Diapers: When we ran out of the stash of preemie Pampers Swaddlers we brought home from NICU, my trio went straight to Green Mountain Diaper prefolds (the flat, rectangular, old-fashioned variety), starting with the orange-edged size. Diapers are fastened with Snappis (not pins) and get overnight absorbency boosts from GMD’s polar fleece and hemp inserts.

Covers: We started with Thirsties Duo Wraps in size one. For months now, we’ve used one-size WonderWraps, which have unfortunately been discontinued. For the curious, I love them so because the binding/elastic at the top of the cover almost never folds into the diaper, allowing clothes to get wet. Thirsties and Blueberry covers both do this, leading to numerous outfit changes and a furious mommy.

Laundry: Our washer is a Maytag Bravos HE top loader; our dryer is a basic Kenmore. We made our own diaper sprayer with the help of YouTube and our own detergent with the help of The Eco-Friendly Family. Also essential is Biokleen BacOut, which I buy monthly at our local health food store. Dirty diapers are kept in pail liners (no pail, though, they hang free) – a Wahmies near the diaper sprayer (so we don’t drip while transporting) and a GroVia near the washer.

Diaper cream: Northern Essence has wonderful cloth-diaper-friendly products. I love the All Natural Salve (great on general redness) and All Better Butt(er) Cream (awesome for yeast rashes).

How many diapers? We had 40 of the first size, 52 of the second and are now using 36 of the third size. I was able to do diapers every third day with 52, but I’m now on an every-other-day routine. Each kid is different, but plan to buy enough to last 2-3 days. You don’t want to wait more than 3 days to open your dirty diaper laundry. Trust me.

Cloth diapers for triplets? Are you crazy? You tell me. Here’s an excerpt from my first blog entry on CDing:

For fun with numbers, that first size that lasted us two months cost $72 for the diapers alone. Averaging 180 diapers a week (based on 40 every day and a half-ish), that would have cost us about $44 a week for Pampers Swaddlers. Multiplied by eight weeks, which we all know is actually less time than two months, we would have spent $342 in just our first eight weeks home from the NICU.

THREE-FOUR-TWO. Versus $72.

But you spend money on the covers, you say. Sure, but we have six covers. That’s two covers per butt in our house. The covers cost about $12 each, so throw in another $72, and you still aren’t even at half of what eight weeks of disposable diapers would have cost us. Plus, we’re still using those same covers now that we’re on the next size diapers.

Crazy? No. Genius? Totally.

For the longer version of our cloth diapering story check out my first (eight weeks into CDing) and second (just short of a year into CDing) blog entries.


13 Responses to Triplets in cloth diapers

  1. Melissa says:

    I’ve been stalking this page for days. We’re getting ready to start cloth diapering my 1 year old for the simple fact that I added up what it would cost for disposables for the next two years. Wish I would have started a year ago. Thanks for all your information!

  2. erica says:

    I cloth diapered my daughter, now 4. Is it weird that I actually MISS it?! 😛

  3. Marisa says:

    Heck, if you can cloth diaper triplets I don’t think anyone else has an excuse. I thought one CD’ed butt was cute, but three is just over the top adorable. LOVE.

  4. […] Twitter: @wordlily, @elibrarian13, @jennandtonica (she cloth diapers her TRIPLETS), @theecochic (she is local-to-me and runs a cloth diapering blog). I bet they would all be happy […]

  5. Julie J says:

    Cloth diapering really becomes a state of mind in the long run. You know economically you really should do it…and its great for the environment, but you have to get into the mind-space that its all worthwhile as well. We cloth diapered both of our children using disposables only for special occasions or if our son or daughter was unwell. That system worked great for us and saved us a great deal of money as well.

  6. Em says:

    My nieces and nephew are triplets and they use cloth diapers too. I could be TOTALLY wrong because I’ve just got a singleton in cloth diapers, but as long as you have a laundry tub and a good system, it doesn’t seem that much harder than cloth diapering one kid. I have to launder diapers every other day just so they don’t start to stink, and since they don’t really NEED to be folded, it doesn’t seem like laundering 15 diapers would be that much harder than laundering 50…but again, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Just an observation.

  7. Jen says:

    If you can cloth diaper 3 babies at once, no one can ever say cloth nappies are too much work. Good on you. Gorgeous babies too (even cuter with cloth bottoms :)

  8. Alexis says:

    This is fantastic!

  9. I wish I had come across this post earlier!!!! I used to cloth diaper my son with lil helper charcoal cloth diapers and they were excellent. As i have come through your article I’d certainly recommend it to my friends.

  10. Well, I have been using cloth diapers since a while now. I bought them from Lilhelper.ca and Im really impressed with the material of it. It is soft, easy to wash and the best thing, it avoids bum rashes. I would really recommend it to all mothers. Thanks you article is nice.

  11. Grace Powell says:

    I can still remember back then when mothers were using cloth diapers and the pain and agony of having to wash it. Then came the disposable diapers hence diaper rash and more money spent and recycling issues, etc. I guess going back to cloth diapers will help us, economically-wise. Great post!

  12. Kelly says:

    I know this is an old post, but I was/am wondering- with cloth diapering 3 kids, what bag did you use as a diaper bag to fit all of that?! Cloth diapers are SO MUCH MORE bulky than disposable diapers and if we want to go out for a while, I just don’t know what is feasible to put it all in that isn’t a suitcase…

    • Jenny says:

      It’s a great question! We were homebodies for much of ETC’s first year – partly because of preemie health concerns, partly because of routines, partly because they required so much STUFF – but my favorite big bag that holds enough cloth diapers (we used prefolds, so they were flat) is the Petunia Picklebottom Abundance Boxy Packpack. In a pinch, I’d toss a stack of diapers into the car on their own and grab as needed. Does that make sense?

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