I only wish I hadn't waited so freaking long. I was so intimidated that I just now worked up the courage to try, and to be honest, I only wanted to try for money reasons. In January I calculated that we spent a little over $200 on diapers. FOR ONE MONTH. I figured even if I only did it minimally, it would save us some money. So, in bullet form, here are my cloth diapering thoughts.
- Type- We're using pocket diapers. Mainly BumGenius, with a few FuzziBunz as well. I prefer the fit of the BG on my boys because they're slightly longer, but both work great. I have some snap and some hook & loop (velcro). I prefer the velcro because I think I can adjust them for the best fit, but I've been told the snaps last longer. These diapers look like disposable diapers, but have a pocket for the insert to go in. There are tons of insert options, but so far I've only used the microfiber inserts that come with the diapers, and I've had no problems. I also like that these diapers work from newborn to 35+ lbs, so when I have another baby I can re-use them from start to finish.
- Cost- My initial investment was about $225. I got about 8 used diapers from a friend for a really great price, a few other used diapers for decent prices, and BG happened to be selling some discontinued prints at Buy 2 Get 1 Free, so I compiled the rest of my stock like that. Even if you bought all brand new diapers, your initial investment would be around $480 for 24 diapers. So, if you were like me and spending $200 a month on diapers, you'd pay for them in less than three months. Now, I have two in diapers, so maybe you're spending less, but what I've found online says the average child in name brand diapers costs $25/week to diaper. So, you'll still have your entire stash "paid off" in less than six months.
- Supply- I have 23 diapers. When I started I thought I'd only CD Deacon because Manning is so close to potty-training, but then I heard that sometimes cloth diapering can encourage potty-training sooner, so I've been doing both. Now that Manning is older he only uses about six diapers a day, so our stash lasts about a day and a half on both boys, or two days if I only CD Deacon. If you're going to CD for more than a year, I'd suggest a full supply of 24 per child, BUT you can work up to that.
- Daycare- If your child is in daycare, don't automatically dismiss the idea of cloth diapers. From what I hear, more and more daycares are allowing CD, and even if they don't have a policy, you could talk to them about it. With my pocket diapers the ONLY extra step is dumping solid waste into a toilet. I can't see why any daycare would refuse to do that to save you some money. I think it's easy for them to say no, but if you explained that it's truly no extra work, they might reconsider.
- Laundry- This was the most intimidating reason I didn't start sooner. All moms know it's hard enough to keep up with laundry without adding in extra, but I definitely feel like the ease of laundering cloth is good. I thought I'd have to have special detergent etc, but from my experience, and the experience of a few good friends, the regular free & clear detergent I already use is fine. I just use about 1/3 as much as I would for a normal load. I wash the diapers and inserts on hot and rinse on cold. I dry mine in the dryer with no dryer sheet and I have had no problem with absorption. If absorption is a problem, I'm told hanging to dry helps.
I'm sure there's a lot more I could say, but I want to stop because part of the reason I think so many people are scared to cloth diaper is that they get overwhelmed. I'm just trying to share my opinion and keep things as simple as possible. If you have any questions, please e-mail me anytime at kodibevelle @ gmail . com.