A fabulous gal (hi Lainey!) asked a great question on Facebook the other day and I wrote out an answer that was waaaay longer than what she was probably looking for, and I thought it would make a good blog post. So....I'm cheating and copying and pasting it here :-)
She had heard that I was planning to use cloth diapers for Baby Girl, especially once we were past the newborn sizes. Overall, the opinions I've received when people hear that I'm planning to do this have been pretty mixed, ranging from "you're crazy" to "you're naive" to "that's awesome". Lainey was curious as to why we had decided to go the cloth route, and here is my book-length answer:
I'm pretty sold on using cloth diapers. I've been doing a lot of research on it and it just makes so much sense, especially since I'll be staying at home and will have time to keep up with the wash. The main reason that we're doing it is to save $$$...it's crazy how much money you can save by cloth diapering, esp. because if you keep them in good condition, you can reuse them for future babies. Even just with the first baby, you save at least a couple of thousand dollars over the course of the diaper-wearing period.
Another part of it is the environmental aspect- babies can use literally thousands of diapers every year, and the thought of putting that much non-disposable plastic into the landfills really doesn't sit too well with me, especially with how far cloth diapers have come since our parents' days (no stiff cotton and safety pins anymore!). They apparently aren't that much more difficult to keep up with, so unless we're on some kind of trip or vacation or something, it will be worth the minor inconvenience to stick with cloth vs. disposable.
I also like knowing that the chemicals and plastics used to create disposable diapers won't be consistently next to my baby's skin...babies that use cloth diapers tend to have less allergic reactions and less diaper rash, so I like knowing that the cloth diapers are a healthier option.
I will say that we are going to use disposables for the newborn sizes, since the baby outgrows them so fast and goes through so many. As soon as she's out of the newborn sizes though, it'll be cloth all the way :-).
That was probably way longer than you were wanting but it's something that is very interesting and a lot of people our age don't really think about it...Cloth diapering is getting more and more popular though so I figure if I can help pave the path faster and help convince other moms that it's really not that bad, we can all save money and help the environment at the same time!!