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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Cloth Diapering a Preemie

An exciting part of pregnancy is planning for baby's arrival. The anticipation and thought put in to almost every detail of your baby's life is exhilarating. One aspect of planning for your baby is the decision to use cloth diapers. During your planning, you probably purchased many diapers - All-in-Ones, One Size, Pocket Diapers, etc... However, sometimes the things we plan may not go as we had imagined. The perfect birth, the healthy baby, and the use of everything we bought throughout our pregnancy. Many mother's expect to deliver their baby's at full term, but sometimes that is not the case.

Planning for a premature baby is not something most mother's do, so when a premature baby is born it may derail some of the plans in place for our newborn baby. The plan to cloth diaper a baby right after birth may no longer be realistic. Most NICU's do not allow cloth diapers, only because the parents will have to change the baby at every diaper change in order to use them. So, as a result, disposables are used for the baby while in the NICU. But, don't fret. Cloth Diapering a preemie is possible once they come home.

When premature baby's are sent home, most of them are probably just hitting 5 pounds. They do not have baby fat or much muscle, making them smaller and more fragile than full term baby's. Some may still be on oxygen and monitors, which makes the situation more stressful. All of these issues can work with cloth diapering.

At 32 weeks, our baby was born at a tiny 3 pounds. He quickly dropped to 2 pounds and stayed in the hospital for 8 weeks. During that time he was put in disposable diapers at the hospital. Our son came home at 7 pounds and he was very tiny and fragile. Once I saw how extremely large the All-in-Ones and One Size diapers were on him, I knew I had to order Newborn Diapers. Based on the diapers I already had in my stash I decided to order the following: Tots Bots Tini Fit, Newborn Simplex Diaper by Blueberry, and GroVia AIO Newborn.

I had already spent a lot of money to build my stash, so spending more money on more cloth diapers for a newborn made me hesitate. Once I figured out how much we would spend on disposable diapers versus how much we would spend on a handful of newborn diapers, I knew it was the right thing to do. Plus, my son had just fought for his life in the hospital and I wanted to give him the best start to his life at home.

I ordered about ten newborn diapers, which totaled approximately $150 (about $15 per diaper give or take). The fit of the newborn diapers on our preemie was perfect! They are definitely smaller than the normal diapers, which is why it fit like a glove. The Tots Bots were probably the best fit, since they had the hook and loop. I was able to adjust over his tiny belly for a more snug fit. My second favorite was the Newborn Simplex diaper. It never leaked, and fit snuggly. Plus, their patterns are just so cute. My least favorite was the GroVia, only because the fit was a bit loose on his legs which caused him to leak every now and then.

One good thing about the newborn diapers.....they can be washed AND dried!! No need to line dry the diapers. That saved me a huge amount of time, which allowed me to turn the diapers around pretty quick. I would use them and then wash about 8 diapers, leaving 2 diapers available.

Once he outgrew the Newborn a diapers, we moved up to Thirsties size one. They fit perfectly as well and they never leaked. They were just a bit bigger than the newborn diapers, but smaller than the AIO, etc.. They were adjustable, so that helped make the fit more perfect.

Our son just graduated to the AIO's and One Sized diapers at four months old. It was a very exciting day when we could begin to use our stash. I am so glad we did purchase smaller sizes for him, because using disposable diapers for two months was just not something I wanted to do. Cloth diapering was a goal of mine all through my pregnancy and I admit I was disappointed when my plan did not go accordingly. However, I did research and found cloth diapers that would work. You just have to find what works for you and your situation.

Best of Luck and Happy Diapering!

By Lisa

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Anonymous said...

So if it took 4 months for a premise to fit into the OS stash roughly how long would it take a regular newborn to be able to fit them? (Sorry if that question seems silly. I'm a new mom to be and trying to figure out what to do for the newborn stage on our budget.)

Amanda W. said...

My baby was not premature but she had complications at delivery and was sent to the NICU when she was born. Besides the regular stress of being a NICU mom I felt stress that I had lost all control. I couldn't pick the diapers she was in, couldn't do skin to skin in the delivery room, or breastfeeding at delivery etc. Focusing on something you do have a choice in (like cloth diapering when you get home) can give hope to someone who has seen their "perfect birth" plans slip away.
P.S. I also bought newborn diapers for my daughter and LOVED them!

Amy Stacey said...

To anonymous: all babies grow differently. My daughter was 6lbs 14 oz at birth, barely dropped anything & was over her birth weight at 1week (also she was strictly breastfed). She fit into newborn diapers till 3-4 months.

Amy Stacey said...

To anonymous: my baby was born at 6 lbs 14oz & ebf. She was relatively normal (slightly small) & fit her newborn diapers till 3-4 months.