I first heard about what I call the new age of cloth diapering (vs. the prefolds used in the past) on John and Sherry's post here. After reviewing many many different brands and options, we decided to try the bumGenius All in Ones Elemental. This style changed in 2013, and there are a lot of posts comparing and contrasting the new to the old version. I managed to get them on sale from a company called Enfant Style Diapers in Montreal, but have since found a local retailer that sells them a few dollars cheaper than the sale price I paid which is good to know. We have bought 12 so far, but I am thinking 18 will probably be the right number for our family. They arrived this week, and I couldn't have been more excited to pick up the parcel from the post office. I am currently in the process of prepping them, which for these organic babies means washing them 6 times prior to using them to build up absorbency. We won't be using them on our baby right away, as this version doesn't typically work well for newborns. They are designed for children 7-35lbs, but I am thinking the 10lb mark is a good milestone.
Based on the research I've done, here's what I think so far about cloth diapers:
1. With everything parent and baby related, you need to do what works best for your family and your kid. Just because these are the diapers I've chosen, it doesn't mean they're going to fit my baby perfectly, and I may need to consider other options once we've tried them out.
2. We're going to use cloth diapers when it's convenient, which means they will pretty much be used in our home. In the beginning when the baby is small and we're operating on no sleep and learning how to feed, it does not make sense (for our family) to attempt to add one more stress (and several loads of laundry) into the mix. We will transition to cloth when we're ready. If we are going on overnight trips, we will bring disposables.
3. The up front cost of cloth can be overwhelming (we paid $300 for the lot above), but if you plan to cloth diaper your kid for at least a year (two is even better) or you plan to have another child- the savings can be significant. This was a bit surprising to me; I thought cloth would be hands down cheaper in all scenarios, but if you are planning to only have one child and your daycare will not support cloth, it may be more cost effective to go with disposables (as long as you're always buying on sale). I found these posts to be pretty helpful to breakdown the various costs: 1, 2.
4. There are tons of ways to save money in this arena. If you're buying new, there are a few budget friendly options available on the market- these two got the best reviews from what I read: Kawaii and Glow Bug. The used cloth diaper market is HUGE, and there are tons of great deals on Kijiji if you're open to buying used. I actually found a lot of 24 of the version I bought on Kijiji for $450. Chris was not on board with buying used diapers, so we opted to buy new, but that option is definitely available and viable!
5. Both parents need to be on board to make this work. Chris was apprehensive in the beginning, but I think my passion for the subject, as well as the fact that I am the primary laundry doer in our household won him over. One of the main reasons for choosing an all in one style vs. pocket or envelope was just how easy and user friendly it is as well as its similarity to disposables. The cost savings as well as the reduced chances of diaper rash and the fact that cloth diapered toddlers tend to potty train faster were all good benefits in our books. The other thing that I had a hard time believing until I read it everywhere, was that the cuteness factor of cloth diapers can often win family members over. At first I thought that was silly, now that I have received my adorable diapers in the mail, I can see their point and I'm ready to get people on board!
Five long-winded points are probably enough for now. I will keep you posted on our adventures of cloth diapering once we actually begin! I know there are tons of resources out there, and I hope this ends up being useful for someone else. I will leave you with one last great resource: a chart detailing all the best detergents to use for cleaning cloth diapers! I bought a can of Nellie's Laundry Soda yesterday to get started. Tip for Canadian Moms- Homesense and Winners are a great place to find this cheap!