So, now all of the diapers have been explained (again), and you're left to wonder, "but what do I choose? How will I know what works for me?" The simple answer is: there's no wrong or right. Seriously.
Different kinds work for different families.
When Bean was itsy bitsy, our favorites were newborn fitteds with PUL covers, and AIOs for outings. Once he outgrew the newborn sizes, we switched to prefolds with snappies and GroVia hybrid shells. We also use the snap-in GroVia hybrid inserts for outings and when the prefolds are in the wash. We have some wool covers (some that were bought and some that I've made) that we will sometimes use in place of the hybrid shell. Our overnight system has graduated to using a flat with a prefold, under a hybrid shell, for extra protection.
Here is my sister's experience:
As a mother of a 2.5 year old, Abbey, and a 15 month old, Buggy, and 1 on the way! I can honestly say I have tried everything out there! From “Chinese cheapies” to some more expensive brands, one sized diapers to sized diapers, PUL to wool, the options are limitless and it honestly is a trial and error to find what works best for you! My history in cloth diapering, much like my sister's, started when I was a baby. Mama Bear’s diaper sensitivity started my mom on cloth diapers and she continued them with me and our younger sister. I didn’t really think much about diapering until later in college when I met a good friend of ours who introduced us to the wonderful world of being a Crunchy Mom. When I became pregnant with my first I already knew I wanted to cloth diaper. I spent hours and hours researching and dreaming on the internet. I asked my friends countless questions (I’m sure I was getting annoying). Money was really tight and so I settled on some covers that were cheap and made in China. My mom and I made some prefolds out of an old towel and left over flannel. I got the covers in the mail and I was so excited! However that excitement didn’t last long once the baby arrived as I quickly realized that the diapers swallowed my 6lb baby girl whole! Thankfully that good friend I mentioned had a little man not too much older than my Abbey (I don’t have awesome code names for my family) and she loaned me a bunch of newborn fitteds and covers. They were amazing and I loved them. For a newborn fitteds are by far my favorite diapers. Once she outgrew the newborns I tried the covers again, bought some pockets and used those for a while. Bought and traded and sold diapers trying every style out there. There are pros and cons to all of them. Currently I am back to simple covers and flats because we don’t have a washer machine and so we are going to be using a camper washer and “hand wash” our diapers. Flats and covers are the easiest to wash. Once we have been doing it for a while I am going to write about that too. *Edit* after only 1 week of attempting to balance 2 kids, pregnancy, a full time job, and hand washing diapers I gave up. While the girls are at my mom’s (2 days a week) they are in “sposies” (shhhhh….. don’t tell!) and I have now signed up for a cloth diaper service for the rest of the week. I have only been using it for a week as of now but I am in love! I don’t have to give up my beloved cloth and I don’t feel as if I am throwing money away but I also don’t have to add an extra thing into my day. It is saving me time, energy, and my brain. I can write more about the cloth diaper service if anyone is interested! So that is my story and where I am at. Please if you managed to read all of this ask me any questions. I love talking about cloth! (And baby wearing and anything baby related!) Happy diapering!
When I was getting Bean's registry together, I asked my friend for a list of suggestions for a newbie. She had been cloth diapering for years and through multiple children, so I knew she'd give me great suggestions! Please keep in mind, this list is just that, suggestions. This list will give any newbie the opportunity to explore several styles and get a feel for what works for them. The best thing is, cloth diapers have excellent resale value, so if you get a bunch that you don't use, you can sell them and pretty much get your money back! This list is by no means exhaustive or final, nor has anyone been reimbursed by any of these companies in any way.
I warn you, cloth diapering can become addictive, especially when you get into all of the cute designs and the excitement of fluff mail! I will say, though, that our current stash has cost us less than all of the disposables we went through in the first 6 weeks of Bean's life.
There are a ton of great resources out there, and what we've covered here barely scratches the surface. My best suggestion is to find a local group of cloth diapering parents. It's the best place to get information and support. I wish you well on your own cloth diapering journey!
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.