, it's so nice to hear from you! I'm glad the girls are doing well and gaining weight; that must be reassuring. I don't know how you manage to get all three girls packed up and out the door and to preschool in the mornings -- that's something I can't even imagine yet. I have yet to make it downstairs for breakfast before 10 a.m. because I'm nursing/snuggling/calming dd2 while dh is getting dd1 dressed, pottied, fed, etc. Preschool starts at 9, so it's going to be a real struggle when the time comes for me to do it on my own!
As for cloth diapers... we don't have the option of a diaper service here, but if we did, it'd definitely be something to consider for the early weeks. That being said, what we did with dd1: prefolds with waterproof covers. Prefolds are the cheapest ($1 to $2 each) diapers around. They fasten not with diaper pins any more, but with an ingenious device called a "Snappi." Google it to see what it looks like; it's hard to describe but incredibly easy to use. My favorite covers are Bummis Whisper Wrap; these run about $11 to $12 each, but we got by with about half a dozen in each size (newborn, small, medium). By the time she would have outgrown medium she was out of diapers.
We had two sizes of prefolds, I think they are "infant" and "toddler" but I'm not sure. I'll look them up and see (done, and yes, that's what they're called). About three or four dozen of each. Since they're cheap, it's easy to have a lot on hand, and then "change when wet" (or poopy). When you take off a diaper, throw it in a bin with a lid or a "wet bag." I never bothered with rinsing off poop, but by the time we were beyond breastmilk poop, all dd1's poop was going in the potty (see below).
To wash, throw all the diapers and the covers -- I kept reusing covers until wet or poopy -- in the washer without soap at first, and rinse on cold. Then do a hot wash with minimal soap, maybe an extra rinse, and then throw them in the dryer. (Hang the covers to dry.)
This time around, the smallest diapers and covers we had were still too big for my tiny babe. But my neighbor lent us her "newborn" stash and it has one smaller size of prefold ("preemie") than we had, a whole bunch of small covers (Proraps are the smallest I've seen), and several dozen "fitted" diapers, Swaddlebees and Kissaluvs size 0. These snap around baby and are slightly more convenient than the prefolds but also a whole lot more expensive, around $12 to $15 each. Not enough of a convenience factor to make me want to buy many myself, but nice to use when they are free.
OK, on to poop. At the same time as we were using cloth diapers with dd1, we were also practicing elimination communication (EC) from about three months on. There's a whole forum on this topic so I'll let you explore it further on your own. Suffice to say that we were very successful at teaching her to poop in the potty, and from 8 months on, before she could crawl (!) or eat solid foods, all of her poop was going in the potty. It was WONDERFUL not to have to change 2-year-old poopy diapers! (Or 1-year-old poopy diapers, for that matter!)
I'm sure Janis
will weigh in on her routine, too. But cloth diapers are easy to use, economical, and "green,"
: no matter which type you end up using. For fun, I tie-dyed dd1's diapers and they are so pretty I can't imagine ever parting with them. Tie-dying not only looks cool, it hides stains.
You might post in the cloth diapering forum for tips on doing it for two.