wet/dry bag with newborn all-in-one diapers, prefolds, covers, and Snappis, family and friends warned us that we could run into obstacles trying to cloth diaper our newborn during our postpartum hospital stay. Cloth might be banned or discouraged because:
• You can’t take ‘biomedical waste’ with you.
At our hospital, this was not a rule. You are free to dispose of baby poop as you please. Our son’s poop, even the other-worldly meconium, caused harm to no one.
• Nurses need to count your babies’ diapers.
It was actually our responsibility to keep a “poop and pee count” and is possible without counting ‘sposies as you chuck them. Our son had issues with urination and did not pee for his first 18 hours. It was difficult to tell if the wetness in his diapers was from pee or perspiration and nurses were interested in us using disposables that changed color with pH to detect urine. We had brought biodegradable liners that clearly showed when our son had peed so it was fine for us to stick with cloth even with elimination concerns.
• Cloth diapers are just too different from the nurses’ and technicians’ routines.
cloth diapers were not familiar to the hospital staff we worked with, they were interested in learning about them and let us do our own thing. No pressure at all to follow the usual disposable diaper protocol.
Now that we have successfully cloth diapered in the hospital (nothing but cloth since diaper #1!) I feel confident in sharing how we made it work. This was our experience and your hospital may have different policies.
• Ask about how cloth diapering will be received when you take a hospital tour. If you meet resistance, try to find out why cloth isn’t accepted and see if you can’t change some minds.
• Include your cloth aspirations in your birth plan. Make sure the hospital has a copy ahead of time and bring in one page, laminated copies to show to each shift nurse with cloth diapering as a bullet point.
• Post a laminated sign on your baby’s bassinette (even if you plan to room-in or not keep the baby in it) that reads “No Disposable Diapers, Please” just in a case a well-meaning nurse wants to change a diaper for you. Most likely, however, the changes will be up to you!
• Don’t let meconium scare you aware from cloth! Even with liners, our diapers inevitable became soiled but it washed off easily. We used cloth wipes that did away with thick, tarry meconium after running them under the bathroom faucet.
There is no need to wait until you are in your home to cloth diaper, begin at the hospital and keep your baby’s bottom cute and eco-friendly from the start!