I never imagined in a million years that cloth diapering would be so involved and have SO MANY options! It was quite overwhelming at the beginning. It didn't take me too long to find the kind I was interested in and then from there I was able to eliminate some brands and types of cloth diapers. I can see how if I do end up getting into this and actually stick to it (that remains to be seen!), I will have to really put a tight limit on how many diapers I can buy and not lose complete control buying all these cute cloth diapers and diaper covers! It's crazy how much cute stuff is out there.
So through all my research, I've found a few brands that I would love to try out. Bum Genius is by far the most popular one I've seen. They seem very high quality and have great reviews. They are also on the higher end of the price range so it will be a while before I buy one. I will have to really show complete commitment to cloth diapering to allow myself to buy one of those more expensive ones. Thirsties is another brand that seemed popular and have good reviews, as well as Fuzzibunz. There are two brands that are new that came out by the same makers of Bum Genius. They are cloth diapers for people on a budget, like me! Econobum and Flip are the two I ended up narrowing my focus on. I read so many reviews and looked at so many women's pictures of their children in these cloth diapers on diaperswapper.com - you would think I was OCD about this or something. I really wanted to know what "real" people thought of using these diapers and whether they were total crap or totally worth the price. I ended up buying a starter kit box of the Econobum. It's the most basic cloth diapering system I found -- and by FAR the cheapest. My box came with 3 white diaper covers and 12 unbleached, prefolds. They are very simple to use. Fold up the prefold and place it in the cover and then snap the cover onto baby. The cover is adjustable and should fit Brooklyn up to potty training. It is adjustable with snaps. I tried one tonight and only left it on for about an hour b/c it was almost time for Brooklyn to go to bed. I didn't want to leave it on her all night since I don't know yet how well these diapers work on her yet. Putting the diaper on was easy enough. I fumbled a bit but it's my first time and Brooklyn was being very fussy and kicking her legs. (I found out later why she was so fussy --- BIG POOP!) It was quite a bit bulkier than her disposable diapers BUT not as bulky as I imagined it would be. I'm sure I'll get better at folding them too so they won't be as bulky. I also bought the special laundry soap to wash the diapers in. It's called Charlie's Soap and is supposedly an all natural, eco-friendly, nothing-but-soap, soap. I didn't know this before, but, you can't wash cloth diapers in regular detergent because all the softeners and other stuff in there puts a coating on fabric which, in diapers, decreases their absorbency. So, this Charlie's Soap has nothing but soap (no scent even, just clean smell) and won't leave any residue. The guy I bought this from said that he now uses it for all his family's laundry because it just makes the clothes softer. I'll have to see if this is true.
By the way, the website for my cloth diaper "dealer" is www.froggyslcothdiapers.com - he is local, in Arlington and does free delivery to anywhere in the DFW metroplex. If you are interested in cloth diapering, you should go check out what he has.
Anyway, back to my story. I think what I'm going to start with since I don't have enough diapes to use cloth full-time is only using them on the weekends (Saturday & Sunday). That way, I have all week to wash them and get them ready for use on the weekend and it will get me in the groove of things and let me see if this is something I could handle full-time. I would love the money savings of doing it full-time, BUT, it will still save us money if we only do it on the weekends. Every cloth diaper we use means one less disposable is being used. If, by Christmas time, I'm loving the cloth diapering, I will probably buy one more box of the Econobum so I have a good little starting stash. Then I'll go from there.
Now, let me end this with saying that, there is a chance I will find that I HATE this. If that is the case, I will be honest on here and I won't make any excuses and I will sell my cloth diapers. I'm hoping this isn't the case. One thing I know for sure is that I'm not going to just give up and quick right off the bat when something doesn't work immediately or even if I struggle through the whole weekend trying to figure this out. I'm going to give it a good, honest, long run. I gave up so quickly on breast feeding and I look back on it now and feel a tinge of guilt. I don't feel guilty in the sense that I feel like my daughter isn't getting good nutrition. I fully believe that she is as healthy as can be on this formula and obviously if formula was bad for babies, they wouldn't sell it and we would all have issues because of it. Anyway, the guilt I feel is that I didn't try to stick it out longer and see if it would get better. I quit when it was at it's worse and about to get better. Now, we have spent a pretty penny on formula and I look back and wonder if I had stuck it out, would we not be so tight on money? I don't know. What I am certain of though is that I would not have been able to continue breast feeding at full capacity once I went back to work. I don't have a break till 2 in the afternoon and would not be able to wait till then to pump everyday. That just wouldn't work! So that's my biggest consolation is that I probably still wouldn't be breast feeding today even if I hadn't quit so soon.
So now I try something new that could potentially save us quite a bit of money and save the environment. We'll see if I can handle it!