For those who read my previous posts on cloth diapers and were starting to get convinced, but had no idea which one to chose... I've been in that position. I wish, when I started, that someone would have told me what I'm telling you now.
If you're starting off cloth diapering and want to know which one to get, my recommendation to you differs depending on a few factors.
Are you cloth diapering because of the hipness of it and because you don't want to fill landfills with your diapers, but money isn't a concern to you? Then I'd suggest using all in one diapers, because they really are the easiest. Depending on how frequently you'd wash the diapers, I recommend anywhere between 18 and 36 diapers per size.
If money is an issue for you but the concept of switching to cloth diapers seems a bit daunting to you, then I would suggest getting one size fits all pocket diapers, like this FuzziBunz one size fits all pocket diaper. I have these FuzziBunz diapers at home and have used them with my toddler until he was potty trained and now am using the same diapers for my 4 month old baby. I have been very pleased with them. They are easy to put on and take off, quick drying, and easily adjustable to the amount of absorbency needed. All around a great diaper!
Amazon.com also has Mommy's Touch one size pocket diapers. I can't give a personal recommendation but the reviews seem decent enough. These Mommy's Touch diapers are a tad cheaper than the FuzziBunz and they come with a free 3 layer microterry insert.
If you get these pocket diapers and you can afford it, get some pre-fold cloth diapers to use as inserts. From what I've seen Chinese Pre-fold Diapers are the cheapest and best on the market.
If you need to save more money, use old cut up towels that you have lying around the house or that you buy from a thrift store as inserts. Microfiber towels are the most absorbent inserts that you might have in your house.
Depending on how frequently you'll wash, you'll need to buy 18-36 one size fits all pocket diapers, and enough inserts for 18-36 pocket diapers. You'll want a few more inserts than diapers so that you can double up the inserts for heavy wetters at night.
When you get these diapers, and when you take them out of the wash, prepare them in advance with inserts so that you can just put them on easily with no hassles.
If money is the primary concern for you, and you're motivated enough to make cloth diapers work, I suggest pre-fold diapers, like the Chinese pre-folds, and some Snappis to fasten them, as well as a diaper wrap to go on to of the pre-fold.
This truly is the cheapest option, but I'll admit, if you're not motivated enough it isn't cheap enough. When I first started off with cloth diapering, I bought a set of all the diapers and covers I'd need until my child was 35 pounds from ClothDiaper.com for only 200 dollars.
There was a long learning curve until I truly felt comfortable enough with these diapers for me to use them all the time. When I first started off I sometimes had no energy to get the pre-fold on the correct way- like at that 2 am diaper change. I just put on a disposable in situations like those. It took a while for me to truly get the hang of it and stick to cloth diapers all the time. So while I spent less money on the cloth diapers themselves, I think I spent more money on diapering total because of all the disposables I used when I just had no more energy.
Now with my second kid I am much more comfortable with cloth diapers, more used to using them, and I almost never ever use disposables. (I've used less than 2 packages since my baby was born and he is 4 months old now. I used them mainly when all my diapers were in the wash. Or because I had a package and my baby almost outgrew them, so I was trying to use them while I still could.) Additionally, I am more pressed for money than I was when I just had one child. Because I am trying to save money however I can, I am making sure that I will use the pre-folds and not give up.
I only suggest pre-folds if you're really really short on cash and motivated to make cloth diapering work.
If you are wishy washy about the matter in any way or can't handle extra work in your already busy life, go with the pocket diapers. Even though it is more money in the initial outlay, you'll save money in the long run because you'll be less likely to give up the cloth diapering because pocket diapers are easy as pie.
If you're really short on cash, you can buy the factory seconds on prefolds for much cheaper, and its practically the same quality.
If you go with pre-fold diapers and covers, there are usually 2 sizes of pre-fold diapers. You'll need the smaller and the larger pre-fold diapers, a few Snappis, and quite a good amount of wraps. I bought 4 Bummis Super Whisper Wraps in each size and it was definitely not enough. Some wraps have a “wipe and reuse” inner, where the inside is plasticky or rubbery, but the Bummi's wraps have a cloth inside. That means if the poo leaks from the pre-fold onto the cover, you have to wash the cover each time, as opposed to just wiping and reusing it for the next diaper change. Thirsties diaper covers are wipe and reuse, but i personally don't have experience with them so can't give a personal recommendation.
If you get the Bummi's wraps, get 8 per size so that you don't run out of them and need to resort to disposables, but if you get one like the Thirsties, 6 will do.
If you're really handy with a sewing machine, you can sew diaper covers easily enough. Look online for sewing patterns. This is cheaper and you are able to customize the diapers with the features you like best.
Has anyone had my experience with pre-folds being too daunting? Did you give up or did you stick with it and now not mind the pre-fold diapers?