I decided when I was pregnant with our first that we were going to do cloth. I was committed. I researched different kinds; pocket, all in ones, prefolds, whatever. Ultimately I settled on prefolds because they were the cheapest. One of my best friends uses all in ones and pockets, and she loves them. For me, my love and loyalty will always live with prefolds. They are so versatile, and you know what? When your babe is in a newborn size, you use the small as the protection pad under their butts for a diaper change, and on and on. So. Handy.
We bought 24 newborn diapers to get us started, and a few covers, and luckily were gifted 24 of both small and medium prefolds.
This sounds like a lot. Right? So many diapers. But even with THAT MANY, you're still doing laundry about every two days. Maybe three. And going through SO MANY during the day. Nothing sucks more than running out of cloth diapers because you don't have enough. And I never wanted to need to use disposables.
Now that I've said that, yes. We used disposables for the first week or two with our first because people warned us about the yucky meconium poops that would stain them green. Well, poop is going into these things. Do they need to look...perfect? No. To me, that was not a problem.
Not only did we have that many diapers, but the covers we used were the Thristie brand, and we had about...a handful. Maybe six? We just wiped them down between changes with our cloth wipes, and went from there. When they started to get smelly, or had poop on them, we'd wash them. Sometimes, if it was just a smidge of poop, I'd still just wipe 'em down and reuse.
(Speaking of which, if you're doing cloth diapers, why not make cloth wipes!? And yes, I said make. All you need is some flannel. Cut into squares. Boom. You're done.)
Now, when we had our first, we didn't have internet. So I always washed out all the diapers, then put them in our diaper pail until laundry day. Pee and poop diapers alike. Washed them all in the sink. Then we had our second, got internet, and I read that you don't have to rinse them out. Perfect. Threw them in the pail and that was it. One less step. Except, you guys, these diapers were now giving my sweet babe diaper rash. And they smelled off. So I went back to washing them before I put them in the pail, and problem was solved. This is what worked for us. Maybe baby just had...strong pee? I don't know.
I also washed our diapers and wipes with a cup of vinegar, and then laundry soap. We liked the Trader Joes soap, and filled the cap to the second line. Ran them once, stuck them in the dryer and if they weren't quite dry when they came out, then put the prefolds on the clothes rack and let them air dry. I read that getting them overly dry isn't good. Also, I used dryer balls. No dryer sheets for these babies.
Over the years, if I saw more covers at consignment stores, I would snatch them up. They are so much cheaper there. Some people also sell their covers, and this can also be cheaper! I felt fine buying covers at full price in the beginning, because I knew that we'd have another baby, and we'd get to use them again. But once I'd explored more consignment and we had access to internet, I stopped buying them full price. haha.
Cloth isn't for everyone. I have no problem scraping poop out of a diaper, or traveling with cloth diapers. This can be annoying, but if you're committed, it can be done, just like so many other things!
(As a side note, I will say this. Both my kids have been diaper free since 18 months old. I attribute this to not wanting to do diaper laundry anymore. Potty training is a blog for another day though.)
If I've left anything out, or you have questions, let me know! I'd love to lend my years of experience. [: Enjoy your cloth journey, everyone!