I guess I'll start with the fact that I love cloth, and am so pleased with my decision, and proud of myself for standing up for what I thought was best for my baby. I don't think Joern has still fully agreed with this decision, but it seems like a battle that wasn't worth fighting to him. Lots of people think I'm a nut for dealing with cloth.
I also don't think cloth is for everyone. I don't even think that cloth is really the right choice for every baby. As a parent, you do what you think is best and what works for your family. Cloth is simply working very well for us.
I started with 17 diapers. Out of the intial 17; 6 were organic cotton All in Ones (AIOs), meaning that the inserts are sewn into the outer diaper with nothing extra needed; 9 were mircofiber or fleece pockets, meaning there is a cloth "pocket" sewn into the outer diaper that needs to be stuffed with an insert; and the last 2 were microfiber AIOs, with two flaps of absorbant microfiber sewn into the outer diaper cover, these last ones are very popular because they dry so quickly. Out of the first 17, 15 are still going strong, and I sold the two microfiber AIOS. I sold the two microfiber AIOs because they just weren't our thing. We had lots of leaks with them, and I just wasn't crazy about them.
Since my initial 17, I have joined two cloth diaper groups and have learned so much more about cloth. In a way, I wish I had all this knowledge before I started with cloth, but then again, the information is all so confusing before you actually have the diapers in your hands. Cloth diapering is like going to another country, there are different practices and a different language. Like moving to a new country, you need a little time and experience in order to make your way in the new country. I remember being so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices and materials. I remember being confused by the lingo, and the ways to use each diaper. I'll never forget reading comments like "jellyroll a prefold and use a snappy," seriously confusing stuff. After 4 months now, I have the lingo down, and have experience with many more types of diapers than my intial pockets
and All in Ones.
Once my comfort level with cloth increased, I slowly learned what worked best. I decided to use our cotton AIOs with a hemp doubler for night time, and pockets during the day. I also started to realize that I like natural fibers, like bamboo and cotton, better than synthetic microfiber. And, I realized that 15 diapers wasn't really enough for us. Doing laundry every other day with 15 diapers meant that I was running crazy low during wash and dry time, and it was really forcing me to do diaper laundry right after Ryan's first diaper change in the morning. So, I decided to add a few more diapers to Ryan's stash.
I added three organic cotton AIOs (top row,) two All in Two's (middle row,)
and a cotton pocket and a different type of cotton AIO (bottom row.) The All in Two's are simply a cover, and you can use a variety of absorbant things for a diaper with the cover over the top.
With a little learning and a little patience, Ryan and I worked ourselves into a nice groove with cloth. I also realized that I didn't really like using store bought, premoistened wipes on most changes. I felt like Ryan was pretty smelly still. So, I did a little reasearch, cut up some old towels, and started making my own wipes solution of water, a squirt of baby wash, and a squirt of baby oil. I'm still using store bought wipes for the dirty stuff though :)
Our first big cloth challenge came when we traveled to the States for a month. At first, I was going to use disposables, but then realized that if I went home for 2 months total this year, and I started Ryan in cloth when he was 3 months old, he'd only be in cloth for 7 months. So, I started researching options. In the end, I landed on All in Twos (AI2s) with prefolds. Prefolds are your stereotypical cloth diaper, the ones you picture when you think of cloth. I also purchased some Flip organic inserts, which are like prefolds but a lot softer and will probably hold up better. I even purchased some Flip disposable inserts for the airplane. It was all like a gigantic experiment, but it worked really well.
Before we arrived in the States, I ordered Ryan's travel solution. I purchased two more AI2s, a bunch of prefolds, 6 Flip organic inserts, and some hemp doublers. It meant a lot of laundry and prepping at the beginning of our trip, but it was all worth it- Ryan was in cloth the entire month we were home, which was awesome considering how out of our routine we were. I also purchased some organic cotton liners from a shop on Etsy. I love liners, because they free you up to use whichever diaper cream you choose without worrying about messing up the absorbancy of the diaper.
I also purchased, but didn't receive until the end of our trip, Ryan's first custom diapers. Yup, custom from a WAHM, or Work At Home Mom. I bought four AI2s, and we're loving them to pieces!
Like all things in life, our groovy little cloth diapering routine quickly changed a few weeks ago, right around 7 months, because Ryan started leaking though his nighttime AIOs. I don't mean leaking by the way, I mean, we were waking up in a lake of pee, which I guess is one of the joys of having your baby sleep in your bed. So, I quickly researched and was glad that I had bought two bamboo fitteds to try. For now, they are working really great with my AI2 covers. I have ordered a few custom cotton fitteds and plan on ordering a few more AI2 covers in velcro, just because velcro closure seems to be a little easier around the bulky fitteds.
As of right now, Ryan's diaper drawer looks like this:
and the drawer beneath, with prefolds, inserts, liners, and doublers, looks like this:
So far, so good. I'm proud of Ryan and myself for making this work!