I have been meaning to do a follow-up post on my blog about my experience so far for anyone who is interested, and as a friend recently asked me about how things have gone, I'll use mostly what I wrote to her:
So far the Alva diapers have been as good as I could expect. First off, I have still been using disposables overnight, in part because we still had a lot of disposables left and in part because I was wary of changing things up at night time. So I can really only speak for the daytime from experience. I also keep disposables in my diaper bag for use when we are out and about, just because it is more compact, and we had them anyway. Also, I ordered 20 but they sent me 22 diapers, but then on the two darker blue diapers the elastic on the back got loose after the first couple of washes. So it was kind of a wash there, but maybe avoid that color? I thought it was odd that it was just those two. I would have contacted the company to get them replaced, but since they were extra from what I ordered anyway, I didn't.
The Alvas have worked pretty perfectly for my 2-year old up until we started potty training this week, and really only leak if I forget to change him for too long, even with only one insert inside. As long as I remember to do it every 3 hours if I haven't noticed a stink or wet diaper before then, we are good. John even forgot to change him into a disposable one night, and even though he woke up pretty soggy it didn't get out onto the bed, so if I were to double up the inserts we might even manage night time with him.
I have had some leaking issues with my little guy at nap time (now 7 1/2 months, started when he was about 4 months). Most of the problem comes from the wet part of the diaper making contact with his clothes and then moisture wicking out. I started rolling the top of the diaper in to keep any of the interior fabric from touching his clothes, and that has reduced the leaking significantly. I know some brands have more of the PUL waterproof fabric around the top to prevent this very thing, but I figure I am getting what I paid for. I also started doubling up my inserts pretty much all the time, putting one microfiber insert closest to the baby and a bamboo insert behind that, since the microfiber soaks up more but the bamboo is more resistant to leaking fluid back out when it is compressed. I probably don't need to, but it really doesn't create any more work for me, so I figured, why not? He has also had less leaking now that he is rolling around and doesn't always stay sleeping flat on his back.
The cloth diapers also contain the crazy baby poop explosions much better than disposables. I have only had one time when Luke exploded out onto his clothes since we started, as opposed to at least one every other day--he likes to save it up, and explode all at once. I'm sure you wanted to know that =).
Before we potty trained our big guy, each kiddo had 10 of the diapers dedicated for him, and I washed them every other night, so they were going through no more than about or five a day (granted, that doesn't include nighttime). But I think as a newborn they would have needed 8-10 diapers per day.
I did use disposable viscose liners for my 2-year-old. You really don't need them until after baby starts solids, since the runny yellow poop will just come out in the wash. And it also depends on the baby and what they eat. Our 7-month-old doesn't really need them because his poo is of the consistency that it plops right out of the diaper and doesn't leave much mess. But that wasn't the case with our big guy, so they basically functioned as a filter to keep poo from sticking to the diaper where it is tougher to clean it off. More often than not I could just lift/dump the liner with poo into the toilet and not do any additional washing on the diaper before tossing it into the diaper pail.
Okay, I think that is pretty much everything. If anyone cares, feel free to ask any questions and I can elaborate (although I think you already know much more about my kids' poop than you ever wanted!).