For the past 3 months or so, we've been using cloth diapers on Emmy. These are only being used during the evenings, overnight and on weekends when we're at home. One of these days, I'm going to start taking them to Miss Beth's house too.
There have been so many changes/improvements made over the years in cloth diapers. "These aren't your Mama's cloth diapers!" While there are still people who use prefolds and plastic pants, diapers these days are as close to disposables (or 'sposies) as you can get...without actually throwing them away.
I can say, Emmy hasn't had a "real" diaper rash in her 6 months of life...and I think a lot of that has to do with spending a decent amount of time in a cloth diaper instead of paper coated in chemicals.
There are a few reasons for my/our decision (Daddy's kind of along for the ride here) to use cloth on Emmy. I'm not really sure what real order these should be in...
1. Money. Even though initially the cost of cloth diapers is more, in the long run it saves money. Emmy would use at least a 40 count package of diapers plus half of a 2nd package a week, which costs roughly $15, if she wore them full time. By using cloth part time, that's about 30 cloth diapers she doesn't use every week. Basically, saves us $7.50 a week to use cloth part time. Another 6 to 8 weeks of using cloth part time and we break even against the cost of the diapers. Everything beyond that is just savings.
2. Being Green. You can ask the folks in my house how bad I am when it comes to recycling. I will easily go digging in the top of the kitchen trash can to pull out the recyclable items that have been thrown away. We regularly fill up our full size trash can (household thing with wheels) with recyclable things every week. This doesn't include aluminum cans...those we actually take to a facility and sell for money. This is just filled with plastics and paper. By using cloth we are keeping non-biodegradable diapers from sitting in a landfill. I fully believe that we are just borrowing the Earth from our children, grandchildren, grandchildren's grandchildren...you get my point. Whatever we can do to preserve it for the future generations the better. Just doing my little part...recycling the newspaper, putting cloth on my baby's bum...it's the least I can do.
3. Baby's health. I read a post somewhere that listed some of the chemicals that are in disposable diapers these days. It's surprising...and scary. I can't imagine sitting around with that on my bum all day. Rebecca and Sarah both had fairly regular diaper rashes as babies...it's normal for that to happen, right? Wrong! There's no reason that a baby that's changed regularly should ever get a rash from their diaper...but it happens all the time. Look at the industry that is the "cures for diaper rash". There are more creams on the market for baby butts than I can even count. I can't guarantee that it's related...but Emmy has never had a "real" case of diaper rash in her 6 months. She's had a couple occasions that she was a bit red and needed some ointment...but then again, she's been teething since she was 8 weeks old. Wonder what caused the rash?
One of the sites I've found as a source of diapers as well as information is The Changing Table. Lots of information and great products!