I love cloth diapers, but it seems to be one of those personal preferences things. My primary reason is the cost is so much less, and I don’t do organic or save the environment, just so you know where I’m coming from. Secondary reason is that I hate things that smell.
I use a mix of chinese prefoldsand gerber prefolds, with Thirsties covers. I prefer the chinese prefolds, as they are more absorbent, but the gerbers were a gift. I like the prefolds because they are easy. I just fold them in thirds in the cover and velcro it on. I never did get the hang of snappis or pins, but I didn’t have to! Some people prefer snaps because they last longer, and although some of my velcro looks kinda crappy now, I prefer the more precise fit of it. I do love the Thirsties brand though, because they have extra gussets that keep everything in. I tried a couple of different brands (bummis whisper, and prowraps I think) in newborn size to start off with, and after that I went with only Thirsties because they are just better than the others.
I’ve been doing it for 9 months. I used disposables for trips where I wouldn’t have access to my washing machine. First time I used 7th generation, and they were pretty cool because they didn’t smell but I got that pack for free, and then next time I just used store brands, but those had fragrances added to them, and they stank! And my husband also used disposables in the hospital for the first newborn poops that are really gross, and he said that was the grossest shit ever, so I would suggest waiting until all that is gone until you start cloth, but most of the time it only takes a couple days.
I was doing warm wash with cold rinse for about 5 months, but then I had a bit of the stink (ammonia smell) issue, so I ran them on a hot rinse a couple times, and now I do hot wash, cold rinse, and I have not had any other issues with stink now. I use planet detergent, but there is a list for other good detergents that work well with cloth. You really don’t need that much detergent. I use less than an ounce per load. Less is better because otherwise you might get buildup. My husband was using too much. I do one load about every or every other day, about 12 diapers or so per load.
I don’t find the convenience factor to be any different for me. Yeah, you put the diaper in the wetbag when you are out; that takes 2 seconds. How long does throwing the disposable away take? About 2 seconds. Pretty much the same. But I have no problems with doing a load of diapers. It’s super easy laundry because you just throw it in, add detergent, start the wash, wait a while, throw it in the dryer. My prefolds dry within an hour in my bottom of the line dryer. No folding, I just use the diapers straight out of the laundry basket. But some people just really hate doing laundry and think it’s the worst thing ever, so if you are one of those people, you might not like cloth. The only thing that is really that different is that I’ve had to buy one size up in baby clothes to fit over the diaper, but it’s not really an issue because I buy carter’s brand and they are more narrow, so they fit well over the diapered bottom.
I’ve never had any leak problems except when I’ve done something stupid like not velcroing one side of the diaper properly so that it comes undone later. Never had any rash problems (in either cloth or disposables). Never had any poop blowouts in cloth. The poop does get on the cover though, but you should wash the covers once in a while anyway. My baby is still mostly breastfed, so the poopy diapers go straight into the wash, no scraping or spraying poop. I also do EC now though so I don’t even have that many poopys now that we are out of the newborn poop every time you pee phase.
And if you do end up using cloth, you might as well use cloth wipes as well, which I definitely prefer to disposable. I think they work a lot better. Disposables are always soapy and too slippery. I bought some wipes, and they were okay, but if I were to do it over I would just use baby washcloths because they are a lot cheaper and work just as well.
Honestly, even if I were to suddenly become rich, I would still do cloth again just because it is what I’m used to. I would probably just buy more of a variety of diapers. I really do like them better now. I changed disposables when I worked in a daycare, so it’s not like I have no experience with them. The only kind I would consider using is those without fragrance. I just hate things that smell! But that’s just my little quirk.