With both of my children, I was blessed and cursed with pre-term contractions. The curse appears obvious while the blessing was that the contractions never produced any actual pre-term labor results like cervical dilation until it really was time but I was still on bedrest and not to return to work until after the babies had arrived. During this time, with number one, the thought of cloth tugged at me and I even mentioned it to DH who immediately saw it as nasty and troublesome. Baby #1 was disposable diapered. :-(
With baby #2, I had the same bedrest but now even more time on my hands as this bedrest began at week 23 (and not week 30 like #1). A busy mind and an idle body make an unrelenting cloth diapering wannabe. I was determined to convince my husband that this was the best way. Of course I just needed to push the right button... Money.
While I enjoy working outside the home, I don't do it because I want to, and saving money is usually a very motivating factor to my husband. So, I made a spreadsheet (so very unlike me) of how much money we would be saving if we went the route of cloth. And while real life didn't turn out in any way to be anything like my spreadsheet of future diaper spending, the spreadsheet and a couple questions was all he needed to change his mind.
Then it hit me... I had been spending hours a day researching cloth, getting the dh's approval, and even learning what I would need to sew them for myself. I had nver asked my day care lady if she would approve. The first time I asked she said yes, but I didn't believe her until I had asked 7 more times in different ways and she said yes every time. I had felt like I would be a huge burden on her since she cared for children by herself in her own home. But as
it turns out, she really did mean yes and has never complained about it. (You're the best, Ms. Jennifer!)
Now, learn this the easy way from me... Don't go the cheap prefold route with a day care unless they are already skilled and knowledgeable about them. And don't give them more than one type of diaper to try in hopes of them telling you which kind they prefer. Stick with all pockets, all AIO's, or all AI2's and don't mix the types.
We have found great success with Smartipants, Rumparooz, and Blueberry pockets at day care, and while my dh likes the Smartipants the best, but still feels like he needs to start a "Dads of Cloth Diapered Babies Support Group". Ha! He'll live. ;-)
You may find that one of the most important things about cloth diapering with a day care is the wetbag. We use the PlanetWise Wet/Dry hanging wetbags and have two in rotation. The dry part of the bag we keep the clean, stuffed pocket diapers in along with one extra change of clothes.
I'm sure the biggest source of concern for working parents using cloth diapers is the added laundry. This is not an insurmountable obstacle! We used to wash every other day and, quite honestly, nearly lost our minds. Now, I've added to our stash of pockets and I can get away with every two days. This seems to be our sweet spot for laundry frequency. I'm not really willing to go more than every two days and every other day was a much bigger chore and almost made the whole process not worth it for my family. You will find your own frequency too and once you do, you'll wonder why anyone ever questions whether it is possible or not to cloth diaper and work full time!
As a working mom, there are countless things I wished I would have done or done differently, but cloth diapering has made me feel like I am doing the best I can for my family's budget and my baby's bum. At this point, with #2 being 19 months, we barely think about it anymore and we don't stress if cloth diapers just don't happen every now and then. We keep a package of disposables handy in case there is a time crunch or, like tonight, allergies are so bad that laundry just has to wait. We'll send her with some disposables in the morning and not give it a second thought.
by Amy of FluffaBebe