Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?
Do you actually have a washing machine in your home? That, I think, is the most important thing if you cloth diaper. The first few months of diapering we rented a place that didn't have a washing machine, and even though the laundromat was just around the corner, it was *very* annoying.
If I could only use one system it would be flips + flats. I've tried All-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, fitteds, flats, prefolds, etc, with WAHM brands and bigger brands, and really, the most stress free, worry free combination has been flip covers (with velcro for day care) with bamboo flats and what is now called the "night time" insert. Bumgenius (the flips people) just come out with their own brand of flat, which is supposed to be very good as well.
If I could go back and do it all again, I'd stick with flips and flats.
Trying to line-dry fitteds and AIOs, especially in winter, is a massive pain. With flats, we just fling them over chairs and hangers, and they'll be dry within the day. They are easier, and more reliable, to get clean as well.
Diapers do not need to be stripped if you use the right amount of detergent (not too much, not too little), no fabric softener, and none of the commercial diaper creams. And yes, you really do need the extra rinse (usually - check and see if there are bubbles that linger when the machine is on its rinse cycle).
We wash every 3-4 days, which is much longer than is usually recommended, though. We have not noticed any significant change in water or heating bills. Certainly not to overshadow the cost of buying disposables.
Hope this helps!
P.S.: we started using disposable liners when our daughter started solids. A diaper sprayer is helpful, but disposable liners are indispensable for us.
Last edited by jam's mum; 02-12-2013 at 08:22 PM.