There’s no shortage of things to purchase when preparing for the arrival of multiples. You suddenly need two or more of almost everything, and when you take into account that newborns go through 10 or more diapers a day and double that, you’re talking a pack of disposables every day and a half. That’s an entire HUGE box of disposables every two weeks! That even holds mostly true if you’re just adding one baby to the family while your youngest is still in diapers! There is an awesome solution, though, to lowering the cost of caring for multiple babies in diapers at once: cloth diapers.
“Wait! What?! People still do that? What would that cost? Isn’t that more work?”
The short of it is this:
Yes, people still do that. In fact, people now do that with MUCH greater ease than before!
The cost is determined by the style and brand of diaper you use and how many children you are diapering at once. On average, to cloth diaper a child from birth to potty training, it costs around $500 for enough cloth diapers to wash every other day (as recommended) laundry soap, and water for two years versus around $1,500-$2,000 for disposables for two years (or more depending on the brand you choose). The savings are double (or triple etc) for families diapering multiple children at once and only continue to increase the longer the diapers are used among future children or on children who are diapered longer due to medical/physical necessity.
Cloth diapering is more work in some ways and far less in others. And I can tell you right now the three answers to the questions newbies to cloth fear the answers to most but find the most relief in when they experience the honesty of it for themselves:
- No. You don’t touch poop any more than you do with a kid in disposables. (If you’re going to be a first time parent, welcome to the world of unintentionally touching bodily fluids.) In fact, many parents argue you touch poop less because there are less leaks and blowouts in cloth than in disposables. (No “up the backers” here!)
- No. Your diapers won’t smell any more than disposables would. In fact, most parents argue that cloth smells far less because poop goes where it belongs: in the toilet.
- Yes. It is sanitary as long as you are washing and caring for your diapers according to manufacturer recommendations.
In the end, the benefits of cloth far exceed that of disposables for the trouble of doing one extra load of laundry every other day.
We have lots of mommas in our Lalabye Baby Facebook chat group who cloth diaper more than one child at a time and a handful of mommas with multiples too! They were kind enough to offer their advice and adorable photos for this post- thanks, ladies, for sharing the #lalabyelove!
Advice from Moms of Multiples and Moms with Multiple Children In Cloth Diapers:
“Double up on everything like the number of diapers, number of boosters, and number of wipes you buy. Use one-size diapers instead of sized diapers from the start so that both fit in the same diapers despite any size difference in the babies themselves. Change them at the same time, one after the other (unless one does a number 2 while the other is still clean which is typical around my house). I grab their diapers and wipes etc. when I know it’s been about 2-3 hours since their last diaper change and just have them both lay down next to each other on the floor and change one then the other.” (Erin K)
“It really doesn’t take any extra time. You are already doing laundry so much that a few extra loads a week is not going to make any difference! Just think of it this way.. a lot of people say you won’t continue cloth diapering even with a singleton, so I don’t think the negativity has much to do with twins. In the beginning, I took the disposables that were given to me and only partially cloth diapered until they were gone so that I could really focus on attempting to nurse them. I loved cloth diapering so much more that I didn’t even finish out the packs of disposables. Sailor (our daughter) was a ‘blow out’ baby in every single disposable. It wasn’t even worth it to continue with the sposies as I was cleaning the poop off of her and hers clothes every time anyway.” (Regan V)
“My twins haven’t had a single blowout in cloth! They were [having them] multiple times per week while we used up gifted sposies! I absolutely cloth diaper my twins! Who has time to run out for sposies all the time? I did disposables until we ran out of the ones we were given, then switched to cloth. It’s significantly easier to do cloth! I’m in the process of switching to exclusively Lalabyes because I didn’t find them until after we had some [other brands]. I did sposies for a few weeks, and it was awful! They smell, they’re nasty in the morning, and the girls were sensitive to [the disposables]. I highly recommend cloth, specifically Lalabyes, to every mom, but especially Moms of Multiples. If money is an issue, yes it is more up front, but if you tell people that’s what you want for gifts, it’s easier. Also, think of all the money spent on sposies, garbage bags, and pants! My girls now live in dresses, I’ve told people to stop buying us pants because they never wear them! I’d [also] suggest different sizes of wet bags and multiples of those as well.” (Kate B)
“I had 3 under 2. Twins plus a 19 month old, all in cloth full time. And I exclusively breastfeed and pumped solely to donate (over 1000 oz). The point is, just because you have several babies doesn’t mean something isn’t possible. It’s more laundry but better than spending all our money literally on trash. I’m currently pregnant, my twins are 18months today, my oldest just turned 3, and unless someone potty trains before the new baby comes, I’ll have 4 in cloth, and my twins still nurse, so that’ll be 3 nursing babies.” (Amanda A)
“I’m a single mom with twins (almost 2 now) and they have a brother that is 14 months older. I still have 3 in diapers. It is totally doable! But know it is okay to take breaks [from cloth] if needed; I have multiple times. As a new mom, especially to 2, it can get overwhelming quickly! It’s not a failure to switch back and forth!” (Tracy P)
“We cloth our twins! I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s harder; it’s a way of life. It’s all about the routine! It’s pretty easy once you get into a routine. We wouldn’t have it any other way! Actually, a few twin moms in our local group do cloth, and some in my online twin group who all have babies about the same age cloth diaper as well! No one ever complains about their cloth! We just said this is what we want to do and went on our way. [With our first daughter,] they [family] bought us boxes and boxes of disposables that we returned, and now they love the cloth diapers. It’s really funny. My mom thought it was great because I was cloth diapered. My advice: with multiples, stay on a schedule: after washing, prepare them right away so you can quickly do changes. We even change them at the same time even when it’s obvious [that one might not need it]; like if they have been in a diaper an hour and one poops, they both get a new diaper. We used them on our oldest, so we didn’t have to buy all that many. Blowouts don’t occur; you never run out unless you stray from your wash routine, and they don’t get rashes, so we don’t have to buy creams. We use count oil when needed, which we already have. And you can’t forget how cute they are!” (Lacy G.)
“So, for a little while, I had three in cloth: twins and a big sister. Totally do-able. Cloth makes me so happy. Washing and getting it all sorted is cathartic. It’s some work, but I’m doing tons of laundry anyway. What’s one more load? I’m on the cusp of having four in cloth (another set of twins) and I’m sure it’ll be a challenge.” (Elysia D)
How many do I need?
How many diapers you need depends on a few things like the age of the baby, how many babies you have in diapers, and how often you intend to wash (most wash every other day, but if you want to wash every day, you can get by with less).
Newborn: 28-30 diapers
Baby 3mo-1year: 24 diapers
Toddler 1-2 yeas: 18 diapers
Older Toddler 2-3 years: 12 diapers
So, for twins or for two babies in cloth, a stash of 48 is pretty solid. If you intend to use your Lalabye Baby diaper as an all-in-two, you will need fewer diapers and more inserts. It’s all about preference.
“We use our Lalabye diapers as pocket diapers. I would say you need at least 40, though really I would be more comfortable with 50, even though I know we wash Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have plenty.” (Lacy G.)
Some moms are in favor of buying diapers in sets of two when it comes to colors and prints. Others say it doesn’t matter. It’s really a matter of choice.
“My tips: Match them, it’s less work. Pack in pairs, not per kid. We own 2 of each diaper. I stuff and stack in pairs as well.” (Kate B.)
“Matching diapers is fun sometimes, but personally I like variety and tend to put my boys in different diapers instead of matching ones just for ease of changing them.” (Erin K)
“When I was pregnant with my 2nd and collecting matching fluff [a.k.a. cloth diapers], I had delusions of cute matching bum pics all the time, but keeping up with diaper laundry and making sure I have the matching ones clean and on their bums at the same time and that they are awake and happy enough to sit to take a pic popped that bubble!” (Josie M.)
Do you diaper multiple kids or have multiples? Did you choose cloth? If you would like to and have more questions or need some support, please check out our Facebook chat group and be sure to subscribe to the blog for future tips and info!