The parenting decision we've made that tends to get the biggest reaction from people is cloth diapering. Yes, we use cloth diapers, and we love it.
There were a lot of reasons for this decision, but the primary one was money. It was a big initial layout - I think we spent around $600 altogether for the diapers, wipes (we're using cloth wipes as well), diaper pail (which is really just a kitchen garbage can with a lid) and pail liners - but we'll never have to buy diapers again. It's even better when you consider that these diapers will also be used on Child Number Two, whenever we get to that point.
Also, because I am a pinko commie tree-hugging hippie, I love that we are not filling up landfills with disposable diapers that will sit there taking up space for thousands of years. I am also wary of all the chemicals that are in disposable diapers and wipes. It turns out that I am very fussy about what goes on my baby's skin.
The first question people always ask is along the lines of, "You really want to handle baby poop all the time?" It's really not that bad, and no worse in that regard than disposables. Breastfed baby poop is fairly inoffensive, and all we do is pull the insert out of the diaper and throw everything into the diaper pail. No rinsing in the toilet or anything. Then, about every other day, I dump the pail liner into the washing machine and let it do all the work. It's not like I'm up to my elbows in baby poop all day long. I'm sure it will get grosser once she starts on solid food, but for right now it's really not a a big deal.
And, as I mentioned above, we're also using cloth wipes. This is even easier. We got a whole bunch of little, thin washcloths as gifts, and they make perfect wipes. We keep a little spray bottle by the change table filled with water and a little bit of baby soap, and spray the cloth to wipe her down with. I find that this works even better than regular baby wipes. Then it goes in the pail with the dirty diapers.
There are a gazillion different kinds of cloth diapers out there, and I am here to tell you that deciding on which kind was really difficult and intimidating. This is most likely because I overthink everything and make things at least ten times more difficult than they really need to be, but seriously, there is a ridiculous amount of choice out there. We ended up going with a mix of Rumparooz and BumGenius. (Yes, they ALL have cutesy names like that. Other brands include Thirsties, Happy Heinies, and Applecheeks.) They're both all-in-one (meaning we don't have to buy a separate diaper cover), one-size (adjustable so they'll fit her all the way up until potty training) pocket diapers (there's a pocket on the inside where you can put extra absorbent inserts). They do a fantastic job of keeping her contained - we've actually had more leaks with disposables than we have with these.
And here is where I have to admit that I lied a little bit when I said we'd never have to buy diapers again. Ellie was in disposables for the first couple of weeks of her life, until we got the hang of things and all the meconium was out (because holy hell, that stuff is VILE). We'll also most likely use disposables when we're traveling. Cloth diapering while you're on vacation certainly can be done, but it sounds like a huge pain in the ass and I don't want to deal with it. So exceptions will be made. All things in moderation, is what I say.
So cloth diapers are awesome. And for an extra perk, they look absolutely adorable, both on the baby...
...and on the clothesline.