I always thought I would be a cloth diapering mama. It only made sense - I remember it well from my own childhood, it's economical, seems like it would be a lot more comfortable for baby, and of course there are the environmental benefits of not throwing away thousands of disposable diapers. Cloth has come a long way since my own childhood in the 70s. Now you can use the traditional prefolds, but you can also get cloth diapers that are as easy as a disposable in the form of pocket diapers and all-in-ones. I haven't tried too many varieties - quite early on I settled on fuzzy bunz pocket diapers. They have a semi-waterproof outer layer, making it so that you don't have to use a wool diaper cover. They're easy to use, easy to wash, and pretty inexpensive - I bought mind for less than $15.50 each, and currently I'm rotating about 30 diapers for twins. We've been using this set of diapers since about March, and all indications are that they will continue to fit for probably 10 more pounds of growth. That's just $465 for maybe a year of use!
Nights are a different story. My struggles to get the boys to sleep well at night are well-documented here - the choice to use disposables at night so I wouldn't have to do overnight changes was a no brainer. Even with using cloth all day long, I still spend about $50 a month on disposables, as we have also been using them for car outings. Sitting in the carseat for a couple of hours seems to always result in wet pants. I've been bummed about using the disposables, but felt like I had little choice unless I wanted to deal with wet clothes and extra nighttime wakings.
So, last week when I read this post from one of my favorite twin/parenting blogs, I was excited to find a cloth diapering solution that seemed to be a good option for nights. On the same day, I found the brand of cloth diaper she recommended on craigslist for a great price - only I found dream-eze's new all-in-one diaper with a PUL outer layer, which could mean not even having to use an extra layer of a wool soaker on the outside. I was really excited to pick up these gorgeous new diapers.
Upon seeing the dream-eze AIOs, I knew I was going to love them. They're trim, comfortable-looking, and as an all-in-one, I wasn't going to have to pull out a liner from a dirty diaper. We tried them that very night, and I was thrilled to have absolutely no leaks - about 60% of the time, even our disposables leak!
Sadly, that first night was our only success. Max got a terrible diaper rash for the first time, due no doubt to the detergent used by the previous owner. While his poor bottom healed, I kept him in diaposables at night, and Shoghi continued to wear the dream-eze. His sleep became very disturbed. At 10 months old, I guess he just couldn't get used to the different feeling of the cloth's wetness. He was waking every couple of hours, and for a few nights in a row, I ended up changing him into a dry diaper at about 3am.
I'm sad to say that I've given up on nighttime cloth. Maybe I didn't try for long enough. I really think that if we had been doing this from the beginning, it would have been fine, I just don't like the sense I get of making the boys get used to a different - and clearly uncomfortable - feeling in their pants. Not to mention that I don't like to be waking up to crying babies all night long.
The investment in the dream-eze diapers isn't a total loss, though not being able to use them at night was definitely disappointing. I'm now using them for car rides, with terrific success. If the boys are still in cloth when they graduate from the medium fuzzy bunz, I will be really tempted to switch to these amazing diapers.
If you're thinking about cloth, I say give it a try - it's easier than you probably think. I'm surprised to be still using it myself - when we moved from Korin's, we all figured that cloth would be the first to go, but here we are, still going strong. It's not a lot of work, and it's quite rewarding, somehow! I'd just suggest that you invest in good nighttime diapering supplies early on so that the baby(ies) gets used to it from the beginning. I wish we had!