Right up front, want to let you know, there is absolutely nothing remotely interesting in this post--just lots of questions and confused ramblings from the deranged mind of a woman who has read WAY TOO MANY WEBSITES about cloth diapering. But if you have experience, or advice, please, I am begging you: PLAAAAYYYS HAAAAAAALP.
So, here's the prologue. Colby and I decided ages ago that we wanted to cloth diaper. This is back when we were young and starry eyed and certain we'd have a baby in 9 months. One baby. Now it's almost two years later, and we're thrilled to be having two babies in four months, but a little more daunted at the thought of cloth diapering. But not so daunted that we've given up hope. It still makes a lot of sense in our situation.
We got lucky that our house has hookups for a large American style top loading washer with hot and cold water so laundry shouldn't be an issue. We have a hand held shower head on our bathtub that will reach to the toilet in lieu of a sprayer (tankless toilets) and a utility sink in the laundry room. Our garbage is only collected every two weeks, and we have an 80 liter trash can. That is... small. You can get garbage bags specifically devoted to diapers, but you only get 52 to last you for a year (possibly we could get double that since we'll have two babies), but still, the thought of massive bags of diapers piling up in our house or carport for 14 days between pick ups grosses me out. So while our work load will be doubled from what we originally anticipated, I still feel like it's workable and even practical.
Now I'm at the point where I'm deciding what kind of diapers we want to invest in, how we'll deal with the hard water issue, and possibly most importantly, just how many diapers will it take to keep two baby butts covered without having to do laundry every blessed day. And oh my stars, the options. From trial packages from boutiques, to Amazon, to Etsy. All-in-ones, pockets, inserts, prefolds, covers, Snappis, fleece, wool, PUL, hemp, fleece, liners, velcro or snaps... I thought I would just do my research, get a few options, decide what works best for our specific babies and all would be good. But the more research I do, the more my head spins. So, here's where I am now...
For the first few weeks, we'll likely stick with disposables. I expect we'll have some pretty teensy babies, and it'll be enough dealing with adjusting to life with two infants without having to add in figuring out laundry routines, or worrying in advance whether or not they'll be big enough to fit into the cloth diapers without leaks.
My current plan of attack is to eventually have a stash of around 40-50 diapers. I think that seems like enough that I could go every other day between washes, and perhaps once they get older we'll be able to push it out to two days between washes. I've seen everywhere from 8-16 as the estimates of diapers that an infant goes through in one day. Eight seems a bit on the low side, and 16 seems pretty high just from my limited experience, so I'm going with the average of about 12 diapers a day per baby.
I'm leaning pretty strongly toward prefolds with covers as my primary diapering system, with some all-in-ones and pockets thrown in for outings and short trips, just for the sake of easiness (long trips we'll just say to hell with it and go with disposables, unless we're staying with family and have access to laundry facilities). My biggest concern with the prefolds is that the dampness is right against baby's bottom, and I've read a lot of accounts of this leading to diaper rashes. Maybe fleece liners would help with that problem? But they seem so much easier to wash than all-in-ones and even pockets, definitely cheaper and more forgiving on our stash since you don't necessarily have to change the cover every single time.
Of course, in doing this research, I was led to Green Mountain Diapers and their Cloth-eez Prefolds. And as I was trying to decide if I wanted to deal with Snappis or if we'll just do a trifold and lay the prefold inside the cover, I saw the Workhorse Fitteds. I'm pretty taken with them, but I don't know if they're worth the pretty significant extra cost compared with the prefolds. I love that I can get 48 prefolds for less than $100, when the Fitteds would run us $240 for the same amount (cost comparison based on newborn size). But if they really work that much better, it's worth it not to have to deal with leaks and blowouts.
For covers, I'm thinking about auditioning Best Bottom with Hook and Loop closures, Thirsties Duo Wrap Snaps, and Bummis Super Snap. I think I prefer snaps because they last longer than velcro, they're harder for baby to pull off, and I won't have to worry about Velcro irritating baby's stomach.
All-in-ones I'm looking at are Thirsties Duo All-in-One Snaps, Lil Joeys, Bummis Easy Fit Tots Bots with Snap (according to reviews, good for small babies), and BumGenius Elementals. And for pockets, FuzziBunz Perfect Size, Blueberry Mini Deluxe, Happy Heinys (also good for small babies, but has velcro which I don't love--so I may just get the one size). Maybe 10-15 of these total, for the aforementioned uses.
For the rest of it, I'm still at a loss. Should we use Snappis? Is hemp really that much better than microfiber? How many additional inserts should we plan to have on hand in case of heavy wetters? Can you use an additional insert inside of the prefold to help with a diaper lasting through the night when that day finally comes? Are disposable liners as awesome as they seem, or just a waste? Do I seem like I have a handle on this, or are you sitting there laughing at me?
Really, now is the time to launch any and all assvice in my direction. Please share your experiences and tell me what worked for you and WHY it worked for you? Seeing it all in writing, I feel like maybe it seems that I've made a lot of decisions, but honestly, I still feel so confused. I will love you forever if you can help me figure this out before I actually give birth to these little pee and poop machines.