Gear and Supplies

Lesson 3 of 3: “Diapers”

Diapers… This is a topic I didn’t know a lot about when I was pregnant with my boys, and also quite frankly, didn’t really care about, since I assumed “disposable” was much easier, and with twins, hey, easy is key! Right?  WRONG!!!

cloth_diaper

The visions I had when a friend mentioned cloth were of diaper pins and overflowing yucky pails of gross diapers. As it turns out, things have changed considerably over the past decade in the cloth diaper market. Check these out:
Ava’s Apple Tree
My Lil’ Sweet Pea
Lil’ Helper

and there are many, many more!!!

Because cloth diapers were not really discussed in any great detail in our own prenatal classes, I committed to do a little research so that I could present the options to my clients when I began teaching classes myself. At the end of the day, the choice of cloth vs. disposable is of course your own. I only want to present you with the “other side” so that whatever you choose, your decision can be an informed one.

The main three factors to consider with cloth are COST, HEALTH and ENVIRONMENT…

1. COST

Twins use about 16-24 diapers a day, so that’s almost a pack a day.  Triplets use 24-36 diapers a day, and quads even more!  Even with the no-name brand diapers, you can soon figure out the prohibitive cost! And disposable diaper-clad babies tend to take longer to toilet train (because the diapers are so absorbent, when they are developmentally ready to “feel wet”, they don’t, so there is little motivation to train), so you are looking at about a 2-3 year, ongoing financial commitment. Having recently experienced this first hand, I can tell you it is a pricey habit, lol!

The initial outlay for cloth is several hundred dollars, but then you are done, no more on-going expenses. Also, if you register for cloth diapers, you are more likely to get them as a gift than disposable (who wants their gift to go in the garbage?!) Diaper services exist for cloth diapers… What a great in-law gift: the service picks up the diapers and pail, and delivers a new stock for the days/week ahead.  Just Google “diaper service” in your city, or ask around at your local multiples support group.

2. HEALTH

According to a number of studies, cloth diapered babies tend to have diaper rash less frequently than “disposable babies”. (This is likely because cloth babies’ parents tend to be more vigilant about changing regularly.) Research is now also linking disposable diapers to reproductive issues and other health problems. Makes sense, when you consider all those chemicals and bleaches are right next to their “parts” for those early, sensitive years….

3. ENVIRONMENT

We all hear about the environmental impact of disposable diapers. But until you’ve lived through the volumes of diapers with twins, it really is quite inconceivable. WOW, were there ever a lot each week!!! Having used disposable myself (before getting knowledgeable about the ease of cloth), I am often ashamed at the legacy I am leaving my children.

Notes Lynda Haddon from Ottawa, Ontario, “The vast quantity of disposables, one of which  takes about 250 years to biodegrade, end up in the landfill, and parents of multiples make a HUGE impact in this department.  Our  water tables are filling up with drain-off sewage from landfills,  which contaminating them.”

Be aware of the impact of your choices.

If you would like more information on cloth before deciding, I invite you to contact Susan at Diaper-eez in Toronto’s west end. She is a real guru when it comes to cloth diapering, and will happily spend a considerable amount of time with you in her store going over the various options. The best part is that should you decide to go with cloth, she offers a twins discount! (Please let her know that Vera sent you.)

If in the end you decide to go with disposable, I strongly recommend choosing a brand name like Pampers or Huggies, at least at the beginning. Their Velcro-like tabs tend to be easier to pull off and reposition than the more tape-like generic brands, and while this may seem like a little thing, it is rather an irritant when you are sleep deprived and needing to change multiple diapers a day! Also the brand names are a bit softer on newborns than their generic counterparts.

Congratulations, you’re halfway through the course! Do you have any comments, complaints or compliments Classes One or Two? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please provide your feedback on the survey linked here!

Let me know if you need/want any further info on diapers and/or any other topic thus far, otherwise I look forward to seeing you in Section Three – FEEDING!

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