I've been using cloth diapers since pregnant with my third babe, Cordelia. I started because Alex and Olivia would get diaper rashes and terrible yeast infections (yes, boys can get yeast infections). I lived in the Orlando area at the time and a great gal Jan Z. introduced me to cloth. I can still remember the feeling I got when she told me about cloth; it was like a switch was flipped. Could it be that easy?
The funny part of this story is that Jan and I talked about this outside Chili's one mom's night out and I inadvertently stood in a red ant pile. If that wasn't enough of an attention grabber, as I drove home I started to feel funny. I ended up with the paramedics coming out to the house twice that night. One to give me benedryl and one to take me to the hospital. I had a terrible allergic reaction to the two dozen plus ant bites all over my legs and lost feeling in my mouth, arms and legs.
After I recovered, I talked to everyone that used cloth diapers and did a ton of research online. I ended up using the most expensive all-in-one diaper - Fuzzi Bunz. These come in great colors and were easy enough to use. They resist staining well and hold up over time. They also had a great resale value if in good condition. We used these exclusively and miracle of miracles, the rashes and infections went away. I'm not sure how they've changed over the years, it's been a good five years since I bought mine and they may have changed. For the better or worse, I don't know.
At the time we had a tight budget. Fitting in an order for cloth diapers and still maintaining 'sposies while I waited for the package, then get comfortable using them, was a little tricky. But we managed to get about 12 diapers, 6 for each child with washing every other day. I supplimented with disposables at night. This both cut down trips to the doc for meds and treatment of rashes and costs on buying disposables.
I had a love/hate relationship with cloth diapers since. Selling my stash when it was too difficult to maintain or we needed the money, buying it again when we found out we had a child with super sensitive skin and back and forth.
Max in his whisper wrap.
We're now on our fifth child, Max, and have two in diapers again; Emmy and him. While Rob's away money isn't as tight but he'll be returning soon and spending $50 or more dollars every couple of weeks on diapers just dosen't make much sense. So, I'm back to cloth but have changed things up a bit.
We're now using prefolds, which look like the Gerber baby diapers. I use unbleached indian prefolds. They're far superior to the Gerber ones, they fluff up very soft and are super absorbent. Folding can be tricky but there are lots of great informative sites and video's on YouTube.
To hold them togetherI use Snappi's. They're pricey but there's no way to poke a hole in you or the baby and you can reuse them after each change. I use one a day unless it gets gross and disinfect them in the dishwasher. You can find good deals on ebay for these too.
To hold it all in, I use a diaper cover. These aren't the same things you'll find at Babies R Us. These are polyurathaine laminated cotton or PUL matterial with velcro closures. They can come in a variety of colors and styles. We prefer the ones with leg gussets as it's easy to tuck in stray diaper pieces.
Emmy playing piano in her polka-dot Bummis.
I use some deliciously wonderful baby wipes from BatikBags on Etsy. She specializes in mama pads, cloth wipes and reusable breast pads. Excellent quality!
I also found another great Etsy seller Respire. She makes some wonderful pocket prefolds which take the work out of folding, great to leave with the sitter! She also sells handmade wool covers and patters for making your own cloth prefold fitteds.
I love the prices, service and selection over at Cotton Babies too and have bought almost exclusively from them this last run. They have some great diaper packages too.
So, now we're back in cloth diapers and I stay away from the ants.