I knew long before I got pregnant that I wanted to use cloth diapers. Other than the cost of purchasing disposable diapers every month, I was also concerned about the environmental impact of billions of disposable diapers filling landfills. Since babies typically use 6-8 diapers a day, that puts the number of diapers used before potty training in the thousands. Add in the disposable wipes and that's a luot of trash. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer item in landfills. 7.6 billion pounds of trash per year. I felt gross throwing away my money on disposable diapers, but more gross about how much trash we'd be producing. We had to use disposable diapers for a couple weeks when Jack was first born because he was too small for the cloth diapers, and I was amazed how quickly our trash can filled up with diapers.
After doing a little bit of internet research I settled on Flip cloth diapers. Basically, you get the diaper covers (the colorful exterior shells), and then put the absorbent insert inside and snap the cover on, similar to a disposable diaper. After using disposable diapers for a couple weeks I was afraid I might get too used to the ease of disposable, but found that that was largely just a mindset. Cloth diapers aren't any harder to change, the only part that is a bit more labor intensive is laundry. More on that in a bit.
I also went for cloth wipes as well. Again, same reasons, cost and waste. I also make my own spray to spritz on his bum to clean him up. Not only does it save money but I don't have to worry about weird chemicals being in the wipes.
Here's my little diaper station. Inserts up top, diaper covers on the left, then my wipe stuff in the white bin- cloth wipes, spray, and diaper rash cream. I also have a little trash can to the right that is my diaper "hamper." It had a lid and a step opener so it keeps at smell in and I can open it with my foot to toss the dirty diaper in. I bought a couple wet bags to use for storing dirty diapers in my diaper bag when I'm out and about (one of them is the polka dot bag hanging from my diaper station above, which I put dirty wipes in).
When Jack has a bit of rash starting we use Angel Baby Bottom Balm to soothe it. Also au naturale, which makes me happy.
In terms of laundry, I do a small load every 1-2 days, which is a lot more often than I used to do laundry, but it hasn't felt overwhelming. I know some people shy away from cloth diapering because they don't have a washer/dryer in their home, or are worried about water/electricity usage. There are some awesome options for small, portable washers that use only a couple gallons of water per load and are the perfect size for washing diapers. There are also centrifugal spin dryers that are small, and both are pretty affordable! The diaper covers must be hung dry anyway.
I really love cloth diapering. The only limitation I can see so far is travel. We'll be traveling next month and I'll do disposable diapers while we're out of town. Since we won't have a washer/dryer and will be gone for a week, there's not really any way to clean the diapers. Other than that, I'm super happy with our decision to go with cloth diapers. We have 17 Flip diaper covers, 18 newborn cloth diaper inserts, and 6 one-size cloth diaper inserts. We're only using the newborn inserts for now, so I'll probably end up getting more of the one-size inserts once he's grown into those. But our set up right now works great! I'd definitely recommend cloth diapering. It was a few hundred dollars initially to get everything (I found some of my covers on craigslist, so if you're trying to find cloth diapers for less than they cost brand new, consider second hand stores or craigslist), but compared to the thousands I'd spend on disposable diapers and disposable wipes over the next couple years, it made sense to me to make the investment. Plus, I can use these diapers for any future kids we may have!