She couldn't care less; should I?
September 26, 2014 12:16 PM   Subscribe

My daughter is almost two, still in diapers. I send her to daycare with a day's supply of diapers and at least one change of clothes. Every single day when I pick her up, she's inevitably wearing her top and diaper, and no bottoms. If I sent her in a dress and tights, she's wearing the dress but no tights. Is this a Problem, or Not a Problem?

They generally take her pants off when she naps, since our cloth diapers are kind of leaky, and I guess...never bother to put them back on? But I send a spare set of clothing every day (complementary to what she is wearing that day: i.e. if she's wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I send a top and bottom), which they have rarely used.

She's happy and has no idea, and the other kids in the daycare range from a few months to max 3-ish, so I figure they don't care either. But I find it increasingly weird. I have been making pointed noises about "okay, now we have to put your pants back on, because you can't go in your stroller without pants." Yesterday I asked one of the assistants, and she mumbled some non-answer about how they work in shifts and she didn't really know. None of the other kids are half-dressed, but then none of the other kids use cloth diapers.

Should I insist that they keep her properly dressed, or let it go? I don't know what to think anymore, since I can see both sides.
posted by Liesl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total)
I can see both sides too. Why not ask the person in charge?
posted by 724A at 12:18 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think it's possible day care is trying to tell you not to send her in cloth diapers, or to find better fitting ones. Ask them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:19 PM on September 26, 2014 [17 favorites]

When you get her back, do they also hand over the day's supply of now-soiled diapers or do those get sent out elsewhere for cleaning? If they aren't storing soiled diapers for you to pick up then I could see why they might not necessarily want to have to store soiled bottoms all day, and so would instead choose to keep her pants/tights off.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:21 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

If your cloth diapers are leaky, maybe get less leaky covers? I think that's the most likely issue.

Also, some people are just plain bad at folding cloth diapers.
posted by selfnoise at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

When my son was in leaky cloth diapers at daycare, I'd send 3-4 spare pants every day, and sometimes get back 2-3 wet pants at the end of the day. All in a plastic bag, along with the diapers, no big deal. I actually felt kind of bad about it and asked multiple times if they'd prefer disposables, they said it was fine, and it really seemed to be.

I think maybe your daycare doesn't like dealing with the cloth diapers. And I also think, if the staff won't talk to you about something like this... what else aren't they able to talk with you about? Being able to talk to your child's caregivers is pretty important. It sounds like you maybe aren't good at starting conversations (the whole "making pointed noises " thing), but I think you need to be direct about this and ask why she's not dressed at the end of the day and what needs to happen so that she is. And if they still can't tell you why this is happening, maybe find a different daycare situation with people who can communicate?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:31 PM on September 26, 2014 [15 favorites]

Yesterday I asked one of the assistants, and she mumbled some non-answer about how they work in shifts and she didn't really know.

This would be completely unacceptable to me. It doesn't matter what the topic is, this should never be an answer that you get to a question.
posted by bleep at 12:38 PM on September 26, 2014 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: I admit that the diapers are leaky, I'm about at the end of my rope with them too. They're on their second kid already, and I'm just trying to hold on for six more months. They're pocket diapers, so no folding or covers. But my question is more about the clothing than the diapers, at this point. (Although if you have diaper tips, I'm all ears.)

The daycare bags them and gives them back to me at the end of the day. They were surprisingly nonchalant about using them, even though my daughter was the first time they'd been exposed to them. I don't think it's a like/hate of the diapers, just that it's easier to keep her in the diaper without pants. It was fine when she was a baby, but now it's giving me pause.

With a couple exceptions, the staff doesn't speak English well. One exception is the mumbly girl, who I don't like and who has been minorly brusque on a couple of occasions. The other exception is the delightful owner, but I don't see her very often.
posted by Liesl at 12:46 PM on September 26, 2014

I would consider this to be Not A Problem, and maybe bring more dresses. What's the difference between a diaper cover and shorts anyway really.
posted by steinwald at 12:50 PM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

I would consider this Not A Problem, but since it's risen to the level of you asking here, it's time to track down that delightful owner and talk to her.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:06 PM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm thinking not a problem, and yes to dresses.

But do have a discussion with owner because if there IS an issue, someone needs to say something.

Also, if it gets cold, tell them, "I don't care if she runs around naked all day, but can you have her legs covered for when I come to take her home? K, thx."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:08 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You said you asked the mumbly girl, but not exactly what you asked her. Instead of asking why she is not in pants, tell them you'd like her in pants, politely of course. If they have a reason they don't put her in pants, they can tell you then. I find it hard to explain why my peers have done things a certain way when I would not have done it exactly the same way. I could easily tell them that a customer wants something done a certain way, though.
posted by soelo at 1:12 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think you just need to be direct. Find the person in charge and let them know you'd like her fully dressed. Ask directly their reasoning. If it makes sense you can decide if you want to relent or make necessary changes to her diapers or clothing so she can remain dressed.
posted by JenMarie at 1:12 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

A single spare maybe isn't enough, if they know you want her in pants for the ride home. Two pee leaks and she would have nothing to wear home!

Also, she might be getting warm/hot and so they keep her cooler by keeping the pants off and will discontinue this in fall/winter temps. Cloth diapers can be quite warm.

If you're worried about cold, I'd try a few pairs of Babylegs. They're great for these situations because they keep legs warm but don't get involved in minor diaper leaks. If you sign up for their mailing list there are great sales.

I personally would not care unless my child seemed likely to be cold or uncomfortable.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:24 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I should note that if you have "Known To Be Leaky Diapers" and they've already had to change one pair of pants putting on a second pair that will also get wet seems to be going in circles. It might be easier to just to leave her sans pants.
posted by bitdamaged at 1:25 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Does the shift change happen during naptime? Maybe one person takes the pants off her before the nap and someone else gets her up after the nap and it doesn't occur to them/no-one told them that she's supposed to be wearing pants. That plus decent dose of they don't care.

Are her original bottoms soiled when you pick her up? Maybe they didn't want to spoil the second pair so she has something dry to go home in. Is she difficult to dress? Maybe she's uncooperative when they try to redress her so they don't bother.
posted by missmagenta at 1:28 PM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

Or, another alternative, consider sending a disposable for naptime if that's the major source of leaks. I sometimes used put the cloth diapered baby I sat for in a disposable for her long nap so we wouldn't have to deal with leaks, changing sheets, her waking early wet & uncomfortable, etc.

Good luck! Caregiver/parent relationships can be so stressful and weird.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:29 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you're paying them to look after your daughter and if you want the pants on they should put them on.
posted by Segundus at 2:12 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you need her to have pants on when you leave, they should be on and ready when you pick her up. If the staff is incapable of communication then call the owner and ask what's up.
posted by metasarah at 2:27 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I did cloth diapers. Some people seemed incapable of putting my babies' pants on over the cloth diapers. I imagine that, in a busy daycare environment, the extra few seconds to do this may be considered too much. I wonder if you could try a strategy of using skirts and leg warmers, so that the issue is avoided.

But I would talk to them. My kids both went through phases where they didn't want to wear pants. Maybe that's what is going on. Also, maybe you know this, but you may need a slightly larger pant to go over the cloth diapers - is your little one needing a little more wiggle room?
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 2:45 PM on September 26, 2014

To me this sounds like classic passive-agressive dislike of the fact that your daughter uses cloth diapers. I mean, we've all done it. You have a tedious and slightly-harder-than-necessary task that you wish you didn't have to do, so you just... don't. In hopes that the task will go away, or maybe just that nobody will really care.

Nthing that, if you do care about this, you should make that known to someone in a position of authority at daycare. Otherwise the passive-aggressive half-asser is not going to get the message.
posted by Sara C. at 3:10 PM on September 26, 2014

You need to send more than one change of pants if you know the diapers leak, otherwise the staff have no option other than to leave your daughter without pants until you get there. If they put the pants on and the diapers leak again, your daughter would have to wear soiled pants while she's there and to go home. That's disgusting, and possibly a health risk to your daughter, the other children and the staff. Send more pairs of pants or get better diapers or diaper covers that don't leak. Yes, the staff should have communicated better, but you really can't send only one pair of spare pants knowing the diapers leak. This is your responsibility.
posted by goo at 4:58 PM on September 26, 2014 [11 favorites]

You have poor communication with the daycare if the only person there you can ask is a person that you find hard to communicate with.

My advice - call the office and leave a message for the director. It is perfectly reasonable for you to take up her time with this question - you want to understand what is going on and if she doesn't know (she might not) she should be willing to talk to the staff and get back to you. Once you get an explanation from her, you can decide if you want to ask them to handle things differently or if you are oK with whatever is going on. Obviously there are limits to how much day care can accommodate a child but at the moment there is no reason to assume that you have hit those limits - find out the real reason, ask for what you want, be willing to do your part (extra changes, switching diapers etc) and see what happens.
posted by metahawk at 11:14 AM on September 27, 2014

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