Are you considering using cloth diapers for your twins? I asked dozens of twin parents how their experiences went with cloth diapers, and here I’ll share the pros and the cons of cloth diapers for twins.
Advantages of Cloth Diapers for Twins
The sheer amount of diapers that you go through as a twin parent is mind blowing. We’re talking thousands and thousands of diapers by the time your twins are potty trained. So a huge advantage of cloth diapers over disposable diapers is that you’re throwing away less diapers.
You’re throwing away less stuff and that is better for the environment and for your twin when they get older.
Another advantage of cloth diapers over disposable diapers is that of cost. You can save a lot of money by purchasing a reasonable amount of cloth diapers, and then cleaning those regularly and reusing them as opposed to purchasing disposable diapers that are used and thrown away.
Some twin parents note that their twins’ bums are happier in cloth diapers versus disposable diapers.
Disposable diapers are made with who knows what kind of materials and chemicals that are constantly in contact with your baby’s bum. Those could irritate them more than just fabric.
Quicker to Potty Trained
Many twin parents who use cloth diapers for their twins note that they’re able to potty train their twins earlier than those twins that are in disposable diapers.
Think about the purpose of a disposable diaper which is to wick away all that moisture and discomfort away from the skin as quickly as possible.
(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)
So your kid can run around with a full diaper with minimal discomfort. However, with cloth diapers, that’s not the case. They’re going to be up close and personal with their wetness or their poops. That’s going to make them want to get out of that cloth diaper as quickly as possible. That leads to them wanting to potty train earlier than with a disposable diaper.
Reuse with Other Children
If you have other children after your twins, you can do hand-me-downs with those cloth diapers. Assuming, of course, that you took good care of them while your twins were in diapers.
Disadvantages of Cloth Diapers for Twins
Now, let’s talk about some of the cons of cloth diapers for your twins.
The big one is that you have to actually take care of and clean those diapers after your child soils them.
If they pee in the diaper, you have to wash it. If they poop in the diaper, you have to wash it.
That is an extra layer of work that you have to handle in addition to caring for the twins on a regular basis.
If you don’t have the time or patience to take care of those dirty diapers after you change a diaper, maybe cloth diapers are not for you.
They definitely are not as easy as just taking off a disposable diaper and throwing in the trash.
This constant washing requires not only your time, but also your resources. You’ll be running your washing machine a lot. Or you can also outsource these diapers to a local service who can come and wash diapers and give you clean ones in return – which of course has its own expenses and costs.
Many twin parents report that overnight usage of cloth diapers can get kind of hit and miss.
Cloth diapers may not be able to hold the amount of pee or poop that your child may put in the diaper overnight when compared to a disposable diaper.
Many twin parents may have their kids in cloth diapers during the day and then at night they put them into disposable diapers to get that extra absorption over night. This way you don’t have to worry about leaks or blowouts.
Sizing for Preemies
Twins are typically born early and are typically born smaller than your normal singleton baby.
As such, cloth diapers may not fit that really small baby bum in the beginning.
Your twins may have to wear some preemie diapers or some newborn disposable diapers before you can move them to cloth diapers as they get a little bit bigger.
Traveling with Twins in Diapers
If you want to travel with your twins while they are still in diapers, traveling with cloth diapers can be a little tricky.
When you’re on a long road trip or a flight, it’s a lot easier for you to change a disposable diaper and just throw it in the trash than to take care of washing cloth diapers during your journey.
Some twin parents who have cloth diapers on their babies may have that while they’re at home during a normal routine, but then when it comes time to travel or go somewhere, they may put them in disposable diapers for convenience.
Day Care Restrictions
Check with your twins’ daycare if they support cloth diapers. Many daycares just want your babies that are not potty trained to be in disposable diapers. That way it’s a lot easier for a daycare to change those diapers, put them in a new diaper and move on with their lives.
So if you are adamant about having your twins in cloth diapers, your daycare may not actually support that and they may be in disposables most of the day.
Pros vs Cons of Cloth Diapers
You go through lots of diapers with twins, so you could save some money with cloth, but there is extra work and effort and a few inconveniences with cloth diapers, as opposed to disposable diapers.
Many twin parents I talked to were not 100% cloth diapers. They either use them for a season and then switch to disposable or based on the circumstances of the day they use disposable or they use cloth diapers. So if you feel that’s something you want to give a try with your twins, it’s totally doable.
See your twins handle cloth diapers. See how you handle the extra burden of cloth diapers, and then it’s okay to switch. It’s okay to change your mind later, or your twins may just potty train early and so you get out of diapers much faster than you would have otherwise.
If you’re still in those early years with your twins, I recommend you pick up a copy of my book, “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins” that will guide you through the first couple years with the ups and downs and the challenges of parenting twins.