When my youngest son was 11 months old we welcomed a newborn baby girl into our home. We are foster parents and although we haven’t had many children come through our home, when we do, they are treated just like our own.
For this reason, cloth diapering was the only option in my mind. I have previously cloth diapered each of my 4 children, one at a time. Having two babies so close in age was a challenge and throwing cloth diapering into the mix added a new element to say the least.
Below I have come up with some ideas to make cloth diapering 2 babies easier.
Storage. I have a full drawer on the change table just for diapers. (I know for some ‘collectors’ this seems way too small). I don’t have a huge stash, about 10 diapers for my 1-year-old and about 15 for the newborn. They fit nicely in rows, left side for big baby and rights for little baby.
Keep it organized. This is especially true if you have a nanny, grandparent or husband who does a significant amount of childcare. Believe me I have seen what it looks like for a 25lb+ child to wear a newborn diapers. Spell it out for the caregiver, use labels, bins or colour coding. Whatever works.
Choose your diapers carefully. I am a lazy cloth diaperer. I always have been. I use almost entirely AIOs during the day and fitteds and covers at night. Stuffing pockets while chasing after 5 kids is not where I want to spend my ‘free’ time.
Teach them to share, as early as possible. My boys were big boys (9lbs, 9.5lbs, 10.5lbs), so it wasn’t very long before they were into one size diapers. My latest little girl was much smaller and took a little longer to get a good fit in one size diapers. However, now that it has happened, any diaper can work on either child, with just a few snaps adjusted.
Stay on top of the laundry. I am sure you can picture the piles of laundry at my house every day. I have no choice but to keep that machine running. I do a load of diapers almost every day. One way that I made it a little easier on myself was teaching our babysitter to do laundry at our house. I have a babysitter 1-2 days a week as I work part-time out of the home. If laundry simply takes a day off because I am not home, the hill becomes a mountain!
Shop. I am a typically minimalistic person, but I am also reasonable. If you are struggling to have enough diapers clean, or are overfilling your wetbags, consider adding a few pieces to your stash. You will be surprised how 2-4 diapers can lower your stress level. I contemplated for months on whether I needed a larger wetbag and finally broke down and spent the $14. Yes, $14! It has made a huge difference in my cloth diapering!
Give yourself permission to cheat. There is enough stress and guilt in motherhood that you don’t need to add diapering choice to the list. Disposable diapers, although not great, are sometimes necessary. A sane mom is the most important thing. When I had only one in cloth, we used them exclusively. Now with 2 in diapers, I occasionally give myself a break during travel, illnesses or excessively busy times.
Cat is a neonatal nurse and busy mom to 5 kids. She is the owner of FlipSize Canada and co-owner to TOTS and TOTS: Family. She might occasionally be the mom on her iPhone at the playground, but her kids are loved, cared for and thriving. She believes children need to be inspired to share their gifts and talents with others and work hard to become the person they want to be. Find Cat on Twitter or Facebook to connect.