Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 32
Cloth Diapering as a Working Parent with Shannon Sands
What happens when you have to go to work? Well you could have a daycare provider who is totally on board with cloth diapering. When this happens it means you jump into a new world of cloth diapering as a working mom with childcare.
This show is with Shannon Sands, a Nebraska based Child Birth Educator. She wrote 5 tips for the cloth diapering working mom and thought we’d walk through some of those on today’s episode. Check the show notes for more links and details.
Omaha Birth Boot Camp
Shannon is a mom of three and certified Birth Boot Camp Instructor. She has been learning alls he can about pregnancy, natural childbrith, breastfeeding and gentle parenting since her first baby was born.
Shannon Sands is a child birth educator. She couldn’t commit to being a doula at this point in her life, and child birth education allows her to fuel her passion for child birth.
I like knowing people’s why for cloth diapering, how did you decide to cloth diaper?
Shannon’s mom is a MD and always been open to doing things that are better for our bodies and the planet, and when she got pregnant with her first child and researched diapers and settled on cloth because of the unknown chemicals of disposable diapers. For her it was something she wanted to do for the safety of her children and then the added benefits of environmental and cost savings.
What is your situation with childcare and cloth diapering? Your story of getting here.
First, she checked with the state laws and there are no state laws in Nebraska that disallow cloth diapers. Then she had to find a provider that would allow them or use them. There are a lot of things in the story of finding a provider to meet all her needs from cloth diapering, babywearing, and baby wearing at 12 weeks.
When interviewing, bring the diapers with you and ask them “would you be open minded to trying cloth diapering with me.” Set their mind at ease while you’re going through this to educate and learn. They may have never met a cloth diaper parent before and helping set their mind at ease about the simplicity of modern diapering can really help.
On your website, shannonsandsbirth.com, you listed 5 Tips for Cloth Diapering for the working mom. How about we talk through some of these suggestions.
Your first suggestion is to use mostly all in one diapers. Did you find these were easiest for care providers, or was it something you decided because of the working mom lifestyle.
She has a stash of pockets and AIO in her stash, but she sends primarily AIO, because the less time she has to stuff pocket diapers the better. Shannon has some local baby boutiques and spent a lot of time chatting with local resources about the different cloth diaper options. AIO then seemed to be the easiest to manage in our routine.
Your second suggestion is one I’ve heard from other work at home moms, and that was to have a big enough stash to wash once a week. What does that mean? And better yet, how do you manage that wash day? I can maybe get 40 diapers in my big machine…
Today she has closer to 60 diapers in her stash which is more than enough to get her through the week. Originally she started around 40 as a weekly stash, and her stash just grew over time.
Every Sunday she washes her diapers and starts her routine. You set the washing machine and then you forget it and can go on and do your thing. Everything goes into the dryer. She’s not spending gobs of time doing cloth diapering. And at the end of the day she folds them just like another load of laundry.
She sends 4 cloth diapers a day for an 8 hour day. She changes her right before they leave, and she has a couple extra on hand at daycare. Rarely does she need more than 4.
I think that probably leads into your third suggestion – establish a routine. What does your routine look like? Do you find it overwhelming, or is it manageable? Do you ever just want to quit?
She doesn’t find it overwhelming – she’s one of these people that she decided she was going to do and she was going to do it.
A lot of people don’t understand cloth until they learn and educate them about how cute they are, and easy they are from the older traditional thoughts.
She got her wash routine down and then her daycare routine. Every night she empties the diapers out, and when baby started solids she sprayed out the poop.
Your fourth suggestion is about keeping it simple for your childcare provider?
She interviewed daycare centres and in home daycare. She decided on an in home daycare, and the first few days were emotional times and during these times she ended up spending extra time there helping baby feel settled. During this time, she brought the cloth diaper (after confirming they were going) and spend some time with her showing how to do it. She had a few questions during the day but after a couple of days everyone had their routine and it was smooth sailing from there. There weren’t any issues after that.
And I gotta say, I love your last tip of keeping disposables on hand. Why is this important?
Life gets crazy, whether your a working mom or not sometimes diapers don’t get washed then there isn’t the stress and anxiety of getting diapers on the bum. It’s easy to throw a few on the bag and get home to wash your diapers. She also uses them when the kids are doing something out of daycare routine like field trip. It helps make things little easier for everyone in the picture.
Just like other things in life, it’s not all or nothing. Whatever it is, sometimes it’s okay to take a break.
Bailey finds the hardest part about disposable diapers is when your emergency diaper stash is too small for your growing child.
Is it worth it?
100%. Shannon thinks it’s so wroth it for the safety of her children. She’s not perfect, but it’s one less chemical exposure she can try to reduce and felt like she had control of. To her it’s worth it.
How do you strive in the give and take of working and motherhood?
It’s tough, and there is give and take in everything we do as a mom. You do your best, and do whats best for your family and know that everything is okay. As longs you are happy and providing love to your children then everything is going to be okay!
Have your village, that includes your family, your daycare providers. Build up your village you can trust and rely on it and that’s fine. Include your child care provider into this village and create open communication lines.
Professional Cloth Diaper Educator
Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.
Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.
Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.