With the recent addition of another sweet bundle of love to our family, I now have two tiny bums in cloth diapers. One bum belongs to my 20 month old son and the other (much tinier) bum belongs to my newborn daughter. I recently blogged about my newfound love for prefold diapers during the newborn stage, born out of many hours of obsessing over online pictures of babies in different kinds of newborn diapers. I’m not gonna lie – it was a fun hobby for a while to research all the brands and options and look at those sweet tiny babies in their little fluffy dipeys… And now the reality hits – I have TWO children. In diapers at the same time. I’m not only outnumbered by munchkins, but their sweet little tushes are constantly creating more laundry!! (I’ve heard once you push past to three or more children, somehow being outnumbered is not that big of deal anymore, but I’m still adjusting!)
So anyways, what is it like having two babies in diapers at the same time? Well, in some ways not that different from having one baby in diapers – only more so. My son is a pretty regular kind of guy…one (enormous) poop a day, usually in the morning (sometimes daddy gets that one before going to work – yay!) and then his wet diapers get changed maybe every 3-4 hours. He’s also getting to the age where he stays dry for longer periods of time. So he’s a pretty easy baby to diaper, aside from the astronomical poos he can generate. Good lord what am I feeding him to cause this?? His baby sister however is still doing the unpredictable newborn thing…and she’s a “sneak-a-pooper” which surprises me, since newborns normally have pretty audible number twos. So she requires much more frequent changing. Between the two of them, I don’t necessarily feel like I change diapers “all day long” but it’s frequent enough to simply be one of those things that is just a part of my life right now. Almost a non-issue, like all those mom things we just say automatically without thinking: “Say please,” “Don’t touch that,” “Shh.”
So while the act of changing the diapers is no biggie, I’m still trying to figure out my laundry system. I’m not washing them together since my toddler’s diapers are (in my opinion) sort of gross between the ammonia stinkies and the knock-your-socks-off poos. I know newborn poop is still poop…but it’s just not as gross. “Milk in, milk out” I always say. Plus, newborn poop doesn’t need to be pre-treated at all, so what goes into the washer is just really different for both of them. So if I wash them separately, do I do them both on the same day, or stagger them? Theoretically, washing them on the same day would make more sense, so that I would have a break day in between wash days. However my son has enough diapers to make it through a three day cycle, and my daughter has barely enough to make it through two. I could wash my son’s diapers on a more frequent schedule, just to keep them together…but I’m still sort of in survival mode here, adjusting to two children, so unless the diaper pail is exploding, I’m not really motivated to wash yet. I’m trying to find a routine where I don’t feel like I’m washing diapers ALL THE TIME, but on the other hand I sort of wonder whether that’s just what happens when you have two children in diapers at once.
But just when I start to feel like, “Hey, this is kind of a lot of work now,” I think about all that lovely money that I’m saving! When I think about how much I could be spending if I fed my baby formula and put both my children in disposable diapers…whew. That would be a very different budget. So I’ll put forward a little more sweat equity for now and try to settle into a new “normal”…whatever that looks like when you’re transitioning to having multiple children! Any veteran moms out there have any tips/suggestions? Leave a comment – we’d all love to hear some been-there-done-that advice!
By Stephanie Gossett