As we drove home from the fateful appointment where we found out we were expecting not one baby but two, my husband sat quietly seemingly forever. He is usually thoughtful and easy going, but perhaps this time a tad overwhelmed. When he did speak he said, “We have to buy two of everything… like BIKES!” He had already fast-forwarded through the pregnancy, infancy, toddlerhood and arrived at bikes. In reality we haven’t had to buy two of everything. We have tried to minimize doubles and shop frugally. One of the big ways we have saved a ton of money is by using cloth diapers.
Yes, we use cloth diapers. No, it’s not disgusting. When I was pregnant and checked out stacks of books from the library, one book suggested that twins could go through as many as 16,000 diapers before potty training. Sixteen Thousand! At nearly 25¢ each before coupons or sales, I could not imagine buying something so expensive with the primary intent of throwing it away. For two babies. While we did spend a chunk of money up front on cloth diapers and accessories, we calculated we broke even by the time our boys were six-months old. For well more than a year now, our diaper changes have been essentially free. (And what is more frugal than free?) Plus the additional bonuses: less garbage, no late-night runs for diapers, our kids never outgrow them half-way through a box, and no blow-outs. (For real. Never once had the up-the-back situation.) Yes, there is a little more effort. And a little extra laundry. But it’s small potatoes compared to the savings. When people ask how we could possibly use cloth diapers with twins, I generally respond, “How could we not?”
On the left is our duo just before 4 months old, and on right at almost-18-months — wearing the same diapers they will wear until they are done with diapers.
We started with cloth when our boys were about 2 weeks old, once the freebie hospital diapers ran out. We have used them almost exclusively since then. (We have been on two different road trips that required stays in hotels, so we did use disposables. I estimate we have used about 200 disposables since our boys were born 22 months ago.) Ours are not like your grandma’s cloth diapers. There are no pins. No scrubbing on a washboard. No plastic pants. Cloth Diapering has come a long way and fits into our modern life. Our diapers go on with hook-and-loop closures, similar to disposables, and are one-size, adjusting from 8 to 35 lbs., which should take us through to potty training. We wash them ourselves in a high-efficiency washer and saw no noticeable increase in our utility bills. There are lots of different modern cloth diapers, and a ton of information available online. If I had it to do all over again, there are lots of baby “essentials” we could totally live without, but I would not hesitate for one second to use cloth diapers. Cloth Diapers work for our family, we love them, love the savings and we can’t imagine it any other way.
If you want to know more than you ever thought possible: More than you ever wanted to know about cloth diapers is my little cloth diaper manifesto on the topic from my own website, goteamwood.com where you can also read all about our family adventures.