Guest Post: Working Parents Cloth Diaper too! 

Kristin Dun

Kristin Dun

Working Parent

Insert something Awesome here. 

Cloth diapering full-time and day-care full-time!? How we have managed for over a year.

 You could call me Type A. I searched far and wide for options of daycare that would work with us and diapers that could work for them. I had no interest in being a full-time mom after my 8-week stint at home. I shortened my maternity leave, and dropped our daughter off with at halftime nanny and five Diaper Rite Newborn AIOs. We soon enrolled our daughter in full-time daycare, successfully cloth diapering with them for 14 months.

Our daughter spent newborn days with a combination of 19 newborn changes total. We washed at least every two days. We understood that would not work forever! 

My Cloth Diaper Stash

When I was pregnant, we won our first diaper shell through one of Bailey’s contests. It prompted us to buy more GroVia shells and a few inserts.  We were curious to try different (cheaper) price points and systems. After extensive research, we use all in two systems almost exclusively for daycare. In addition to GroVia, Buttons makes affordable covers and we found used Best Bottoms inserts online. 

An all in two system is cheaper than AIOs by a landslide. We also found out that AI2s dry much faster. On Wednesday nights, I am thankful that they make up a majority of our stash. 

We dabbled in all-in-ones and pocket diapers but I could not imagine stuffing 35 diapers at 10:30 at night or 7:00am. Not doing it!  Using AIOs for daycare would cost us hundreds more, plus waste precious time drying in the evenings.  

We have prefolds but rarely send those to daycare. The staff rotate and we’re most comfortable giving them AI2s already snapped to prevent major challenges. 

 

What have I learned?

Routine is everything. 

Ours is based on one major idea: diapers that are washed on weeknights have to be dry and assembled by morning.

Some of our earliest diaper purchases didn’t dry quick enough so we gave them away or we use those last. We’ve landed on around 30 daytime changes, half that many covers, and 5 overnight diapers. 

We wash every Wednesday and one weekend night. My sanity dictated that we would only do diaper laundry twice a week while working full-time. We use Tide powder detergent and have used liquid detergent in a pinch. Even if it’s 8:00 p.m. and we forgot to start a load, we make it work!

Here is a glimpse into our cloth diaper schedule as a working parent.

We had no one providing a tutorial when we were starting out, but I wish we did.

On Mondays, we pack five or six assembled hybrid diapers, disposable wipes, and a mini pail liner. Most states dictate that daycare employees must change the entire thing (can’t snap in new inserts or reuse a cover). That afternoon, I bring back the pail liner filled with used diapers. Soiled diapers are sprayed and go into a larger wet bag. We snap out any inserts that have pee to put in a wet bag but lay those shells to air overnight. This saves money as opposed to putting an entire pocket or AIO in a wet bag nightly.

Tuesday morning, those aired-out covers can be sent to daycare with fresh inserts. Repeat. 

By Wednesday evening, we have a good amount of diapers to stick in the laundry. We start this at least 3.5 hours before bedtime. One prerinse and one heavy wash cycle. Turn the dryer on low twice and hang dry washed covers overnight. This lasts Thursday and Friday.

On the weekends, we use whatever diapers are left until we have just four changes. Then we do a big wash and assemble more diapers for the week. 

 

Our daily diapers with a toddler:

Overnight diaper 

Wake up and change

Change after breakfast

Change up to five times at daycare

Change around dinner

Change once before bedChange into overnight

 

With this knowledge, you can see that we needed more covers/shells than lots of AI2s websites promote.  We shopped lots of sales to build our stash (wet bags, pail liners, and sprayer included). New parents could shop sales to spend less than $500 creating something similar with options. 

As two parents working outside of the home, we give ourselves grace. I am incredibly proud to speak of our successes. Our daughter still has a disposable on her behind once every couple months. She has not complained, and neither have we.

Monica – Using Cloth Diapers at Night is possible

I did my research, I read lots of blogs and reviews, and I gave it a few goes until I found the perfect combinations that worked for me. With a bit of perseverance and some trial and error, I can now say I am successful at using cloth diapers at night as well!

Tasha – Switching to Cloth at 6 Months

Fast forward to six months later. I revisited said closet because it was NOT as pristinely nested as it was at first. “Oh, right…these cloth diapers!” I pulled them out and researched the brand to try and figure them out

Handwashing Cloth Diapers – A Long Term Story

Guest Post: Long TermHThis story is from Barbara Ann. Barbara has been a member of the Flats & Handwashing community for many years now. I reached out to her, asking her to share her story because I knew cloth diapering and handwashing had become a part of o her...

Kristin – Cloth Diapering as a working parent

Guest Post: Working Parents Cloth Diaper too!  Insert something Awesome here.  Cloth diapering full-time and day-care full-time!? How we have managed for over a year.  You could call me Type A. I searched far and wide for options of daycare that would work with us and...

Stephanie: Why I Use Smart Bottoms Diapers

My friend used Smart Bottoms, and they were the first brand I bought, and instantly fell in love. So there was no need to switch brands.

Emily – All About Cloth Diaper Sales & More

Feeling sticker shock from the price of cloth diapers? Then Emily is here to help you sort out a few ideas on saving money and catching the deals on cloth diapers.

Lindsay – What if I don’t have laundry facilities?

I love cloth diapering. I spread the gospel to anyone who will listen. The olds think it’s all trifolds and pins while the youths have never heard of it. Such a shame, so I appreciate you taking the time to hear what my converted-crunchy self thinks about amazing...

Laura – What if I can’t afford diapers for my baby?

Laura M shares her story of choosing to cloth diaper because of the scary thought that maybe one day she can’t afford diapers. For her family, cloth diapering brings security and peace of mind.