I think a lot of people still think that cloth diapering is hard. The truth is it’s pretty easy and much less expensive than disposables.
I think I’ve spent at most $500.00 in two years on diapers and accessories. Even with some costs for detergent and water use, it’s still nothing compared to the cost of disposables, which may run into the thousands of dollars for a 2 year period. Cloth diapers are easy to use now, too – no pins and tons of cute covers to adorn your baby!
For a newborn starter kit, I would recommend using prefolds and covers. I bought a basic diaper kit and an accessories kit, and it met most of our needs for the first year. 3 dozen infant-sized prefolds (some doublers if you have a heavy wetter), 4 – 6 covers, Snappis, 2 large wetbags and a lidded container of some kind, and a few small wetbags for on the go. You can also use cloth wipes (or make your own out of soft cotton flannel). As Gus got older and stronger (and hence squirmier), we switched to some affordable pocket diapers. These were much easier to put on and change quickly, and also easier to clean. Popular US brands can be pricey, but I confess I bought these for $5 each, and they have been fantastic!
Laundry was pretty simple – cold cycle with extra rinse, no detergent, followed by hot cycle with extra rinse and detergent, then the dryer. The only thing is to make sure you have the right detergent! The wrong additives can mess up your diapers. And no dryer sheets, either! Dryer sheets, standard diaper rash creams, and many detergents can affect absorbency and performance of your diapers.
Once that dreaded solid-food-poop starts, add a diaper sprayer to your supplies. Breast-milk-poop is totally water-soluble, and doesn’t need to be pre-rinsed, but solid-food-poop needs to be rinsed off your cloth diapers before going in your washer. Trust me on this one – you have no idea the horrors that will come out of your precious baby’s bum. A diaper sprayer will keep those horrors somewhat at bay.
It’s your choice, and disposable diapers are certainly the easiest way to go! Cloth diapering can be intimidating at first, but there are lots of classes and resources, and it doesn’t take long before you become old hand at it. In fact, washing the diapers was the easiest laundry I ever had to do, and I never found it to be a chore. There were times that I wished I could just roll up a particularly poopy diaper and toss it, but I think cloth diapers, even if you do it part-time, is a wise investment.