Cloth Diapers, Diaper Service and Daycare

Jenifer - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have my own daycare and as a service to the parents I provide the diapers, bottles, sippy cups, food and what not, they have to bring formula... I own about 200 FuzziBunz sized diapers, which are easier for me, because the babies are so different and a one size would take too much time at each changing. I have a good system worked out and even have a parent who uses them at her house, she uses my diapers, brings the stinky diapers to me and I was them and give her clean ones. I want to start a diaper service using FuzziBunz. There are no diaper services in my area. I want to have the people using the diapers breing thre dirty's to me every other day and I can give them a new set, I am just not sure how my plan will work. So I am looking for ideas. How much would you pay? My plan is to give them a pail, have them take the clean ones out of the pail, then as they use them, put them back in the pail, I will provide wipes and am debating keeping a stock of diaper safe ointment they can buy from me. I can provide wetbags too. How much should I provide? What do you think? So I guess, what are your ideas and how much is too much or too little. The one mom I do the service for pays me $5 a week per kid and she has 2, but I watch her kids at my house and they are at their dad's 2 nights a week and every other weekend, plus she is low income, so I don't feel right making profit off her. Her boys will have to be in cloth for 2 and a half years each for what I am charging her, but I will own the diapers. And I have bought 24 diapers in 3 sizes for her boys, plus wetbags, pails, wipes and all. So what is a good price, should each family have their own color or would swapping be okay? In my daycare now, I don't have a specific color for each kid and I wash them all together and I have never had rashes or sickness. Okay enough from me, let me know what you think.

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Kristi - posted on 02/25/2010

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As someone who is pretty laid back and has been cloth diapering my kids in everything from diaper service on the doorstep to homewashed mix and match for 6 years, I am not so sure I would feel confident that a homebased diaper service would be able to reasonably deal with sanitation issues without commercial equipment for that much poop. There probably is not a regulation because no one has wanted to try something like that, but considering the rules about fecal disposal in our state (it's my understanding if you throw away disposal diapers with poop in them in WA you are breaking the law) it wouldn't surprise me if they existed in other states too. I would check that out more closely. The bottom line (no pun intended!) for me is that I would be uncomfortable sharing diapers with someone else from a non-commercial cleaner for sanitary reasons. I had always thought if I tried a daycare I would do cloth diapers too, but I would use a commercial diaper service and pass the cost along to the parents as part of my fee. I would do what Julie suggested and just use the fuzzibunz as covers if you like doing that, and then just use your local diaper service for the prefold inserts. Good luck.

Julie - posted on 02/25/2010

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I use cloth on my son--someone gave us 10 Fuzzibunz (size small) and we didn't like using them as pocket diapers because you have to change the entire thing EVERY time he pooped or peed. So we used them instead as covers over regular prefolds, without the inserts in the pockets. That totally worked for us. Otherwise we'd have needed about 25 so we didn't have to wash every day. But that was just us. Now we use medium Bummis wraps over prefolds. But I still use the Fuzzibunz inserts as doublers at night.

Jenifer - posted on 02/25/2010

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I've looked into some services, noe offer a FuzziBunz service, it's all just prefolds. Not worried about exit plan, I don't want it to get too big, just big enough to make a difference.
I have checked with the county and there are no regulations on this where I live. What is Bac Out and where can I buy it, I'm in MI. As far as I know I will be the only service in my county and the only one that uses FuzziBunz. I think the one I checked into was $23 a week, and cost of living isn't too expensive here. I was just wondering if anyone would consider using a FuzziBunz service in their area. I have two parents signed up already and have had others in the past, but they really preferred disposables. Basically they were afraid to carry a cloth diaper and they didn't like how their little girls butts looked in cloth... Frankly I love cloth, I prefer FuzziBunz, but a washcloth with plastic wrap would be better then a disposable... I think most people don't want the poop aspect or the initial investment aspect.

Julie - posted on 02/24/2010

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I live in northern CA and the diaper service here charges $20/week for 80 cloth prefold diapers, which is where they recommend you start when your baby is young and using lots of diapers. Clients buy their own water proof wraps and pail from the company. Living expenses are high here so that might be unreasonable, depending on where you live. Consider the cost of the soap per load of diapers you wash (I don't know what your system is, but I also use Oxiclean in each wash and I spray all the poopy diapers with Bac Out before tossing them in the pail). You are also paying for hot water and either gas or electricity for drying the diapers. All of those things cost money, as does your time.

Sanitation should be a major consideration. If I were you, I'd call several diaper service companies to ask about sanitation and if they are regulated by the county health agency. If your county does require regulation of this type of thing (because you'd be dealing with fecal E. coli in your business) you might be required to have industrial washing machines or a minimum hot water temperature. Some places to check with are your county health department, diaper service companies in your state or county, and linen service places that serve your local hospital (for sheets and doctors' scrubs).

C - posted on 02/23/2010

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From a personal aspect, when my mom owned a daycare she had one client who used a cloth diaper service. How that company ran it was you placed your diapers in a bag on your porch and they simultaneously picked them up and left behind another bag (just black garbage bags) with clean diapers. For an extra fee they would fold the diapers for you.



From a busniess aspect, the internet is a great tool. Search for diaper service companies and see what they offer and at what prices. If they don't have websites, it may be worth a few long distance calls.



Obviously, ask around. Check with people you know and ask their thoughts. What they need and at what costs.



Most importantly, have an exit plan. If you set up something and decide it isn't profitable, what next? Just shut down? Give clients how much notice? How to recoup costs?



Good Luck!

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