Before Scott was born, I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers for one single and very important reason: cloth diapers (or at least the covers) are incredibly cute*.
After some back and forth, I decided to use a diaper service rather than committing to the process - and it is a process - poop must be rinsed into the toilet, diapers must be pre-washed before they can be regular washed, etc - of cleaning them myself. So far I've been happy with it. Every Monday morning we get re-stocked with 70-80 prefold (flat, old-school) diapers, depending on how many we used the week before.
And the old ones are carted off to be washed.
The "diaper" that is washed and returned by the service is only the inner, absorbent part. These prefold diapers also need a cover (the cute part) to keep everything in place and keep his clothes from getting wet. We bought several Best Bottom brand covers from the local diaper store which have about 50 snaps that you can use to size the diaper from "teeny tiny" to "should be potty trained by now".
We also have one cover that only goes up to 18 lbs and some rental covers from the diaper service that are just plain white and we use as back up when our other covers are dirty. We do wash the covers on our own, but they don't have to be washed every time - only when body fluids get on them or they just start to feel kind of icky.
Before having a baby I had basically no diapering experience and we only used disposables for the short time while we were in the hospital, so I didn't have the preconceived idea that disposable diapers were "easy" and cloth diapers were "hard". So far I haven't found that to be the case. Maybe it's because I don't have to do any more work with the cloth diapers than I would with the disposables. The only really important thing to remember is to make sure ALL of the diaper is contained by the cover. Gaps by the legs = wet pants.
If you're interested, there's actually a ton of variety in cloth diapers and methods of cleaning them and attaching them to your progeny's lower zones. You can read here for info on different types of diapers and how to wash them and YouTube is full of videos of teddy bears having their cloth diapers changed. The cost of the diaper service is about the same as with disposables, and, yes, we carry around some disposables with us for when we are out and about.
I see us sticking with cloth diapering/the diaper service for the near future with the possibility of re-evaluating the situation once Scott starts eating real food and his poop starts stinking. The diaper service provided us with a deodorizing trash can and liners and claims that odor will be controlled between the once a week pick ups, but we'll see... At that point we'll have to decide if
- The smell is not too bad and we can continue with the service as is
- The smell is bad and we want to go on with cloth diapers but buy our own and wash them more frequently (I have to keep reminding myself that he won't go through 70 - 80 diapers a week for the rest of his life and they won't ALL be pooped in) or
- The smell is bad and we want to use disposables
Any opinions on diapers you want to share? Heard any good poop jokes lately? Ever think about how many times someone else dealt with your poop when you were little?
*While I'm not the most environmental person in the world (not by a long shot- using cloth wipes, now that's environmentally conscious), seeing how many diapers Scott goes through in a week does make me kind of glad that I'm not adding them to a landfill.