Want to know what I use to cloth diaper the twins?
I know you’ve been waiting for this blog post with even more anticipation than the ninth season of Game of Thrones, and I’ve been writing it and rewriting it in my head for months, waiting to finally have time to type it up. I think looking after twins is a better excuse than whatever George RR Martin has for not finishing A Song of Ice and Fire!
I moved the twins into one-size diapers surprisingly fast, considering how small they were when they came home from the NICU. At just 5 lb, I expected to keep them in newborn diapers for a couple of months. But the funny thing about newborns is that they pee an impressive amount for humans of such small size.
Tiny, adorable diapers do not have as much absorbent real estate as full-size diapers, and the mommy with twins in cloth who’s pumping breastmilk non-stop and ferrying her older kids all over the place needs all the absorbent real estate she can get so she’s not constantly dealing with double the leaks.
The boys starting wearing bumGenius Elemental all-in-ones (AIOs) at 7–8 lb, and I was surprised at how well they already fit on my scrawny little misters, and I was extremely satisfied with the absorbency. Sure, the fit was a bit bulky at this size, but that’s a trade off I’ll gladly accept when it means I get more time between diaper changes.
Having mainly bumGenius pocket diapers in our stash with just a few Elementals, I soon learned the agony of having to stuff inserts into cloth diapers for three children. (Miss Cub was in diapers until the twins were about 6 months old.) What was once a pleasant and Zen-like activity when it was just one child’s diapers became a constant battle when there were three bums to cover. I quickly acquired more Elementals for the twins and have continued to use and love them now that they’re almost a year old.
The bumGenius Elemental has gone through three redesigns since I first started using cloth, and I first published my review of the current version in January 2017 when my daughter was 18 months and I never dreamed I was going to be adding twins to the family. (And if you want even more of a flashback, I reviewed it in its second iteration when my son was a toddler!)
I loved the Elemental 3.0 on my daughter, but my stash was already more or less complete, so I didn’t add more of them to the diaper drawer. Since the twins were born, I’ve stocked up on as many more as my affiliate commissions and blog income can afford because they’re my favourite to use on my fluffy-butt duo.
bumGenius Elemental Specs
- Fits approximately 8–35+ lb
- One-piece diaper lined with organic cotton and two sewn-in inserts
- Stretchy closure tabs
- 2 x 2 waist snaps
- 3 rise levels
Why do I love the bumGenius Elemental for twins?
If I love this diaper for my twins, it means you’re likely to also love it for your singleton. What I’ve found when it comes to testing products on two babies rather than one is that my standards are even higher and the testing is even more rigorous. This is why I felt compelled to re-review this diaper!
My tolerance for the occasional leak or a more fiddly design was much higher when I was cloth diapering only one baby. Now that it’s everything times two (and even times three in those pre-potty-trained-preschooler days), if it ain’t perfect, it ain’t passing muster.
– A one-size design that fits early
Some one-size diapers don’t start fitting until closer to 10–12 lb. I was surprised and thrilled that our Elementals fit on the twins at 8 lb. Let’s face it, most twins are born smaller than average!
– Easy, one-piece design
I used to love stuffing my diapers! Pocket diapers were my friends. I still have lots of them because I need lots of diapers … but I always reach for my AIOs first because come laundry day, they’re the easiest to deal with. I don’t have to unstuff them when tossing them in the wash, I don’t have to fish out inserts and re-stuff them when they’re clean.
– Superior absorbency
I find our Elementals sufficiently absorbent for three to four hours of daytime use, and this is more than many other AIOs I have tested. I don’t have time to fuss with adding boosters, although it’s definitely easy to boost this diaper, and if I do need to in the toddler years I’ll let you know. (I didn’t need to on my daughter, and she used her Elementals until age 3.)
– Easy fit and adjustment
I don’t have time to tuck under or over, snap and re-snap, tug one way and another in order to get a good, leakproof fit on my boys. I have perfected the ten-second diaper change, and the fastest change is when I’ve got an Elemental in my hands. The one thing you must pay attention to when putting on an Elemental is to make sure the cotton inner isn’t rolled out at the waist or legs, which will lead to moisture wicking onto clothing.
I wash my diapers in hot water with Tide and dry on low. Each of my diapers (sorry, the twins’ diapers) gets washed at least twice a week. The Elementals that I first started using in January 2017 on my daughter are still in great condition two years later, even though it is very normal for cotton to wear down over time, especially around the legs. I also purchased some second-hand Elementals that were used on another child for two years, and they’re looking great too!
These diapers are also designed for easy elastic replacement. I got the elastics replaced on some of the bumGenius diapers I’d been using since 2013, and now they’re good as new.
– 100% natural fibre absorbency
Polyester fibres, whether for absorbency (microfibre inserts) or stay-dry effect (microfleece or microsuede) are very common in cloth diaper design. Unfortunately, like anything made from fossil fuel, the less we use, the better. (And don’t get me wrong … there’s a lot of polyester in our house and I’m barely making a dent in reducing that.) Cotton is by no means a zero-impact fibre, but at the least it is biodegradable and doesn’t release micro-particles into the ecosystem when washed. It also launders easier than microfibre. Obviously the polyurethane laminate outer shell of the diaper is also a synthetic fabric, but it’s basically unavoidable when needing a waterproof layer.
- Stains easily (although stains come out in the sun like magic)
- Long drying time (if you air-dry your diapers, these aren’t for you)
- Expensive initial investment (a full stash of Elementals is pricey … but so are three years of disposable diapers for twins)
- No stay-dry layer: if your child is very sensitive to wetness, cotton against the skin may be problematic
Cloth diapering twins isn’t easy, but that’s because pretty much nothing with multiples is easy. I choose to cloth diaper because I sincerely and truly love it. There are environmental benefits and financial benefits that are especially evident knowing I’ve got diapers that have been used on not one, not two, not three but four children.
To make cloth diapering twins easier, I need diapers that WORK. I need diapers that are EASY. I need diapers that are MADE TO LAST. For me, the bumGenius Elemental checks all those boxes.