Escher, here is the promised ramble about flat diapers and EC.
So you can take this whole post with a grain of salt, I'm going to admit to a few pet peeves:
I despise bulky diapers
I can't stand diapers that impair mobility
I hate having to spend money
I hate having to throw things away (especially after one use!)
I hate the hot jello feeling of a wet disposable
Points about EC that I love:
I think EC rivals co-sleeping and nursing for bonding
happy baby the majority of the time
self sufficency. Like, I don't need "the man"
baby is always dry
Cheap to free
Points I love about flats:
versital (diaper? washcloth? towel? blanket? sunshade? emergency sling? mop?)
cheap (can't get cheaper than homemade!)
one layer, washes cleaner with 1 wash (prefolds have 6 to 8 layers in the middle)
great for traveling
Can be used as an insert for g-diapers or fuzzy bunz
We had a washer and dryer when the kids were born. When Ari was 11 months we moved to a house where we had to walk about a quarter mile to do laundry (but, trash was just as far). And we had to pay. I never even thought about buying diapers at that point. We did occasionally hand wash diapers. Really tho, it was like, plug the drain while showering, drop the dipes in (after showering), soak for a while (soap if you're into that, Ari had skin problems for a long time, sometimes her stuff was just washed with baking soda), swish, ring, dunk in rinse water, ring, hang. Maybe 10-15 minutes of actual work.
When my cousin had a baby I offered to make her diapers. Basically, if you invest a few dollars in cloth, every time you use one, put a quarter in a jar. Use that for laundry. If you have any left over, that's what you saved over disposables. They cost about a quarter each around here.
My kids have been everywhere in cloth. Osh went to Mexico in flats at 13 months. We took a dozen (didn't take up too much room in the luggage) and hung them to dry until we had used the majority of them and washed them one night in the hotel sink. Flat diapers can be hung to dry when they have pee on them. If you go ages between laundry, they don't build up an amonia smell that way. Ari went all over the south in cloth at 4 months. Both kids went camping in cloth frequently (I told you the horror story about the one time I bought sposies for a camping trip).
EC can be done a lot of different ways. You can use sposies or feel dry cloth (like FB) and offer the potty at diaper changes. You can go coverless and change with every wet while watching for signals that a wet is coming, offering when you notice. You can go totally diaperless and simply protect yourself and the furniture in case you miss. I think there are pros and cons to each system. The first has less laundry in the short term, keeping a fairly constant number of diapers for quite a while and it's much harder to learn actual signals when you want to increase catches. The second is going to use a lot of diapers at first and very few diapers within a couple of months (depending on your learning curve, both my kids were out of dipes by 2 months in the house and out until they became mobil). The third is going to give you a ton of laundry in the beginning, (but it can be towels or anything you have on hand, no investment) and very little within a couple of months, again learning curve. Some people use a combination, like regular cloth most of the time with a few hours a day dedicated to diaper free and learning signals. You can use any variation that sounds good at the moment. It's not a high commitment thing (unless you take 2 or 3 babies outside and realize you locked the keys and diaper bag in house, or, say, walk to the library only to realize that baby has no pants on at all). I went with #2 for Ari and #3 for Osha. I only ever used fb on kids I nannied for and I didn't really think they helped me figure out when kid was going. Also, I think they're bulkier than an origami fold flat tied on.
This was Ari around 2 weeks laying on the bed while we played Dora. She was boots, obviously. But the picture is up to show you the diaper fold and it's trimness. It was a little piece of a flannel sheet.