I am a first time mom to a 6 month old son. We live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We've been cloth diapering for 2 months now. I'm a Pilates and Gyrotonic® trainer, and even though technically I am on my one-year maternity leave, I am back to teaching a few hours a week.
I decided to give cloth diapers a try mostly because of the impact disposable diapers have on the environment. When I did the math (10-12 changes a day for a newborn!), that is a lot of disposables going into the landfill and taking years to decompose. While I realize that the cloth diapering manufacturing process and the energy and water used for washing them also has an impact on the environment, I believe that in the end, cloth diapers make more sense. Financially, I will have spent less on cloth diapers (as long as I don't let my cloth diaper addiction get out of control) than on disposables, and if we do have another child, we will be able to use them again.
We had a diaper consultant from a local company come to our house to help us decide which brand/type of cloth diapers would be best for our family. It was great - she brought samples of all the types of diapers they carry, and went over the benefits of each one. We decided to go with Applecheeks sized pocket diapers, with bamboo inserts. We love them! An added bonus is the fact that Applecheeks are made in Canada, so we were able to support a Canadian product.
Here is our diaper drawer:
A lot of people still have the misconception that cloth diapers mean diaper pins and waterproof pants. When I showed my family our pocket diapers, they were surprised at how cute and easy to use they were. Many of my friends are already cloth diaperers, so I had many people I could ask for advice.
Do you still use the first diaper you purchased?
We are still using our first cloth diapers, Applecheeks :) We currently have sized pockets (Applecheeks and AMP) and bamboo sustainablebabyish fitteds for night. We have a rainbow of colors, but my favorite is the Sailor Blue.
What are some sites you like to look at for cloth diapering?
I check out the diaperswappers.com message board once in awhile, and the applecheeks and www.sogreenbaby.com's blogs are good resources as well.
A must-have cloth diapering accessory is a wetbag... although they can be like a shoe or purse addiction. So many patterns, choices, colors! Who can choose just one?? Also fleece liners - makes clean-up so much easier!
What washing routine do you use?
Still trying to figure out the best washing routine - we use either Rockin' Green Rage against the Raspberries Hard Rock or Claudia's Choices. Pre-wash cold, heavy-duty wash, with 2 extra rinses seems to do the trick. Any stains get sunned out on our deck :)
Cloth diapering is not as hard to do or as gross as you might think! If you can take advantage of a local company that do diaper consultations or diaper trials, it's a good way to figure out which cloth diapers you like best. Also to know that there are great resources out there (such as Cloth Diaper Addiction) to help you out along the way.