When he realized that it would be far less expensive to cloth diaper our little man than to use disposables, he was all for it. In case you haven't researched it, disposable diapers from birth to potty training can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $2,000 depending on brand and how you shop. Fricking ridiculous, really. Add in the insane amount of trash that you're tossing into a landfill and the pain doubles. For me it was a no brainer.
And then I had to buy some diapers. Cruising around the internet you can get mighty overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about cloth diapering. What the hell is an AIO? Prefolds? Chinese Prefolds? It was like learning a new language. Luckily I had one lone friend of a friend who cloth diapered her daughter, so I followed her lead. If you are interested in finding out all of the basics on CD'ing your kiddo, read here: The Cloth Diapering Mama. It's a great starting point!
Once you decide what kind of diapers you want, you'll need to develop a system. But don't sweat it, like everything else about new babies, you'll figure it out. There are countless products to store, clean and transport your diapers, but you really don't need much. Here are the must have items in our house:
One Size Pocket Diapers by bumGenius and Fuzzi Bunz: We picked the bumGenius because our friend used them and loved them. Then I met a girl who loved her Fuzzibunz. Ask everyone what they prefer and you get a different answer. Different brands fit differently, and what works for one baby won't for another. I chose one size pockets because I like the idea of buying one diaper that will fit from birth to potty training. I'm a cheap ass. If you don't want to spend a fortune figuring out what brand is best for you, try this great Trial Offer from Nicki's Diapers. I wish I'd known about it before!
Cotton/Hemp Liners: Totally necessary for pocket style diapers, especially if your babykins turns out like mine. They call them heavy wetters. He'll be so happy to see that on the internet when he's older. I use the ones made for gdiapers, only because I got them at my baby shower. The gdiapers system ended up being craptastic for us, but the liners fit inside of our diapers, so it wasn't a total loss. You can get them at Babies R Us, too, which is awesome if you get lots of gift certificates and can't figure out what to buy. Those bastards only started carrying bumGenius after Jude was born. Bugger.
Wet Bags: We keep a large hanging wet bag on a hook in our bathroom. It just made more sense to toss dirty diapers in there once we sprayed them, rather than toting them back to the nursery. A little eucalyptus oil sprinkled inside after each wash keeps the bathroom from getting toxic. We also have a couple of smaller zippered style wet bags for going out. I keep one in the diaper bag and one in the car. They are great for wet clothes, too.
A Diaper Sprayer: E was a bit disturbed when met with his first soiled diaper, even after we had purchased and installed the sprayer and I explained what it was for. Imagined poo is clearly easier to handle than actual poo. This bad boy makes our lives so much easier. I know a lot of moms use a pail and swish diapers around in water, but I can't imagine getting E to do that. Actually, I can't imagine myself doing that. This thing is like a super powered water gun, so spin it that way and it may be easier to get your reluctant man on board :) Just warn house guests that it isn't a bidet. Trust me.
CJ's BUTTer: My friend Kayster turned me on to this incredible stuff. Since you can't use commercial diaper creams with cloth, I needed something as a "just in case." The disposable diapers we used when Jude came home from the hospital gave him a terrible rash and this cleared it right up! Jude is so sensitive, and this has healed every single spot. Even his heat rash (which the pediatrician claimed could not be treated) was gone in a few days after I applied some BUTTer. The scents are also awesome (Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey is my fave) and it can be used for any skin issue. That reminds me, I'm almost out.
California Baby Diaper Area Wash: We can't use commercial wipes very often without Jude breaking out in a rash. At home we use baby washcloths and water, but it can be hard to get to a sink when we're out and about. I keep a travel sized spray bottle with this wash diluted in water in the diaper bag and it's perfect. A few spritzes on a dry cloth and you're good to go. Plus, it smells awesome, which is great when your cute little bugger stinks to high heaven.
All in all, it seems like a lot of work to cloth diaper, but it is not and it has been so worth it. Along with the financial and environmental benefits, our little man has very few skin issues with cloth, and he looks pretty cute, too. Agreed?