i thought i would share a little bit about our cloth diaper routine, for anyone interested in doing it. i wrote a previous post about making and using wool covers. i love wool covers. i used them at the beginning with tess and i used them with my other kids. with my last two kids i had a diaper service though... and i had less kids. ha! i found myself overwhelmed this time. i couldn't keep up with the diaper routine. i didn't want to use disposables completely though, so i did some research and made some compromises. i ended up going with the bumgenius brand. they are very popular and considered very easy to use. they are not made form natural materials, which is the biggest drawback for me. they do have an organic cotton option which i would love to try (but at $25 a piece are not realistic for us to buy in bulk). i use the freetime which i like because they are super easy. they are truly all-in-ones, with no stuffing required. they basically have two flaps that overlap instead of a pocket for an insert (which i've also tried and are pretty easy too, just one extra step). i love them so far. they are adjustable, with three rows of snaps, so we won't need any other diapers for her because they will grow as she grows. they are really good quality and absorb well with very few leaks. i have used disposables on occasion because i thought they would be easier going out but i learned quickly that those things always leak! maybe it is just tess's shape but i was constantly changing her clothes with disposables. the cloth rarely has a leak and it is usually due to my error... her pants getting tucked into the waist band for instance. so far they have been great overnight with no extra stuffing, though we do one late night diaper change before we go to bed. they fit really well... we have both velcro and snaps and i like them both equally (my husband prefers velcro). i got mine on sale initially (they are usually about $20 but i haven't paid over $16 yet), and then i watch out for seconds sales. they have the tiniest flaws that don't effect performance but cut the cost. it is rare though.
so, how much effort is involved? it is pretty similar to using disposables. i have a diaper table set up downstairs in the bathroom. i keep them all folded there and ready to go. they go on like a disposable diaper. i have 13 right now and that means i am washing them at least every other day. i use disposable wipes ( i got some handy hanging holders from ikea, one holds a wipe box and the other trash). i have debated using cloth wipes too and will probably switch to that. i use a bin from ikea next to the table, with a diaper liner in it. i have two of those so i can rotate them when washing. i shake the diapers into the machine and throw the liner in too. i wash them on sanitary with a prewash using the bumgenius diaper detergent. i machine dry mine instead of line dry. i would probably line dry if i had more diapers in my rotation but i've had no problems with drying them, they hold up well. i don't wash them with anything else, especially natural materials because they tend to pick up things like lint if i do. i wash them when my supply gets down to two diapers because it takes a couple of hours. once a month i use dawn in the wash to strip away any build up that can make them less absorbent. they do sometimes get a funky smell, so if anyone has any suggestions or experience with that i'd appreciate it. it's not bad, i just notice it out of the dryer sometimes. when i go out, i carry a wet bag, which isn't a big deal to me because her poops don't smell yet! we will see when she starts eating more. i also spray the poopy diapers with bac out before popping it into the pail each time. i have had absolutely no staining and i think that has really helped. if i need to use diaper cream, which has only been a few times so far, i use a liner to prevent it getting on the diaper which can mess with absorption. the liners can also be used when going out if you want to flush the poopy parts. i haven't had to buy a sprayer yet, so i can't comment on those.
so that is pretty much it! i am really happy with the system. it is very easy (and i am lazy and have three kids also, so i am speaking truthfully). i like the diapers a lot. they are soft and pretty too. when it gets warmer she won't need to wear anything over them and it will still look nice. they are not bulky at all really under her normal clothes (much trimmer than the wool covers). this is all probably very boring to most people but if you are interested in cloth diapering like me you have probably looked for a ton of reviews and information like i did. it's amazing how fascinating that stuff becomes when you are pregnant! i don't know if this helps anyone thinking about cloth diapering but i am always happy to answer questions.
*this is just my opinion, obvioulsy i have no affiliation with bumgenius what so ever (unless they would like to send me some free diapers to review;)