Cloth diapers in the NICU? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-21-2008, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone ever cloth diapered their baby in the NICU? We're adopting a baby in Feb. who will be full term, but will have to be in the hospital for a few weeks while she goes through withdrawal.
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#2 of 7 Old 12-21-2008, 05:12 AM
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Our hospital wont use cloth nappies. I think it comes down to being severely under staffed, but also because intensive care is meant to be a sterile environment. I think they probably would in special care if it weren't for the staffing levels.

Also, our hospital provided the sposies, I don't know if that's the case in other hospitals.
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#3 of 7 Old 12-21-2008, 07:18 PM
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There were cloths dipes but used for spit up, and baby positioning. Since we were breastfeeding and dealing with congential heart issues the staff needed output numbers so we did not use cloth dipes/covers as we just had more pressing issues. I am not sure what official hospital "policy" was. It seemed the ones they had there were very bleachy smelling by the way.

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#4 of 7 Old 12-21-2008, 07:33 PM
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We also weren't allowed to use our cloth dipes, but the sposies were provided. The amount of trash that was generated so horrified me, though, that it kicked my butt into using flannel wipes!! I guess there's a silver lining everywhere?

Good luck in the NICU - there was a baby withdrawing while we were there, and she needed lots of snuggles. Hope your sling is all ready, Momma!!!
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#5 of 7 Old 12-22-2008, 12:46 AM
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One major issue with CD's in the NICU is that we weigh all the diapers to measure baby's output. It's hard to standardize the weight of CD's, especially prefolds (which we do use as burp cloths) Some are thick, some aren't.

My last unit was considering using a diaper service but this issue, mainly, kept them from doing it.
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#6 of 7 Old 01-03-2009, 04:57 PM
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Hospitals provide paper diapers while the infant is a patient. Babies going through withdrawal tend to very quickly develop diaper rash due to frequent stooling, and for some reason the stool is more tough on their skin. They also over-eat compared to non withdrawing babies. So, unless you have a ton of cloth handy, you might prefer to just go with the paper ones. I would invest in a gentle baby soap and your favorite diaper cream that is nice and pasty, maybe a zinc oxide one. Frequent soap and water bathing of the skin helps keep the breakdown from acidic stool at bay. Sometimes the nursing staff will think that water only wipes are better, but they don't remove all the acid from the skin that lets it get raw. I always push for minimum twice a day rinse with soap/water, from a peri bottle is easy in nicu, instead of holding baby over sink. But once the baby is stable and in the treatment of withdrawal only, it doesn't really matter what kind of diaper since mostly they are only counting pees and poops per day, not a strict intake measurement.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-11-2009, 10:57 AM
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Both nicu's I've had kids at didn't allow cloth for reasons of weighing output and for being able to sterilize things. And to be honest, I had kids at home both times and was only at the nicu once or twice a day so it would be the nurses changing her diapers most times. Their dad and I tried to get there for 3 cares a day between the two of us but it's really hard so we just did cloth the minute they came home.


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