Cloth diapering in the hospital

Using cloth diapers in the hospital can get you some funny looks, but you can get those anywhere.

I have converted/changed the opinion of many a nurse when it comes to using cloth. The nurses actually referred to us as "the cloth diapering mom" for awhile. :P

We frequent the hospital due to my son's medical issues so, I have tried a few different methods of cloth diapering there.

My first method of diapering was to simply use the doll and preemie 'sposies that were there.  At that point we hadn't bought any cloth diapers and were kind of afraid to since we didn't know if we would need them. I also didn't know that there were micropreemie and preemie sized diapers available. Plus we were at the Ronald McDonald house and I would have been using the washing machines there.. Hitting the learning curve using shared machines? Not how you make friends.

When we finally came home I immediately changed him to cloth. To this day I have never bought a pack of 'sposies (although I have bought Flip 'sposie inserts) and have returned every pack I have been gifted. Some of which actually went to buy my 4 BG 3.0s from Target.

When he had his first open heart surgery, at 8mo, I allowed them to use 'sposies during his PICU time. Little did I know Pampers had just started the whole "Dry Max" push/fiasco... Yep.. You guessed it.. Chemical burns. For that reason he has never again used 'sposies and as soon as I got in the room post-csection with Lil'K she got flip inserts.

After he left the PICU post open heart surgery and went to a regular room I started using cloth in the hospital. In the beginning I just did our normal at home routine since our hospital has a family laundry room. Which consisted of about 24 Smartipants with every-other-day wash routine. I have since fell in LOVE with GoGreen Champ even though the Smarti's are much trimmer. I quickly began washing clothes and diapers together (only at the hospital), since I had to take the elevator and leave him alone to wash as well as to avoid taking over all the machines.
Our hospital uses Gerber flats as burp cloths, which made me wonder if could make them work.. And here is how I do it!

Diaper cover (we us Flip)
2 Gerber flats aka burp cloths (from the nurses)
Stack the two flats on top of each other.
Fold right and left sides to the middle.
Fold again
Fold in half like a hotdog.
And again..
Fold end to desired length.
Stuff into cover.
All done!
Tah Dah! Now apply to baby.
You will need a weight from one of each brand/type you are using.  Don't worry the nurses can do that for you.
 The nurses will need to be able to keep track of "input and output" so a clean weight is needed. here is how much Gerber flats weigh. They can weigh any diaper you choose. They subtract the clean diaper weight from the dirty diaper weight to get "output".

 I usually stuff the two wet flats into a large/XL medical gloves just to be polite. Remember most of them will have never seen modern cloth. So give them time to adjust. I dump the solids into the toilet after they get the wet weight and then drop them into the hospital laundry bin. I tend to just hand wash the covers and hang them to dry on the towel rack in our bathroom. Very easy.

Have you ever used cloth in an unexpected location?

Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links, but only for products that I would suggest anyway.  So check 'em out and help a mama out, k? :D


  1. That was really inspiring! I'm sure lots of moms have wondered the same thing about cloth in the hospital (beyond just the typical 2-4 day after birth stay). Thanks for sharing!


  2. We plan on only using cloth with (and if we decide to have another) next baby. From the moment s/he first come into the world. This is very helpful! Thank you!

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  6. We've BTDT! Spent a couple of weeks in the hospital with our 10 week old. The hospital had regular prefolds they used as burp cloths. They kept bringing us more (after we ran out of our own stash), until they ran out. No one seemed to know what to do with the wet ones, one nurse even told us flat out that they wouldn't wash them & we should take them home! My mom, who lived nearby came & did diaper laundry for us several times. And we just kept bagging the hospital's diapers. At the end of the stay I wound up just dumping the bag into the hospital room's laundry bin. It is possible, it is doable. I'm so glad that we did it. The only time she was in a disposable was during surgery.


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