I’m a little bit of an environmentalist. If I can do something to help the environment, and it doesn’t cause a lot of inconvenience, I’m very likely to do it. We use reusable towels and napkins at home, recycle everything we can, and cloth diaper.
When Daughter Person was born, I was pretty sure I wanted to use them, Dad wasn’t so sure. I sprung for the bumgenius diapers – once assembled, they are almost exactly like disposables. Dad’s big concern was solids – what happened to those? Turns out they’re water soluble if exclusively breastfed and dump rather easily into the toilet if not.
When Daughter Person finally arrived, everyone recommended disposables until the meconium is gone, so we had a small package for a week. Turns out we didn’t need it since she was in the NICU for a week and they provide diapers. Except she got horrible diaper rash and it wouldn’t go away (like bleeding bad). As soon as we started on the cloth full-time, she had no problems – we even got a doctor’s note to allow her to continue in cloth at daycare.
In addition to saving the environment, cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run, especially if you plan on having more than one child. I spent about $400 upfront for a stash of 30 diapers and $250 for 24 newborn sized cloth diapers (Daughter Person was too small for the smallest adjustment on the ‘normal’ ones). I later sold the (used) newborn diapers on eBay for $192, and I plan on selling the normal sized ones when we’re done with them. I changed her about 12 times per day the first few weeks, and now we’re down to about 6-7 changes per day, at ~$0.25/diaper, we’ve already saved money over disposables, and we won’t be paying any more for diapers – and we can sell them once she’s done with them to recoup some of the initial cost.
We do use the Flip diapers with a disposable gDiaper insert when cloth diapers just won’t work (like if we’ll be more than 3 days without a washer, or we’re spending all day at an amusement park). Neither Dad nor I particularly like them, but they work for what we need them to – and much better than the standard disposables; and in 18 mths, we’ve gone through 1 package of the Flip inserts, and one and a half of the gDiaper inserts.
They are a little bit of extra work – when we first started, she went through so many diapers that we were washing every night. Now, we wash every 3rd night. It’s a cold rinse, a hot wash (with Original Tide) with extra cold rinse, then toss in the dryer on low. Then about 15-20 minutes of “stuffing” – ie. putting them back together so they’re ready to be used. We just talk or watch TV while we’re stuffing them. They don’t *need* to be dried in the machine, but nothing line dries in the summer in our area, and it’s a lot more convenient.