Sometimes, you end up using them...
When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had intended on using cloth right from the beginning. Well, after the hospital...Meconium can be a pain to get out of cloth and we already had enough to pack and bring home from the hospital. I had bought a package of infant sized prefolds that said will fit babies 7 lbs. and up. They kept telling me she was going to be big based on her ultrasounds. Well, she wasn't. When we brought her home from the hospital, she weighed about 6 1/2 lbs and only 18 1/2 inches long.
Her diapers simply didn't fit. Her legs were too skinny and the prefolds gapped around her legs. Which isn't something you don't want unless you want poo and urine flowing outside and onto your covers., possibly leaking everywhere (although, with the right fit cloth diaper/cover, you'll have fewer blow-outs vs. disposables). It was also very bulky around her waist and it seemed to make her uncomfortable. Yes, she was a princess and Her Majesty was not pleased...
In fact, they didn't fit her for quite a while, not until about 8-10 weeks. Thankfully, people had given us a few packages of newborn diapers, even though I had asked that if they were buy diapers, I would prefer cloth. I'm glad they didn't listen.
|Something tells me it shouldn't come down to her knees...|
There have also been times when she had needed disposables. I didn't think that this would ever happen... Occasionally, she will develop a rash that is just as stubborn as she is. Calendula creams, GSE, and plenty of airing out just didn't solve it. The main culprit was due to her acidic teething poops. So, we would put her in disposables until it cleared up enough to put cloth diapers back on her.
Long car trips was another time when we've used disposables. Plenty of people don't, but we do. I can't smell a poopy cloth diaper as easily as a disposable. And if she's teething, we need to change it fast. If you're worried about what to do with poopy diapers, wrap it up in a plastic bag and then toss it in with the rest of the non-poopy cloth diapers.
Nighttime diapering was another time when disposables came in handy. While my daughter was fine in doubling up with a prefold and insert inside a fitted one-size diaper, my son was not. And I bed-shared with each of them. Nothing worse than waking up to a wet bed and a cranky, hungry baby. There are options for this too, but it was not in our budget at the time. You can try buying a nighttime diaper. Sometimes, you still need extra absorbency with these, but you may not - it's all trial and error. Hemp is also really good at being super-absorbent, as is a wool cover.
If it's in your budget, I would definitely suggest in buying some newborn sized diapers. Keep in mind though, that your baby will probably grow out of them pretty quickly. In the case of my daughter, she didn't though, and buying a newborn package probably would have been the smarter choice if we had to pay for the disposables (but we didn't, so we didn't). Plus, you can always sell them when your baby's outgrown them, or donate them.
In the case of a stubborn rash or while traveling, they do have disposable inserts that you can buy. Grovia and Flip each have their own inserts that are made from biodegradable materials that you can choose to throw away or compost. I have never tried them, but I have heard they have a tendency to leak faster than cloth. You can try using them if you're trying to clear up a rash since you'll be changing frequently anyways, but they are more expensive than disposables. Flip's inserts are cheaper than Grovia's, and I imagine that you can use them in any cover if you don't have theirs (although, I love both their shells). GDiapers also has disposable inserts that you can flush. Again, I've never tried these diapers, but it's still an option.
Kelly's closet carries both hybrid diapers if you're interested in them.
Ultimately, do what you can...If you find that you need to use disposables, do not feel bad, do not beat yourself up. What you're using is still a small amount compared to someone who chooses to use nothing but disposables. You're still contributing to keeping our earth a bit cleaner...If you find yourself needing disposables because you can't afford to try the alternatives, I would suggest in buying store brands like Parent's Choice or Target's or Dollar General (that's usually our go-to disposable). I've personally found that these seem to cause less problems for my kids than the big names like Huggies, Luvs, and Pampers. I also haven't had any problems with them being made poorly (although, the occasional tab may rip off if your husband's a Strong Man).
If there's anything else anyone would like to add to this or if you have any questions, please leave a comment!