Cloth Diapering and Multiples

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A few months ago I decided to jump into the world of cloth diapering.

(Okay, okay. I will admit that it wasn’t so much of a jump as it was just sticking my big toe in the water to test the temperature and see if it was agreeable to swimming.)

I have been contemplating using cloth diapers since before the triplets were born, but every time I would research them, I would become so doverwhelmed by the abundance of information available that I would freeze up and inevitably chicken out, never ordering a thing. However, after the most recent price hike in diapers and the endless bags of diapers I kept hauling to the curb week after week, I finally got tired of literally throwing money away.  So I took the plunge and placed my first order.  I tend to be an all or nothing type of person, so what I really wanted to do was to buy an entire stash (and all of the accessories) for each baby.  What I did instead, based on the advice of a friend, was visit Simple Wonders and order just a sampling of diapers for each baby instead.  (Part of the draw to that web store in particular was that they offer a multiple discount!)

I had no idea which direction I wanted to go with cloth diapering, but I knew that I wanted the transition to be easy.  Scratch that.  I needed it to be easy, otherwise I knew it would never stick.  There are a wide variety of options available, ranging from diapers that work just like a disposable with everything included in one easy package to a partially disposable diaper to the old-school cloth diapers that you have to fold and fasten with pins (although now it is more common to use a Snappi than a pin).  Prefolds, fitteds, covers, pockets, all-in-ones, one-size, etc…I know, the lingo freaked me out at first too.  But I promise it isn’t nearly as hard to learn about as it seems.  There are a daunting number of sites dedicated to explaining the basics of cloth diapering and how to care for them, two of which I found helpful were Diaper Pin and Pinstripes and Polka Dots.  And if you want a review of products, you can go visit Z-Recs (yes, the BPA people) and read their article on cloth diapers.

I ended up purchasing starter package for each baby that included 3 different brands of one-size diapers: 1 bumGenius 3.0, 1 Wahmie & 1 Happy Heiny.  They are all pocket diapers that you stuff with an insert (to adsorb the wetness) and have adjustable snaps so that they can grow with your child.  The goal being to buy one stash of  diapers that can be used from birth until potty training.  I can honestly say that I like all 3 quite a bit.  Though the bumGenius 3.0 and Happy Heinys are a bit bulkier than the Whamie, which uses a hemp insert; the Whamie’s closure is a bit trickier to get use to than the loop and hook (velcro) the other two use.  All 3 are super-absorbent and we have yet to experience a leak with any of them.  They fit snugly and are so, so soft…and I have to admit that the babies’ fluffy butts are really adorable.

Ultimately what has worked for us so far is to do a combination of cloth and disposable diapers, easing slowly into the transition.  I am not sure if we will ever be able to make the full jump into using only cloth diapers, but for now I am happy to be using cloth for at least 1/2 of our diaper changes each day.  I try to use them whenever we are going to be home, but we still use disposables at night and when we are out.  Trying to figure out what to do with 3 wet and/or dirty diapers while out is a bit overwhelming just yet.  My system for clean-up is fairly simple; as soon as I change a diaper I just drop the solid poop into the toilet (I am hoping to purchase a sprayer, that hooks onto your toilet, very soon that will make that part a bit easier!), pull out the insert and toss it all into the wash machine until the end of the day when I run one load of diapers.

I am quite fond of them so far and they really are so easy and simple to use that I wish I would have started from the beginning (can you imagine how much money I would have saved in the early days when we went through 30 or so diapers a day?!?!).  My husband isn’t quite as convinced…yet.  But, I am hoping to be able to persuade him that they really are just as easy as disposables, and so much cheaper!

If you would like to try cloth diapering, but have no idea where to begin, I highly recommned trying the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program over at Jillian’s Drawers.  Essentially, you are able to try a very wide varitey of diapers for the cost of $10.

And this post has (by pure chance) coincided quite nicely with Baby Cheapskate’s Cloth Diapering Week.  You can check it out here!

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13 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering and Multiples”

  1. Ohhh I am so glad this post was written. I have used Bum Benious 2.0/3.0 since my twins were a few months old and I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and wouldnt go back to disposable. Not only do I save money, I save the landfills. Did you know that it takes 50 years for a disposable diaper to decompose?? Yes that is right!! Cloth diapers are a lot easier than I thought they would be.

    I also use cloth wipes. I bought them from the same people that sell Bumgenious diapers and I just get it wet right before I use it and wash them with the diapers. Simple!!

    The sprayer that hooks on to the toilet is wonderful! It sprays the poo right off without hassle. We all have been through those “yummy” runny poops.

    If anyone has any questions you are more than welcome to contact me about cloth diapering through my blog.

    Hugs,
    Jami

  2. This is exactly the post I needed! Last summer when I was researching cloth diapering before the twins were born I felt SO overwhelmed that I did, in fact, give up. Now that I’m pregnant again and will have a newborn and the twins in diapers, I’ve been toying with the idea again. Thanks for putting all these great links in one place. And, more importantly, for simply saying that even with three, it CAN be done.

  3. I had three in cloth diapers at the same time and I loved them. I used a diaper service, however, which was more convenient but not as economical as washing them myself.

    When you think about it, which would you rather have next to your skin?

    And yes, their fluffy butts are adorable.

  4. Great post! I have a 3-year-old (potty trained) and a 16-month-old (not potty trained), and I am pregnant with twins, and so we will have three in diapers for at least six months, and we had two in diapers for about six months with our first two. We have used the same 19 BumGenius diapers since our first was born, and we intend to use them (with about a dozen more that we still need to purchase) with the twins. We love, love, love them. One concession we make is that we use disposable and biodegradable diaper liners (available at http://www.diaperaps.com/home/dp1/page_9/Flushable_Diaper_Liners.html) to catch the poop so that we don’t deal with any spraying or soaking or anything. We just put a plastic bag that our newspaper comes in on our hand, grab the poop along with the liner as well as any dirty wipes, and put that in the garbage. And then the diaper goes into the diaper bin–no poop on it. And the liners that have only pee on them can be washed along with the diapers, so one roll lasts a long, long time. My husband and I highly recommend the BumGenius/Diaperaps Liner combination. One other thing that is great about BumGenius (and probably other pocket diapers) is that they can be stuffed with extra cloths to increase absorbency. We rarely use disposables, but when we have done so at night, we often have a leak, whereas we never do with our BumGenius ones because we put extra stuffing in them. And the stuffing can be anything–we use microfiber cloths that are sold in the automotive department for washing cars. Cheap and absorbent! Thanks for raising the issue of cloth diapering!

  5. Oh, this is such a great post! I’ve been wanting to know more and wanted to attempt the cloth diapering but I am just such a chicken and too overwhelmed by it all. You provided some great links and assurance that yes, it can be done with twins (and triplets!!).

    I’m going to check it all out and hopefully we can make a slow transition to cloth. Thanks for this!!

    Christina
    http://windycitymama.wordpress.com/

  6. I have been using BumGenious 2.0 with my twins since they were about 2 months old (they are now 10 months) and I am glad we got them. We do exactly like you do with using disposables at night and when I am going to be out for a bit. It is the perfect solution for us to help the environment, save some money and still have a bit of much needed convenience.
    My husband actually prefers using the cloth and once my daycare provider saw them, she said she was fine with us using them when the kids are with her.
    People look at me like I am insane when they find out I cloth diaper, with multiples no less. It really is not that much more work.

  7. So interesting! I played around with this idea for a bit when I was pregnant but was too confused by all the options to try it. Good for you!

  8. Hi Rachel
    Thanks for posting about cloth diapers. I actually saw your cd post on your blog awhile back and contacted Simple Wonders. The owner was great and I just ordered the Bum Genius 3.0. They haven’t come in the mail yet, but I can’t wait to get them!
    Thanks so much for doing all the research for me:) Like you, I would start to look at them get way too overwhelmed!
    Love that you are writing for HDYDI now. You are a great Mom!
    Trina

  9. What a timely post! I just started using cloth on my 5 month old girls a couple weeks ago. I had thought about it while pregnant, but dismissed it as too much work. Now I wish I had started earlier. Well, maybe just a little earlier. It does take an adjustment and investment to get up and running.

    The final straw was a particularly bad few days of breast milk poo-splosions. I figured since I was hand scrubbing their clothes (and sometimes mine, the car seat, etc) EVERY DAY, I might as well be using cloth. Since then I have had one or maybe two tiny spots of poo on their outfits, but mostly completely contained. No leaks and dry babies even at night when I use a fleece topped doubler and prefold under Stacinator fleece cover.

    Shockingly to me, once your “stash” is washed, organized and ready to go, which does take a little effort, daily cleaning is a snap. I haven’t started solids yet, so I can’t say how things will be then. I’m planning to use the disposable liners Michelle discussed above.

    Besides improved function, and the extreme cuteness, once you get into using cloth its easy to get hooked. Can’t necessarily recommend it to everyone – its easy to spend too much, takes some labor. But the wonderful CD products out there are just so much nicer to put your sweet babies into!

    PS – Many if not all daycare providers will accept AIOs.

  10. Oh how I wish I read this when it was first posted. I too was about to take the dive into clothe diapers for my 6 month old twins when a read a review of gDiapers from the Natural Resource Defense Center (NRDC). With the debate between disposables pilling up in our land fills vs water consumption to clean clothe diapers, NRDC found gDiapers to be a true alternative that is eco-friendly.

    I am SO IN LOVE with gDiapers. Adorable cloth outer pants with a snap in waterproof liner that holds a flushable liner. Quick rip of the liner sides & the inside falls into the toilet for a flush. As for the water, I combine inserts to save on number of flushes which would be the same or less if the twins were potty trained. They are also wonderful for travel. Add a second liner at night or use disposables.

    For cost, I buy on Amazon.com through their Subscribe & Save program. Delivered to my home! I offset costs by using cloth baby wipes. I have my sanity while supporting my love for the environment.

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