Before Winn was born, I became obsessed with the idea of using cloth diapers because they seemed great for the environment and my pocketbook. I did a ton of research on-line about the best diapering system, best detergents, etc and eventually took the plunge and ordered about $300 of cloth diapers and accessories. I did not use them during the newborn stage, but once he was about 2 months I started using them and discovered the following drawbacks: I had to change him constantly. You cannot let a baby sit in a cloth diaper especially after you have been using the cloth diapers for a little while. My diapers quickly built up ammonia in them which is extremely irritating to sensitive tissue down there. Winn was circumcised and he started developing penile skin adhesions which totally freaked out my husband and me. This was around 5-6 months when we discovered this problem. The solution to this problem required much application of vaseline to to loosen the skin and protect it. Vaseline and lots of other good diaper creams are contraindicated with cloth diapers. It was extremely frustrating to me to have to give up on the idea of cloth, but like many things I've learned with being a new mom, you just have to go with the flow and be flexible.
This Fall after I got over the hump of the first trimester, I decided to pull out the cloth again and give it another go. This time went much better for several reasons:
1) I finally figured out the KEY to avoiding ammonia build-up in the diaper is throughly rinsing each diaper insert in the sink after changing him. When the diaper sits in the bin un-rinsed it dries out the and ammonia crystals get locked into the insert. I will occasionally boil the insert if I notice it is strong smelling after I take it off of him.
2) I use cloth only during the day. Definitely disposables at night and sometimes during naps. If I know I am going to be running around town doing a bunch of errands, I use disposables.
3) I used to like the Flip covers and prefolds because he was going through the diapers so quickly, but now I like the convenience of the Bum Genius with the inserts. The velcro are also easier to get on him, but I have to make sure he has pants on or he will take them off. I think about 12 cloth diapers is about the perfect of amount for part-time cloth diapering. I was them about every other day because I don't like the idea of them fermenting in the bin. My husband is not really on board with cloth because it's not as convenient as disposable and has the potential for more skin irritation, so I do all the washing and prepping. I use cloth wipes sometimes for cleaning during changing him and cloth wipes are great for wiping him down after meals. I throw these cloth wipes and bibs in with the cloth diapers to wash.
3) Cloth diapering is so much better now that he is not tee-teeing every 30 minutes. Winn also poops in the potty about 75% of the time now. I hardly ever have to clean poopy cloth diapers which leads me to my next point.
4) The Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer is an absolute must for cloth diapering moms and toilet training moms. It is a sprayer that you attach to your toilet. I use it all the time now to clean out the little potty bowl after poops.
I know that cloth diapering will probably go to the wayside once baby #2 arrives, but I do feel like I am finally getting my money's worth out of the cloth diapers by using them during the day and maybe lessening my carbon footprint. Even though washing/drying them probably adds alot to my utility bill. It feels good to no longer be cursing the cloth and Winn seems to like the cloth - he does look so damn cute in them.
I am now a day shy of 37 weeks, so in the homestetch! I had a cervical check yesterday - nothing happening down there, but made me so sore and crampy afterwards. I think I will go all the way to my C-section date which is in 20 days!