I got turned on to cloth diapering - something I never even thought I would consider - when I stumbled onto a post entitled How to Use Cloth Diapers. It all just seemed so easy, so I continued to do research and soon decided to give it a try. Because I have lots of time to plan ahead, I have been able to really minimize my costs and to think through how best to make cloth diapers fit into our lives.
My husband and I both work full-time - usually more than full-time, in fact - so I know if we are going to make cloth diapering work, I have to have enough diapers to get me through about 2 days so I am not constantly doing laundry. I am hoping we will have a nanny who can assist with the wash, but it will depend on whether or not I am able to get into a better-paying job. I wish I could stay home and take care of all of these things myself, but I also want the security of knowing that if something were to happen to my husband, I would be able to provide for our child(ren). Maybe someday...sigh.
When I first started pricing diapers, I was blown away by the cost. Of course, I didn't know yet where I should be looking, or how many different options there were, so I was kind of flying blind. More research helped me decide that I wanted to use prefolds and covers, much like the ones pictured on the blog referenced above. For some reason, I just love the way they look, and I felt I could be comfortable using them.
I got on Craigslist and found some great deals. One woman sold me 50 diapers - 35 that will last me from newborn to about 18 pounds and 15 that will last me the rest of the time. Remember, you do not need diapers in every single size there is. You can fold down the diaper to the correct size before folding into the middle. (Again, see very helpful cloth diapering guide.) She also threw in 4 covers and 2 rolls of flushable liners, which are really great for rolling up that poop and flushing it away. All of this cost me $100. I wanted to be extra prepared, so I also bought 12 8-18 pound prefolds from another Craigslist user for $15. I now have all the prefolds I will ever need - and far more than a stay-at-home mom would need.
The first seller had never used her diapers. They were a gift, but she never got into the cloth diapering. The diapers had already been treated and could not be returned, so she was happy to unload these brand new diapers, and I am thrilled to have them. The second seller was a huge fan of cloth diapering and had used the diapers on both of her children. (I couldn't believe how new and white the diapers looked after two babies!) She was so nice and sent me a long list of resources and places to buy, as well as tips on cleaning.
One of the best tips she gave me was to look for online giveaways, something I had not yet thought to explore for cloth diapers. A quick search led me to a site with links to tons of baby gear giveaways, not to mention a ton of other great information. I have spent the last few days entering giveaways like crazy and waiting to hear all the great things I have won. I will post updates as I win, which I am sure will be happening soon!
Because I am starting now, I have a lot of time to spend entering giveaways and, hopefully, winning! By the time I really need to start purchasing the rest of the diaper covers I want/need, or at least putting them on the registry, I may already have received enough to get me through.
I also have taken some time to locate the right diaper pail. The one I plan to use is the Bambino Mio diaper pail, which has a locking lid. I plan to take it along with me on weekend trips, which we do a lot of since our families are out-of-state, so I don't have to use disposables every time we go away. It is small enough to fit into the trunk, and the locking lid will keep the odors - and the diapers, of course - in on the ride home.