I would say that we are part-time cloth diaperers right now. I use them when we're at home and use the disposables for outings and overnights. So far, it's been going great! I know a lot of you were wondering how it was going, so here's my review. I'll try to be really clear about how they work and not to use "cloth diapering slang" so everyone knows what I mean, in case you were considering using cloth diapers yourself.
What I liked about Apple Cheeks was that they could be used as covers and inserts or as all in one diapers. For a cover and insert diaper, you use the flat diaper (usually called a prefold) folded up into thirds and then laid in the middle of the cover.
Diaper cover without insert
Diaper cover with insert
This was appealed to me because you can get by with less covers. By using the flat, prefold diaper as an insert, you can reuse the cover when you change them. The prefold is super absorbent and the rest of the diaper stays dry. This saves money and laundry - which is definitely key.
The downside of using the diapers this way is I find I'm changing Vivian more often because the wetness stays against her skin. The inserts are made of bamboo, so they are really soft and absorbent, but I find that her wetness tolerance is pretty low. To get around this, we use the diapers as an all in one style.
To make them all in ones, you just stuff the insert into the envelope part of the diaper cover.
All stuffed in
By using the diapers this way, the fleece lining of the diaper cover goes against the skin, keeping the skin drier. I find using them this way means I can go longer between changes, but when you do change the diaper, you have to change the cover and insert. I only have 6 covers right now, so this means a lot more washing.
The other good part about these diapers is that they are super flexible to fit lots of sizes of babies. These are the #1 size which should last until she's about 17 pounds. She's 11 pounds right now with pretty chunky thighs, so I find it's best to snap at the second snap on the top and the first snap on the bottom. You can get a really customized fit this way to prevent leaks.
Are cloth diapers bulkier than disposables? Absolutely. She doesn't seem to mind it though, but it can look different in clothes.
Beware the front butt
This sleeper is a bit big on her yet, so you can't tell that she has cloth on. It all depends on what you usually dress your baby in. If you like them in pants, you might find that they need a bigger size when they're in cloth diapers. Vivian is usually in sleepers, so I don't notice it as much.
The biggest problem I've found so far with the cloth diapers is that I'm constantly checking to see if she needs to be changed. With disposable diapers, you can always feel when they're starting to get a little full. You don't get that same option with the cloth diapers, so I find I'm checking to see if she's wet every hour or so, especially if she is fussing a bit.
The laundry hasn't been much different, just an extra load every 3-4 days. This is probably because I'm only cloth diapering part time though. If you were using them all the time, it would definitely be more laundry. They are small though, so it's really only another load, it's not like it's 60 loads of just cloth diapers or anything. I use Charlie's Soap to wash them (as was suggested by Cheeky Monkey) and Buncha Farmer's stain remover. Both are working great so far.
Has there ever been a cuter model?
Bottom line, I really like the cloth diapers and am super happy with the Apple Cheeks. So far, she hasn't had any blowouts with them (and she blows out of disposable diapers all the time) and they've been super easy to use. Somedays I just find I have to remind myself to put them on her instead of the disposables if I've had a few busy days where we're constantly on the run. I do notice I use them a lot more when we start running low on disposable diapers too!
As she gets more mobile, I'll definitely post updates on how we're doing, but so far, cloth diapers work for us!