Advice for pregnant mom with twins - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 05-01-2010, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I am Isabel and I am pregnant with twins (boy/girl). I already have a 4 year old girl. Though I have the experience, I feel like a newbie with the though of twins. What's your advice as far what to "must get" on gear, furniture, baby carriers and such.....Besides getting help after they are born (which I am in the look for that), what other advice can you give me?? Can you tell me which brand is the best as far cloth diapers (did disposables with 1st and it was a waste of money). As far as a pump, which one is good for twins. I am asking because for now I am staying at home but my financial situation will push me to get sooner rather than later a job. I neen to share the load with hubby...... I would apreciate any advice, guidance, help and jokes. I don't want to feel alone on this. Most of my friends are moms of singletons and I feel like the black sheep in the group.....I hope to find a good source of support here. Thanks in advance for the help.
Sincerely,

Isabel
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#2 of 24 Old 05-02-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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I really liked my MotherEase diapers. http://www.mother-ease.com/

As for other gear, two slings were essential, as well as a twin nursing pillow. I used the EZ2Nurse, and it seems to be fairly popular as a twin pillow.

I had boys, and needed much less clothes than I anticipated. With boy/girl twins, you might not find that to be true.

I used more swaddle blankets (just a large piece of flannel, about a yard and a quarter square) than I thought, and had to make more.

Look into family medical leave for the working spouse.

When we ran the numbers, having twin infants in daycare would have eaten all of my husband's salary. He stayed home from about 6-18 months. Before you commit to going back to work, look into the numbers-- remembering things like additional cost for disposible diapers, etc, in your budget.

Good luck, and welcome.

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#3 of 24 Old 05-02-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Congrats and welcome to the forum!

I agree that twins in daycare plus a four year old would be quite expensive. We looked into my working and it just didn't make sense unless we worked opposite schedules and then we had no family time. What I did instead was start to grow my home based photography business. Since I work for myself I can be quite flexible with my time and editing I do from home (although that's QUITE a challenge with kids hanging on you )

Anyway, I agree that an EZ2Nurse pillow was essential for me. I used Thirsties AIO pockets when they were babies and LOVED them (in fact, wish I'd had about 20 more ). I had a good double stroller and a good soft pack and sling. I probably could have done w/o the stroller if I'd had less kids but I had six in six years with my twins taking up the rear. We had to have good mobility and in fact, I'd wished I'd gotten the triple and haven't ruled it out just yet! I didn't use a pump but like I said I am mostly a SAHM. I had an Avent Isis hand pump and it worked fine when I was away shooting births. That and a couple of car seats was all I needed!

You can get away with ONE slightly larger wardrobe of GN stuff for b/g twins at first, I suppose. But I couldn't resist the urge to color code them to ward off the comments. Not that it worked. I still heard "both boys?" all the time. Yes, we're trying to confuse you by dressing this one head to toe in pink".
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#4 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I am considering staying at home for a while. I was thinking of working just because I am petitioning my mom here to the States. She lives in Ecuador and is about to retire from her nursing job (34 years) in Ecuador. She really wants to come and help with the babies so I can go to school. And I am just worry that Immigration would turn me down for not having enough income. But I do know that it would still be a great strecht with daycare.
So I am praying that my husband's income is enough, so I talked to him and he is happy with me staying at home with the kids and later try to take some night classes to get my GED at least. He will be on port long enough to accomplish that (navy). I know that when my older daughter goes to school (in a year), I might be able to afford daycare if my mom is not able to come here. I already got my cribs (thank God) and mattresses. I am still looking for a good twin stroller and I know the rest can be easily get into a second hand store. I really don't care if things are used as long as they are still in wearable conditions. Thanks for the suggestions and I will definitely chek those nursing pillows. Now can you give me more in depth info on cloth diapering?? Is so confusing..In Ecuador when I babysat my sisters kids, we just used plain cloth diapers and secure them at the sides with safety pins. I will probably end up doing that, if I don't get figure it out these whole different cloth diapers options!
Thanks for the advice ladies!!!!!
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#5 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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Congrats!

For me, by far the hardest thing about cloth diapering was figuring it all out (plus ordering, organizing and prepping diapers.) We do use prefold diapers with safety pins. I got mine at Green Mountain Diapers ("GMD"), which is a great site. Actually, I got a lot of our stuff there. I recommend the unbleached prefolds, they seem to be lasting longer. I've been using mine for 20 months now or so, and the bleached ones are showing some wear.

Here were my priorities:
absorbency
easy to clean (deeply when necessary)
easy to put on

I experimented with everything but pocket dipes. I have 2 All-in-ones (Sposoeasy from GMD) which I like, but keep tucked into the pocket of my Ergo for emergencies. Great, but not everyday.

Here's what I ended up with:

Mother's Ease AirFlow covers with snaps (get these! We make do with 8 for twins. 12 would be a little better. They are by far the best covers. Easy to put on, totally leak-proof, nothing to snag in the wash.)

Some Thirsties covers. (Cute, but no air flow, not as easy to put on right the first time, and velcro to make sure to fold over in the laundry.)

Lots of prefolds, all from GMD (Good fit, good quality material and construction)

Some fleece topped inserts from GMD (got these for night time. Nice, but not necessary)

Hemp babies inserts (absorbant and trim, I almost always use these with my prefolds)

Cricketts fitted diapers (my mother and husband's faves, they refuse prefolds. Even I admit Cricketts are hands down better than prefolds and pins. Fast changes. Trimmer, but still very absorbent. But they are a bit more expensive, don't last as long as prefolds, and only have 2 sizes, which is good and bad. Check it out, try a few, and ask for a twin discount. But watch out when you're prepping these. The gorgeously soft flannel-like feel translates to lots of lint on those first loads.)

Love my potty pail too, check out GMD. Use Country Save detergent.

That's about it for cloth diapering twins!

Good luck and congrats!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#6 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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I use FuzziBunz on my two boys. While I rarely find time to stuff them prior to use, it's never hard to stuff the insert in during the change, it seems I just have a constant basket. But I like that they dry quickly and are easy to wash (plus even the grandmas aren't put off by their use).

The most important thing I got was my EZ2Nurse pillow. Now I have two, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, but mine were used (one was free the other free for shipping). The Boppy just doesn't cut it- but I do keep the Boppy in the car. It's easier to nurse both on the run using it.

I'm small and was never really able to hold mine comfortably together in the sling. But I do have a sleepy wrap and put them in one at a time when need be. I have older children, 4 1/2 and 2 1/2, so a stroller was essential. I was able to get a double snap n go on craigslist for $40.

I've found that I haven't needed much more for two than I ever did with one. You need two of things like bouncy seats (if you plan to use them- mine are in constant use), carseats, and high chairs. But I'm still only using just the one crib, barely used the (just one) bassinet, and I'm mostly using the clothing that my son wore a couple years ago and haven't found the need to supplement much at all. More kids = more wash so I'm washing often enough to avoid having to buy a lot.

The thing I've noticed I need the most of is laundry detergent to be quite honest. But I had been doing a lot of laundry before anyway.

I felt much the same as you but this experience has been easier than I imagined it would be. They really just need you, your milk, some diapers, and something to keep them warm.

As far as help, I had help for the first five weeks, all day. It was hard to get both sleeping babies off the nursing pillow, they nursed a lot, and we weren't getting much sleep. They helped mostly with the older kids and with house chores (and cooking). My husband helped at night.

I can't comment on working, thankfully I don't have to, but I do like the Medela Pump in Style pump that I have (even though it rarely gets used). Many of my friends have used it for long-term pumping while working.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#7 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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Me too on the EZ2Nurse!

I really like working out of the house, but I'm lucky to have an easy job and my mom takes care of the twins. It's nice to have some adult time, even if I'm still scatterbrained.

Personal choice, hope it goes the way you want. Just wanted to add that it can be done, and to everyone's benefit!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#8 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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No advice (yet!) but just wanted to say thank you for all the replies! The more information I am armed with the more in control I feel. I know that will all go out the window once they arrive but it makes for a calmer me in the weeks ahead.

DH and I are expecting twins July 15. Holy crap wish us luck.
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#9 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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Hi neighbor! I live in Jacksonville. I don't know any other local AP families who have twins so I'm kind of thrilled to find a north Floridian on this board. I don't have any advice; I just wanted to say hi.

Karen, mama to one toddler (9/07) and twin babies (10/09)
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#10 of 24 Old 05-10-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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The double stroller has really helped me with my twins. I am also new at cloth diapering (didn't do it with my singleton). Check out www.diaperswappers.com if you want to get a bunch of different brand covers for cheap. Then you can invest more in the next size when you know what you like. We do prefolds and covers, but have a few pockets in the diaper bag for outings.

We needed more "stuff' than I expected. I use two bouncy seats (in the bathroom) in order to shower. Downstairs we have two exersaucers and a swing. It really helps me to rotate them so I can spend sometime with their older sister.

Good luck! Oh, and help is essential. I'm still just barely keeping my head above water on my own and use my parents monthly visits to catch up on housework and such.

J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#11 of 24 Old 05-23-2010, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey thanks for the advice....And sorry I didn't post earlier...
I've been thinking and we decided that it will be the best for now for me to stay at home. I do have an easy job (in a way) as clerck in a military daycare. It was good since it allowed me to be close to my daughter who also goes there. But the pay isn't as great and I just can bear the thought of my kids having their first step, word, and everything else without me there. We have been thinking on staying at least a year home and then re-assest our economical situation. I am hoping that we have enough to petition my mom and have her come to the US to live with us ( i am from ecuador). If it happens it will be great since she wants to help with the babies and it will make me feel better to know that if I am not there, my mom (who is the greatest woman on earth) can help and give them the same love she gave me as a child. Though I what I want in that case is to go to school to pursue my degree in nursing and to become a midwife (I think we need more and more to help women re-discover the gift of natural birth). I did got the car seats, stroller and cribs. I am working until the end of July and I am hoping to make enough to get a moby wrap, a playpen, maybe s couple of bouncy chairs and mostly to have enough cloth diapers. I meeting a girl here in Jax who sells a variety of cloth diapers and is gonna give me a demontration in order to help make a decision. Though I have experience using prefolds, which I what I used when caring for my sister's kids in Ecuador years ago. The pump is something I try to get just in case my husband wants to help at nights with the babies and to be able to go out sometimes with my older daughter. I hope to have enough time with her, she is my princess and my first and I don't want5 her to feel left alone when the babies arrived. Oh, and for my jax friend...Send me an email chabela_t@yahoo.com to see if we can get together sometime. And there is an AP group here in jax as well. I am getting info on different playgroups an activities to do around here with like minded parents. There is a LLL group, and HMN group (also has p-laydates), an AP and I know theere are working to resucitate the Natural Parenting group that was here before. If you need any info just email to let you know what I have.....
Now can somebody share your experiences with breastfeeding multiples????
Take care!!
Isabel
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#12 of 24 Old 05-23-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I'm afraid to say it, but #1 for me was no bottles at ALL in the first few months. One of my very good friends was a LLL leader and she recommended I tandem nurse as much as possible in those early weeks. Which I hated, but did, and I had an AWESOME milk supply for the two years we nursed. Once they were older, my daughter would take an occasional bottle while I was at a long birth, which is what I used my hand pump for. Mostly though, just get in there skin to skin, work on ensuring good latches, and don't give up! It can be quite challenging! I tandem nursed every hour and a half for a LONG time.
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#13 of 24 Old 05-23-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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The two main things for me were

Cloth diapering: Pick a system and stick with it. You want easy, easy easy with twins. My easy system was/is 36 bum genius organic cotton all in ones. Nothing to stuff, one piece, easy to put on and take off. They still fit really well at 25 lbs and probably will for a while. They don't work well for itty bitties, but I was too overwhelmed in the first few weeks home from the NICU to handle them anyways. By the time they were 2 months old (1 month home from NICU) I felt like I could handle it.

2 baby containment devices. I know this one is controversial, but sometimes a shower is the difference between feeling like you can make it and feeling like you are going to fall apart. When they were tiny, I'd have two bouncers and put them on the floor of the bathroom. The sound of the water running would put them to sleep quickly and I'd luxuriate in the shower for as long as I could. When they got older, I had a jumperoo and an exersaucer. They'd play happily for 10 minutes so I could jump in and jump out.

Oh, and casseroles! My mom regularly brought me a month worth of casseroles for the freezer for the first 3 months. I never would have eaten without them. I couldn't make them myself because I was on bedrest, so I'd start early (while you have the energy). It will make all the difference later.

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#14 of 24 Old 05-24-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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Another nod to Green Mountain Diapers, I got my prefolds and other things from them almost 9 years ago and they lasted through my singleton and twins. You really do have to be prepared though to consider different body shapes when you CD. You can invest in prefolds, but I'm glad I didn't overly invest in covers at first, because the ones that worked great for DD and one of her brothers did NOT work for the other brother.

I would also see if you can hook up with a MOTC in your area. Yes, it will reflect the crunchiness of your surrounding community, but frankly, it's also nice to be able to talk and meet people FTF who have been there and done that. I actually found it much more relaxing to be around mainstreamer MOTs than AP MOSes on many occasions, once you got past the stage where people talk about sleep training. (It's probably the area that I'm in, most most people I know, singleton moms or multiples moms, breastfeed their kids at least for some period of time, so I received nothing but encouragement even from mainstreamers).

We didn't get much baby equipment with firstborn singleton DD, but we did get one swing and one exersaucer, bouncy chairs, and a playyard/baby fence for the boys. (well, actually the playyard was for my daughter once the boys got mobile--she could set up her elaborate animal and doll arrangments without having to worry about her brothers destroying them and eating them). It was very helpful for when I needed to attend to DD (17 months older) or do something that involved both hands, like nursing. We could have lived without all but the bouncy chairs though.

My only TRULY essential piece of equipment was many La-Z-Boy recliner chair. I took my 30 weeks pregnant but down to the store, and sat in every single chair on disply until I found The One. I slept in The One the last month of pregnancy, pretty much stayed in it full time for the first weeks of constantly nursing babies (I did not put my boys on a feeding schedule and they didn't nurse at the same time very often--I detested that sensation, hopefully you won't because it's much more efficient to nurse them simultaneously, at least before they start grabbing each other and stuff).

I think you also ideally should learn how to accept and direct help. When people ask to help, you should utilize them at all possible. I pooh-poohed the idea of meals being brought to me--until the babies were 3 weeks old and I was sick of takeout and no-prep pantry meals. So when people asked what they could do, I asked one if she could organize meals for us for a few weeks. Good friends I was able to be vulnerable enough to allow to help with some laundry (at least organizing clean laundry) and cleaning, and never got offended when I just dozed in my lovely chair.
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#15 of 24 Old 05-24-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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We didn't buy much baby gear, but what here's a list of essentials in our house: 2 foot-powered bouncy chairs, wraps I made from clearance fabric, a playmat from IKEA, and 2 car seats.

As far as the car seat/stroller thing goes, we bought two infant seats from another twin momma for $100, but never carried the babies around it them (too heavy and the babies are much happier in arms). I know carrying two babies can be very hard for one person, so the travel system strollers are probably best for someone whose twins are large and have low muscle tone. But we were able to carry our 40-weekers until they were big enough to sit in a tandem stroller, which I prefer because it's easier to maneuver and takes up a lot less space in our trunk... Okay, back to car seats. If you don't plan on carrying them around in the infant seats, I would suggest buying convertible car seats. I've just had to order new seats for our boys because they're outgrowing them at 5.5 months. We liked the Maxi-Cosi Priori because two of them will fit in our compact car, it accommodates babies that are 5-40lbs and up to 43-inches tall. Plus, you can keep your babies rear-facing up to 35lbs (the AAP now recommends keeping babies rear-facing until they're 2 years old). Basically, if we had to do it over again, I would have bought these seats to begin with and skipped the infant seats. I was able to find 2008 colors for $109 online (2010 colors sell for $199). And they don't expire for 5-6 years from the date of purchase.

We've been CDing since their umbilical cords fell off. My mom and I made a bunch of fitted diapers that fit them really well from 0-4 months. Now I'm struggling to find time to make the next size up, so if you can afford it, I'd suggest buying your diapers instead of making them. It's just too hard to fit it in when you're figuring out eating, sleeping and sanity. Good luck with your babies!
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#16 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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I teach cloth diapering seminars at a local natural parenting store. Upon request, I made a DVD for friends and family members. So, if you need some help figuring it all out, please check out my cloth diapering 101 seminar now uploaded to youtube in 7 parts.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JaimeeGleisner#g/a

I hope it helps answer your questions!
Good luck!

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#17 of 24 Old 06-23-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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Jaimee! Wow your videos are great! I cloth diapered my boys but only part time mainly because there were so many options and I had such a hard time getting opposite advice on what to use or how to care for them that I just never really felt comfortable investing that much money. The boys wore the ones I had out so I didn't get to use them with my baby girl, but now I know I was the one that wore them out by not taking care of them properly.
Everyone has been asking me what I need with the twins and since we have so many children already I really didn't know what to tell them other than my big present of the twin nursing pillow, now I know what to ask for!
So twin specific question the recommendations you make for the numbers of everything, do you double that with twins??? If so than I am looking at around $400 dollars plus accessories. Wowies. How did you cloth diapering mommies of twins afford the start up price?

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
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#18 of 24 Old 06-23-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Sasha, yes you will need to basically double the numbers for twins. But remember the quantities I quoted were for every other day washing. So, if you're up for washing daily, you can cut down considerably. The most economical route would be prefolds and covers. I would say for every day washing you would want about 3 dozen prefolds, 4 snappiz, 9 covers, 4 large wetbags, 4 travel wetbags (or 2 larger travel wetbags), detergent, liners, and about 60 wipes. This will run you about $400 new, you're right (if you make most of your own wipes and solution). But you can get most of these things used on www.diaperswappers.com. It's a forum just like this one where you can buy, sell, and trade cloth diapers and accessories. You might be able to cash in on someone's entire stash. Also check out the Econobum packages, seconds (imperfect diapers) sold on manufacturer's websites like Cottonbabies and Fuzzi Bunz, and clearance deals. Right now bumGenius is discontinuing their 3.0 one-size diaper and coming out with something new (stay tuned June 29th for details!), so there are sales all over the internet for those like buy 4 get the 5th one free. And always keep in mind that this initial investment is nothing compared to how much you would spend on disposables (around $3000 or more for twins!!!!). And you can sell your stuff afterward! Also, I hear that local MOM's clubs often have gear sales and you might find diapers there. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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#19 of 24 Old 06-24-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Sorry I just skimmed the other responses -- apologies if I'm repeating what PPs have already said.

Re: cloth diapers -- it really depends on your preferences (which can change over time) and how your babies are shaped (some brands might fit them better than others). I really advocate trying out different brands and types ON YOUR BABY before buying more than 1-2 of anything. Things sound good in theory when you're poking around online, but sometimes they work very differently when you put it on your own real baby, KWIM?

Sashabreeze -- IMHO, if you are willing to wash everyday, you can get away with a smaller stash when CDing twins. The good news is you'll have enough dirty diapers every day to justify running a load of laundry. To start, I would budget enough diapers to last 2 whole days. That'll give you time to have one days' worth in the washer every night, plus a little extra. To extend your budget, you can buy used or make part of the stash prefolds or flats (maybe you had planned to do that already though).

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#20 of 24 Old 06-24-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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Also wanted to add that I CD'd without any wetbags or pail liners or special detergent. I think they are all things that are very nice to have but you don't have to have them if you are watching your budget. IMHO, a laundry basket or mesh trash can or similar is perfectly suited for dry pailing -- the open air flow design actually cuts down on odors. Use what you already have. When you go out, a plastic bag from the grocery store works pretty well to hold used dipes. Maybe it's not as earth-friendly, but it also doesn't cost anything. And I used regular laundry detergent on the dipes--optical brighteners and all--and never had any problems. Your mileage may certainly vary, but just wanted to throw this out there

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#21 of 24 Old 06-25-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I was actually thinking about poking around on here and trying to see how hard it is to make our own prefolds. I am not great at sewing but I can make basic stuff like simple skirts and stuff, so I "think" I might be able to get away with making those. I also feel confident that I could make the wipes. I have a ton of baby receiving blankets in storage that have been gifted to me over the years that I keep meaning to make a patchwork quilt with, but now it looks like they will be wippies lol. I believe the covers would be way over my head so I definitely will have to buy those.
Thank you guys for so much input. As expensive as CD may be starting out with twins I realize disposables would end up costing us waaaaay more. I'm so pleased to find all of this out now when I am still early enough on to get things done rather than later when I would just feel overwhelmed.

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
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#22 of 24 Old 06-25-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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Prefolds are like $2 each -- even counting shipping. They are usually sold a dozen at a time. May not be worth your time to make?

The receiving blankets would make good wipes. If you run out of time just cut them into squares of the right size and you don't have to serge the edges. I've done this with onesies (to turn them into t-shirts) and they don't unravel in the wash, contrary to what I would have thought.

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#23 of 24 Old 06-28-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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SashaBreeze, as a pp pointed out, prefolds are pretty cheap and it would not be worth your time to make. Especially if you're making them out of cotton or cotton gauze. They just won't work as well as DSQ CPF (diaper service quality Chinese prefolds), which will absorb well and take a beating. Plus they are great for other uses like doublers in premium dipes, burp cloths, rags to wipe up spills and potty accidents, etc. I agree to make wipes out of your receiving blankets. If you're especially motivated, I would suggest doing double sided wipes (flannel on one side and terry on the other- use a serge stitch to sandwich them together).

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#24 of 24 Old 06-28-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Thank you all for the heads up.
I had only been looking at the package deals for the diapers and didn't realize the pre-folds were that cheap. The diapers I used with the older boys were all gifts.

For the double sided diaper wipes would bath towel terry work? We have a surplus of towels and we are getting rid of all our extra stuff to help simplify things for me and I was planning on donating the extra towels but if they would work... well then score!

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
and yes, I blog. thumb.gif
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