A long time ago, I asked for your help in deciding how to cloth diaper my babe. Well, it's about time I follow up with my decision and let you know how it's all going - since well, Baby B is nearly two months old!
Per some of your recommendations, I decided to go with a diaper service for the first month figuring I'd have enough to deal with without adding laundry to the list. And I'm so glad I did! A friend actually gave us a month of diaper service as a gift and let me just say that it was the best! We got to practice using prefold cloth diapers before having to invest in a stash of our own and didn't have to worry about laundry. (We also used a few packages of disposables that were given to us at a baby shower and at the hospital -- a little easier for the midnight changes)
A few friends passed along their slightly used diaper covers and inserts to get us started. Chris's sister even gave us an entire box of prefolds, covers, snappies and inserts that she no longer needed. And I received a number of covers from my baby registry at showers. I was so thankful for everyone's help and encouragement in this "project." After our month of diaper service ended, we were getting ready to build up our stash of prefolds (Bumkins Indian cotton), when a cousin of Chris's asked us what he and his wife could get our baby-- the timing was perfect so we asked for our diapers -- and they bought us all of them! I'm not even kidding when I say we have not purchased one single diaper for our child yet . . . (Praising the Lord for His provision daily!)
As you recall, one of my biggest concerns was living in an apartment with shared coin operated laundry. This was an issue because a) who wants to share a washer with poopy diapers and 2) the cost per load was going to be $3.75 if I added a rinse cycle before and after the regular wash cycle as was recommended in my research.
So, we ended up purchasing a portable washing machine; it's just a small, 1-cubic foot machine that hooks up to our bathroom sink. It can wash about 25 diapers at a time, which is perfect. We found a used one on Craigslist from a family who had used it for their baby's clothes. We would only need to do about 50 loads before it paid off in comparison to the coin operated option. I have a feeling I'll hit that mark by Christmas! And it's a lot more convenient than having to run downstairs to start the different cycles/change loads every time. We still pay to dry them in the dryer for a buck a pop, but that doesn't really bother me. Perhaps when the sun comes out again, we'll put up a line in the window and sun-dry them.
So far, I'm very happy with the way cloth diapering has worked for us. Thanks for your input and encouragement as started this process so long ago!