I’ll start with the easy stuff.
We’re using cloth diapers, except for when we travel.
We love them.
They were entirely hand-me-downs, from two families with four little boys. And so I didn’t have to do any research, ask any questions, or commit to any expense. I just had to figure it out based on the really overwhelming (and generous!) boxes of folded cotton and water-resistant shells and lots of snaps and velcro… And I did figure it out, but it took a bit of trial and error. In the sleep-deprived early days I did some amazingly stupid stuff, like the morning when I got G up and she was soaked through her jammies and her sheet and what the hell is wrong with this diaper? You mean this diaper that doesn’t have a cover on it? So it’s just soaking wet cotton? Riiiight. That diaper. Nothing’s wrong with that diaper. The problem lies between the diaper and the one who put the diaper on the baby. But we found our rhythm, and figured out what we like, and really, my “what I like” is… I like cloth diapers.
I like all in ones. I like the pre-sewn diapers that are diaper-shaped and snap shut. I like the pre-sewn ones that need pins or Snappi closed. I like the prefolds that have to be folded with soakers added and held in place with covers. I just like cloth diapers.
Gwyneth has had no diaper rash at all. We’ve spent less than $50 on diapers (because we were lucky, I know that cloth diapering is not usually this cheap) when she was a newborn and when we’ve traveled. We just do an extra load of laundry every day or two, and we’ve had no issues yet with our front-loading HE washer — Justin set it to do a Custom Load that’s the Baby setting, and it takes about 2.5 hours to run, but it works wonders. And we get to have things I value: fewer chemicals on my baby’s body, and less waste into landfills. I can’t say enough good things.
So here’s what I’ve loved most in our dragon’s hoard of diapers I did not have to buy:
Swaddlebees diapers. When she was teeny, these were perfect. Just perfect. The right amount of absorbency, the right size, minimal bulk, and a snap to keep the diaper off her umbilical cord.
BumGenius all in ones and pocket diapers. I will admit, here, that I never insert anything into the pockets. If I need added absorbency, it goes on top. Because, frankly, I don’t want to stuff the things in, and I surely don’t want to pull them out again.
Thirsties diaper covers. Really straightforward, useful diaper covers.
BottomBumpers all in ones. These are the ones we bring with us when we’re leaving the house and know we’ll need a diaper change. Super-easy. SUPER. EASY.
GroBaby. I like this system – the soaker is just as big as it needs to be, and snaps into the cover, which has the softest velcro (while still being effective) of any we’ve used. Great for daytime.
Imse Vimse diaper covers. The best leg gussets around, hands down.
So, basically: I like cloth diapers. There are tons of options out there. They all work for the basic purpose of containing baby excretion. And cloth diapers aren’t really a big mystery, or a huge amount of work. I’m a fan.