We love cloth diapers. 

When I first started researching cloth diapers, the choices and possibilities were daunting.  I didn't know anyone in real life that was using cloth on their children, and most of the friends and family that I confided it thought I was completely bananas. So the majority of my information came from public message boards, blog reviews, trial and error. These are my findings, methods, and experiences in the fabulous world of cloth diapering.

Types of Cloth Diapers
Everything I read said that finding the perfect cloth diaper is like finding the perfect bottle; it's impossible to know what's right for you and your baby until you try out all the options.  Most of the message boards encouraged purchasing several types of diapers to try when the baby is born, then finding your favorite and building a complete stash around that.  But for a type A personality such as myself, that simply wasn't an option.  So I took polls, read reviews, and asked a million questions to countless strangers until I found one thing in common; most everyone loves a Bumgenius diaper.  From there, I just had to figure out which diapers were right for me and my tiny human.  These are what I chose:

In the cloth diaper world, this is known as an AIO (all-in-one) One Sized diaper (they are adjustable and fit the baby from 8lbs to 35lbs).  An organic cotton, all in one diaper with no separate pieces or parts to mess with. Just three attached layers of soft, absorbent, organic cotton.  Really, it doesn't get easier than that ($24.95 each).

BumGenius Freetime (daytime diapers)

Another AIO (all-in-one) One Sized diaper (adjustable from 8lbs-35lbs) Exactly the same as the Elemental diaper, but it's made of microfiber instead of organic cotton, so it stays drier against the baby's bottom.  And the three layers of microfiber are detached in the middle, allowing you to fold and place them wherever necessary to get the best absorption and protection ($19.95 each). 

BumGenius 4.0 (night diapers)
In the cloth diaper world, these bad boys are known as the One Sized (adjustable from 8lbs-35lbs) Pocket Diaper.  All though they look the same as the Elemental and the Freetime from the outside, the inside is build with a microfiber pocket instead of multiple layers, and comes with two inserts; a newborn insert and a regular insert. We stuff both into the pocket for nighttime, making them absorbent enough to last the 10 to 13 hours straight that she sleeps ($17.95 each). 

*The above diapers come in a variety of colors, and you can choose Velcro (hook and loop) closures or snap closures.  We have all snap closures, I feel that they last longer, look better, and fit snugger.

I know what you're thinking.  $18-$25 for one diaper? Insane.
But the alternative is to pay that same amount for a box of diapers that you'll throw away when your done.  Plus they smell funny and leak.  My $25 diaper will last from the time she was born to the day she's potty trained, making it well worth the cost in the end, even when the cost of washing and accessories are added in.

Wash Routine
Yes, poop is gross, I won't argue that one, but until solid foods are introduced around six months, breast milk poop (and formula poop) diapers are water soluble and therefore super easy to wash.

All diapers are taken off and thrown directly in the wet bag or diaper pail (yes, even the poop diapers.  I promise, they get clean) and are only laundered every other day at most.  I simply throw the entire wet bag into my HE washing machine, and run a cold rinse.  Then the laundry soap is added, and a regular hot wash is ran with an additional cold rinse to finish them off.

The diapers can be tumbled dry when it's cold and rainy out, but I prefer to hang them dry outside when the weather is nice.  The sun does wonders to bleach out stains, and the diapers (and theirr elastic) will last even longer without the heat of the dryer damaging them.

When the baby begins to eat solid foods and their stools change consistency, it's easy to attach a diaper sprayer (described below) to your toilet to spray off the excess poop before placing it in the wet bag.  If your out in town, just place the diaper in the wet bag, and then spray it off when you get home.  It's easier to mess with after it's dried a little anyway.  Then the diaper can still be laundered as usual.

Every once in a while, if I want to be sure that my diapers are free of bacteria and build up, I strip them by throwing them in the washer and squirting a little bit of original blue DAWN into the soap dispenser.  After a regular wash, I do about 4-5 extra rinses to be sure they are soap free, then hang them to dry. 

*A little known fact is that all disposable diapers packages have instructions that tell you that you are supposed to remove the poop from your disposable diapers and flush it down the toilet before throwing your diaper away (rather than putting the poop with the diaper in the garbage, as 99.99% of all disposable diapers do).  Poop belongs in the sewage system, not the garbage dump, where human waste can create public health issues*

Not only are cloth diapers absolutely adorable, but they come with a whole slew of accessories that make them easier to use and even cuter, removing all excuses to not use them:

1.Laundry Soap- Regular detergent can cause build up and repelling on cloth diapers, so cloth diaper detergent is necessary, but doesn't cost any more than regular detergent if you find the right kind.  I love Crunchy Clean Cloth Diaper Detergent, and Baby Bee Clean is my favorite scent ($12 for 180 loads in an HE washer). 

2.Diaper Cream- Diaper creams-like regular detergent-can cause build up and repelling on cloth diapers.  However, there are a few creams out there that are cloth friendly, like California Baby and CJ's BUTTer (we use the Stick O' BUTTer and the Spritz O' BUTTer with every diaper change, and have yet to experience any sort of diaper rash!!) And if for some reason you feel it necessary to use Desitin or any other cloth diaper no-no, all you have to do is stick a liner in the diaper before use (below).

3.Diaper Liners- Great for protecting the diaper from cloth diaper no-no's like Desitin, but even more great for baby poop.  Once your baby is eating solids and forms a more regular pooping schedule, these flushable liners can be placed inside the diaper to catch the majority of the poop, then flushed down the toilet, making cloth diaper laundry even easier.  Our favorites are Bummis flushable liners.   

4.Diaper Sprayer- And for the poop that catches you off guard (or expands past the liner, blow-out style) there is the Bumgenius diaper sprayer.  This handy little guy attaches to your toilet, and lets out a high powered stream of water that allows you to sort of pressure wash the poop off your diaper and straight into the toilet.  The days of dunk-and-swish are over. 

5.Dirty Diaper Storage- Hands down, Monkey Foot Designs make the best wet bags ever.  I carry the medium sized wet bags in my diaper bag for quick trips out, large sized ones for every day use, and I strap an XL wet bag onto the side of my crib for at home use.  These come in adorable patterns, wash easily with the diapers (just unzip and throw them in the washer), and have never once leaked.  *For an alternative at-home option, some prefer to use an inexpensive lidded trash can with an old pillow case inside to serve as a liner.  When laundry time comes, just place the entire pillowcase full of diapers into the washer.

6.Cloth Wipes- I know-I thought this one was crazy too-but trust me, they're perfection. I was shocked to find that I actually prefer cheap, Gerber washcloths to disposable wipes, thought I still keep the disposables in my diaper bag for when I'm out in town. The washcloths simply wetted with some water from a spray bottle actually clean up poop faster and easier than disposables wipes that just smear everything, plus it's way easier to throw the wipes and diapers all in one place when you're done, instead of the diaper in the wet bag and the wipe in the trash can. 

There are tons of false accusations about cloth diapers, ones even I used to believe:

1.Cloth diapered baby's always have rashes-FALSE. Scarlett has never had a full blown diaper rash, only a few spots here and there that were easily taken care of with the CJ's BUTTer and a few air drying sessions. In fact, the chemicals in disposable diapers are responsible for the majority of diaper rashes, because the babies are changed less often.

2.Cloth diapered baby's smell-FALSE. How many times do you see someone lift their baby in the air and sniff their bum to see if they need to be changed?  That's because disposables stink like urine and chemicals.  Cloth (especially when infused with our favorite CJ's BUTTer in Blueberry Crumble scent), does not (unless you find someone who does not clean their diapers properly). In fact, Scarlett often smells like a fresh baked treat, fresh from the oven.  

3.Cloth diapered laundry is extra work-FALSE.  A baby equals extra laundry, period.  Spit up and food and drool cause more laundry then cloth diapers ever have in our home. We have enough diapers to wash them no more than every other day, and they all fit in one load; plus the majority of our diapers are All-In-One diapers so there are no separate pieces or stuffing involved (except the pocket diapers for nighttime, but she only goes through one diaper a night so there are only two of those in a load). 

4. Poop is gross-TRUE.  I'll give you this one.  But so are regular blow-outs in disposable diapers, which very rarely happen in cloth.  Besides, Scarlett is seven months old and just now starting to eat solid food, so we are only beginning to have to spray off her diapers which has proved to be easy and convenient.  Plus, the kid only poops once or twice a week on average, so we lucked out.  But the reality is that poop is poop.  Disposables or Cloth, you have to clean it off the baby and deal with it either way.

5.Cloth diapers aren't that much cheaper than disposables-FALSE.  Even my husband was on board when he found out how much cheaper cloth is than disposables. We started our complete stash for a little more than $300 including accessories (cotton babies has "seconds" sales that allow you to purchase diapers that have minor and often completely unnoticeable cosmetic irregularities, but function properly, for crazy low prices, and several of our diapers were gifted at our shower). And these diapers will last through potty training.  $300 wouldn't last you more than six months in the land of disposables. So even when you add in the cost of the detergent and extra laundry, you still come out on top.     

6.Cloth diapers-especially with snaps-are messy and hard-FALSE. Just to make it easy on him, I packed a few disposable diapers that we had left over from a camping trip into Scarlett's diaper bag for my father when he watched her a few days ago.  He then complained because the disposables were messy and harder to put on a wiggly baby.
You didn't read that wrong.  He thought the disposables were harder to put on. 
My husband, my little brother, my father, and even my grandparents thought I was bananas for wanting to use cloth, yet each one of them prefer the cloth over disposables now. 
And if that's not enough proof, I don't know what is.