I'm determined to use cloth diapers once Squirt arrives. So this debate isn't even whether I use cloth or disposables. The issue is do I use a diaper service or buy them ourselves.
At first I was set on using the all-in-one kind and getting enough that we would only have to wash every 2 or 3 days. Then I talked to a friend who used a diaper service and she recommended it. Even though she is a stay-at-home Mom she was happy not to have to actually clean the diapers off and wash them herself. Knowing that Husband was going along with the cloth diaper idea but not looking forward to cleaning the diapers I looked into a diaper service.
We compared the cost of the all-in-ones and the cost of the diaper service. We factored in both of us working 40 hours per week and needing to find time to do all this laundry. We factored in the cost of running our washing machine and dryer every couple of days. We went away leaning towards the diaper service. Since Husband only wants one kid, we wouldn't get as much use out of the diapers as other parents who re-use them for multiple children. So it came down to the cost not being that much different. We leaned towards the diaper service so that I wouldn't be stuck doing the extra loads of laundry and we wouldn't have to clean the diapers before putting them in the laundry.
Then I did some more reading and saw that the diaper services use pre-folds. First off, we already have the day-care reserved and we'll be using in-home daycare. The lady we decided to go with is perfectly ok with cloth diapering and says she did it with her kids. So I actually think she'll be ok with pre-folds. However, if we ended up not being happy with her and wanted to put Squirt in a daycare center, they would require the all-in-ones. So that could be an issue. The other thing is that I wasn't too happy with the pre-fold idea.
This past weekend we went to a store called Cotton Babies. I'm pretty sure they're my only option for a store that I can go into and buy cloth diapers instead of using the internet. They have several different kinds so we tested them all out on a doll. We came up with a way to do the pre-folds that makes me happy. I walked out saying ok, let's do this diaper service.
Later that night Husband brought up the cloth diapering and mentioned that if we're doing pre-folds we should look into buying everything and doing it ourselves instead of using a diaper service. He thought the pre-folds were pretty inexpensive and it would be a lot cheaper. So I ran numbers again. Even though he insists on only one child, so knowing we'll only use these diapers for one kid, it's still a heck of a lot cheaper for us to purchase the pre-folds and covers than to use the diaper service.
Here's what is holding me back. Again, we both work 40 hour weeks. Doing it all ourselves just means we'll have to do more laundry. We'll be exhausted. We'll want to spend time with Squirt and not doing laundry. Plus I had gotten really happy about the fact that I could just put soiled, poopy diapers in a bag and put it on my porch once a week and they magically get replaced with clean ones.
So here's my question to all you Mom's out there who used cloth diapers. You have experience, what can you suggest? Was doing a load of diapers every 2 days a big pain in the butt and you wish you used a service or was it something you got used to pretty quickly and it wasn't an issue. Is cleaning the diapers a pain, to the point that the idea of just throwing soiled diapers into a bag and forgetting about it would be heaven? Or is that something you quickly get used it?
Oh, and let me add in that we've run the numbers and we've erred on the side of things being more expensive and the cost of the diaper service is very management for us. So while keeping cost down is important, it's not a deal breaker (if that makes sense). I've also had people tell me that they were going to use cloth and lasted 2 weeks or a month, and switched to disposables because it was a pain (all these people have older children, so they weren't using the clothe options available these days). I don't see us doing that. Not just because I think it's the best option for my child and for the environment. But also because I'm pretty stubborn and since everyone is telling me I won't last and I won't like it, I'm determined to prove them wrong. haha