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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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Cloth diapering your newborn in the hospital

Although it isn't necessary to bring cloth diapers to the hospital for delivery, a growing number of families are choosing to do so. Some parents prefer to start their children in cloth diapers immediately for environmental or health reasons. If you do decide to use cloth diapers in the hospital, there are a few things to take note of:

How many diapers to pack:
Newborn babies usually don't poop for the first few days after birth, which will reduce the number of diapers you'll need to about 6-8 diapers per day for the average baby. Depending on the length of your hospital stay, you will need about 1-4 days of diapers. You may find it easiest to pack diapers into a wet/dry bag, with clean diapers in the dry side. You can place diapers in the "wet" compartment after they become soiled and return them to your home for laundering.

Diaper liners:
Diaper liners can be a great way to prevent meconium (baby's first tar-like poop) from getting onto your cloth diapers. While in most cases meconium will not stain cloth diapers, some people do experience staining caused by meconium.

Consider hybrid diapers:
Another option is to use hybrid diapers while in the hospital. This system sports a disposable insert paired with a reusable diaper cover. You'll still reduce waste, most disposable hybrid diapers contain limited chemicals, and most hybrid diapers lack fragrance. You won't have to worry about bringing diaper liners to the hospital, and will only need to return the soiled diaper covers home to be laundered.

What about wipes:
If you decide to use cloth wipes in the hospital, premoistened wipes will be most effective. You can either bring dry wipes to moisten with water at each diaper change, or pack wipes pre-soaked in wipe solution.

Don't forget the disposable diapers:
Regardless of if you plan to use disposable diapers or not, hospital staff will open a package of disposable diapers when they prepare the delivery room. An opened but unused package of disposable diapers will be thrown away when the room is cleaned for the next patient. To prevent unnecessary waste, take the disposable diapers with you. You can donate them or give them to a friend.

About Nissa: Our decision to cloth diaper came from a passion to better the environment. At the time, we didn’t know anyone who was using cloth diapers, and we envisioned cloth diapering would involve pins and plastic pants. I quickly discovered there are many styles and varieties of modern cloth diapers available to today’s parents. I dove into researching everything I could about cloth diapers. My informational blog has been a culmination of my passion for the environment, our health, and saving money. I also have a PhD in biomedical research, and I enjoy relating the latest health research to natural parenting and cloth diapering.


Debi said...

While I did cloth diaper my youngest, we did not do it in the hospital. I was new to it, and had 4 kids at home, and wasn't sure I wanted to have to come home and wash diapers immediately.

Cristina said...

I'm so glad I read this article. I'm expecting my first baby now in early January and was wondering whether I should wait until she's home with me to start the cloth diaper adventure. I wrote on my blog about receiving my cloth diaper service set up of indian prefolds at I was told by my cloth diaper service that it's definitely doable in the hospital and to be prepared with 8-10 diapers per day and a wetbag to contain the soiled ones. They also told me about the opened package of disposoals being thrown away. What a shame about that! Thanks for reminding us all that we can at least donate these to people who are not cloth diapering. I'm still not sure whether I'll be cloth diapering in the hospital or not, but I'll be sure to write about it. I hope you follow me at to see what happens. : ) Happy New Year!