When I was pregnant, Hubby and I considered using cloth diapers. The environmental benefits seemed too great to ignore. But mothers of my mom's generation warned us away and told us to do a service if we did go that route. All their stories about what a pain it was and stinky and annoying and.... scared us away. Diaper services were just as expensive as we figured disposables would be. Just seemed like a lot of hassle. So we gave up on the idea.
When Squirmy was about 6 weeks old, I noticed a lot of moms I knew were turning to cloth diapers. I started looking into them again. This time a whole new world was opened up to me. We were no longer talking about pre-folds and rubber pants...we were talking about pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, hybrid diapers, liners, soakers, inserts, and who knows what else. I found this site describing the savings of using the various forms of cloth diapers. In the midst of all of this, Hubby and I were trying to figure out how we were going to afford the expense of diapers each week as our finances got tighter and tighter with me not working. It seemed like a no-brainer to switch to cloth diapers. But which kind....
It seemed the most popular brand was Bumgenius amongst those I knew using cloth. So we started there. From all the research I could find, it seemed pocket diapers would be our best bet trying to compromise expense with cost. We wanted one-size diapers so we didn't have to buy new ones as he grew. Hubby wanted the least involved diapers to make changes easier on him. Everything I read said the only All-in-one diapers that were worth buying were Bumgenius AIO Organic Onesize. But, these are the most expensive option. We didn't want to spend a ton, but convenience was high on Hubby's requirement list. I took a peak at ebay to see if there were any deals there. Jackpot! I'd planned on buying 12 pocket diapers for $210. Ordering through ebay I was able to get 12 of the BG AIO OS diapers for just $240. We were pleased with the deal.
Despite assurances from friends that 12 would last me 2 days, we were only making it about 24 hours with 12 diapers, and that didn't include the disposables we were using at night (because we had them left and I wanted to get used to cloth before having to change them bleary eyed). We really couldn't afford to invest in more at the moment...insert Babies R us gift cards. The only brand of diaper they carry are gDiapers. With gDiapers, you have reusable pants with a plastic liner and cloth or disposable inserts. You don't have to change the whole diaper every time, just the insert. Sounded promising so we invested the last of our gift cards in getting 2 diapers and 6 cloth inserts. The disposable inserts (which have lots of neat green features) seemed like a good option for days when we're out all day (like a Disney trip).
So far our only complaint about the BG diapers is that they're bulky. The bulk doesn't help our issues with having a very lanky baby who outgrows the length of his clothes without ever touching the width. Our adventures with dDiapers haven't been as successful. While less bulky, they are slightly more difficult to change. Not impossible, but probably not a diaper we'll be using out until we get the hang of it better. The extra laundry isn't so bad with our high efficiency machines and his waste being less than solid (he's breast fed).
It's a fun adventure. It makes me happy knowing we're saving TONS of money over the course of his diaper lifetime (to the tune of $2,250ish), we're significantly reducing his garbage footprint, he's healthier without all the chemicals and with having breathable materials against his skin (very low probability of diaper rashes), and that he'll potty train faster. :)