There are so many blogs, websites, youtube videos devoted to cloth diapering and why it's awesome and why it's best for your baby and yadda yadda yadda...
Lemme just tell you from an honest, non-biased perspective what I've learned from my very first week of cloth diapering my newborn.
My daughter Maggie was born last Friday. We were released from the hospital Saturday night, and since Saturday night I've been cloth diapering, with the exception of a few disposables here and there (mostly for the benefit of having my husband change a diaper, since he's uber-uncomfortable with the cloth ones so far....don't get me wrong though, he's pretty bad with the disposables too!)
Myth #1: Cloth diapers take longer to change than disposables---TRUE!
-While I'm not going to exaggerate and say that it takes 10X longer or anything like that, it does indeed take longer to do a diaper change and all around diaper care than disposables. I read a blog somewhere that said "it's as easy as 1,2,3." Okay yeah putting the baby in the diaper takes three steps, and we can ALL master three steps but there are other more time consuming steps too...
Step 1: Theres removing the soiled diaper and putting it aside for further care. *Notice I said remove and not get rid of or dispose. There's a reason for this, once i get to the later steps*
Step 2: clean baby (normal)
Step 3: put on fitted or pre-fold diaper onto baby. The fitted ones have velcro or snaps. The prefolds require a snappy or pin.
Step 4: Place cover.
Here's the doozy:
Step 5: Clean the poop off the original diaper.
---So I read somewhere---Newborn poop is runny and water soluble, you can just stick in the washer and it comes right out. Well it didn't work like that for me! I had poop all over everything in that washer-- the other diapers, the machine.... It was horrible and had to do another load, and let me just tell you--having to use all that water does not make me happy. Thankfully we purchased a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet. (and it leaks! but we're learning to deal with it--that's another story) Anyways back to the poop.
Here's my system:
- take poopy diaper to toilet.
-spray poop into toilet.
-wring out sopping wet diaper into toilet
-spray stains with enzyme spray
-place diaper into diaper pail.
So Yeah putting the diaper on is easy as 1.2.3, but the general process is much longer!
Myth #2: Cloth diapers stink--False
--No they don't. (that one was easy)
Myth #3: Cloth diapers work just as well as disposables
--Yes and no.
The baby is definitely wetter. I find this kind of concerning because I'm worried that the wetness will cause rashes and even though I change her super often, she seems to be in a perpetual state of laying on wet cloths, which I would think is very uncomfortable. I mean when my clothes get wet, and I have to sit in it for a while, I'm uncomfortable.
But this wetness comes with a good reason. I've eliminated all those chemicals and other unnatural substances from her skin by not putting her in a disposable. So while disposables do keep the baby drier (which in the middle of the night when I'm exhausted and really don't feel like getting up to change another diaper, sounds realllllllyyyyyyy tempting!) the cloth diapers keep the baby more natural. (I won't say healthier because I'm not sure if there are any health concerns about diapers. I do know that environmentally all that waste is terrible. There are statistics somewhere on the internet that says a baby goes through a ton of diapers in his lifetime or something outrageous like that.) But healthier, I'm not sure. Maggie has a little redness on her bottom, and I'm wondering if it isn't from all that wet cloth on her butt.
So these are my discoveries after a week.
I've also done about 5 loads of diapers in the washer so far. (The drier is running right now actually)
Use the hot/cold.
Now that didn't seem like a positive review, but it's only because those were the things that I had optimistically believed when reading about this process that turned out to not be so exact. All in all, Im happy about them. They aren't difficult to use (just more time consuming). I'm adjusting.