I plan to use cloth diapers on our next child. When I mentioned the idea the first time, my dad brought up images of his mom dunking and swirling and said that he didn't think it would last. Having done my research, I have found that cloth diapers are much, much different now than when my dad remembers his mom using them on his baby sister. In fact, they are so different that I found myself just engaged in internet research for hours last night. Before I knew it, it was 1:30 in the morning!
There are so many choices, it is really hard to choose which diaper is best. There are the traditional prefolds (closest to what my dad remembers), which are the cheapest. Except people don't pin them anymore. They put diaper covers with velcro or snaps on over them to hold them on. Looks pretty easy. Plus, with today's washing machines, you don't have to dunk or swirl, just dump the poop. Then there are there are all-in-one diapers, which are basically just like disposable diapers, only you throw them in the washing machine. They are definitely the easiest to use. They look great, but they are really expensive, and a lot of mom reviews seem to suggest that the traditional prefolds are more absorbent. Plus, people say they take a long time to dry. Then there are pocket diapers, which are like all-in-ones, but the absorbent part is a liner that pulls out. Considering that you still have to wash the cover every time, I don't really see the point, other than that maybe they dry faster. There is so much more that I could explain, but I won't. I'm sure you would be bored.
Ultimately, I think I want some of both. I want some prefolds and covers, and I want some all-in-ones. I can't seem to find the all-in-ones I want any where that I can register at, but realistically, I will probably be better off buying them on eBay anyway. They are so expensive, and the good all-in-ones come in different sizes, so people do sell them when their kids outgrow them, so this is definitely the cost effective way to cloth diaper.
I know people have their criticisms about cloth diapering, and some people are probably going to think I am crazy, but I think it is the economically and environmentally responsible thing to do. The average baby uses like 10,000 diapers by the time he/she is potty trained. That is a lot of diapers to sit in a landfill. Plus, diapers cost about $1000-$1500 a year, depending on what you buy. No matter how much we spend on cloth diapers, it will be a savings. Plus, we can sell them on eBay when we are done with them. In addition, I don't like what disposable diapers have done to the potty training process, and I found myself wishing I had used cloth with Vinny. Disposables completely suck the moisture away, which is great- supposedly- but then when they are toddlers, they don't have any idea what it feels like to pee their pants and are totally happy in diapers. I don't think that is natural. I think kids should naturally get to a point of being uncomfortable in diapers, and that should be a motivation to want to get out of diapers. The quicker they are out of diapers, the better!
Okay, well, there is my rant on that.