plastic bag. This lets them know that it will need additional attention and not just be tossed into the laundry. The plastic bag goes into the wet bag.
I need to keep in mind that it is against state regulations for me to do any more with a soiled diaper than is absolutely necessary. I can't pull out liners, wash out poop, or do anything that could increase contamination of the space.
The parents have to bring the diapers daily. We start out the week with 5. Usually I use 3-4 a day at this point, 20 months old, depending on how late nap goes. They take the soiled ones each evening and bring me a corresponding amount back the next morning in a clean wet bag. I keep one spare in his clothes cubby and have a few disposables as back up.
The parents have to supply diaper rash cream. Most creams will lower the absorbency of the cloth diapers, so they are required to provide one appropriate for the diapers.
MY FAVORITES & NOT SO FAVORITES
Wet Bags: My favorites are the Kanga Care wet bags. They are about three times as roomy as the envelope style. It is SOOOO much easier to get soiled diapers into it. It can hold a days worth easy, along with any soiled clothing. The envelope styles barely hold a days worth of soiled diapers, and it can get messy trying to stuff them into the smaller opening. I would love to have a Kanga Care one for every child, especially when we have wet swimsuits in the summer.
There's just really no comparison. I'm always happier to see the Kanga Care bags.
Diapers: My favorite, especially for boys, is Bum Genius. Each diaper brand has a different liner/insert configuration. Some have one long liner that is doubled over, some have snap in liners, some have a single pocket liner, etc. Bum Genius have full reach dual pockets, one on each side. What I like about this is that with inserts, you can double the absorbency as they grow older. For boys, I can double up the front liner at nap, when they are usually sleeping on their stomachs over 18 months, and are more likely to pee out because of it, giving me 3 layers of absorbency even without inserts.
I DO NOT LIKE AT ALL the GroVia brand. They are so much narrower than the other brands and they snap front to back rather than back to front like disposables. The liners are much more narrow, and they have the single doubled over liner, Since I've been using disposables for over 30 years, the backwards snapping alone drives me nuts. It's just...WRONG and irritates me that I have to think while changing a child's diaper, which is one of the most mindless tasks, and a time when I should be spending engaging with the child rather than being forced to THINK about what I'm doing. GroVia is on the right.
I am also not a fan of a coop/no-name brand that has a dark gray inside. They are the only ones I have had two pee-outs from. I no longer use them at nap time. Ever.
Some more personal opinions: Happy Heiny has only a single liner, but is super absorbent. Smart Bottoms don't seem to hold enough pee for bigger kids. Blueberry Diapers are fine.
Jessica has mentioned that the ones with the Velcro rather than snaps are easier for the little ones to get open, but that Velcro is pretty darn strong, and I don't mind it at all. I can see where it would be a problem if the diapers were washed with other linty clothing, but I don't mind them. Quick and easy rather than trying to align snaps. They are not as adjustable, so I would imagine the cost would be higher since they would only fit a more limited size range.
Frankly, the only irritation with cloth diapers has been the GroVia brand of diapers. Otherwise, I have had no issues with using the cloth diapers whatsoever.
I was very surprised that indeed, he has less diaper rash issues than the ones in disposables. These new "cloth" diapers have great absorbency and the PLO outer fabric holds everything in wonderfully.
I would HIGHLY recommend them to parents. Providers, cloth diapers are really a non-issue. Cloth friendly is a great marketing tool that costs you nothing. Being cloth friendly is easy peasy.
They can be expensive to start out with, but you can always make your own! Additional cloth diaper pins on my Baby Crafts Pinterest pinboard.
Follow Little Stars Learning's board Baby Crafts on Pinterest.