I've been thinking a lot lately about whether or not we want to use cloth or disposable diapers. It seems like a decision that requires a lot of research. Cloth diapers are also one of those things that people either love or hate - either they tell you to absolutely go with it, they think they're great, or they look at you like you're Amish or something.
Now, I'm not a big tree hugger, so cloth diapering is not a big environmental decision for me. Do I like the idea that cloth diapers would keep thousands of diapers out of landfills? Sure. It's just not my primary reason for wanting to use cloth diapers. My reasons are more basic - I'm cheap. I'm really concerned about money while I'm off work and I am hoping that cloth diapers would relieve some of that burden. Of course, cloth diapers bring up a whole other series of costs - they're expensive to buy initially, they cause you to do more laundry (and with our lovely Smart Meter, I would be wanting to do laundry on the weekends and after 9:00 to save on each load) which adds to your hydro, water and gas bills (our dryer is gas) and you're spending more on detergent.
Disposable diapers are great because they're so easy - use and toss, use and toss. But they aren't cheap either, I read that you should expect to spend about $2000 a year on diapers. Also, we have to buy bag tags for our garbage - so every bag we put out costs us $1.50. Not much right now when we only have one bag a week, but it would add up if it was an extra couple of bags of just diapers sitting out at the curb each week.
There's also hybrid diapers, like gDiapers, which promise you the best of both worlds. These ones allow you to flush or compost your liners for a more eco-friendly choice. But it all comes at a price.
I really don't think I could do straight cloth diapering - I think I would cave when we're going on an outing or overnight, but that's what worries me. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on an initial investment for cloth diapers, then end up only using them a couple of times a day. Would I be diligent enough to balance the use of cloth and disposable diapers? I don't know.
Even if I do decide on cloth diapers, then there's the even bigger question of what kind to use. bumGenius, gDiapers, Happy Heinys, FuzziBunz, Kushies, Mother-Ease...there is a swamp of cloth diapers brands out there, each one promising the best leak protection and comfort for you baby. It's exhausting and makes me want to eat ice cream instead.
So, what's your call? I'm interested in your opinion - cloth or disposable? Any favourite brands? Help a gal out!
(Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm 17 weeks now and barely showing. Everyone keeps telling me how small I still am, which just makes me worried that I'll be exploding in the next few weeks to make up for it. I can still wear my usual clothes, but I got a Bella Band so I can leave my pants undone, because it's just way more comfortable. We haven't taken any "belly pictures" yet because there just isn't much to show - maybe there'll be something closer to week 20.