We are officially a cloth diapering household! I've really looked forward to this. I first became interested in cloth diapers because they looked so cute. I was hooked when I found out how much money you save over the course of the child's diapering years (spend an average of $2,000 for disposables, as apposed to $500.00 for cloth). I actually find cloth diapering just as easy as disposable. The laundry takes some getting used to, but it's really not that bad. Josh is even pretty enthusiastic and I've heard dads are usually a little hard to get on board. Ya know, the whole poop thing and all.
It was trial and error at first with which brand I liked best. I had been building up our stash for some time, even since before Squeaks came home. I made the mistake of buying multiple of one brand without being sure they would work well for us. I figured "hey, cloth diapers are cloth diapers. Right?" Nope. Fit is wildly different between brands. It ended up that the brand I had the most of, Kawaii Baby, was too bulky for her. We'll have to wait to use them when she's a bit bigger. I also ordered one FuzzyBunz diaper, but the whole adjustable elastic sizing thing is kind of a pain in the butt. I even tried my hand at pre-folds (OsoCozy) and covers (Thirsties). They're great if you're willing to put in the practice time. Right now, I'm not very fast and if Squeaks is in a particularly squirmy mood, it's like trying to do origami on a moving object. In the end, bumGenius is by far my favorite brand. We have both "pocket diapers" (a separate absorbent insert is stuffed into a pocket in the diaper) and "all-in-ones" (the absorbent inserts are attached to the diaper). All the BumGenius diapers fit her great, but I think their pocket diapers are best for night time, and the all-in-ones are a great time saver (no stuffing the inserts into the pockets after washing). This video is a little lengthy, but is really good at explaining all the different types of cloth diapers.
Some of the benefits for us personally have been great. Squeaks actually tells me when she's wet now. In disposables, for some reason, she was content to sit in a wet diaper for quite a while. In cloth though, I think she can feel the wetness more and makes some noise (this bodes well for potty training). Diaper rash has never been an issue for her, but now it won't be an issue for sure. I also don't mind the laundry. We have an HE washer so our water bill wasn't really affected. It's just a little time consuming. I need to be home a minimum of four hours (including dry time) in order to get it all done. This hasn't been a problem for me, but I can see how it would be difficult for working parents. Looking out of my kitchen window at my laundry line covered in colorful cloth diapers is immensely satisfying. Plus, in the California sun, outdoor line drying is actually faster than using my dryer. Score! Drying in the sun has other benefits too. It bleaches out any stains and balances the diaper's PH. The main benefit though is how flippin' cute babies look with fluffy butts! The only down side is that all Squeaks clothes fit way tighter with a cloth diaper on.
I really could go on and on about all the benefits and cool facts about cloth diapers but
I won't. I encourage you to do your research if you're considering it. There are tons and tons of YouTube videos (this is one of my favorites) and endless other blogs that cover everything you could ever want to know. A few words of advice though. Buy ONE of each brand you think might work, try them out, and then buy more of what you like. A diaper sprayer makes things a lot easier (that whole poop thing again). And lastly, if you're gonna do cloth diapers, you might as well do cloth wipes, it's easier.