When I was pregnant, one of the big things that came up for me was the diapering options. I don't know if you realize, but there are a LOT of options in this area, especially if you live in or near the city.
We pretty much assumed that we were just going to be using the basic disposable diapers that we could buy in bulk from Costco, but one day, we were actually driving home from Costco, and Jared and I got into a discussion about cloth diapering.
Cloth diapers were used long before disposable diapers came about. Every grandmother out there can tell you the trials and tribulations probably of doing cloth diapers without a washing machine in their home. The systems were a little primitive back then compared to what you can get now. When I talked to my grandma about doing it, she expressed concern over having to use the diaper pins and the fact that when you accidentally poke your baby with the pins, it's not nice. I would tend to agree with that.
I started to think about it, and I've been on a "natural things" kick lately. Until my plans changed unexpectedly, I was going to have a natural and gentle water birth with her. I decided as a part of this kick that I wanted to give cloth diapers a try. Disposable diapers seem like such a waste of landfill space and paper materials.
Currently, I'm taking the easy route with this whole cloth diapering issue. We have a diaper service that comes once a week and leaves 70 diapers outside the door and all we have to do is pick them up, use them and put them in a pail as we use them. Then they come pick them up, launder them and leave 70 clean ones. It works just like disposable diapers.
The cool thing about the cloth diapers is that it is totally apparent when she has wet herself. We have had disposable diapers on her for the past 12 hours because we ran out of cloth diapers this week (yeah, who would have guessed that we would actually be changing 70 diapers a week), and it has been impossible to tell if she is wet at all. I definitely don't like them.
The coolest improvement is the fact that they now have fasteners that are fast and that don't involve pinning the baby. They are called snappies, and they work similar to an ace bandage fastener. They are pretty safe, and I really like them.
There will come a time when our diaper service weeks run out and I will have to decide if it is worth it to continue or to launder them myself, but for these first five weeks of her life, I'm enjoying the break.
Look into cloth diapering. It's got all kinds of benefits--including the fact that they potty train an average of a year sooner!!!