It has now been about 8 weeks since I've started cloth diapering and I'd like to tell you what I've learned, what have been the advantages and disadvantages, and my take on the whole thing.
What you need:
As I said in my previous post, cloth diapering isn't as difficult or as daunting as it seems. The diaper option I've chosen is the cloth diapers that pretty much look like regular disposable diapers. They're called "All in Two's" and I've tried two different brands: Bum Genius and Tiny Tush. They consist of a cloth diaper with snaps to adjust to the girth and length of your baby, and have a microfiber insert that you take out when you're ready to wash them.
Cleaning them requires a diaper sprayer so you can spray the poop off the diaper before you throw it in the wash. They say you can throw them directly in the wash if you're only breastfeeding, but I think that's pretty darn nasty so I rinse them out first. I bought 18 (at a deal of buy 5 get one free) and have had to do laundry every 3 days or so. I've thrown other things in the wash with them in order to make it a full load (things such as shower curtains or bath rugs) to be a little more energy efficient. I hang them up to dry so I save even more energy in the process.
You have to have a system, from what I've learned, in cleaning the darn things. I unsnap them completely before I take them off for a changing, and separate the microfiber inserts from the diaper. I have 2 wet bags (which are lined cloth bags that contain the odor miraculously),
one large one for the liners and the already rinsed diapers, and a small one for the poopy diapers. I then take the small bag to the bathroom with the diaper sprayer and start cleaning.
What I need to do in order to make it less of a pain to clean is to start rinsing them every day at the end of the day. Otherwise, they just sit in the bags and become a little more difficult to rinse off. Of course, I can't let them sit too long since I'll run out, but even a day in the bag gets crusted up. (I know, nice visual).
Also, after they have been washed I assemble them so they're ready to go when I need them. At night I put two microfiber cloth inserts to make sure they are extra absorbent and have one extra assembled diaper in case I have to change him in the middle of the night. In the beginning of my trial with cloth diapers, I found that I wasn't adjusting the diapers tight enough and had many leaks. It's a learning process but once you get the hang of it it's super easy and convenient.
I have even gotten brave enough to leave the house with cloth diapers in my diaper bag to change while I'm out and about. I did NOT, however, take them with us for our trip during the holidays since I didn't want to do laundry while we were away. Again, it's still less disposable diapers than if I hadn't started cloth diapers at all.
I think I'll buy another wet bag to keep in my diaper bag so I can use less plastic bags. And I might just buy a few more cloth diapers so I can go an extra day without doing laundry.
What didn't work:
I took a stab at the cloth wipes, but found them to be more of a pain in the ass because they're not easy to clean unless you get your hands all over them, so I just eliminated that out of the equation. Less stress makes it more enjoyable and more likely that I'll continue to do this. Yes, I'm creating waste with disposable wipes, but it's much less than what I would have made with disposable diapers.
So there's the good and the bad so far in my cloth diapering journey. I'll write another post once the baby starts solids. Something I'd like to delay as long as possible since I don't want to think about those poops.
Thanks for reading!