Cloth Diapering for the Working Mom


So you’ve made the decision to fluff that cute little bum  – congrats! You won’t regret it! But you’re probably a LITTLE worried about how you’re going to manage all the extra “work” that comes with cloth while you’re working full time. Have no fear, my friend. This full-time working mom has done 4 years of cloth and I’m going to share my tips with you.

I’m a wee bit stubborn, and when I made up my mind that I was going to use cloth, by God I was going to use cloth - EVEN though my own mother, and others, were seriously discouraging me from doing so. “You’ll never be able to keep up with it,” they’d say, “you won’t have time if you’re working!!”

Well, let me fill you in on a little secret….IT’S NOT THAT HARD and certainly not that time consuming. There. I said it.

Disclaimer: This is not cloth diapering 101 – I will be using terms/concepts that I assume most new cloth mamas who have done their research will understand 😊

Without further ado, my Top 5 Cloth Diapering Tips for the Working Mom

1.)    Use mostly All-In-Ones. (Diapers with the absorbent material sewn into the cover)

There are TONS of cloth diapers out there…prefolds, pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, covers, flower sack towels, etc etc. I have several different kinds (and brands) in my stash, but I made the decision to buy mostly all-in-ones (AIOs) and here’s why: they require no folding or stuffing like pockets and prefolds. While I LOVE my pocket diapers, it’s just not worth the time it takes to stuff tons of them.

AIOs are easy to use, giving you the convenience of a disposable diaper with the safety, absorbency and reusability of cloth.

Just a pile of clean fluff waiting to be folded! 

Just a pile of clean fluff waiting to be folded! 

Shannon’s pick: bumGenius Freetimes

2.)    Have a big enough stash to wash once a week.

I do all of my laundry on the weekends and wash my diapers on Sunday afternoons. Yep, you read that right: I wash one time a week and that’s I-T. I have enough diapers in my stash to be able to get away with washing once a week, and it’s glorious.

So how many diapers does that take exactly? 45-50 diapers. I don’t use all 50 every week; some weeks I use more than others. But I never run out before my Sunday afternoon wash time.

AND I also recommend two medium-sized wet bags to take to daycare during the week. You could probably get away with one but I recommend at least two.

3.)    Establish a routine.

Do whatever works easiest for you, but whatever it is, establish a routine. I unload my wet bag every night and pack my daycare bag every morning. Now, if I was really organized, I would also pack my daycare bag at night rather than in the morning…but, I digress! 😊

And, get on a laundry routine - whether you wash once, twice or three times a week. This allows you to plan for enough diapers and doesn’t leave you scrambling.

4.)    Keep it simple for your provider.

Your childcare provider has a LOT going on. Keep it simple for them!

  • I made sure to spend a few extra minutes with her when we first started to show her my tips and tricks for cloth. While they are super easy to figure out, they can look a bit intimidating. Set her mind at ease.
  • While I have several different kinds of diapers in my stash, I tried to always send the same kind (my AIO BG Freetimes). This way, she gets used to one type of diaper and knows what to expect.
  • Don’t expect them to clean your diapers. As much as I would LOVE my provider to dump the poop in the toilet, that’s just asking too much. So…the poop comes home with the diaper and I spray them out each night. (I said cloth diapering was easy, not glamorous).
  • Make sure you have cloth-approved butt balm on hand for your provider. Save yourself some ruined diapers and make sure you have extra cream available in case a rash happens while you’re away.

5.)    Keep a package of disposables on-hand – for you and your provider.

Life gets crazy. It just does. And once-in-awhile, I don’t get my Sunday wash done. *Gasp!* You should have enough in your stash to get you by but if not, don’t fret! Just throw a few disposables in the daycare bag and do a diaper wash when you can.

Also, it’s nice for your care provider to have a couple disposables on hand too. We do an in-home daycare and she likes to take the kids to the library, zoo, Children’s Museum, etc, and it’s much more convenient for her to take a disposable diaper than cloth + wet bag.

Bottom line: You can do this, mamas! Don’t let the fact that you’re a working mom scare you out of cloth diapering. Like all things parenting, it just takes a little thought and strategy, and you can make it happen. Soon enough, you’ll establish a routine and it’ll be second-nature. Happy Cloth-ing!