Everyone will have different motivations for choosing to cloth diaper. When you’re looking at the costs (financially and environmentally) of having two babies in diapers (in addition to any older toddlers you may have), you have double the reasons to give it a try!
First, SOFTNESS! As many improvements as disposable diaper companies make to soften their product, it just doesn’t compare. Soft, supple cotton prefolds or fitteds against a baby’s bottom seem much gentler than the paper liner of a disposable diaper. I smile whenever I diaper my baby and the smooth suedecloth inner of a BumGenius– or thick, plush fleece inner of a Happy Heiny– snuggles up against their delicate bottoms. I can’t help but think of which I would prefer– paper undies, or soft cloth? It’s just not even a close contest!
Second, FUNCTIONALITY! I like that there are several different kinds of diapering systems to meet my needs– prefolds or fitteds with covers, pocket diapers with inserts, and all-in-ones. Bring to that diversity an array of inserts and liners with different feels, thicknesses, and water wicking capabilities, and it’s easy to find a diaper combination for every need. Regular day use, overnight, long trips– you can keep your baby soft and comfortable, without any unnatural chemicals (like may be found in some disposables) or overheating (too high temperatures in disposable diapers on boys has been linked to possible fertility problems later in life).
Third, COST! At around $.30 per diaper for typical disposables (and more for natural disposables), disposables are expensive! If we estimate 15 diaper changes a day for each of your newborns, that’s a cost of $62 each week during the newborn period. Estimating 10 diaper changes per day in an older baby, that’s still a cost of $42 per week. For the first year of disposable diapers, you could spend upwards of $2704. Add in two more years until potty training, and you’re looking at possibly spending well over $7000 on diapers in the early years with your twins. For well under $700, you could get a basic diapering system to carry your children from newborns through potty training. Assuming you follow care instructions, those diapers will also still be around for additional children to use. Water or energy used in laundering would be nowhere near $3000. What a savings!
Fourth, CONVENIENCE! Many of today’s diapering systems are no more complicated to use than disposables. Most moms are already doing a load of laundry every day, so adding in an additional load of diapers every 2-3 days is not a big deal.
Fifth, THE ENVIRONMENT! Whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or not, most of us agree that we are willing to do little things to help preserve the environment for our children’s children. Our good stewardship sets an example for our children, and helps in practical ways. Studies commissioned by disposable diaper companies have tried to refute that cloth is better for the environment, and counter-studies commissioned by cloth diaper service organizations have tried to confirm that cloth is better. This is a place for good, old fashioned common sense– which do you think is better for the environment? Several thousand paper and plastic diapers in landfills, not even processed as human waste, or a few dozen cloth diapers?
With so many great reasons to cloth diaper, why not give it a shot?
(For a more in-depth and well-researched look at cloth vs. disposables, check out Joy of Cloth Diapers (http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/diapers/joy-of-cloth.html) by Jane McConnell at Mothering Magazine.