The cloth diapers, I mean. I'd been trying to decide what type of detergent to wash them with, and after reading a couple of charts (here and here) rating the various detergent options, I finally decided that the stuff we already use on our clothes would be fine (Arm & Hammer Essentials Free).
I really can't say enough good things about the Bum Genius one size pockets. I use them for overnights and have never had any problems with leaks. Maybe a tad bulky, but that's a good excuse to replace our nighttime onsies that my son is growing out of anyway with some legitimate PJ's. Another complaint that I've read frequently about (but haven't experienced for myself yet) the BG diapers is that they use Velcro instead of snaps. Apparently after repeated washings, the sticky side of the Velcro can get worn out or covered over with lint to the extent that they no longer stick. So that would be a pretty big problem, but surely a quick sewing job could fix them right up. I really, really like these diapers.
Once our overnight BG adventures were well underway, I decided to get a bit bold about all this cloth diapering business. I bought some USED diapers! I know, sounds gross, like - is that even sanitary?? But, these did not have a stain on them and looked and smelled great, so that was good enough for me. I got three Green Acre Diapers and liked them immediately. They have snaps instead of Velcro, so that was something I was eager to try out.
I'd previously bought some hemp inserts from a lady on Craigslist who said she bought the wrong size (got a great deal on those, too!). Now that I had these three diapers, I was ready to use the hemp inserts. I read that hemp needs to be washed like up to 5 or 10 times in hot, hot water in order to strip it of its natural oils and prepare it to be absorbant. I only washed mine maybe twice before I tried them out. I had some trouble with leaks at first, maybe because of not enough washing beforehand, or maybe just because that's the way hemp can be. Apparently it's very absorbent, but not very quick to catch fast-running pee. So the mama who sold me the diapers suggested I use a rag or other insert of some sort to catch the pee and let it slowly absorb into the hemp. This has worked better, but I still am having some trouble with leaks toward the front of the diaper. I do think there might just be a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to the inserts, so it might just be that I'm not changing him soon enough.
After all this, I started getting excited. I started to see why it is that there are a bajallion choices in cloth diapering all over the internet and why cloth diapers are now showing up in large retail outlets. These things are so addictive or something! I love them! That diaperswappers forum? I could hang out there all day, seriously.
I started scouring Craigslist for some more diapers to feed my new found addiction. I ran across a posting from a lady waaaay out in the country who was making cloth diapers for her daughter. She was selling them 3 for $15 + shipping. That's pretty darn cheap. Downside to those diapers were that they would need a cover to keep my boy's clothes from getting pee soaked. Luckily, I had some covers that I'd bought when I was pregnant and wanting to get a stash of diapers going but never ended up using. They were size small, but I thought they'd probably work, and they do. Plus, she was super fast on the shipping. They were at my house in two days. Now she's even got a little website for her CDs.
After getting that last batch in the mail, it was almost the weekend. I figured I'd see if we could get through a whole day using only CDs. Sure enough we did! In fact, the only 'sposie used that weekend was when Daddy changed our boy so I could sleep in on Sunday morning. An acceptable trade-off, I suppose.
I'm not sure what about using cloth diapers makes me feel so good. I mean, since we still have to keep disposables on hand for babysitter and whatever else, we're not actively saving any money, yet. But I guess it does feel good not to have to throw all those diapers away all the time. And it feels good knowing that my son's most private areas (and most important if I'm ever to be a grandmother!) are well kept, far away from all the bleaching and gel and plastic and chemicals in the disposables. Maybe not all the time, and maybe not for too much longer since he's already a year old. But, it feels good for now. And it will be a good excuse for me to have another baby, that I have such a large, varied and impressive stash of diapers . :P