Tegan is mum to identical twin boys, Jude and Leo. She is loving life as a full-time mum before she returns to work next year, and that includes the lack of nappy rash that comes with her cloth nappy use. Tegan admits she was hesitant to choose cloth nappies because of the extra washing that comes with two babies; her parents were not. She describes her parents as hippies and says they didn’t even ask if she was using disposables; they just started buying her cloth nappy items as soon as she was pregnant. Tegan shares how she has overcome some of the challenges that come with reusable nappies and her hack for easy nappy changes.
Welcome, Tegan @wifetomama
Tell us a little about yourself, your family, where you live, and what you love about living where you do?
I’m a mum of identical twins, Jude and Leo, who are our little miracle babes. We also have 3 small dogs, so our house is always crazy!
We live in Launceston, Tasmania, and it is honestly the most beautiful place on earth, but it’s also freezing!
What has made you smile today?
Friends! We have the best community – a friend just visited after being at another friends and she gave her a bowl of soup to pass along to me – how sweet are people!
What does being a mother mean to you?
Showing my boys how to be the best, most loving men. And find what success means to them.
Can you share a little about your journey to becoming a mum?
I share so much more about this on my Instagram page @wifetomama and my blog which is linked, please feel free to have a stalk!
I’ve been married for over 9 years now and have wanted a baby to complete our family. Due to endometriosis, we had to go through IVF and, after having a single embryo transferred, much to our doctor’s shock, he found 2 heart beats! There was a less than 1% chance of the embryo splitting and we have never felt more lucky!!
What is it like being a mum to twin boys?
Hectic! But the best thing in the world!
I’ve always been a busy person and a stickler for organisation and so I feel that prepared me for twin mum life. Every day is different but we follow a routine pretty strictly too so that we stay sane.
How has your journey to becoming a mum and, now, becoming a mum parenting changed you?
I honestly don’t feel it has too much; I may be wrong in saying that but I don’t feel too different. I’ve always been a natural mum and was known to many as mama T for years because of it so I feel we’ve just fallen into this new change easily.
The journey to becoming a mum definitely made me stronger than I realised I could be.
Which moments of motherhood make your heart the happiest?
The smiles!! My boys have smiles that will melt your heart! I just hold them and cry sometimes because I am so happy.
What do you consider to be your greatest strength as a mum?
We go with the flow easily. I’ve had a number of people comment on the fact we just get out and continue life as normal whereas there are many mums with only 1 child who don’t find getting out of the house as easy as we do.
What has been the greatest challenge of motherhood to date?
But also the boys spending the first 6 weeks of their lives in hospital. I really struggled not being able to be their mum in that time and not having the chance to breastfeed them because of it.
What does a day in the life of Tegan look like right now?
We go for a walk most days – the boys sleep well in the pram and walking is my calm! We do bottles every 4 hours (6, 10, 2 am and pm) but we find it easy enough to take what we need with us if we need to feed on the go. My hubby goes to work 5 days a week from 8-6; we’re alone so we try and catch up with friends for our walk or we have a couple of friends who will come over and help with the boys. My mother in law also stays a few nights a week to be closer to her work and, on Thursdays, she looks after the boys in the morning so I have some me time which is amazing!! I try to have dinner ready when hubby gets home from work but I also think McDonalds are getting to know us pretty well, oops.
What is your parenting motto and how do you try to live by it or incorporate it into your life?
Stay calm, they can sense your stress! Seriously if you show a tiny crack of stress, these boys become demons so I deep breath a lot!
Also, I want my boys to grow up knowing their mum and dad and Jesus love them, so I tell them that every day and I also tell them they could be anything they want to be whether that’s a ballet dancer, rubbish man or the man who cures cancer so that they can grow up knowing they’re loved and successful no matter what.
What coping mechanisms have you found to be helpful with regard to lack of sleep and fatigue?
Grandparents. I’m actually having a rest now before packing to stay at their Mim and Pa’s house for the night! I’m not ready to leave them yet but we all go and stay at the grandparents and they look after them and get up for them overnight and we’re just upstairs if they need us and can catch up on some sleep!
Hubby also does the 10pm bottle so I can shower and get to bed early.
How do you handle the more stressful parts of motherhood generally?
Some days I just shrug it off and move on knowing tomorrow will be better and it’s all a part of it but then, some days, I have a breakdown and reach out to our support network and ask for help. I’ve had a real lesson in asking for help since having the boys
What are your top tips for taking care of your mental health as a new parent?
Get out of the house. Yes, even if it’s hard! Take your butt on a walk or to a cafe for coffee even with the pram in tow and just breath for a minute.
What do the parenting dynamics look like in your household?
When my husband wasn’t working (he took his long service leave when the boys were born to be there for the start of their lives) we split things even. I am normally the cook and with slight OCD I am the organiser but I can get obsessive when I clean so hubby does the cleaning a lot to make sure it doesn’t take hours. I do most of the laundry but it’s rare I put the bins out or touch the dishwasher.
Since Daniel has gone back to full time work, I’ve had the step up and do the bins and dishes and he will give me a break from the boys on his day off and I do a deep clean of the house. I also take the chance to get a section of the house organised when my mother in law (Nana) is here on a Thursday if she stays a bit later.
Would you say you’ve found a perfect partnership?
I think we’re getting there. My husband was diagnosed with postpartum depression soon after the boys came home from the hospital so that’s added a new dimension to consider and work around.
What’s your greatest mum hack?
A change station in the lounge area! We have open plan living and have a Kmart change mat and a basket full of nappies and all that good stuff on the dining table so I can have everything in one area and not have to leave babies in different rooms.
What part of motherhood to come are you looking forward to most?
I’m honestly just loving the right now. I am very career focussed and the plan is that I will be returning to full time work next year and I know that my time being a full time mummy is going to be short lived and I’ve looked forward to this time for so long and I’m just loving every minute!
What is your greatest hope for your children?
That they will never question how loved they are, that they will grow to have their own relationship and love for God and that they find what success means to them and strive to achieve it.
What do you believe is the best thing families can be doing to protect the future of the planet?
Anything!! We are far from perfect with waste and remembering our keep cups and shopping bags but we try our hardest to make small changes. We try to remember to put our shopping bags in the car so they’re easy to remember when we get the pram out and we take coffee from home so we have to use a keep cup!
Cloth nappies and wipes are such an easy switch for us. I cannot imagine the waste 2 babies would create if we used all disposable!
Can you talk us through what motivated you to use cloth with your sons?
My parents are hippies. Not like ‘they use cloth bags’, but like my Dad’s dreadlocks reach his waist and his house runs on solar power and creek water. My Mum’s house is always filled with her ‘rainbow family’ that she meets camping with a community every few months for months at a time.
I was a home birth in front of the fire and my parents had old school folded cloth nappies. They didn’t even ask if I was using disposables; they started buying me cloth nappy items as soon as I was pregnant! I guess we just weren’t raised to take the easy road if it wasn’t the right one.
I thought my husband would be hard to talk around but he was straight on board! Of course, we were hesitant with more washing with twins but decided to commit and purchased some second-hand nappies while pregnant.
Describe what you love most about cloth?
That I am not spending so much on nappies and I am able to shut my bin every week! Haha.
But, seriously, I love that it’s good for my boys. We used disposables out of the hospital and one of my boys had blisters on his bum from a nappy rash. We swapped to cloth and haven’t had a slightly red bum since!
Can you talk us through your early days using cloth?
We used disposables overnight until we had the confidence to play with absorbency – sleep was more important in the early days.
The boys were in hospital for 6 weeks in disposables and then we used them for maybe 4 weeks at home. They would have been 1 week old adjusted when we started using Bambooty newborn nappies and haven’t looked back.
Have you found the cloth needs of your sons quite similar?
Yes, we just do the same for both boys!
What did your cloth nappy research process look like?
I Googled a lot, I read everything on the Clean Cloth Nappies site and watched many YouTube reviews and ideas videos.
Have others outside of your immediate family supported your decision to do cloth?
We had many people laugh at us and tell us we were wasting our money. They haven’t said a thing since we’re loving cloth … go figure.
Can you describe what has surprised you most about using cloth?
I had a lot to learn about padding nappies and making sure they’re fitted in the right places. I thought it was just chuck it on and ‘Bob’s your uncle’, but once I watched some videos with tips we were on easy street again.
What have you found to be the easiest and hardest parts about using cloth nappies?
Easiest – they’re no different to disposables to put on; you just need to adjust a bit like you would pulling the drill bit out in disposables.
Hardest – we use bamboo liners so we just throw them and not have to hose off poo … sometimes it misses the liner.
How have you overcome the challenge of leaks?
Making sure we pull up the legs and pull up the back afterwards (I made a video in my IGTVs!)
What approach did you take to building your stash?
I started with a big set second hand from Facebook marketplace. I stripped and sanitised it and purchased some newborn also. I’ve been selling off those original sets and purchasing more Baby Beehinds (new and second hand) as we realised we prefer Velcro to snaps.
We wash every 2 days at the moment and that’s sufficient for our part time use age requirements but I would love to get some overnight ones soon.
What is your favourite style of nappy and why do you like it?
We like the all in 2 with Velcro closure. It’s too cold for all in 1. We put the liners in the dryer and put the shells on the clothes horse to ensure we’re not damaging the PUL.
What does your change table set up look like?
We have our nappies all prepared and folded with liners in it under the table and our Cheeky wipes next to the change mat ready to go. We don’t use any creams or anything else on the regular so that’s all we need!
Have you got any practical tips for making change time easier with cloth nappies?
Be organised, have everything prepared and ready to go so you’re not clipping bits in while wrangling a child.
Have you had any difficulties with finding clothes to accompany cloth bums?
Not really, sometimes I find we may need to size up a bit quicker but I think most items are made with cloth in mind these days!
Many people assume cloth nappies must be far more difficult than disposables. How would you respond to this assumption?
Have you tried it yet?
How do you stay on top of the washing and stuffing/ preparing nappies that comes with cloth?
I wash the nappies and wipes on a quick wash and then I add the boys’ clothes into the washing machine and do a long wash with laundry disinfectant. This way it’s only really a short wash of extra washing.
Is there another common myth about cloth nappies you’d like to debunk?
You end up with bodily fluids all over you and hosing nappies in the toilet. I mean, you can if you want, or you can just use liners. Also, I only end up with as much bodily fluid on me as I do with disposables.
Bearing in mind the overwhelming feeling many have when getting started with cloth, how would you encourage someone to make the switch to cloth?
If I can do it with twins the you can do it too!! Start small, one a day is making a difference!
One of the commonly stated reasons for not using cloth relates to the cost. How would you describe the economic benefits of using cloth, and allay the fears of any parents new to cloth?
When COVID-19 happened I couldn’t find newborn nappies in the supermarket. It didn’t matter to us because we had cloth. We went to cloth wipes during that time.
If you buy second hand you save a bunch! So many Facebook buy sell groups!
What’s your advice for buying second hand?
I stalk their profile and make sure they look ok and I always strip and sanitise so that you’re sure they’re really clean.
What do you think needs to happen to make cloth mainstream?
More people encouraging each other to give it a go before deciding it’s too much work.
Number of bums in cloth. 2.
Time in cloth. Since about 4 weeks out of hospital so over 6 months now.
Number of nappies. Oooh ummm maybe 20?
Full or part time. We cloth during the day and disposables overnight.
Nappy style. We love Baby Beehinds with the Velcro!
Stuff or snap. Snap! It’s too cold here to dry all in ones!
Pre-stuff or lay as you go. I organise them all with liners and everything!
Line or tumble dry. We tumble dry the inserts only it’s way too cold to get them to dry otherwise.
Favourite cloth related product. Bamboo liners! Toss the poo, haha.
Describe your journey with cloth in one word. Rewarding.