When I first heard that some of my friends were using cloth diapers with their babies, I scoffed and said "No way, never". After paying about $70 a month in diapers over the past year between the two boys (and that's really only because we lucked out in having them in the same size, so we only buy one case at a time) I decided to take the plunge and try to save some money (not to mention lessen our paper waste). After talking to and getting input from several friends who have done it, I went with a brand I had heard good things about, bought only a days worth of cloth diapers/inserts (seven of them), and gave it a shot with Xander who is 14 months old. Here's what I have figured out so far:
1. The poop isn't so terrible!
My biggest worry was dealing with the dreaded poopy-diaper and having to wash it (gross). Really, the concept is pretty easy. You dump the poop in the toilet, and spray down the diaper to remove any other stuff and try to avoid any stains. Then, you keep the dirty diapers in a wet bag until you're ready to do a load of laundry. Some people buy enough diapers to go through two days and wash every other day, but I do laundry literally every day, so to me, washing one more small load isn't a huge difference. Washing isn't bad either! Every machine is different, but for me, I use an express wash cycle on hot, heavy-soil as a pre-wash, and then do an actual Heavy-Duty load and add in more kids clothes to the load of rinsed diapers to make the cycle sort of a dual-purpose.
2. Right now, I'm only cloth diapering when I know we'll be home.
Props to all of the mama's out there who cloth diaper 100% of the time, but I know that just is not for me...and that's ok! I feel much more comfortable knowing that I have my sprayer, wet bag, and even a stash of disposables to rely on in case of a nasty situation. For me, part-time cloth diapering is better than none. Over the past week, on the days that we did use cloth, I went through usually 5-6 diapers. When you do the math, the disposable diapers that I saved on would average to almost $20 a week. (We normally buy Pampers which are definitely up there on the price range, but not even the most expensive disposables). When I think about that dollar amount alone, I feel good about my choice. Plus, being a stay at home mom has its advantages in this department. I don't expect anyone else (even my husband) to do cloth, and that's alright with me. I'm just doing what I can.
3. These new cloth diapers are just too cute!
I went with the brand Fuzzibunz (ok, even the name is cute!) One-Size Pocket Diapers to start with, and so far I really love them! The prints are adorable and since it is summer, I usually just let Xander wear the diaper and shirt around the house. They are awesome quality, super soft, have adjustable snaps to fit a wide range of sizes, and best of all, they keep everything contained! I have not had any issues with leaks or blow-outs with them, and we've had our share of nasty diapers this past week! I seriously love how they look, and that they are just easy to clean, wash and take care of. I might try out different brands eventually to see if there is a difference, but so far so good!
Overall, I am very happy about my choice to try cloth diapers part-time! The longer I do it, the more comfortable I'm sure I will get. I'm sure some of my thinking and routines may change, and if it does, I'll do an update. But for anyone out there who is considering this or even for those who are absolutely against it because it grosses you out, I'm telling you, I have been pleasantly surprised with the experience so far and recommend giving it a shot! I may even start it earlier with Baby #3 when he arrives, but probably not until we're out of the 10-15 diapers a day stage :)