Before Anna was born, Hans and I made the decision to try cloth diapering. We said we'd do disposables when she was first born and switch to cloth once she'd grown a bit. By the time she was large enough to start cloth, though, I was feeling two things. The first was guilt for how many disposables were ending up in our trash each day. The second was complete and utter fear for the extra work cloth would mean. In the end, though, the guilt won out and Hans and I started the cloth diapering routine.
We stuck to it for about a day and a half and then we found out about Mom. While she was in the hospital I just couldn't fathom the added pressure of figuring out cloth diapering, so we quickly switched back to disposables, but as we started to get into a routine with Mom I started to feel guilty about using disposable again. So, it was time to go back to cloth. In an effort to talk about something other than Mom, I figured I'd share with y'all my experience so far.
First off, it's super simple. Yes, it requires us to do a little more laundry, but we don't really worry about folding anything. Once they're done washing and drying, we just throw them in a drawer. The only other problematic thing is that poopy diapers have to be rinsed off before washing, and this can cause issues if we encounter a poopy diaper while in public. At home we have a diaper sprayer, so that makes it easy, and in public I'll either wrap up the diaper until I can rinse it at home, or I'll rinse it out in a toilet somewhere. It's no big deal.
I've heard some people complain that cloth diapers leak a lot more than disposables. I think this really depends on the diaper. My one recommendation: double gussets. We've used three different brands and two types of cloth diapers. Only one of them has been fairly reliable about not leaking, and it has double gussets. Part of that is because Anna has skinny, little legs. The other side of that is you do have to make sure you're using the diaper 100% correctly. Whenever I put it on Anna, I have to double check that everything is covered. This takes about an extra 5 seconds, so no big deal.
It is easy to get lost in the different types of cloth. There are flats, pockets, prefolds, all in ones, and all in twos. Then there's hemp, cotton, microfiber, bamboo, wool. Further still, there are Best Bottoms, Grovia, Bum Genius, Lil' Helpers, and many more. Choosing what's best for you can be difficult. I actually went to a two hour class offered by a local shop to learn more about them. Best. Decision. Ever! I still don't know much about the different fabrics, but I know what I like to use the best. I love Best Bottoms, All in Twos. They're double gusseted and easy to transport when I'm out and about. Plus the inserts are interchangeable with Lil' Helpers, so I have a few more options.
Yes, it's true. Cloth diapers seem more expensive at first. One could easily spend $500 on a full set of cloth diapers, and that's way more than a $20 box of disposables. But, look at it this way. That box of disposables may last you 2-3 weeks (if you're lucky). Those $500 cloths will last you until your child is potty trained. And yes, you will spend a little more on water, but it's minimal. Most people say it's about as much as having an extra person showering in your house each day. So, not too bad! I'd say the trade off is worth it.
OK, I know some of this info may be over some of your heads. If you haven't looked into cloth diapering, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. I promise to some day do a post explaining everything I've learned (although I'm still learning). Just know, though, it's really not that hard. I mean, if I can do it, anyone can!