When I tell most people we have chosen to cloth diaper the twins their reaction is one of disbelief and shock. I get asked 'why' a lot. Is is that odd of a choice? I don't think so. Cloth diapering is one of the things in parenting that is all the rage these days. I posted a status on FB looking for advice and was bombarded with advice on cloth diapering.
So, why have we decided to cloth diaper? I have to justify our choice to most people so I may as well start there. We all know cloth diapering is better for the environment (I'm a bit of a tree hugger and honestly felt a twinge of guilt when I saw how many disposable diapers we tossed into the trash), costs less, keeps your baby away from chemicals that are on disposables (less rash, less blowouts etc), and supposedly babies are easier to potty train when in cloth (we'll test that one eventually). With twins you go through a lot, I mean A LOT of diapers. No matter how many large boxes we'd buy, it felt like we were always running to the store to pick up more and dropping $50-75 a pop to stock up on disposables was not ideal.
Now that you have our reasoning, on the fun stuff. That is, if you consider cloth diapering fun... One of our shower gifts from my parents and grandparents was a stash of bum.genius 4.0 diapers. We had previously planned on using g.diapers and had done zero research on bum.genius at this point. My family had asked my sister in law what she used for her son and she used these diapers so that's why they bought us those. She tried out several different types of diapers before settling on one. A lot of people go this route, but if you have twins, you really do not have time to sample all the types... My husband had off two weeks at the end of the year and we were kind of getting the hang of things so we decided to bust out the cloth diapers we got at the shower. I figured with two of us home it would be a good opportunity to try it out. We tried it and never turned back! I was prepared to not like the bum.genius diapers because when I had time to research I really liked the g.diaper system. I'm sure the g.diapers are great, but on our trial run of the bum's they worked really well and we just stuck with them. We purchased 2-4 every week or so to build up our stash and slowly phased on the disposable diapers. Right now we are using 2-4 disposables per day. We use disposable overnight because I'm not sure how the cloth would hold up to 10+ hours of pee.
Here's our system: We use the diapers throughout the day. Wet diapers go in a tote bin upstairs in a storage area. Diapers with poo need to be cleaned out. I either grab an extra wet wipe or two and peel if off and throw the wet wipe in the small garbage can we have on the garage steps (we use it for disposables as well) or take it in the bathroom and use toilet paper to grab it and flush it away. It all depends on the consistency. It then goes upstairs into the tote.
At the end of the day when we change the babies and put them in a disposable to go to sleep, one of us throws all the diapers from the day in the wash. We run them through on a cold water cycle (no detergent). After the babies are in bed and we're heading to bed, one of us throws in a bit of detergent (you don't use much at all) and runs the diapers through on a hot cycle. In the morning when we get up, we put them in the dryer. The outside shell is supposed to be air dried, but we don't have enough to get by waiting for them to air dry at the moment so I dry them on low. Within about 30 minutes they are dry and ready to go! One of us will get them out and stuff them and we're set to go for the day!
What I don't like: taking out the inserts at the end of the day is kind of gross (they are soaked with pee), when Evan is very active (jumping around in his activity chair) he sometimes wets out, removing poo from a diaper is just not on the top of my list of fun things to do (especially now that we are moving on to solid foods), they are bulky under clothes and not convenient for going out (we do disposables if we are going to be out).
What I like: the bum.genius diapers fit them from 8-35 pounds (the g.diapers came in different sizes so we would have had to buy new shells as they grew), it doesn't take as much effort as I thought (once we got used to them the cloth routine was just part of the day), it's incredibly fantastic to NOT have to go to the store to buy diapers and spend $ every week on them, they are incredibly cute (check out the Einstein diaper we recently picked up! Equations all over and it says I'm a genius, they are more natural and I don't have to worry about diaper rash or blow outs (haven't had either) and we're doing our part to help reduce our carbon foot print.
If you are thinking about cloth diapering, I highly recommend waiting for a few weeks/months before starting it. If we would have started it right away when we brought the babies home, I know we would have gotten overwhelmed and would have quit. It surprisingly is not a lot of work; much less than we both had anticipated.
That's my take on cloth diapering. We kept it simple and it's working. I LOVE it and highly recommend it!