Honestly, the main reason we decided to do cloth was monetary. At first my Mike was a little grossed out by the whole thing, but when I told him how much people spend on diapers until a child is potty trained (the average is $2400) he was on board. It also didn't hurt that I am the one at home with the baby all day, so I'll be changing 99% of the diapers. :)
We have two brands of cloth diapers that we use. Fuzzibunz and Bum Genuis. We registered for these because they are the most popular brands, and they must be popular for a reason, right? We use one size for both of these, which means that they have elastic (Fuzzibunz) or snaps (Bum Genius) that allow your baby to wear the same diapers from birth to potty training. We got two 6 packs of Fuzzibunz from Amazon, six Bum Genius Freetime from Target/Babies-R-Us, and two Bum Genius 4.0 from Babies-R-Us. With gifts and gift cards, we spent around $100 out of pocket. These diapers are also available with velcro, which would be easier to fasten, but snaps last longer and last through multiple kids, so that's what we went with.
|Fuzzibunz one size|
|Bum Genius 4.0 one size|
|Bum Genius Freetime|
The Fuzzibunz and the Bum Genius 4.0 are basically the same, they just differ in the way that you adjust the size. Fuzzibunz has elastic and snaps, Bum Genius just has a bunch of snaps, but both work very well. They have an absorbent insert that gets stuffed inside through an opening at the back waistband between the outer waterproof layer and the inner fleece layer which touches the baby's skin. You remove the insert before tossing the diapers into your diaper pail (it's up by the waistband, so it really isn't gross), and stuff them back in when they come out of the dryer. It seems like an annoying extra step, but once you do it a few times, it's super fast. Here is a neat little graphic from the Fuzzibunz website showing the insert. The 4.0 is basically the same.
The other kind of diaper we have is the Bum Genius Freetime. It's the same shell as the Bum Genius 4.0, but it has two absorbent inserts sewn into the diaper so there is nothing to remove or stuff back in. It's all one piece. These are nice, they just take a little longer in the dryer.
The one other thing we have are a few hemp inserts. We add one of these (along with the normal insert) to a Bum Genius 4.0 for night time. They fit better in the Bum Genius than in the Fuzzibunz, so that's why we do that.
Overall, we have been really happy with the performance. There is a bit of a learning curve getting the fit right with the Fuzzibunz, but once I did get the fit right, we have had zero problems with blowouts, which is awesome. And pee does leak now and then, but in the last month, the one disposable diaper he wore leaked a ton, so he may just be a heavy wetter. But I'll take a little pee over a blowout ANY day.
The Set Up
Our set up is pretty simple. I have my cute little cart from Ikea. It is sitting right next to the dresser that our changing pad is on.
On the top shelf are cloth wipes in a wipe warmer. We have two sets of these cloth wipes from Amazon, but you could totally make them.
We have them in a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer, which is really just for normal wipes, but it works really well. I keep a large bottle of wipe solution next to it, and I only put in about half the wipes at a time. I use this cloth wipe recipe, but I just do a splash of baby oil and baby wash, and I also add a few drops of tea tree oil. I like this recipe because it was all stuff that I already had.
Also on the top shelf is a little tub of coconut oil for diaper rash. We haven't had any issues with it other than a tiny bit of redness once or twice, but I think diaper rash is less of an issue with cloth diapers which is another plus. Most diaper rash creams aren't compatible with cloth diapers (they will lose absorbency), but there are some out there that are fine to use with them. I just happened to have a big jar of coconut oil from Trader Joe's on hand, so that's what we are using. So far so good!
The diapers are on the middle shelf. All twenty of them fit perfectly! Then instead of a diaper bag, we use a large wet bag from Planet Wise in Navy Circuits. It hangs right on the corner of the nursery pegboard between the diaper cart and the changing table/dresser.
And then the diaper changing process is basically the same as with disposables. The only extra step is removing the insert from the diaper before tossing it in the wet bag, but it takes 2 seconds, so no big deal. With little breastfed babies, you don't have to rinse them or anything. Just toss them straight into the washer. Once babies start eating solids, you have to get rid of their number twos before washing, so we installed a diaper sprayer, but since he's still two months old, we aren't quite there yet. And cloth wipes may seem crazy, but it is so much easier to toss everything in the wet bag, rather than have to have a separate trash can or something if we were using disposable wipes.
I also have a small wet bag that I keep in the diaper bag with a cloth diaper for on the go changes. If I know I will be gone for a while, I'll put two cloth diapers in, but usually one is fine. I also keep a few disposables in the diaper bag just in case something crazy happens. :)
Laundry is really easy with a wet bag, because you empty the bag or dirty diapers into the washer, and throw the bag right in too!
To wash, we use: 1 Tbl. laundry detergent, 1 Tbl. blue Dawn, 1 Tbl. bleach
I use one tablespoon of homemade laundry detergent (equal parts baking soda, washing soda, and OxiClean) which I started making about a year ago. And by started making, I mean, I made it one time, and we are only halfway through it. There are tons of detergents that work for cloth diapers though. Here is a good list. I also add a tablespoon of bleach in the little bleach section (because it make me feel like it's sanitizing everything), and a tablespoon of blue Dawn dishsoap in with the detergent, which prevents buildup and we already had it.
I hit the little buttons that say "Pre-Soak" and "Extra Rinse", and let the washer do it's thing. I dry everything on medium heat.
That's about it. Since we have 20 diapers, I wash them every other day. That means I still have 2-4 that aren't in the wash, so if I'm not totally on top of switching loads or something, it's no big deal. And as he gets older and uses fewer diapers in a day, that will probably stretch out a bit more. But honestly, the hands on time for a load of diapers is 10-15 minutes from start to finish: including throwing it in the washer, switching loads, stuffing the inserts in, and putting them away. I think that is totally worth it for how much money you save, and for never having to run out to the store for diapers!
So the point is, don't be afraid. Going cloth has been one of the best decisions ever! Even if you don't want to deal with it all the time, or you're not sure if they would work for you, start with a handful diapers and just give it a go part time. Before we started using them, I was kind of afraid that it would be a nightmare and that we would totally fail. But we love it, and if we can do it, ANYONE can.