When we discovered we would be having twins, one of the first thoughts (after the shock) was, "How are we going to afford everything needed for two babies?" There are many things that can be shared between two babies (like a swing, clothes, books and toys), but there are several things that you are going to need x2. Some of those items are the most expensive items...such as cribs and car seats. Then there is the infamous double stroller hunt...a good one costs $600+. Fortunately, many baby stores offer a small 10% discount to those purchasing these larger items for twins. It may not seem like much, but it really can help.
Another big baby expense is diapers. There is just no way around the fact that babies need diapers and they need a lot of them. We sat down one day and looked at the cost of disposable diapers and found that it would cost us about $5/day to diaper our babies. It could be less if we bought cheaper diapers or got a great deal, or it could be more if we had to run out quick to get diapers at full price when we didn't realize we were out.
I have changed a lot of diapers in my time, but my only experience had been with disposables. I knew there had to be a way to save some money, so I decided to look further into the cloth diaper options out there. I did a TON of research. I read a TON of reviews. Through my internet searches and visits with friends, I realized that cloth diapering is NOTHING like what it used to be. There is an abundance of cloth diapering options out there, and they really make diapering your baby easy.
After extensive research, I decided that I would cloth diaper my girls. We visited a cloth diaper store (now one of our frequent visits and favorite baby needs stores) and I talked with some employees (and other customers) about what I would need. We decided that our main cloth diaper stash would include Bumgenious 4.0's. The neat thing about these diapers is that they are completely adjustable and will fit your child until they are potty trained. There is also no messing with folding prefolds. They have a pocket in which you "stuff" in your absorbancy (more at night time). We were told, however, that the BG 4.0's often don't fit newborns so we purchased a small stash of Bummis and Thirsties brand covers and prefolds that the girls wore for the first few months (we still use them on occasion, but they are becoming quite snug).
One question we are frequently asked is, "Do you wash your own diapers or use a diaper service?" The answer is, "We wash them ourselves!" Right now it is really easy since the girls are only fed breastmilk which is water soluble. We just throw the diapers in the washer (about every other day), give them a pre-rinse, wash and extra rinse. We hang the covers to dry and throw everything else in the dryer. When the girls begin solid foods we may have an extra step at times. Fortunately, there is they wonderful gadget...a diaper sprayer. It attaches to the base of the toilet (connected to water) and you use it to spray your diaper clean into the toilet. No more swishing the diapers in the toilet...you keep your hands away from the yuckies!
With cloth diapers comes a big up front cost. We didn't purchase all of ours at the same time. We made several trips, and bought a few each time, until our stash was "complete." We did calculate all of our costs (diapers, special detergent for washing, and a little extra for energy costs), and we figure we'll break even, compared to cost of disposables, when the girls are 6 months old. We only have about a month to go and then we are just saving money.
I could really go into a lot of details about cloth diapers and how wonderful I think they are (for so many reasons), but I'm not going to go into all of that. If you are interested, I would love to chat. So far, I am SO glad we chose to go this route. It saves us a lot of money, we have almost become addicted to the cute diaper patterns out there and, as an added bonus, we're helping the landfills out.
Oh...and I'll post some pictures soon...