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Cloth Diapering Your Baby—The Easy Way!

Thinking about using baby cloth diapers? Here’s how we cloth diapered our twins, the easy way. And why we think it’s a GREAT choice for singles and multiples!

stack of colorful baby cloth diapers

Note: This post is written by Cori George and originally appeared on Hey, Let’s Make Stuff. It has been moved and updated with permission.

When people find out that we used baby cloth diapers for our twins, they usually can’t believe it. How can we add even more work on top of having twins? It can’t be worth it.

Honestly? We’re six months in and I think baby cloth diapers are just as easy as disposables—and sometimes easier. (No midnight runs to Target to pick up more diapers!) The key is to keep it easy. Easy, easy, easy.

Supplies We Use to Cloth Diaper

Cloth DiapersBumGenius Freetime All-In-One cloth diapers. We chose these baby cloth diapers for their ease of use. They’re one piece—no stuffing pockets or folding inserts). We love them. Get snaps—they last longer than velcro. If you take good care of them, you can re-sell them when you’re done!

(Note: When the boys were newborns, we had 14 newborn g-diapers that we borrowed from my sister-in-law. We also used disposables because we had packs of them from my shower. Even as preemies they were in newborn diapers for such a short time that it didn’t seem worth it to invest in newborn cloth diapers. By 7lbs or so, we were using the Freetimes.)

Pail & Liner: Dekor Plus diaper pail and Dekor cloth liners. Line dry the liners to keep them waterproof.

Wipes: BumGenius Flannel Wipes. They are thicker than disposable wipes and so much softer and stronger. We have Honest Company disposable wipes that we sometimes use for the first pass of a really poopy diaper.

Wipe Solution: We use a glass loaf dish and make our own wipe solution using Baby Bits. The wipes sit folded in half in the solution. People may worry about mold, but we go through wipes so quickly with twins that we go through the dish every other day or so.

Diaper Sprayer: Bumpkins diaper sprayer, connected to the water supply of our toilet.

Detergent: All Free & Clear

Disposables at night: We use Pampers Extra Protection at night, though I’m working on trying to find a cloth diaper solution (maybe with inserts that we can double up or wool covers). We want the boys to sleep through the night and they were waking up with wet jammies in the cloth diapers, so we found the best overnight diapers that worked for us!

Cloth Diapering on the Go

We’re sort of 50/50 when it comes to cloth or disposable when we leave the house. If we’re going somewhere it’ll be easy to change a cloth diaper (like to my parents’), we’ll use cloth. If not (like out shopping), we’ll use disposables. We have a wet bag for dirty cloth diapers that we keep in the diaper bag.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers

To wash our diapers, we rinse them in the toilet using the diaper sprayer and place them in the pail. Every morning, we empty them out of the diaper pail and into the wash along with the cloth pail liner and All Free & Clear.

We run a “Temp Boost” cycle and an extra rinse. We line dry them because I want them to last so I can resell them, plus the sun is the best bleach. (And because, honestly, hanging diapers on the line is a chore I actually enjoy. Crazy, I know.) Six months in and our diapers look almost new!

baby cloth diapers hanging on the line drying outside

Why We Cloth Diaper Our Twins

Cost

One of the most important reasons we chose to cloth diaper was to keep our costs down. Let’s do some simple math. Let’s say disposable diapers run about $.20 each (depending on brand, it ranges from about $.05 to $.30 each). Each baby goes through about 8 diapers a day, so 16 diapers a day for twins. Diapering lasts, on average, 2.5 years. $.20 per diaper x 16 diapers a day x 912 days = $2918. That’s a conservative estimate.

Now let’s look at cloth diapers. We went one of the most expensive routes and bought brand new Freetime BumGenius diapers. They are about $20 each. We have only 30 diapers, so we do laundry daily. (In my research, most people suggested 50 diapers for twins. We get by absolutely fine with 30.) We spent $600, plus a little more for the accessories mentioned above, as well as a box of nighttime disposables every once in a while (it takes us a month to get through a pack of 60 diapers). Even with those few extra costs, we are WAY cheaper than if we used only disposables!

You can also find used cloth diapers in all sorts of buy-sell-trade groups on Facebook, so it can be even cheaper to cloth diaper. And of course, you can re-sell your cloth diapers when you’re done with them if you’ve taken good care of them. Can’t do that with disposables!

We were blessed with a large check from Ryan’s aunt and uncle, which paid for most of our diapers, and we were gifted the diaper pail, liners, and wipes at our shower. I bought the sprayer used. But even if we paid out of pocket, we wouldn’t have spent much over $650. Versus $2918. What a deal!

Comfort and Style

With the cloth diapers, we’ve had very little diaper rash. In fact, I think the only time we’ve had small diaper rashes were due to the disposable diapers. We like Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy, because it’s cloth diaper safe—and it works! I also think the cloth just have to be more comfortable than running around with plastic all up in your business, you know what I mean?

Also, they are DARN CUTE. Look at those little baby bums. I can’t even with the cuteness.

baby cloth diapers are so cute!

Less Waste

The one thing that gave us pause about cloth diapering was the drought in California. When the twins were babies, water here is a sacred resource, and to add an extra load of laundry every single day was of concern. But we decided that it was that or add 14,000+ diapers to landfills (16 x 912)—and then it seemed like it wasn’t such an irresponsible choice after all.

What My Husband Thinks About Cloth Diapering

Many of my friends say the biggest barrier to cloth diapering newborns is their husband. They think it’s complicated and messy and they don’t want the fuss. So I thought you’d like to hear directly from Ryan himself:

When Cori first pitched the cloth diaper idea, I had images of large safety pins barely holding on napkins as babies ran down the hall. But cloth diapers have come a long way!

The actual reality of using cloth diapers really isn’t bad. Granted, our babies aren’t eating solid food yet, but the experience hasn’t been all that more difficult than using disposable diapers. We take out less trash. We do have to rinse out poopy diapers as an added step, but that’s really not that hard or messy. For how much money we are saving and how much less waste-ful (har har) we are being, the extra step is well worth it.

The experience for the babies seems positive as well. They don’t have as many chemicals against their skin. The soaker pads do a good job of wicking the moisture away. I feel like the babies alert us when they have a wet diaper sooner than they would with a disposable, which actually works out for the best I think. They spend less time in wet diapers, and hopefully that will play out well when we potty train them.

So yeah, even the hubs is on board.

I know that’s a lot of information, but I wanted to be thorough. If you have any questions about cloth diapering twins (or even just cloth diapering in general), I’d be happy to answer them in the comments!

Thinking about using baby cloth diapers? Here’s how we cloth diapered our twins, the easy way. And why we think it’s a GREAT choice for singles and multiples!
Amy Motroni

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