How to Cloth Diaper at the Hospital

How to Cloth Diaper at the Hospital

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How to Cloth Diaper at the Hospital

If you follow my blog you know I have much love for cloth diapering. Some may say I'm a bit obsessed, and if you meet me you will quickly see they are right.

I started cloth diapering my son at about five months old because he was severely allergic to disposables. I knew going forward with my second child that I was definitely going to cloth diaper. I was after all a full-fledged cloth addict and was more than willing to spread the word of cloth to anyone willing to listen. I knew I wanted to save my baby the pain, and myself the heartache and frustration, and go for cloth as soon as she came earthside. This notion came out of a fear that my new baby girl would also be extremely allergic to the chemicals found in disposable diapers. Even though I was a very seasoned cloth diapering mama, I was still a little apprehensive of using cloth diapers at the hospital. I did not do it with my first, and so did not have first-hand experience with it. However, it was no longer a question of if, but how. After deep deliberation with myself, sometimes out loud, I came to the conclusion that I would approach my hospital stay with cloth diapers like I would if I were on a short getaway.

So here are my five recommendations to successfully cloth diaper at the hospital.

1- Write it Down

Yes, write it down. No, not on a post it, but in your birth plan. It's very important to write down what you expect and want for yourself and your baby. This can be a hectic and crazy time and this plan will help keep you on course and make your health care providers aware of your desires and expectations.

2- Educate Yourself (for newbies)

If this is your first rodeo, increase your chance of success, by doing the research. Ask friends who cloth diaper, talk to cloth diaper services, take a cloth class, join a Real Diaper Circle, get educated! That way you have the knowledge to pass along to your nurse if need be. (For information on how to cloth diaper and where to find local support go to

3- Bring what you need for at least a 3-4 day stay

Not packing enough was my biggest mistake. The day my baby arrived was a complete surprise, as was my c-section. Lucky for me I had a wonderful best friend who also cloth diapered so she was able to run home and do a load of diapers for me. Save yourself any worry or trouble and bring enough for 3-4 days.

4-Bring what you need, not what you want

Once you start buying diapers you may (like me) find yourself falling in love with all the colors and prints, eager to show them off. But when cloth diapering at the hospital, it's best to keep things simple. I suggest newborn prefolds and/or newborn fitted diapers and a couple of PUL covers. This is the simplest way to conveniently and successfully use cloth in the hospital for a few days. “How many?” you ask. If you are doing a mix of the two you need about 15 prefolds, 10 fitteds and about 3 covers. The great thing about covers are you can easily wipe them down and let them dry, thus not needing as many. Also, keep in mind your baby will not be eliminating as much in the first few days of life. You will also need one large wet bag or two small travel wet bags to hold soiled diapers. A couple of fasteners (like a snappi) and that's it. Simple!


That's right don't even think about it! As I said before make it absolutely clear to every nurse you have (you will have more than one) that you will NOT be using disposables diapers, so please do not fill baby's bassinet with them. Have someone write it on the chart, the door, or bassinet itself. You may be encouraged to use them, you may even be told the meconium will ruin your diapers - it won't. In fact my husband found it super easy to rinse meconium off in the toilet and I had no lasting stains at all. It could not have been any easier. Using cloth is the same as using a sposie with one exception, you throw them in a wet bag; not the garbage. Trust me when I say even this seasoned mama was a bit leery, but truly it was so simple and easy. I do warn you though, you may get plenty of questions and shocked looks. Let me encourage you by saying I was proud of what I was doing and you will be too!! So go on make cloth mainstream...I dare you!

Baby Girl In Cloth EarthSide

Tamaira Kaster, ecoCouture Baby
Real Diaper Association Advocate

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