I had some follow-up questions about cloth diapering, so I thought I'd write an addendum to my previous posts. I made a cloth diaper category over there to the left for easy reference. I also added a few other sites that do a good job of answering questions. Many of them have links to follow if you want more info.
DIAPER CHANGE FREQUENCY: I change C every 3-4 hours or when I smell poop, whichever comes first. I found out the hard way that she pees a ton in the morning, so I can't let her go more than 3 hours between diaper #1 and #2 or else I'll be changing her whole outfit. I tend to change her early (2-2.5 hours post diaper #1) just to err on the side of caution. For the rest of the day, 3-4 hours works just fine. I use 4-5 cloth diapers/day which is why 18 prefolds keeps me in twice weekly diaper loads.
LEAKS: The only time I have leaks is when I am late with the diaper change early in the day or when I'm not careful to tuck the entire prefold into the wrap. Sometimes, if I anticipate a lengthy nap, I may add a soaker to the diaper. I just fold it right up in there like this. You know, sometimes I am slow. It just occurred to me that I could do this with the first diaper of the day and not have to be so conscientious.
BLOWOUT EXPERIENCE: I have better luck containing blowouts with cloth than disposables. I have a kid who poops occasionally (twice a week is average) so when she goes, MAN, does she go. With cloth, it often leaks onto the wrap, but not the clothes. (When she was smaller and having small, frequent poops, it rarely leaked onto the wrap.) If she happens to be in a disposable, there is 99% chance of clothing stains. Disposables don't have anything to keep the poop from heading right up her crack and all over her back, neck, and sometimes hair. The prorap covers I use have a seam across the back of the waist and do a pretty good job of containing everything.
BULKINESS FACTOR: Some cloth diapers are bulkier than others. If you use prefolds, you could try trimming them. Or you could use slim and trim fitted diapers, pocket diapers, or all-in-ones. Seriously, I think prefolds are the bulkiest option. One piece sleep-n-play outfits, like these, work best. Ooh, or overalls. I am lazy and prefer one piece outfits anyway, so it's no hardship for me. Two piece outfits~before the kid is walking and consistently upright~find me constantly pulling down the shirt. Nor does it bother me to put my 6 month old in 12 month size clothes. As a future model/WNBA star, she needs the length. The extra butt room is just a bonus.
A MAN'S OPINION: How does my husband feel? He says it's easy to fold a diaper. He admits to a learning curve~it took a few days, maybe a dozen diaper changes~for him to feel comfortable. Prefolds/wraps do take about 30 seconds longer to change, mainly because you have to fold the prefold (5 seconds) and our diaper pail is not next to the trash where the wipes need to go (about 25 seconds to walk around our main floor and make the appropriate deposits). If you were smart and had a changing table with everything close, there would only be a 5 second time difference.
Direct quote: "Speaking as a man, I'm looking for a diaper that's dependable and rugged, but still gives me the independence to climb mountains in my truck and drink a good quality American draft lager.
NFL pigskin nappies are my favorite.
Seriously, though, cloth is very easy; pretty much all of them. You should be able to assemble and reassemble one blindfolded, the same as your field issue rifle. If you do not change diapers, you are a girly man and not even worthy of a pity beating. Turn your penis in immediately to central command."
THE WIPE ISSUE: Speaking of wipes, no, I don't do cloth wipes. I change my kid on the floor or couch so it's more convenient for me to have a container of disposable wipes. If I had a changing station, I think a bunch of cheap washcloths would be just as easy to use. They might even be easier because they could just stay wadded up in the diaper. I have to pull my wipes out of the diaper and toss them in the trash.