There are a lot of things I'm excited about with Baby #2 on the way, but I have to admit, getting the chance to use cloth diapers on a newborn is up there near the top of the list! Man, I am such a nerd, lol.
Cloth diapers were a foreign concept to me until C was 3 months old, so I have no experience with using cloth on a newborn. In fact, we didn't switch to cloth until she was 4 months old because it took me forever to research and decide which type of cloth diapers to use. Since we made the switch to cloth, I knew my next child would be cloth-diapered as well. I can't say that I'm gonna be crazy about it and say that she will never feel a disposable diaper, though. I remember how tough the first few days are with a newborn, and I feel sure we won't want to add in the stress of figuring out a cloth diaper solution for her. So my plan is to have her in disposable diapers for the first week or so, then do a gradual switch to cloth. If things go well, maybe we'll switch sooner, who knows. The point is, I'm not going to stress myself out by saying I have to use cloth on her immediately.
I am looking forward to it, though! Newborn cloth diapers are SO CUTE. (Well, I say that about them all, but newborn ones are so tiny!!) After much research, I've almost decided to rent newborn diapers instead of purchasing them. Why? Because newborn diapers are not cheap, and they only fit babies for a short period of time (around 3 months, maybe less). I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars when I know we won't use them for very long. Even if I bought all prefolds and covers, I'd spend well over $100. (Fortunately, all C's diapers are still in excellent shape, so there's no reason we won't be able to reuse them once this next kid is big enough to fit into them. And yes, all of C's diapers are "one-size," but they don't truly fit newborns, so newborn diapers will be a must.)
My favorite diaper store, Sweet Bottoms Baby in Raleigh, has a newborn diaper rental program. Its $215, and you get 24 new and gently used (and sanitized) fitteds. After 3 months, you return the diapers for a $100 store credit. So actually, you're only spending $115. My research indicates that fitteds are the most reliable diapers for newborns, even better than prefolds (and easier). Fitteds run anywhere from $14-25 each. Plus, you have to have a cover for them. (That's why I never considered fitteds for C. Too much expense.) With the diaper rental, I'll still have to buy covers, but its possible that some of my one-size covers will fit just fine, since fitteds do add some bulk. Even if I do have to buy covers, I'll only need 5-6 (depending on how often I want to do diaper laundry). So it won't be a major expense. I love that after 3 months, I just return the diapers to Sweet Bottoms and I don't have to worry about reselling them or storing them myself. And I already know what I want to do with that $100 store credit! (Hello, structured carrier!)
My mind is not completely made up on this diaper rental, but I am heavily leaning that way. The plan is to ride to the store and look at the diapers in person and talk to people about them. When I was researching cloth diapers for C, I didn't spend much time at all with fitteds since I knew I wasn't interested in them. Newborns are a totally different game, though! I'm excited for the challenge of finding what works for us and our new baby.
Meanwhile, I'm looking into wool covers for C. She's completely potty trained during the day, but I don't foresee her getting out of nighttime diapers for a while. Every morning she wakes up with a completely saturated diaper. I'm okay with that, and I'm not rushing her to get out of diapers. Its really not a big deal at all. The only problem is now that she's older her pee STINKS. Some mornings the smell is almost unbearable, and if of course gets into her PJs, so she has to wear a new set every night, which is annoying for me. And her diaper pail will almost knock you out with the smell when the lid is opened! Its truly awful. Even when she was wearing diapers full-time and pooping in them, they never smelled this bad. I can't decide if I need to change my washing routine or give wool a try (I've read that wool is great for odors). I'll probably pick up some cloth diaper-specific laundry detergent when I go to Raleigh and see if that helps before I spend the money on wool. For the past 3 years, I've used All Free & Clear on all our laundry and haven't had any problems, but I know things can change over time, so that could be the culprit here. We'll see!