I read about cloth diapering long before we had kids, and decided that I wanted to do it. It seems intimidating at first, but in retrospect, I'm not sure why. Really, it's easy. And I'm no supermom. I'm lucky if I get the laundry washed most weeks, let alone folded. The biggest thing for me was it seemed like such a learning curve to figure out what kind of diapers to buy. I put it off for months because it seemed so overwhelming with all the options out there these days! I was concerned that I would buy something that didn't work for us, and I didn't have the money to waste. But really, it's not that big of a deal.
We ended up finding an online merchant who lives locally here in Roanoke, and I was able to go and see what all the different diapers are like. I also have a cousin who is loaning me her stash because she is unable to use cloth right now. Both of those things helped me get a feel for what kind of diapers I finally wanted to settle on. I also made the decision to use cloth wipes. I figure if we are going to do it, we might as well really do it.
I had people say to me, "Just be prepared that it might not work for you. It might be too much of a hassle." From the beginning, Joshua and I decided that cloth was our only option. We just don't want to spend the money on disposables. Environmental concerns are important to us as well. So perhaps it was our resolve from the very beginning that makes it work for us. It just isn't an option to quit. We aren't doing it for convenience. But even if we were, its easy. Really. If you are hesitant to try it because it seems a little daunting, let me encourage you. It is so simple. The only challenge is remembering to put a load in the washer. Even prepping the diapers to be worn is no big deal. About half the time I "fold" the diapers and put them in a basket ready to be used. The other half, they stay in the laundry basket and I stuff them one at a time as they are being used. Either way is easy, but if I can manage to get the basket folded, it's preferable.
Someone gave me some great advice when Malachi was just a couple of weeks old and still wearing disposables. She said to ease into it. Transition to cloth at home during the day, then add in nights, and finally, outings. I decided to do that because it sounded like a great way to ease into it. But I found that for me, it was easier to just jump in and do it. I am a creature of habit, so its much easier for me to just get into a routine and do the same thing every time than to constantly be switching between two systems. We started using cloth when Malachi was one month old, and other than the first few days, we've done cloth almost exclusively, even when we go out.
So we decided that for our big Labor Day trip, we were going to do cloth the whole time. And it was easy. (Are you starting to see a theme here?) We had to take all of our diapers, and then cart the dirty ones home, but since we have a truck, we had plenty of room.
Malachi camping in his BumGenius One Size
My favorite part of CD'ing is actually the cloth wipes. They are so thick that I never have to use more than one, even for the worst diapers. And I make a simple wipe solution that smells and feels great on the skin. I also love how cute he looks in them. The diapers are so cute and colorful that its sort of like he's wearing shorts.
Our system is a dry bucket with a liner and a lid that goes in the bathroom. All the diapers go in there when they are soiled. I pull out the inserts at that time, and the wipes go in the bucket too. Once it's full / most of the diapers are used I dump the whole thing in the wash. How easy is that? Most of our diapers are used Bumgenius 3.0. I love them. Love them. I got two brand new as a shower gift, and the remainder were bought on diaperswapper.com. The rest are a random assortment from my cousins stash that include Fuzzibunz, Thirsties, and an assortment of prefolds and covers. In all we have twenty-four diapers, and that has always been enough for 2-3 days, even when Malachi was only a month old. After the wash they are stuffed and put in a basket to be used, or if I am short on time, they just stay in the laundry basket and are stuffed one at a time as they are used.
So if you are on the fence, I recommend that you go ahead and try it! Find a friend who uses cloth and have her give you a little lesson. Or find a local shop where you can see the options firsthand. Also, don't let your baby's age stop you. Whether they are a little baby or a big baby, it's never too late to start using cloth. Let me know how it goes!