I wasn't worried too much about our disposable diaper expenses those first few months. I knew we'd have plenty of disposables to get by the first six months, because we had our diaper stash! My last post shared tips for stockpiling diapers during pregnancy. And even though we were switching to cloth, we would still need disposable. While you technically can invest in wet bags and use cloth all the time, I choose to not mess with the cloth when we are out in public. I keep the disposable in my diaper bag, and put the boys in disposables any time we leave the house. We also use disposables on our boys at night, as most cloth diapering moms that I know do. Cloth diapers tend to leak overnight.
Now to the actual cloth diapers! I chose to buy the Alva pocket diapers for one reason.....the cost! Let's get real here, one cloth diaper alone can cost upwards of $20! Cloth diapering is a huge initial investment. Yes it pays for for itself, but I really did not want to pay $20 a diaper, especially since I wasn't 100% sure cloth diapers were going to work for us until we actually tried them. Yes, you can find diapers used from consignment sales, and there are even cloth diapering Facebook pages you can join. In my research, the most affordable place to buy them was still from alvababy.com. And to be honest, they have the cutest patterns! I stumbled on this website while researching cloth diapers one night and was thrilled to discover that I could buy diapers through a China wholesale website for only $6 a piece. I admit I was skeptical at first, but after placing my first order, I was pleasantly surprised.
Ok, so a few things about the diapers I purchase. Number one, I wouldn't normally promote buying products out of the country, but in this case these diapers have actually worked great for us, and they have adorable patterns! Number two, I've seen mixed reviews from people who have bought from this site, but most have been pretty good. Number three, we only ordered a few the first time to see if they worked. Once I realized they were going to work for us, I ordered more.
They do take a few weeks to come in, but for the cost of the diapers, it is worth the wait. I ordered 20 diapers total, as I knew my boys went through about 10 diapers a day. We wash the diapers every day, because I do not want soiled diapers sitting in a pail for more than 24 hours. I have never ran out of diapers using this method. I also try to change my boys every two hours. As soon as I realize they are wet, I change them. I don't like them to sit in a wet diaper, so maybe that's why I haven't had any problems with leaks.
I went with a Dekor diaper pail, which can be used for disposable or cloth, but I only use it for cloth. I found my diaper pail through a local Facebook garage sale/resale page. I think they retail for around $40, but I paid $10 for this one.
Another item you might want to invest in if you are planning on using cloth diapers is a reusable diaper pail liner. We didn't invest in this right away. After going through a trash bag every night, we finally decided it was worth the investment a few weeks into our cloth diapering experience. I bought mine from Amazon for $13. I got it on sale, and it appears as though it is no longer in stock. Here is a similar one in stock with a different pattern than what I bought.
Another item you definitely want to put on your "to buy" list if you plan on using cloth is a diaper sprayer or a handheld bidet! Seriously, I don't think I would use cloth without it. The purpose of the sprayer is to clean off those poopy diapers! Now that the boys are bigger, I actually don't even have to use the sprayer for every BM, but once in a while I am still BEYOND GRATEFUL I invested in this sprayer. It makes cleaning diapers really easy. Just spray the poo right into the toilet, and you're done!
We purchased this sprayer through Amazon. We got it on sale for $35. Matt said it was easy to install. Once you figure out the right water pressure, which I recommend doing before you clean a diaper, it is really easy to use. I also like that it came with a device to hang on the wall.
The following morning, I throw all of the liners and diapers in the diaper pail liner that was washed with the diapers and carry everything upstairs to be folded and put away.