9 Months, 6 Days
So, cloth diapers. This is the deal-- disposables are expensive, and it's absolutely amazing how many you go through. I had heard that cloth diapers had changed a lot and thought i would investigate. I don't even want to know how many untold hours i've spent online in the past 4 days or so reading up on all the different options. Here's a quick overview in rank order from "easiest" to "most steps involved"-- although these are subjective assessments.
AIOs: "All in One's." Like the name says, these are diapers and a leak-proof cover that are made together. It's just like a disposable in terms of putting it on and taking it off-- you reach for one item, put it on with velcro tabs and then wash the whole thing.
Pocket Diapers: These are similar to the AIOs in that there's a cover (most are made of fleece) and then you stuff it with the actual absorbent diaper part. This would require you to determine what to use as a stuffer and to stuff the diaper before putting it on.
Diaper Covers: If you don't get an AIO or a pocket diaper you then have to choose a diaper (discussed below) and something to cover it with. This is where things get interesting. You can buy covers that are a very-thin polyester kind of material that is like umbrella fabric (at least near as i can tell, if anyone scientifically minded would like to set me straight PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate fabric.) Or, you can go with covers that are fleece, or for the gold standard in additional labor, you can go with wool covers that somehow have natural antibacterial components (i'm not making this up) but that you have to hand-wash and lanolize once a month.
Fitted/Contour Diapers: These are cloth diapers that look kind of like disposables, They are "fitted" or gathered around the legs. Some people really like them, others think they don't hold things in as well.
"Pre-folds": This is approaching the "old-style" of cloth diapering but with textile advances making things more convenient, cuter, and less bulky. You buy "pre-folded diapers" which are cloth diapers already folded to have the absorbent part in the middle and stitched. You can use them just folded and layed in a diaper cover or pinned using old-style pins or these cool elastic doo dads called "Snappis."
"Flats": These are the oldest of the old-style (except for the tie-dyed hemp options which smell particularly new age). They are just big pieces of gauzy fabric that you fold yourself to get the layers distributed with the most layers in the middle. Near as i can tell the only people that use these also do things like make their own baby food (J/K).
At this point i've bought a few things just to test this notion out. I purchased a package of pre-folds which are amazing rags if i don't wind up using them as diapers. I also bought two of the PUL diapers and a few of the AIOs. I'm going to test things out once they arrive and then decide whether we would switch to them entirely or just use them on the weekends when we're around home all the time.
All of this research has my brain spinning. Last night Henry slept but i didn't and all the time i was laying awake the aggressive brand-name of cloth diapers were running through my head and couldn't be stopped (HappyHeiny's anyone?)