In the spirit of Real Diaper Week last week, I wrote to our state daycare regulations board asking if they would consider changing the wording about cloth diapers. In our state of Virginia, the regulation stipulates that disposable diaper shall be used unless the child has an adverse reaction to them. That is all it says. There are no procedures on how to handle cloth diapers. With this statement it is easy for Virginia daycares to hide behind state regulations and simply tell parents “it is against state regulations.”
Prior to writing my letter, I took the time to look up the state regulations for all 50 states. I found that only one state (sorry Tennessee) flat out said, “No cloth diapers.” I found that two states, Virginia and Maine had the limitations that cloth diapers could be used but only if there is a reaction involved. Ten states had no reference in their regulations at all in regards to disposable/cloth diapers. The last 37 states all had procedures on how cloth diapers should be handled. The procedures varied here and there but the bottom line was that the cloth diapers could be used.
In my efforts, to really sell the cloth diaper idea to our state regulation board, I made it as easy as I could for them to realize that there was no real reason to say no. I made the following recommendations:
- Parents shall provide a closable, waterproof container of some sort whether it is a waterproof wet bag that can be completely closed or a small diaper pail. This container should be taken home each day.
- Soiled diapers shall not be rinsed or washed by the daycare facility. Dirty diapers as they are shall be placed in the container “as is”.
- A waterproof cover must be used at all times and a clean diaper cover shall be used at every change.
There were a few other technical recommendations that I made but that was the basic just of it. You and I know that it is just that easy, and I hope that the board realizes that as well. I pitched that modern cloth diapers are not unsanitary as previously believed, that cloth diapering not only saves the parents money but also saves the daycare facility as well as the state since there could be fewer disposable diapers to dispose of. I further explained to them that the cloth diaper industry is on the rise, it is creeping into the mainstream and that more and more new cloth diaper services are cropping up in the US. (We had 4 in Virginia alone open in the last year.) With their acceptance of cloth diapers, they could help our local economy by supporting these small businesses that sell and service cloth diapers.
While writing this letter to our state I began thinking of this long
list of 37 states that do actually have a cloth diaper procedure written
in their regulation. I wondered if parents in these
states have a hard time finding a daycare to take their cloth or is it
not an issue?
Does your daycare accept cloth diapers? Did you have a hard time finding one? What state are you in?