The essential guide for using cloth nappies in childcare

As we all head back to childcare, for a lot of parents who use cloth nappies on their children, the idea of their childcare provider using cloth nappies too can cause worry. However, with a growing understanding that reusables are the way forward, and with reusable alternatives becoming much more commonplace in all settings, most nurseries and childcare providers are extremely happy to jump on board with cloth nappies!

They may need a little prompting and advice from you, but in our experience they will all be willing to give it a go.

Let’s begin with the basics. The first thing you need to do is to talk to your childcare provider, whether it's a family member, childminder, or a nursery. We encourage you to explain your reasoning for wanting to ditch the disposables and switch to using cloth nappies and answer any questions they might have. The more information you can provide to them, from the environmental benefits to the cost savings, the more willing they will be to help you out.

Explain what you will be sending each day and work with them to come to some agreements on what is best for both sides. We are always amazed at the positive responses from crèches and daycare when they realise most cloth nappies are blowout proof, many are leakproof, and they are easy to store in a laundry bag or nappy pod. AIOs and Pockets are easiest to send; most people choose to send velcro all-in-ones or pocket nappies with double openings for ease of use as they are most similar to disposables.

Now lets talk poo. It's worth discussing about poo right from the start. Not all nurseries, crèches, or daycare providers will have the facilities or time to be scraping your cloth nappies so they may chose to roll them up and send them home for you. A small establishment might help you out here and be more than happy to get involved with the scraping for you!                     

What you will need:

  • Cloth nappies - the actual number will vary daily, and the number will depend on the amount of time your children are in childcare. However, just remember to send an extra one in case of leaks.
  • Wet bag - to send home dirty, soiled nappies. Make sure the childcare facility knows nappy sacks are not needed and they can put the reusable nappies straight into the wet bag you provide.
  • Wipes - we encourage you to ask if the childcare setting would prefer them to be brought in wet or dry. Some providers may say yes to cloth nappies and no to cloth wipes, so it’s best to be clear what is and isn’t tolerated.
  • Liners - if using disposable liners then a polite reminder they are not flushable may be needed. If using reusable liners, make sure they know to include them in your laundry bag!
  • Spare clothes - This is a given whether you use cloth or disposable nappies with your children. Remember the childcare provider may be new to reusable nappies and might have a sone fit related leaks so send extra clothes to help them out!

Our top tips for you:

  • Pre-stuff all your cloth nappies - send all your reusable nappies in to the childcare provider pre-stuffed to make it as simple as possible for them. If using liners, be it disposable or reusable, you could consider placing them in the cloth nappy ready for use.
  • Use the same/similar cloth nappy type/style - this will help to reduce confusion as some reusable nappies fit differently to others, and some will snap differently too.
  • Support them with the fit - show your childcare provider how its done! A simple demonstration would be most welcome and useful.