Yah, Yah, you read correctly… Some people thought I was crazy when I decided to use cloth diapers on my twins. I heard it all: It’s too complicated, You won’t have time, It’s disgusting, etc. I was able to use cloth diapers exclusively on my twins until they were about 2 years old and started daycare (they only accepted disposables so I had disposable diapers for daycare and cloth diapers at home.
After getting a lot of questions from moms, I decided to come up with a series of posts on cloth diapering twins. I hope after reading these posts that I’ll have answered your questions and shown you that it’s much easier than you think. If you would prefer a video of this post, check this short video.
What are the Basic Styles of Cloth Diapers?
When you are starting to explore the world of cloth diapering, you may feel overwhelmed. I sure was when I started. There are so many differences that it can drive any beginner crazy! Although there are a few more styles, I decided to concentrate on the 6 most popular ones. I’ll describe each one, give you pros and cons and share my personal experience. I will go from the least expensive to the most expensive option.
A. The Ones That Need Covers
When you think of a cloth diaper in the good ole days, that’s what you are thinking about. It’s basically a piece of cloth that you fold and fasten using a Snappi or Boingo. I would absolutely NOT recommend you use safety pins. There have been many accidents involving safety pins and that’s why nowadays safer products have been invented. For this style of cloth diaper, you will need to use a cover as it’s not waterproof. This is a very inexpensive way to do cloth diapering. You can use receiving blankets or what I like are flour sack towels. You can find them quite cheaply in the home department of Walmart or any other large store. At Walmart, you can find a pack or 5 Mainstays for $4.38 or 20 for $14.88.
Then as I said, you will need to add PUL (polyurethane laminate) covers. The covers come in different brands, colors and prices. In the next post, I will talk more in details how many will you need for twins and how much it could cost.
It’s another form of inexpensive cloth diapering. It still requires some folding but less than the flat diaper. It’s a piece of fabric with extra layers in the middle section to ensure absorbency. It’s usually made out of cotton and can folded in many ways. Depending on the way you fold, you may or may not need to fasten using a Snappi or Boingo. They come in different sizes and are a good starting point if you don’t want to invest in a batch of newborn diapers. You will still need covers to wrap around the prefold.
The fitted diapers resemble a bit the look of disposable diapers. The advantage of a fitted diaper is that you don’t need to use fasteners. Depending on the brand, some are available with snaps or with hook and loop (Velcro). They are usually made of cotton, bamboo or cotton/hemp blends.
They are very comfortable and one of the best advantages is that the whole diaper is absorbent and not just the insert. It’s perfect for a heavy wetter or for overnight use. If you have a baby with sensitive skin, a fitted diaper is a wonderful alternative to disposable as your baby will have a lot less rashes.
B. The Modern Models
The pocket diapers are the first innovation in modern cloth diapers. It’s probably the most used diaper. It doesn’t require a cover. The PUL outside shell is directly sewn to a “Stay Dry” material. Together they form a pocket in which we insert an absorbent layer composed of different material (microfiber, bamboo, charcoal bamboo, hemp, etc.)
One advantage of the pocket diaper is that you can change the type of fabric or add extra layers if needed. Some people will add a second insert for overnight. A pocket diaper can evolve with your baby.
You can find them in newborn, specific sizes or one-size. Some brands will give you the choice between snaps and Velcro.
The hybrid diaper consist of a shell (or cover) in which you insert an absorbent layer. They call it hybrid because you can choose to have a cloth or disposable insert. For instance, some people will choose cloth inserts when they are at home and disposables when they are outside of the house or to going to daycare (if they allow). I would advise you against using disposable inserts all the time. They can be costly in the long run. For example, the Flip disposable inserts are about $10 for 18. If you make a quick calculation and change your baby 9 times a day, you will spend $5 a day. If you were to use this every day from birth to 2 1/2 years old, you would spend roughly $4550 YIKES! I would rather go with the reusable inserts.
The AI2 is pretty much a cover to which you can snap a reusable insert. A lot of people don’t see a lot of advantages over the prefold and I tend to agree. The one advantage with AI2 is that the insert can be snapped in the shell. It’s useful when the baby gets older and starts to wiggle too much to adjust the prefold diaper properly. They also have an advantage over the pocket diapers. Since the absorbent layer is directly in contact with the skin, you can just wipe the cover (if it hasn’t been soiled) and place a new insert. That way you can buy more inserts than shells and cut your cost. I will explain the different costs in a separate post. Just a pointer, you cannot use microfiber inserts in direct contact with your baby’s bottom. You could chap your baby’s skin. We all know how it feels when we touch a dry microfiber cloth for more than a few minutes, imagine for 2-3 hours.
Just like pockets, AI2 are available in newborn, specific sizes or one-size. Some brands will give you the choice between snaps and Velcro.
The all-in-one diapers are probably the easiest to use. You don’t have to fold any cloth, to stuff a pocket or to snap an insert and no folding of any kind. No need for cover as they have a waterproof outer layer and absorbent layers either sewn in or attached. They are the favorites amongst beginners and people who don’t want to have to do anything. People often use those for daycare (if allowed) or for babysitting the munchkins.
They also have a downside. Since you can’t take the insert out of the diaper, they usually take longer to dry than pocket diapers. You will have to take this into account when we’ll discuss how many diapers you should buy and it will also impact the cost.
So… Which Ones did I Prefer?
For the twins, most of my diapers were pocket diapers. What I liked most about my pocket diapers was the fact that I could stuff them all when they came out of the dryer or after taking them off the clothesline and put them away in the drawers. When we needed a clean one, I would take one from the pile and it wasn’t more complicated than using a disposable one. I personally was never into folding so the flat and the prefold didn’t really appeal to me.
When my twins were babies, my mother-in-law and aunt would come to babysit (so I could keep my sanity!) and I would usually leave pocket diapers with Velcro and they never had any trouble putting them on. God bless them both!
I also had fitted ones for the night. Those do absorb a lot so it was perfect. I had a couple AIO and I really liked them except for the drying part. They would take almost 50% more time to dry than the pocket. Depending on how many you have and how often you wash, you may want a few extra to make sure your don’t run out….
Buying One Size or Newborn and Then Sized Diaper?
This question depends on the weight of your baby or babies. I can tell you that when you have twins, they are usually small and the one size will probably be too big. One size for most brands usually fits well on a 10lbs baby. Yeah well mine were 2.5lbs and 4.5lbs at birth. Of course some brands are known to run small (Rumparooz, Bum Genius 5.0, Elementals, Freetime, Flip, AppleCheeks OS, Funky Fluff OS or AMP OS). Even with those, if you don’t buy newborn size, you will have to deal with the fact that the diaper will be bulky for the first few months. You can also decide to use a small size diaper, it will not be as small as a newborn and won’t last until potty training but that can be a good compromise if you don’t want newborn diapers. The prefold is a great and inexpensive option for the first few months.
Where can you buy Cloth Diapers?
There are many stores where you can buy cloth diapers but I would recommend Diaper Junction. They have a large inventory and you are sure to find what you need. They don’t just carry diapers but everything you need in terms of accessories for mom and babies. They also offer free shipping on all domestic orders and they have a reward program which means you get 10% of your order in “stash cash” that can be used toward future purchases. They also offer coupons and have sales. When you cloth diaper two babies at the same time, you can use all the freebies you can get.
From experience, I would suggest you do not buy all your diapers at once or at least not of the same style unless you are absolutely certain of your choice. You won’t know what you will prefer until you try as well as which brand will work best on your babies. Plan ahead and look for sales like 4th of July, Black Friday or New Years.
If you have questions about cloth diapers or if you enjoyed my post, I invite you to leave me a comment below. I will follow with other posts on cloth diapers so stay tuned!
Happy cloth diapering!!!!