I've been washing mine about every 2-3 days. I have some from last pregnancy (that I wore daily since for light incontinence - so they aren't the most absorbant right now - except the ultra ones since they weren't worn but for lochia and one AF), and I reordered more this time. So my "stash" this time is basically 4 ultras and 8 maxis.
I used the huge hospital pads while I was in the hospital and the first night I was home (I was there for about 12 hours post birth). The next day I switched to the cloth pads, using the ultras overnight and the maxis during the day. I have noticed that my flow is a lot lighter when I use them as compared to the paper pads (which I used one other night because I was washing/drying the cloth), so I don't go through them as fast as I would the paper ones.
The only other "trick" - so to speak - that I've done with them is wear them backwards. Mine look like a 2 dimensional spaghetti squash - not totally oval, but with one wider end that is meant to go toward the back. But since I'm more of a stomach sleeper, and since I seem to flow toward the front (sorry TMI), I put the one wide side toward the front and it seems to work really well for me.