Cloth Diapers or Disposable Diapers - Which is Better for YOU?
It's a matter of preference.
Over the last few weeks I have spoken to quite a few moms about the cost of diapering. Here is my 2¢...
There is disposable diapering and there is cloth diapering. I have done both. I like both (if you can LIKE diapering...).
DISPOSABLE DIAPERS - First, find the brands that work for you. As each kind goes on sale and you match your coupons up to the sales, try all different kinds. You may be pleasantly surprised at which dipes your youngun can wear. My kids have all been different - my oldest, a girl, could wear ANY diaper I put on her. The middle child could ONLY wear Pampers Cruisers without leaking. The baby could wear Pampers Cruisers, CVS Supremes, and Luvs for a long while, then started getting rashes and could only wear Huggies. So play around with them. Lots of the store brands offer a money back guarantee, so if they don't work, take them up on it.
Make sure to use your coupons and to stock up when they are on sale. Drug stores run "buy one, get one free or half price" sales on their store brands very often. Proctor & Gamble runs the Pampers on sale about once a month, as does Kimberly Clark with the Huggies. When my youngest was in diapers a few years ago, my rule of thumb was never to pay more than $4.50/pack of diapers. (I always measure $$/pack instead of $$/diaper because once you get into different size diapers, they go up DRASTICALLY). I PREFERED to pay no more than $4, but would pay up to $4.50. Doing the research now, I would have to pay more like $5.50 to $6.00 per pack.
Another thing to watch for is changes in packaging and styles. Once the diaper kid on the front of the package changes, or the wording, or anything, the stores put them on clearance. This doesn't happen (to my knowledge) at your big stores like Walmart, but it DOES happen at Target, CVS, and Walgreens.
You can email to Kimberly Clark & Proctor & Gamble, praise their products, and they will send you coupons. These are usually the best coupons you're going to find, so do it, have your mama do it, have your sister do it, and get your neighbors to do it. Luvs has never sent me any coupons, but I still write & beg for them occasionally.
Diapers from BJ's, Sam's, and Costco are not at a cost savings. It is convenient to buy those huge boxes of diapers, but you are really paying too much for your diapers.
CLOTH DIAPERS - Cloth requires some commitment. Unless you are committed to it, you will not save any money. They are initially a huge investment. You need to buy enough to be able to wash every-other-day. The washing isn't a big deal like most people think. The way they make the dipes nowadays, they wash & dry in no time.
There are so many diapering resources on the internet. I would suggest doing much research. When I used cloth, I bought all different kinds. I like AIOs (All In One's) and HATED Pocket diapers. I hear many people with the opposite opinion, so it is worth trying both kinds to see what works for you & your baby. AIOs are exactly what they say they are - they are a one-piece diaper. A pocket diaper has, well, a pocket that you slide a "soaker" into. When it is time to wash, you pull the soaker out and wash them separately.
More advice - if you use cloth dipes, use cloth wipes. That way you can just throw it all into the pail together. They sell really cute ones all over the internet, but I bought a slew of baby washcloths for a quarter at a second hand store and kept them in a wipes warmer with a special solution I found on the internet.
I bought my supply of diapers off the internet. I bought several second-hand dipes, ALL second-hand soakers, and mostly new covers. I paid around $90 and then sold them all 7 months later for $65. The ONLY reason why I did away with cloth was because during our move from South Carolina to Iowa I thought it would be too hard. I didn't want diapers everywhere when I was trying to sell our house, didn't want to deal with cloth while we were living in a hotel, and didn't want to deal with diapers while I was putting this household in order. By the time I got back around to it, there would have been a new investment (since he had outgrown all his old cloth dipes) and I wasn't ready to chunk out that money.
Your choice of diapering for your baby will bring out the beast in some people. Some will think you are nuts for using cloth, and others will think you are destroying the environment with the disposables. And some people will think you're crazy for even having kids, so who cares what they think!? Go forth and diaper in your own style!