One of our supporters Helen has written a blog for us about using cloth nappies at nursery. We hope sharing her experiences will be helpful for anyone thinking about using reusable nappies in a childcare setting.
"When choosing a nursery for Audrey, whether or not they were okay with cloth nappies was probably top of my list of questions for them! I remember asking at the nursery we chose and staff in the room laughed and said 'yes, of course, we've seen it all, been here for over 30 years!'. At certain nurseries they provide nappies and wipes for all children, but at Audrey's nursery they ask that parents provide them so it makes no difference to them whether they are cloth or disposable. In fact, I would even argue that it would be better for them to have less disposables to throw away, because as a business they will need to pay for disposable nappies to be disposed of industrially.
How many to send in? It depends on the age of your child and the length of day they have in nursery. Ask the staff if they have set times they do nappy changes to get an estimate. In Audrey's room which is 12 months +, they change 3 times a day and of course any unscheduled poo changes. I send in 4 clean nappies a day and usually we get sent home 3 dirty ones and occasionally 4 if there is a surprise poo.
What's easiest for the staff? A lot of parents want to make life easier for the nursery staff. They are pros at changing nappies quickly, but poppers and 2 part nappies may prove challenging for those more used to disposable nappies. When Audrey first started, I sent in a mix of Baba+Boo (poppers) and Bambino Mios (Velcro). I found that sometimes she would come home with the poppers on the Baba+Boo done up either too tightly or not tightly enough. Because we have a good stash of Bambino Mios, I decided to make life easier for the staff and just send all Bambino Mios in and use Baba+Boo at home. If I didn't already have velcro all-in-ones and my whole stash was poppers, I would have given a bit of advice to nursery and maybe sent photos in to guide them on how to get the best fit.
I use a Baba+Boo medium 2 zip bag - clean nappies and wipes go in the smaller zip compartment and dirty nappies get put in the big compartment. We bring home the bag each night and then I sort into my bucket.
With regards to poos, we use reusable fleece liners and nursery just fold the nappy up and send it back home to us, poo inside. Audrey's poos aren't very ploppable though, I have heard of some nurseries plop a very solid poo or people even use disposable liners so no poo gets sent home. We don't mind it though, I often find leaving the poo a few hours helps it get off the liner easier as it dries out."
We would love to hear from you about your experiences of using cloth nappies in childcare settings - nursery, childminders or grandparents! Send us an email at email@example.com or comment below if you would like to share with us.