You might have worried about whether or not to use cloth diapers right from birth at the hospital. While it is super easy to just use the disposable diapers the hospital provides, I want you to know that it is totally doable to use your cloth diapers instead.
Whether you use one cloth diaper or your whole stash, it still saves money and keeps a few disposable diapers out of the landfills.
Steps to take to successfully cloth diaper at the hospital:
1. Call the hospital and make sure it’s ok. All hospitals and birthing centers have different procedures and rules.
Mine said as long as I didn’t expect them to wash the diapers, it was no problem.
2. Pack your fluff (cloth diapers for you newbies) in your hospital bag so it’s ready to go when you are. Newborns need approximately 10-12 diapers per day in the beginning. So you might need around 24 diapers to go a full two days. In case you are there longer than that, have a plan to either have your partner wash them or another family member. Worse case if you run out, you just use a few of the disposables that the hospital provides. Then you wash the cloth diapers when you get home.
You will also need a good wet bag or two. I recommend a larger sized wet bag (with a good zipper to keep stink in) that will accommodate all the diapers you plan on using.
If you want to use cloth wipes at the hospital I recommend at least 20-30. I use cloth wipes and I much prefer them to disposable ones. But you know what? I forgot to pack mine. Oh well.
3. Giving birth and the whole parenting thing is hard enough. Don’t let the diapers be the stressful part. Do what feels right for you and your family whether it is the cloth diapers or not.
I honestly had every intention to use my cloth at the hospital…after all, I am a cloth diaper blogger!
I had them all nicely organized and packed. I brought a brand new Monkey Foot Designs wet bag (my fav because no stink or leaks ever). I even had the first diaper I wanted used all picked out.
As with much in life, even with a plan, it doesn’t always work out the way you want.
I haven’t shared my birth story yet. The short version is that I had expected a longish and somewhat pain-free labor. I wanted the epidural.
That’s not what happened. I asked for an epidural because the pain started to get real. By the time the anesthesiologist came, I had gone from 4 cm dilated to pushing….in 15 minutes.
Norah basically came flying out and my pain-free birth plan went right out the window.
Needless to say, I didn’t have time to retrieve my precious cloth diapers from my hospital bag. Norah’s first diaper wasn’t a cloth one. But she was perfectly healthy and that is all that really counts.
P.S. You might have heard of that first newborn poo, meconium, staining cloth diapers beyond repair. I personally think it is a non-issue. Any stains that you do get should come out easily with a little sun :)
If you cloth diapered your newborn at the hospital, I’d loved to hear what your experience was.
Hopefully, you had more time to get things organized than I did.
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.