Over a year ago, we made the switch. My husband and I decided to ditch disposable diapers and go to cloth diapering. Since then, many people (including Sarah & Maria) have asked why we did it, how we like it, and if we'll continue. Here are my thoughts and experience so far.
Why we did it
It's funny. I originally thought I could pin it down to one reason and often gave just one in conversation. That is, cloth diapers save you money. (Though for my husband, it has always been that we aren't sending piles of disposables to the landfills.) But, the more I've stuck with cloth diapering and thought about it, I don't think that is a full answer. It is true, cloth diapering does save you money. But, honestly, it may not be enough on its own to keep you cloth diapering. The latest calculation my husband and I made of it is that given that we are on well water and plan to use our diapers for multiple children, we should save a few thousand over the course of our child rearing. That may not sound impressive enough for most.
However, throw in that we aren't adding to the landfills (which I have come to care more about), it becomes much more motivating to stick with cloth diapering. Then, there are a few perks to cloth diapering which leads to...
How we like it
To tell the truth, I love cloth diapering. I would never have thought this would be true. I grew up hearing my mom say multiple times how convenient and marvelous disposable diapers are and that they are one of the greatest inventions ever. I certainly never thought otherwise when changing my younger siblings' diapers. But, for one thing, cloth diapers are much better designed now than what my mother had to deal with. And, I've come to be attached to these perks:
1. Cloth diapers are cute. I have no need for bloomers anymore. Especially when under a year, a daughter looks pretty darn adorable with just a blouse top and diaper.
2. If I am running short (or out) of diapers, I don't need to rush to the store or bemoan whatever mishap with Amazon prime subscribe & save. I simply start a load of laundry.
Will we continue
Bottom line, cloth diapering has worked for me. I simply like and enjoy the pattern of life it creates. So, yes, we will stick with it and are ordering newborn diapers for our girl on the way. (Oh, huge perk I'm looking forward to: my sister-in-law (who switched around the time we did) has already diapered a newborn and only had one (ONE!) poop explosion. Soiled newborn outfits with my first was a daily occurrence in Pampers....) Here are some things, however, that make a big difference and help keep the cloth diapers doable for us:
1. The toilet sprayer. It is amazing. It attaches to the water supplying the toilet and enables you to spray more difficult stinky diapers. We started off sticking our hands in to the toilet bowl and swishing around the soiled diaper to get it clean. Disgusting! The sprayer is the solution.
2. Having a spot for the diaper pail that won't offend our nostrils. We have found the smell of pee (which converts to ammonia) far more offensive than poopy smells. But, in a covered (not airtight) trashcan in the bathroom where we can keep the door open to allow air flow, stench hasn't been an issue.
So those are some of my thoughts. I certainly won't advocate for everyone to switch to cloth diapers, but I do think they are worth considering. Who knows, you may end up really loving them!