Child number 1: I had my first child when I was 18 y/o, my son who I diapered exclusively with mainstream disposables, such as pampers, luvs, etc.
Child number 2: Born when I am 30 y/o, my daughter who I am exclusively using cloth diapers since I became environmentally conscious and more interested "natural" alternatives.
I have only used Grovia brand diapers. Of course, it's up to you to choose the ones you like, but I picked Grovia because they had All-In-One diapers, and I figured that would be easiest for me since I was a complete beginner. Plus, they were very popular, and usually well regarded.
Grovia Newborn AIO
First, I want to talk about the things I like about cloth versus disposables.
- My daughter has less irritation/diaper rash. I'm not a scientist or anything, but I assume this occurs because cloth diapers don't hold as much waste as disposables therefore she requires more frequent changing. Usually every time she eats, or about every 2 hours. Also, I would assume the absence of chemicals on her skin that disposables use for said absorbancy might also be a factor.
- My cloth diapers were just as easy to use if not more so than disposables. I can't speak for other brands but my diapers had snap enclosures as seen above which made it super simple. I remember breaking the tabs off disposables on accident frequently and having an expensive, but useless diaper!
- Yes, I wash my diapers every day; it's a medium load in my washing machine. No, I don't have to run to the store in the middle of the night because we ran out of diapers this is a big plus. (My daughter is breastfed which makes her poos water soluble, so her diapers go straight into the washer without rinsing or disposing of poos in toilet. I do have to be careful drying her diapers so as not to damage them, but with an hour of timed dry I have the whole set of diapers ready to use again.)
- It makes me feel good about my environmental footprint. Disposable diapers take hundreds of years to decompose. Granted scientists say nothing decomposes well in a landfill, but still! The less we throw away the better for the planet, right? I do use more water, but I am very conservative about washing laundry anyways, so I'd say I probably still use less water on laundry than the average American does in a week.
- My cloth diapers leak less! Chalk it up to more frequent changes maybe, but the fact is my cloth diapers hold the waste better than disposables in my experience. I believe this is due to the more accurate customizable fit. Although it can take you some trial and error to put the diaper on for the best fit. Luckily internet videos can really help you get started.
My daughter was tiny when she was born (7lb 1oz) and had to be in Grovia newborn sizes which range from 5 lbs to 12lbs. Of course if you have a bigger baby you can start with the O.N.E diapers which range from 10 lbs to 35lbs. I will have to order the O.N.E series as she grows out of the newborn. The entire stock of newborn diapers I've had to buy for her upfront costed me 309$. My daughter averages about 5oz of growth per week and is projected to be 12 lbs at about 3 months old. Then I will need to buy the bigger size for my final diaper purchase.
She is a frequent eater, so she obviously produces a lot of waste, using about 20 diapers a day on average. (I own 21 newborn diapers)
The cost of a pampers disposable at Walmart in my area is 29 cents each. I did the math on what it would cost me to use them for the same period of time as I use her newborn cloth diapers. Based on this formula .29 (diaper each) x 20 (daily use) x 90 (days, equiv. of 3 months) = $522
Hence, although my upfront cost is quite substantial I have paid off my purchase by not using disposables in about 2 months(disposables would cost me $348), and saved money overall. Also, I like the fact that as long as I take good care of my cloth diapers I can use them on subsequent children which multiplies my savings.