Maybe this is what you think of when you think of cloth diapers...
A whole row of white cotton drying in the sun and gentle breeze.
Maybe you think of something that your mom says she tried on you once, but the cloth diapers were a pain to put on and made for a big leaky mess.
Maybe you remember your grandparents stories about the dangers of "safety" pins and how they accidentally stuck the baby with the pins while putting the diaper on.
Or maybe you just think of something that hippies do to try to "save our mother earth"(oh, Puh-Leeze!) and isn't it just gross that they put poop in their washing machines!
By the way, all of those are my first hand experiences and thoughts until about a year and a half ago.
I read lots of blogs. Mostly by super cool crafty or homemaking type women. And it just so happened that lots of them mentioned using cloth diapers (cd's to those in the know.) That got me curious. Since, at the time I was pregnant with my third boy and was just not in love with the rising cost of diapers, I decided to research. My second son had only been out of diapers for less than a year and I discovered that even the polka dotted Target disposable diapers that I used with the first two had gone up in price again. So I researched the main cloth diaper brands that came up in reviews and the basic ways to use cloth diapers (HA!) That was unbelievably confusing.
I crunched numbers, I read reviews, and while, yes, I might be able to save like a hundred dollars buying cloth diapers and using them exclusively, or had I used them with all my children and they had been an initial investment, but were now paid for, then I'd definitely save money. But with my third and quite probably last child (HA!), I wasn't about to go crazy with all the extra work to save a hundred dollars.
But, I wanted to be really sure that I had truly explored ALL the points of view, so I asked the only person I knew who used cloth. I messaged my cousin and she walked me through the process. She had been using cloth for the last 11mo with her first son and sent me the links for the diapers she bought and suggested I look into making my own diaper covers since that was the big expense of the thing. She assured me that cloth was super easy and not a hassle at all to use or maintain. I checked out the prices of the prefolds my cousin recommended and talked with my aunt who made my cousin's diapers covers and re-crunched numbers.
It worked out to less than a hundred dollars to buy enough prefold cloth diapers and the materials to make the "water-proof" covers that went on top of the prefolds and also a package of Snappi's (the replacement to the dangerous safety pins.) So about a hundred bucks to get going with cloth compared to the many hundred for store brand disposables. I even reasoned, "Heck, if I use the cloth for just three months exclusively, they will have paid for themselves and it's no money wasted if I decide cloth isn't for me and I go back to the familiar 'sposies."
So decided I was up to the challenge.