For the first few weeks of our boy's life, we were in disposable diapers. Like breastfeeding, which turned out to be more complicated than I expected, I wondered if our desire to cloth diaper would also be more complicated than expected. We had to wait to give cloth diapering a shot until James's umbilical stump fell off (it took three weeks!!) and then healed (another few days). Then we gave it a go...
It was... more complicated than expected, at first. But we stuck with it, and about day 4 or 5, things clicked. We went from a pack of 40 diapers every 3-4 days down to a pack of diapers in about three weeks. We use disposable at night to help give us some extra absorption.
Plus, he looks so gosh-darn cute in them!
Between this and our flannel wipes (we have little flannel wipes for cleaning), we've had no diaper rash issues, and he's 9 weeks today. The only time we had an outbreak was when we were out of town for three days and he was exlusively in disposables and we were using wetwipes. He'll occassionally get a little redness from heat rash because he ALWAYS wants to be in the baby carrier, but with a little cream that goes away and he never seems to be in any discomfort.
For our diapers, we decided to go with gDiapers. They have multiple layers of protection before any kind of leaks happen. And, if a leak does happen, it stays on the diaper, not dribbling down his leg. There's a cloth shell on the diaper, a snap-in waterproof material liner pouch, and a multi-layered cloth insert that goes in the pouch. Most times when we change him, we just have to take out the cloth insert and put a new one in. Easy! For messy diapers, we have a sprayer hooked up to our toilet. We have two wetbags, one by the changing table and one in the bathroom. Zipped up, you can smell nothing.
Switching to cloth also means our garbage quantity has gone down substantially.
Is it an extra hassle? Not really. It takes about 10 seconds to rinse off the poopy ones, and we have a pail that we put them in if we can't get to rinsing right away. We wash the diapers with the wipes, and it's a small load of laundry every two days. That hassle makes up for itself by us not having to worry about running out of diapers or wipes, and the fact that he hasn't gotten irritable diaper rash.
Of course, we'll change our system if things change. Babies tend to get you used to something and then things change. But for now? This totally works for us.