Lately we’re seeing a rise in the number of multiple births, and also a rise in the number of twins that are cloth diapered. At our cloth diapering workshop this past week, an expectant mom was asking if she “was crazy” to want to cloth diaper twins. I assured her that not only would she save at least $6,000 over the course of her babies’ time in diapers, but that a growing number of families with multiples are cloth diapering. Case in point, here is a guest post from Dr. Jennifer Salib-Huber, ND, our family’s naturopath, family friend, and now mom of three children, including four-month old fraternal twins.
“Adventures in Cloth Diapering Twins
I’m not sure “adventure” is really the right word, as it’s been a pretty smooth ride. But, I have learned a few things along the way that I hope will help other parents who are considering cloth diapering their twins.
“Are you crazy?” is a question we’ve been asked many times when people hear we are cloth diapering our twins, but I really think you’d be crazy not to. Aside from the cost savings (which is significant), cloth diapering is the obvious environmentally conscious choice, especially given the number of diapers you will go through with twins. The laundry factor seems to be the stumbling block for some, but it’s really not that much of a consideration. We do diapers every other day, which is only 1 extra day per week compared to when we were cloth diapering our older daughter; the difference being that the load sizes are larger, and, when you have twins, laundry is a daily chore anyway, so what’s an extra load, right?
Despite the costs involved in the initial purchase cost of your stash, the long term savings are real. My husband and I ran across a gentleman in a store who saw the diapers on the twins and commented that he had considered cloth for his child and decided against it because “it wasn’t worth the cost”. I’ve heard this from others before and it could not be further from the truth. Our original roughly $600 investment diapered our first daughter for 30 months and will likely take care of the twins for as long as they need it as well. Consider that disposable diapering costs can come in around $2000+/year for each child’s first year, then after 3 children the costs to cloth diaper will only be around a tenth of the costs of the more wasteful, disposable route.
Having difficulty choosing which diapers to use? Here are a few thoughts:
We have a stash of 30 or so pocket diapers that we’d used with our daughter. While some of these fit the twins right away, others took some time to grow into so it was nice to have another “system” on hand. Keep in mind that many twins are born prematurely and may not fit some diapers at birth because of they are on the smaller side. On the suggestion of a friend, I decided to give prefolds a try. Pocket diapers are convenient because they are easy to use, but prefolds are inexpensive and don’t have to be stuffed, which is a huge advantage and time saver. The same can be said for fitted diapers. We were lucky to inherit a Bummis (prefolds) newborn kit and a half-dozen or so fitted diapers, and I strongly urge any parent to consider adding these to their diaper stash. Newborns poop a lot; expect to go through 30+ diapers a day in the early days. This is where the prefolds came in so handy! Now that they are 4 months old, we usually go through 15-20 diapers a day, and are mainly using our pockets again. We’ll probably add a few new ones to our family of diapers (can’t wait to try the new FuzziBunz), but for the most part are using the same diapers we bought 3 years ago! With respect to the various brands of pocket diapers, I suggest buying a few of each kind as you can never predict which will fit your children best. bumGenius and FuzziBunz diapers fit our son really well, but Happy Heiny’s are the best fit for our daughter. I’m sure that will change over time, but it’s nice to have the different kinds on hand. Most of our pockets are one-size, but I like having a few sized diapers as well, as they generally provide a trimmer fit. As for disposables, we do keep a few on hand, but we don’t even go through a package per month.
For our family, the decision to cloth diaper our twins was an easy one. We’d done it before, and had no hesitation about doing it again. But, if you are worried about the time and initial costs involved, don’t be. Cloth diapers are a worthy investment that you can feel good about. Good for your kids and good for the planet. And, there’s nothing cuter than two little cloth diapered bums.”
April’s note: The best selling cloth diapers for families with multiples at Nurtured are bumGenius pocket diapers and FuzziBunz. Velcro closures are wonderful for bleary-eyed middle-of-the-night changes (and very caregiver friendly too, as hopefully with multiples you’ll have lots of hands helping out), while snaps are very durable!
If you’re cloth diapering twins, what tricks and tips have worked for you? What brands of cloth diapers are your favourites?