Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cloth Diapering Triplets

I frequently get asked about cloth diapering. People want to know if it's possible to cloth diaper triplets. It definitely is! This post is half narrative/half informative on our experience with cloth diapering four children.

We decided to cloth diaper when I was pregnant with Jackson. Over the years I have tried almost every type of diaper (prefolds, contours, fitteds, pockets, all-in-ones). In the newborn stage, I prefer fitted cloth diapers with a cover. Once they are 10+ lbs, I like pocket diapers the best.

Baby Jackson wearing a contour and snappi, sans cover
Most people think prefolds are the cheapest option for cloth diapers. However, SunBaby and Alva diapers provide extremely affordable one-size pocket diapers that end up being the same cost you would spend buying different sized prefolds and covers.  With pocket diapers, you can stuff multiple inserts to make them more absorbent night time diapers, or just use one insert. The only downside to pockets is the time it takes to stuff them.

One-size pockets are more cost effective because they should be able to last from birth to potty-training by adjusting the snaps. Here are some BumGenius diapers adjusted to three different sizes.

We own 48 one-size pocket diapers. We purchased 24 BumGenius 4.0's when I was pregnant with Jackson. Unfortunately, he was severely allergic to suede-cloth. We then purchased 20 Alva diapers for $84. The Alva's lasted us through Jackson's potty training.

2.5 years old, 30 lbs
Over the years a few of our Alva's have worn down, but we've also been gifted with a few miscellaneous brands. Our stash includes mostly solid colors, along with a few fun prints.

Also included in our diaper stash is a variety of fitteds and covers passed down from my sister. Some of these are one-size, others are not. (Random observation: I've never understood why there are so many fitteds with cute prints since they require a cover and are rarely seen.) I don't mind these diapers, but I want as few steps as possible when changing three babies' diapers multiple times a day.

We have roughly 60 diapers, which is enough for me to do laundry every three days. A year ago I was washing diapers every other day because newborns require more frequent changes and Jackson was still in diapers. Our wash routine is to do a cold rinse, hot wash, and hot rinse. I prefer to line dry but end up tossing them in the dryer overnight more often.

In addition to our diaper collection, we also have four pail liners, two diaper pails, and three small wetbags. At one point, we had two full changing stations with a changing table upstairs and downstairs. Now that the trio are 13 months old, nearly all wrestling matches diaper changes take place on the floor. 

We did not even consider using cloth wipes with the triplets, though we did use them with Jackson. If you want to read about our cloth wipe experience, you can do so here.

To organize our diapers, we bought a metal storage unit that has four drawers. We store our clean diapers in the drawers.

Jesse had a piece of wood cut at Lowe's and screwed it on top of the storage piece so it doubles as an end table. The diaper pail is beside it with the pail liner inside. (Of course, we normally keep the lid closed.)

The least glamorous part of cloth diapering is disposing of solid waste. It gets a bad rap, though. Breastmilk poop is completely water soluble, so you can put soiled diapers directly in the wash. Solid waste can be flipped out in the toilet and flushed away. For the in between consistencies, you can purchase a diaper sprayer for $40+ or just swirl the diaper around in the toilet to rinse off poop. If you want to eliminate this issue altogether, you can also purchase flushable diaper liners, which collect any poop and can be tossed in the commode. Our reasons for CD are to spend less money and create less waste, so we don't use liners. With pocket diapers, you need to pull the insert out before you put it in the diaper pail. (It took Jesse a long time to learn this lesson!)

As far as the layout of our house, the diapers aren't a huge eyesore. They don't smell. I'm not washing diapers every day. It's very practical, cost-efficient, and easy.

Just in case you're curious, here was our set up the first 10ish months. 

I am a huge cloth diapering advocate, especially for multiples. I would recommend anyone interested in cloth diapering to join a co-op or mother's group. I regularly see posts of people selling used diapers or splitting the cost of cheaper bulk purchases. 

Of course, cloth diapering is not for everyone. I would not recommend it for anyone who plans to keep their child(ren) in full-time daycare or who does not own a washing machine. Otherwise, happy cloth diapering, Mamas!

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