Cloth diapering two or more babies can be quite challenging. When I was pregnant with my 4th son and my 3rd son was still in diapers I started buying one size diapers so that they could share them. I bought a huge stash of one size fitteds thinking that once the baby grew a little they would both wear them. (Or maybe that was just my excuse so I could shop...) Then the baby was born and he was tiny! At 7lbs 2 oz even newborn size diapers were big! I had been doing research and saw pictures of tiny newborns in one size diapers so I thought maybe I could make it work. No way. They completely swallowed my poor baby.
So I used the newborn diapers and waited for him to grow. A couple of months later I tried again. The fitteds I had were still enormous, but the one size pocket diapers were starting to fit. I started become obsessed over finding the perfect system that would work for both my boys. Problem was, they were both so different. One was built big, and one was skinny. One was a heavy wetter who was sensitive to wetness, and the other was a toddler, so peed even more. I tried one size diaper after one size diaper. If I loved a diaper for one son, I hated it for the other. Many dollars later I realized there was no 'perfect solution'.
Sharing Diapers or Separate Stash?
I want to bring a bit of wisdom to you from my experience. Every baby is different - even when it comes to their diapering needs. It is best to be prepared with a newborn (or small) stash for your upcoming arrival, and no more. Then see what your babies needs and preferences are and start building from there. This will give you a better idea of whether or not your two children can share diapers or not. You may end up with one child who has a suedecloth allergy and one who has a sensitivity to wetness - you really just never know!
Once you know what your baby's needs are - it won't take long to realize if your baby hates to be wet or gets a heat rash from PUL - and their size - petite, long rise, chunky thighs, etc., then you will have a good feel for what to get.
It is possible for 2 (or more) babies to share the same diapers, but not always. I have read many other moms who went on the same search for a diaper that their children could share with no luck. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and have two stashes. Hopefully you can keep it simple by just having one type and brand of diaper per child. And actually it can be fun having the two stashes. It might be nice to be able to switch it up with different diapers.
How Many Diapers Will I Need?
I would have 18-24 for your newborn and 12-18 for an older baby. That should easily get you through a day with a little extra left over, just in case. If you are having more than one newborn, then I would double the number.For example 36-48 newborn or small size diapers would be a good number for twins. Just remember, you cannot wash more than 24-36 diapers (Depending on the size. Newborn diapers are very small, so you can fit more in a load).
If you are on a budget, try to stick with prefolds or flats. That way you can have enough diapers for both children without breaking the bank. Another great option to save money are All In Two Systems . These systems have shells (or covers) with different soakers and you change the soaker but reuse the shell unless it's soiled. These AI2 systems often come with either a natural fiber or a stay dry soaker options. This way you buy less shells and more soakers, which really does add up the savings.
Washing Diapers For 2
I would suggest that with 2 in diapers you wash every day, or every other day. The amount of diapers will quickly add up, and you don't want to wash too many diapers at once. If you have more than one type of diapers, you will not need any special wash routines. All diaper types can be washed together once they have been prepped. You will need to watch out for any sensitivity to detergents. Even though your older child may not have any issues, your newbie might. It is really amazing how different siblings can be! Other than that you can follow your basic wash routine and everything should be fine.
One last note on diapering a newborn and an older baby. Many older siblings have a hard time adjusting to a new baby. They may shows signs of jealousy or regression. They may have a period of time where even if they were starting to potty learn, they go back to being very baby-like. This is totally normal. Take diaper changes as a bonding time and enjoy it. Your older child will appreciate the extra attention and with lots of love and affection things will slowly go back to normal. You may even want to spoil them with a new diaper because the new baby will have so many. It will make them feel special too.
While diapering two babies can be challenging, it can also be fun. Make a schedule for changing your babies,and try to change them one after the other when possible. It will make it much easier. And remember, if you have an older child they will probably be potty learning before you know it. Just enjoy diapering two while it lasts - it makes for adorable photos!
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