Mom to Mom: When you have TWO in diapers
You hear it all the time through lips that speak under rolling eyes:
“She’s got two in diapers!”
“I am just really glad I don’t have two in diapers!”
“I’m hoping to potty train before then so I don’t have two in diapers.”
Or, since I cloth diaper:
“You’re going to cloth diaper two babies??? I’ll give you a month!”
Two in diapers. It’s a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of every parent.
Presently I have two in iapers for the first time in my life. I cloth diapered my daughter until she potty trained at two years of age. Though my son turned two years old months before his little sister was born, he did not follow in his sister’s footsteps and has no plans to do so in the near future. So yes, I do double diapers.
What I have discovered is that having two in diapers will mean different things for different families because each has a unique situation. I have a newborn and a two year old in diapers. Kitty, my newborn, goes through about fourteen diapers a day and Bear, my two year old, uses five to seven diapers. Because Kitty goes through so many, I have to do a full load of diapers once a day. If she were older, I might be able to wait two days. My two diapered babes are also very different sizes. Kitty, barely fits into the one sized cloth diapers—and only those that fit small. Baby Bear, who isn’t a baby anymore, wears his one sized diapers on the largest and widest snap settings, and has outgrown some brands of one size diapers.
So whats the difference between cloth diapering one, and cloth diapering more than one?
1) Stash SizeYou definitely need a larger stash size when you are cloth diapering multiples. Like I said before, my infant daughter uses a minimum of twelve diapers a day, and her brother goes through less than ten. If I were just diapering him, we would be fine with about fifteen diapers. If I were just cloth diapering her, we’d need twenty four. This means we need a minimum of forty cloth diapers for the two of them. That would be a big stash for one in diapers. I feel it’s on the small side if you are diapering two.
2) Stash typeBear and Kitty do better with different types of diapers right now. Our favorites for Bear's needs are all in ones and fitteds. Kitty wears mostly prefolds, flats, and the few newborn AIOs she still fits. I'm sure that will change constantly over the next few months and years. The point is, the type of stash we rely on is greatly diversified when you have two babies with two different diapering needs.
2) LaundryI like to do laundry every time my diaper pail fills up. We fill a Planetwise diaper pail liner in about twenty four hours, so that means I wash diapers that frequently. I was only washing them every two or three days before Kitty came along.
3) StorageWe have a lot of diapers. We honestly don’t need that many but after six years of diapering, I’ve ended up with a full stash (at least 20) of every kind of diapers. In addition, we have managed to end up with an overage of at least 30 inserts and doublers. When we added our full stash of newborn diapers to the mix, there was no longer room for them all in our baskets under the changing table. As Kitty outgrows some of the different newborn diapers and I continue de-stashing and restating the older diapers, I keep rearranging the baskets and my organization strategy. One day, I hope to get it all back underneath the changing table again.
4) Frequency of Diaper ChangesI hate that this is the case, but I don’t change my two year old’s diaper nearly as often as I should. First of all, he likes to hide the fact that his diaper needs to be changed because he is avoiding my attempts at potty training. This is especially true when he has pooped (though the entire house is aware when he’s done that). Second of all, I often find myself nursing or pacing with his little sister when I think about how his diaper needs to be changed and by the time my hands are free, I’ve forgotten to do it. What I try to do is to have him on standby when I change his sister’s diaper. He’ll pee once in the time she’s filled about three diapers, so if I can get myself into that type of diaper changing cycle, it would help things.
5) TimeI have less time now that I have two children young enough to be in diapers—that’s a given, and not just because of the diapers. Changing two sets of diapers definitely takes more time. If, for instance, Bear has a poopy diaper, I have to take the time to clean him properly, then spray and stash the dirty diaper. That never seemed to take a long time before but when my infant daughter is screaming in the crib all the while, it seems to take light years. Also, I often have to wait for the changing table if my husband is changing one or another of the babies.
This is my experience of diapering two babies at once, and everyone who is lucky enough to experience this dynamic will go through it differently. Have you had to diaper multiple babies simultaneously? How did you do it and what were some tricks you can share that helped you get through it?