Cloth diapering for one...check!
Cloth diapering for two? Fear not! We are here to help!
How many Cloth Diapers Do You Need?
It's easy to figure out how many cloth diapers you'll need depending on your situation. Do you plan to start cloth diapering from birth? How many kids do you have in diapers? How often do you plan to do laundry? These are all things to take into consideration. Do you plan to cloth part time or full time?
You should figure out how you plan to use cloth diapers to determine how many you’ll need. If you're on a tight budget, it is very possible to cloth diaper! You cloth diaper with just $100!
Cloth diapers may need to be changed more frequently, but changing times can vary by age.
The general rule is a diaper change at least every two hours, but in the toddler stage you won’t need to change nearly that often.
You can expect your newborn to go through at least 12 diapers a day and just as many at night.
If you’re using cloth full time, you will need enough to get you through a laundry day, but if you’re washing daily, that means you only need enough diapers for one day + washing time.
If you only have time to wash every three days, you will need to determine how many diapers the baby goes through daily x3.
It’s always good to keep extra on hand as well because babies love to be unpredictable and you never know when they’ll decide to poop five times in one morning after being “regular” for weeks.
A Cloth Diapering Perspective From a Mom With Twins
When I found out I was pregnant last year, I considered cloth diapering almost immediately. It was something that fascinated me, and as a newly pregnant mama at the height of a diaper shortage during a pandemic, it was even more appealing.
But even after a decade as a career nanny, I had zero personal experience with cloth. I had no friends or family who cloth diapered their children. My mother had used disposables on me and all of my siblings.
But I couldn’t seem to shake the curiosity, so down the rabbit hole I went! I was bound and determined to source as much information as humanly possible before embarking on this journey.
I spent weeks scouring the internet, browsing shops, reading blogs, and researching wash routines. By the time I was through, I knew all the facts and figures—sign me up for Cloth Diaper Quizzo.
I could tell you in an instant how many dollars you could save doing cloth for the duration of your child’s time in diapers (around $1,500, give or take, depending on the diapers you use and the size of your stash).
I could tell you how many diapers you prevented from rotting in a landfill. (The US throws away around 20 BILLION disposable diapers every year. You do that math!)
I was ready and excited! I was making mental lists of prints and styles of diapers that I wanted to buy!
And then I found out I was pregnant with TWO.
How many cloth diapers do I need for twins?!?
My cloth diaper dreams screeched to a halt as I feared double duty of everything. Double diapers, double poops, double the laundry—I was already double tired just thinking about it, and my girls weren’t even born yet.
How could I possibly keep up with caring for two infants, let alone two infants in cloth diapers?
As I ruminated on laundry-related anxiety and first trimester nausea, my wife took the reins. Where I am frenetic, she is steady.
She took her time gathering info in her own slow and sure way by joining mom groups, talking to people, shopping for preloved diapers. She made a spreadsheet to get an idea of what might work for our family.
After several weeks of not even thinking about pockets or prefolds or flats, she presented me with the fruits of her info-hunt.
Cloth diapering was still totally possible (and affordable!), even with two infants.
At first, I dismissed her ideas—I was already exhausted and in my mind there was just no way we were going to manage two fluff butts.
But as I quieted my own anxieties, and I stopped to listen to what she had learned, I realized. There is no one “right way” to do cloth, and there is no right or wrong way to cloth diaper for twins.
There are families who bring cloth to the hospital when their kids are born, families that halfheartedly cloth, and families that cloth at home and use ‘sposies on outings.
There are full-steam ahead cloth-diaper families that take week-long breaks when necessary. Not to mention the endless cloth-diapering options that truly allow you to tailor your diapering choices to your family’s lifestyle.
My twins are six months old now, and while I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned cloth-diaper veteran, I have learned that what once seemed intimidating comes easy with time.
Through these months, that lightbulb “no right way” moment still rings true. The greatest part of our cloth-diaper-with-twins journey is that it still suits us exactly how we need it to.
It changes based on what we need at the time or if something isn’t working well anymore.
We dabbled in newborn diapers for our twins in the early days but ultimately pressed pause due to sheer exhaustion.
Around 8 weeks we felt more prepared, so we pulled out our stash of pocket diapers and began cloth diapering our girls during the day, while still relying on disposable diapers at night. During lazy weeks, I use flats and stretchy pre-flats with covers, because they are the quickest to dry on laundry day.
And on truly lazy weeks (or weeks when mama just can not deal with it anymore), we are comfortable pressing “pause” on cloth and busting out our emergency box of ‘sposies.
For me, the key to keeping two kids in cloth diapers is keeping it as stress-free as possible. It is important to be kind to yourself, and to realize that cloth-diapering doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing experience for your family.
It is a tool, and you have every right to make that tool work for you, however it best suits your needs.
To save you the overwhelming anxiety that I felt, I wanted to share what helped me through the anxiety and convinced me to take the plunge to cloth diaper multiples.
Cloth Diapering for Twins
Figure out what twin diapering system works best for your family.
Whether budget is a concern or you’re afraid to be buried under mountains of diaper laundry, it’s important to figure out what types of cloth diapers will work best for your twins and your unique situation.
As an even less expensive alternative, many families use 100% cotton flour sack towels as flats, which can often be purchased in bulk and they’re affordable.
Pocket diapers are a favorite of many. Just stuffing one or multiple inserts into a roomy pocket can tailor absorbency to your child’s needs.
All in one diapers are the most similar to disposables in that they require no muss and no fuss—simply snap on and go! Don’t be afraid to try out multiple different styles to choose the type (or types!) of diapers that you like best.
Work Out a Wash Routine
Often, one of the biggest things that turns a prospective cloth parent back to disposable diapers is washing.
We all know how many diapers our little ones go through in a day, and sometimes the idea of having to do more than just toss them in the trash can be intimidating.
However, nailing down the right cloth diaper wash routine is the number one thing that makes cloth diapering go from stressful to second nature in an instant.
Sure, it’s more laundry, but it’s laundry that requires no extra mental energy. As far as how to nail down your wash routine, the information can seem endless.
Your best bet in keeping things manageable is to start by testing your water (using strips readily available at most hardware stores). Once you know your water hardness, you can work on choosing the right detergent for your water, and iron out the best routine to give you sparkly clean diapers every time. Some people even swear by hand-washing their cloth diapers.
The routine that has worked best in our house is:
Hot water/heavy duty cycle
No extra rinse.
Hot water/heavy duty.
This works for our family, but don’t be afraid to do your own research, ask your own questions, and play around with the best routine for your life!
Give yourself grace with your twins.
Write this one down. Highlight it, underline it, tattoo it on your forehead! Giving yourself grace is the number one, most important part of the “cloth diapering multiple children” journey!
If cloth is your choice, it is absolutely vital that you make it sustainable for your individual family life. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you’re allowed to mess up! (I once forgot a poop diaper in our car for DAYS. Let’s just say I still shudder to remember.) You’re allowed to do things differently, and you’re even (Gasp!) allowed to take breaks.
However you decide to cloth your babies, allowing yourself the space to mess up and press pause is the key to keeping you coming back.