Discharge is soon and we're looking a few odds and ends for our little one, but I'm at a loss for vocabulary and I'm not finding what I need with google and amazon searches. Every time I search, I get the usual branded/store-branded wet wipes which is not what I want.

I'm looking for the word(s) that describes the cotton, disposable cloths that NICUs/Nurseries use. I feel like they are 4x4 6x6, but they are folded twice (so I guess they are 8x8 12x12 when unfolded). We use them to wipe the bottom and wet them as necessary. There's no lotion, no scents, etc. We would like to use these at home too (we figure the less we change, the better the transition). I've seen the packs the nurses bring out and they aren't labeled--I guess those come from a medical supplier?

Are those commercially available? What are they called?

  • 2
    I would ask one of the nurses what they are called if you want to be certain. Dec 8, 2011 at 18:54
  • What you might be looking for is nappy liners
    – Benjol
    Dec 9, 2011 at 7:41
  • 100% cotton dry wipes. Search for "sateen soft". Sep 17, 2017 at 10:07

4 Answers 4


Dry Washcloths

And I remember that the nurses refer to them as washcloths--I didn't think that's what they were actually called, so I never bothered to search on that word. But my wife did and found them on Amazon (Quickables Dry Washcloths).

enter image description here

  • Yes! I've seen and used these at the neonatal ward too! Dec 5, 2011 at 14:25
  • Just received these today, they are not as soft as the ones in the NICU. Dec 8, 2011 at 0:29

Muslins. And yes, they are commercially available, couple of examples at that link address.


I'm not sure Muslins are what the OP is looking for. I don't consider those disposable -- at least not the ones I've seen.

I found this in our bathroom a while back, and was surprised to find that they are what appear to be dry wipes:

They are unscented and hypo-allergenic. The box I have has Aloe, but I have to imagine you can get them without, if you're inclined to.

They unfold to 20cm x 16.5cm, so not exactly what you're asking for, but as far as I can tell, functionally equivalent.

I couldn't find them on Amazon, but I was able to find them on Walmart's website, here.

  • I believe in hospitals, muslins are dumped into a disposal to be sterilised, for obvious reasons. At home, it's safe enough to wash them. Cheaper, too.
    – deworde
    Dec 5, 2011 at 9:22
  • The wipes I'm describing are tossed into the trash--never reused. Dec 5, 2011 at 12:22
  • You posted a picture of a tub of ordinary wet wipes. If yours were completely dry, someone might have left the tub open, and so they might have dried out. Maybe a curious toddler opened the tub and neglected to close it, or closed it most of the way but not completely. ❧ Parent's Choice is Walmart's generic store brand of baby products; that's why you couldn't find those wipes on Amazon.com. Apr 7, 2017 at 9:00

I have no NICU experience but I do remember attempting a search for a similar product upon release from the maternity ward with my first newborn. In my case, the cloths were blue, and I ended up finding out that they are actually dishcloths. However, we found that they were too big and too expensive to be practical long term. Even if we cut them into smaller squares to extend the package. I totally understand your desire for consistency, but, you may want to consider that you will be changing lots of diapers for a few years, and suggest that you find an alternative product/solution that doesn't require so much effort. Since you haven't left the NICU yet, perhaps you can start using something else while still there so that the transition is done in familiar territory? I hate to give you an answer that is really a redirect, but sometimes people can get so focused on one solution it inhibits their ability to see others that may be just as good or even better. If you are willing to consider an alternative, I have one for you to consider: (https://i.sstatic.net/L9Lfq.png)

I used these paper towels for my first and second babies, before I switched to all cloth diapering. Even then, I kept using these during illnesses and in the diaper bag. They are tough and soft. No lint. Simple and easy to find. Not expensive (for use as a paper towel they are pricey but not compared to baby wipes or the disposable cloths)

These are the dishcloths we used:

enter image description here

  • +1 for the extra soft paper towel answer - far smarter than trying to find those specific cuts and it will allow me to mount a paper towel dispenser right above the change pad.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 11, 2018 at 3:46
  • If you decide to mount the roll of paper towels you can get a water bottle with a squirt top to keep by the changing table to wet the wipes with. You can use plain water, or make your own solution. There are plenty of “recipes”online, but I used just water most often for my kids’ sensitive skin.
    – Jax
    Dec 12, 2018 at 3:31
  • Not sure what happened, but I remember Viva making a better paper towell that didn't fall apart so easily. The ones I bough are ripping as I pull them out of the dish of warm water.
    – virtualxtc
    Dec 12, 2018 at 21:25

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