Okay, I'm going to really try not to come across as sanctimonious. Or like an earth momma, cause I'm really not. But I am trying hard to be more conscious of what I throw away. And I am cheap.
This post is about cloth diapers. I have cloth diapered my son since his umbilical cord fell off, and I am a firm believer that cloth doesn't have to be expensive, annoying, stinky or otherwise unpleasant. When I was preparing to be a first time momma, I spent some time researching cloth for a couple of reasons. I have super sensitive skin, and I assumed that my offspring would be blessed with my sparkling wit, infectious joy, and flippin' itchy eczema. Guess what? He's never had worse than a pink butt. I have no idea if this is thanks to cloth, but it obviously doesn't hurt. My second reason is that EVERYONE was telling me how bad they tore, how much breastfeeding hurt, and how expensive diapers were. And I had an inkling that being a full time employee and a momma was going to be a tough combo. So I was definitely interested in the money saving aspect of things.
I ended up buying 3 dozen of the Bum Genius 3.0 "all in one" diapers. Basically, there are 2 styles of cloth diapers out there. All in one's (AIOs) are very similar is design to disposable; no pins required. They fasten with velcro, and have a unique set of snaps that allow them to be let out as your child grows, so you use the same diapers until your kid is potty trained. They come with an absorbent liner that also has snaps to keep it from being super bulky when diapering an infant, but larger when diapering a toddler. They also came with a smaller insert to use when diapering a newborn, and that insert can be used in combination with the larger insert if you have a heavy wetter. I bought mine from Amazon. In checking them out today, they only have second party sellers listed, and the prices are crazy. As I recall, I paid around $18 each for them. This site seems to have reasonable pricing, plus they have used diapers available, which might be worth checking out if you are nervous about the initial investment. I would highly recommend that you order one if you're thinking about it, and see how it works. You don't have to buy 3 dozen and drop a few hundred bucks right out of the gate.
The other option is a more old fashioned cloth diaper. My mom in law uses Gerber cloth diapers, fastened with pins and covered with a waterproof cover, when she watches my son. You can find them at Walmart pretty often, and they do have them at Amazon too. There are pre-fold or flat-folds available in this style, the pre-folds are supposed to be less origami like to put on, and are a bit more expensive. The overall cost of this option is way less than the AIOs, flat-folds are 12.99 for a dozen, and the pins and covers aren't going to set you back much either. I'm not as experienced with these, but I can tell you that once you've had just a little practice, the flat-folds are not hard to put on at all.
As far as the care of these diapers, please read this initial disclosure. I am NOT a particularly diligent housekeeper. My house is comfortable, never pristine. I do not obsess about stains, and I dust the ceiling fan once a decade. Were you to stop by unannounced, I would happily welcome you in, give you homemade cookies, and keep the lights dim. So when I tell you that cloth diapers do not generate a lot of extra work, know that I am someone who takes housework as somewhat of a personal affront.
When junior Pete was born (no that's not his name, he's neither a junior or a Pete, he just has many, many nicknames), I used the disposables that the hospital sent us home with because AIOs are a bit bulky for a newborn, and I wanted to make sure nothing was rubbing his umbilical cord. Once we were done with that business, we started using the cloth, and haven't looked back.
I know this is getting long, so I'll post about how I store and wash the diapers separately. Questions, thoughts or the opportunity to mock me are now available to you, just comment below!