We have now been through every stage of diapering. Itty-bitty newborn, crawling, walking, and toddlerhood. Although there are certainly many with more experience than me, I do feel like a veteran. I feel like we've been through it all.
In actuality, we stopped cloth diapering about 9 months ago, then started again about a month-and-a-half-ago. We stopped because MJ was getting HORRIBLE diaper rashes. It was clearly so painful for her. I did everything I could think of; I stripped the diapers, I tried new detergents, I tried new creams. We found that the only creams that helped were absolutely not cloth diaper friendly. After all, good diaper creams repel water, which is exactly what you don't want your cloth diapers to do. So we stopped.
After I stopped working full time, I thought I should try cloth diapers again. I figured if I just changed them a lot we'd be fine, because the wetness wouldn't be sitting against her skin. But then we moved houses. And then we unpacked, and I didn't even know where they were. And then I didn't want to figure out how to wash them in our new high-efficiency washer. And then I figured she'd be potty trained any day, so why bother? See how good I am at coming up with excuses?
When it became clear she would NOT be quick to potty train (the novelty wore off and she was no longer interested....*sigh*) I dug out our cloth, thinking this would help her learn more quickly. While it hasn't sped the potty training process, it is nice to be back in cloth. It has been easy to wash them in the new washer, and it turns out that she hasn't been getting any rashes. The problem, I think, was daycare. They didn't mind doing cloth, I just don't think they were changing her fast enough; they were used to kids in disposables, which absorb more and don't sit against their skin.
So now we have a mixture. She does disposables at daycare and at night. And whenever DH doesn't feel like dealing with cloth. And cloth the rest of the time. I wash them every few days. And I don't stress if we have to use disposables because I didn't get them all washed in time. We are using fewer disposables (probably 1/4 as many), producing less trash, and the smell in her room is noticeably improved.
I have several friends who have chosen to go the diaper service route, and, in the end, I'm so glad that we didn't. It's nice to be able to go back and forth to cloth when we want. It's nice to be able to use a mixture of cloth and disposables, which isn't economically justifiable with a diaper service. And once you have your diapers, there's really no more expenses (other than detergent). I won't need any more diapers, for this kid or the next, and I've already spent much less than I would have had we gone the diaper service route.