Once upon a time I wrote about our decision to use cloth diapers and I reviewed the brands of cloth diapers we were using. Jack was 2 months old at the time. Jack is now 18.5 months old and we are still rocking the cloth diapers so I thought an update would be good for those who may be curious.
We have saved a ton of money. We own 30 one-size-fits-all cloth diapers and spent about $300 upfront on our diapers. We did end up purchasing 3 additional BumGenious 4.0 for nighttime (our boy pees a lot) and they seemed to do better than the cheaper Kawaii's and Just Simply Baby brands that we originally purchased. This brought us to a cost of about $360 not including the cost of washing said diapers (which is about $2/mo for water and $15/every other month or so for detergent).
We have never experienced a blow out. Maybe we just got lucky here, but I think that cloth diapers do a better job of containing messes.
I don't have a real point of reference on this since Jack is my only kid, but he definitely knows when he is wet or dirty (in a good way). Around 16 months I started asking him if he needed a diaper and he would jump up from playing and head to the changing table. At 18 months, he could say "bi-per" (aka diaper) and will still run for the changing table. We have purchased a potty (he knows to call it potty) and he practices sitting there. We are not necessarily ready to potty train, but I like that he is aware of things and we are exploring this next step.
This is more of a personal preference, but I like that cloth diapers don't have a smell to them. When we put him in disposable diapers (we use them on trips that will be more than 4 days), the smell of disposables kind of grosses me out. They smell strongly of plastic, which I am not a huge fan of.
Laundry is really easy. I must admit that once Jack started solids, I was worried about the laundry situation. 90% of the time, I can just dump the poop directly into the toilet. The other 10% of the time is not so pleasant. If you are considering cloth diapers and are concerned about poop getting into your washing machine, the truth is that even with disposables you will still probably put dirty clothes into your machine (if your kid has blowouts, yeah). It happens. I do an extra rinse and I have never experienced any smell or found anything extra left in my washing machine.
Our diapers take up a bit more space than disposables and you have to carry around the dirty ones after they have been used. We have a wet sack that will easily hold 4 diapers, so this isn't really that big of a deal, you just need to plan for this.
Laundry. While laundry is not harder, if you hate doing laundry, this could be a deal breaker for you. I do a load of diapers about every 3 days or so. And you have to stuff all of the clean inserts into the diaper shells, which seems to work better with small hands so Daniel gets a pass on this job. This isn't a big deal to me, but if laundry isn't your thing or you are already doing a lot of laundry, this could certainly be seen as a con.
Velcro. We only have one diaper that uses Velcro and I am not a fan. Jack likes to pull open the Velcro while I'm changing him. The diaper is a Rumparooz and while I like the extra gussets in its design I am not a fan of Velcro as a closure. Also this particular diaper is a bit more bulky than our others.
That's about it. I really can't think of anything else good or bad. We have been really pleased with our experience. Cloth diapering is not for everyone but it has worked for us.