Cloth Diapering a Newborn in the Hospital

Allison Cagle

We never considered cloth diapers until my oldest was a few months old and we discovered she had an allergy to disposables. Such allergies can range in reaction from a fairly normal-looking diaper rash to serious chemical burns.

So when I got pregnant with my son, we began putting a plan together to help us cloth diaper successfully right from the start, in the hospital. I started googling around a bit and found out most moms started when they got home, but with a little planning you can begin using your fluff from day one.

Here are some great tips and tricks to start you off on the right path:

  • Make sure you bring enough diapers. Most hospital stays last 24 to 48 hours. Newborns need to be changed around 10 to 15 times a day, so bring around 24 changes to make sure baby is covered.
  • In the event that you are worried about allergies, make sure your nurses know baby is at risk for reaction to disposables. Allergic reactions can be more severe in newborns, and the nurses will be more accommodating if they understand why you are cloth diapering.
  • Have your partner ready to grab baby for all diaper changes. You may want to put away the disposables or set them out of sight so the nurses don’t accidently put baby in them. You can also include this on your birth plan.
  • Make sure your wetbag is accessible in the middle of the night. Put it somewhere you can find it without getting up or moving baby.
  • Diaper liners are great to have on hand for those first few meconium poops. Bummis makes a small liner that works great for newborns.
  • Relax! There will be a little trial and error as you begin a new diapering journey with each child.

My recommended diaper supply list:

  • One large hanging wet bag–Planet Wise makes a great hanging Wet/Dry bag that can double as a way to pack your diapers.
  • 15 Newborn prefolds–we used the Osocozy better fit
  • 4 Newborn-sized covers–The prefolds and covers are a great option because you only need to worry about changing the prefold and you don’t have to worry as much about meconium, which can be hard to get off the cloth.
  • 3 Snappis
  • 5 all-in-ones—These are easy to change
  • 4 fitteds—Fitteds are very absorbent and are great for babies who sleep longer stretches than the average newborn

Did you cloth diaper during your hospital stay? What tips do you have for other moms wanting to do the same?

2 Responses to “Cloth Diapering a Newborn in the Hospital”

  1. Mary says:

    If a nurse happens to get the baby for a change, make sure you remind her to bring the soiled one back, or send someone with him/her to make sure all part and pieces come back and a new cloth one is put back on (I’m thinking if the baby is taken out of the room for blood work, pictures or circumcision). Also, if your room has a dry erase board in it, that tells you your nurses name, aid and your care plan, you can ask them to write a note about you using cloth diapers and that a parent would like to either be present for or do all diaper changes.

  2. Jill says:

    Don’t forget wipes and DO take the disposables home, because if they are already in your room, they have to be thrown out. Same with disposable wipes if you don’t use them– you can donate them!