Today everyone wants to save money and be "green." I decided to give it a go and see how cloth diapering would work for our family. Read on to hear about my experience and what I have learned through this journey.
A few weeks ago I decided I would put Abbie in cloth diapers for two reasons; disposables seem really wasteful (there is no recycling in our town to speak of) and I wanted to save money. I did zero research before heading to the store, which was a HUGE mistake.
Our local baby store, Babies R Us, only carries three types of cloth diapers, gDiapers, Gerber diapers, and some kit that is meant for newborns. I took one look at the gdiapers and thought there is no way I'm blowing my entire two-week diaper allowance on two diaper covers. I didn't understand the concept of the covers. Instead I looked at the Gerber cloth diapers (which were on sale). I spent two hours going back and forth. I bought two packs of safety pins, 8 plastic Gerber covers, 16 Gerber cloth diapers, and 8 Gerber burping pads. The diaper starting "supplies" cost me roughly $50. I didn't know a thing about preparing the diapers. I went home and my grandmother and I spent about an hour figuring out how she used to fold diapers. Then I went on the internet and found a video with a very easy diaper fold. The next two hours were spent pre-folding the diapers so that my mom would be able to put them to immediate use the next day (she keeps my kids during the days).
The first night was a disaster. Abbie woke up soaked! I was so disappointed. Then I did my research. You must wash and dry the cloth diapers several times before you use them. The more you put them to use the more absorbent they become. Also the Gerber covers aren't very good at all. They serve their purpose, but diaper changes must be pretty frequent. They are also very noisy compared even to disposable diapers. I posted on freecycle that I was looking for cloth diapers. I was given two homemade cloth diapers, two Thirsties diaper covers, and one other type of snapping diaper that requires a cover. I immediately fell in love with the Thirsties. I would take a Gerber burping pad and fold it in thirds and place it in the diaper cover and it was awesome. Few leaks. Usually only had to change the burping pad except for messy poops and soakings. After just two days with the Thirsties I was pretty much done with the Gerber diaper covers. They are difficult to get off, cause bigger messes, and just are ugly.
The next time I could make it to Babies R Us, I invested the $22 to buy a pair of the gDiapers. Similar to the Thirsties, but even better and much cuter. I bought Abbie a purple and green pair. We don't have too much of a choice here and I didn't want to have to order anything and pay shipping. Target carries the Thirsties online and I plan on purchasing at least two more of the Thirsties covers or g-Dipers when I get my overage. I love the g-Diaper and the Thirsties diaper cover.
In hindsight I should have simply bought a pair of the g-Diapers and several of the burping pads to use as inserts. Starting out I've had to wash diapers every night after Abbie goes to bed (I use disposables at night simply because it is easier and I'm only spending about $9 a month to do this. I want to keep a few disposables on hand to use for church or when we go out and about). But that really hasn't been that bad. Overall I wish I had had the guts to try this from the very beginning or even three years ago when we had Harrison. It would have saved us lots of money and I would have a nice collection of diapers already built up for Abbie.