Monday, January 16, 2012

Cloth Diapering 101 for Twins



I have wanted to sit down and write out this post for a while! There is just so much I want to put in this, so please bear with me as it will most likely turn into a novel! There are lots of resources for cloth diapering on the web, but as far as I know, there aren't many that are specifically dedicated to cloth diapering multiples. When I was pregnant, I had a lot of CD (cloth diaper) related questions that were twins related. Such as) how many do you need for twins? What brand works best? Since I'll need double, what are some brands that are less expensive? What is the washing/care routine?

Twins are obviously more work than having one baby. So you might think that adding in cloth diapers is an unnecessary burden. However, I find it to be just as easy, if not easier, than using disposables. Once you get a good routine down, CDing is easy, fun and a GREAT way to save money!

How many cloth diapers do I need, and what is this going to cost me?

This was a question I asked over and over when I was pregnant. To be honest, I only started with a few, then added to my stash as time went on and I figured out what worked for me the best. In addition, Miss Catherine and Miss Emily were born on the small side (5 lbs and 5 lbs 3 oz) so they couldn't fit into most one-size diapers when they were still tiny newborns. During the first month we used preemie sized prefolds and covers along with disposables (we got a few Linkpacks of disposables as gifts from my showers). But anyways, here is the breakdown of how many diapers I have currently.

2 - Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter (snaps)
4 - Kawaii One Size Fun Prints (snaps)
2 - Blueberry Minky's (velcro)
6 - Sunbaby's (snaps)
2 - Fuzzibuns (snaps)
26 - Kawaii Pure & Natural (velcro)

So that is a total of 42 diapers that I use daily. And, thanks to the internet, I know exactly how much I've spent: $372.57. However, my mother in law graciously bought me 10 diapers for Christmas so if you subtract $73 for those, it equals $299.57.

(I also have some preemie and normal sized prefolds and covers, but my mom bought me those so I didn't count them in my total. Plus I pretty much only use them if all my diapers are in the wash, which is rare, or for burp cloths and rags!)

So let's do the math here, shall we? My girls are 29 weeks old. Let's figure that I use 10 diapers per day, per baby. So a total of 20 diapers a day, 140 diapers per week. That is 4,060 diapers that I would have used since they have been born (and we all know that as newborns, and once you start solids, you use more than 10 diapers per day!). So let's say I was using super cheap disposables - parent's choice from walmart. Online, it states that a pack of 200 diapers is $23.88. That means I would have spent $484.76 by now! So that is a savings of $185.19 AND my girls are only 6 months old! And if I used a more expensive brand, like Pampers for example, I would have spent a total of $922.42 by now!!! That is a savings of $622.85!!! These diapers will get them well into potty training so now every month I use cloth over disposables, I'm saving money. Yes cloth is an initial investment, but over time you easily make back what you would have spent on disposables. Plus, you NEVER have to run out to the store because you're "out of diapers". With cloth, all you have to do is run a load of laundry!

In addition, all of these diapers are "pockets." That means there's a "shell," if you will, that 1 or 2 inserts fit into. The insert absorbs the liquid, and the part of the shell that touches baby's skin stays pretty dry. The outer part of the shell stays dry.

Snaps vs. Velcro

This is really personal preference. I have found from my experience that velcro is wonderful to use during the day. Dadddy's and Grandma's especially like the ease of use that velcro brings. The only downside that I have found, is that the velcro tends to wear over time with washing and drying. Little hairs, loose threads, etc. become stuck in the velcro and you have to pull it out. Diapers with snaps tend to hold up a little better through all the wash cycles, but are a little bit more of a pain to put on the baby. Especially when you are diapering one baby and the other is screaming! So I tend to use velcro during the day, and snaps at night.

Care and Maintenance
I'm going to be honest, I don't do a great job caring for my cloth diapers! Some people use special CD detergent, line dry, do rinse cycles, etc. Here's what I do. I use All Free & Clear detergent, which you can find at any grocery store. I put all the diapers in a rinse cycle first. Then I add the rest of my baby laundry to the washing machine, add the detergent, and do a normal wash cycle on hot. Then EVERYTHING goes in the dryer. To be honest, with twins, I just do not have the time to mess with line drying, etc. In the summer I liked sunning my diapers on the deck because it took all the little stains out and made them bright and new looking, but obviously I can't do that in the winter. So then I take all my laundry out, sort it, stuff my diapers and put them away. I do laundry every other day. I actually do the wash at night, and put them in the dryer right before I go to bed. Then when I wake up in the morning, I have time to sort and fold. Would my diapers, especially the velcro, look a little better if I line dried? Definitely. But we're 6 months in and my diapers are holding up JUST fine!

Storage
It's really easy to store cloth diapers! I have a changing table that is more like a dresser, and all my diapers in the top drawer.
As for dirty diapers, my mom got me a great hamper. I think she got it from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It came with two mesh bags that velcro in. In one of the bags, I used diaper pins to pin in a wet bag. That's where all the dirty diapers go. The other bag I just leave open for the rest of the baby laundry; bibs, clothes, jammies, etc.

Diaper Rash No More
As I said earlier, we used disposables part time when the girls were newborns. Right after we got home, they both got a terrible diaper rash. I tried every cream on the market, let them air out ALL the time, etc. and nothing worked. There were just huge blisters on my poor babies tushes and I felt so bad I couldn't do anything about it. Finally at about 3-4 weeks old, I discovered that the girls finally fit into my pocket diapers! I was so excited, and we switched instantly. Honestly, one day later, their rashes were GONE. Not a trace of it left. 6 months later, they have never had another diaper rash.

Well, I think that's about it! I think I covered everything - but if you have any questions leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer! Happy Diapering!

12 comments:

  1. Love this breakdown! I was just going to write something similar on my blog (though obviously not regarding twins). Cloth diapering really is SO easy!

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  2. I'm so impressed! Thanks for writing this post!

    How do the disposables hold up to explosive poo and over night pee? I love the idea of using disposables, but do you have to worry about it getting all over you, blankets and the babies?

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    1. Kristin - I assume you mean the cloth? Cloth actually does WAY better than disposables in terms of holding in blowouts. I have *never* had a blow out in cloth diapers. The elastic fits just right as to hold it all in. I have had leaks before though. Mainly when I go too long between diaper changes. It doesn't get over everything though...maybe just a little on the onesie that they are wearing. You just have to make sure you get the right fit and also change frequently enough. At night I use special overnight diapers with two inserts. I rarely have leaks with them and have never had to change their sheets due to a diaper issue! Happy Cloth Diapering! :)

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  3. Yes I meant cloth.

    Thanks for the info!

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  4. Thrilling, I'm pregnant with twins and we are determined to use cloth diapers and I am just not sure what to start out with, but this sure is a good resource. I'm not due until March, so I have time to get the research in now. ;) Thanks for posting!

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  5. Thank you so much for posting this! I was searching for some cloth diaper tips for twins, since I'm pregnant with mine now and have been wanting to CD. You have given me the confidence that we can do it. I love your blog and became a follower. You have helped put my mind at rest for being a first time mom with twins. Thank you so much!

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  6. What type of inserts do you use with your cloth diapering system? I'm torn between doing pocket diapers or covers + prefolds.

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  7. Megan I use microfiber inserts, mainly for cost. I just double up at night when I need extra absorption. I would try both pockets and prefolds to begin with. In my opinion, pockets are much easier....especially for daddy's! My husband won't even attempt to use prefolds because they require folding and snappi's, where as pockets you just put on like a disposable. Hope that helps!

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  9. OMG! I just love the post. Twins are really very cute. I just want to hug them. I like cloth diapers because they are adorable and my son enjoys wearing them. His skin is delicate and we dont want to keep unnatural chemicals on him.
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  11. Thank you for the informative post... I especially enjoyed the part on how you wash the diapers. Some of the other twins/cloth diapers pages were making me nervous! However, I don't have a dryer so I would always have to air dry. Does this seem unrealistic to you? That is the only aspect of it that makes me nervous!

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