I've been sold on cloth for a while, and I was REALLY nervous about getting Matt on board with it. I was sure this would be some sort of toe to toe face off. So I pumped myself up for a "hard sell," armed with all my statistics and cost savings, and went into the trenches. Matt's response was, "OK. I've never changed a diaper before, so I don't have anything to compare it to. You're going to have to show me how either way. I don't care." WHEW! That was easy! We've made a deal, I do diaper laundry, he'll do baby clothes laundry. Yes folks, he's all that AND a load of laundry! :D
I have a dear friend who took the CD plunge first, so she's a great resource! What I've learned is that most babies don't fit well into the one-size, lasts most of the way through diapering, adjustable diapers until they are 12-15lbs. So I was nervous about what to do for the beginning. I joined The Pin and got to work gathering advice from experienced CDing mamas. I posted a thread on their forum asking for newborn cloth diapering advice, and got tons!! What I came to understand is, in the beginning, they go through so many diapers, you want something cheap and easy that launders quickly. It shouldn't cost too much because they outgrow the newborn system so quickly. I have a feeling ours will get plenty of use between the 2 we plan to have and the friends in line to use our stash!!
There are lots of options of CDs to begin with. You have the traditional Prefolds
Above are Orange edge organic prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers, and 6 preemie prefolds for stuffing pocket diapers
Prefitteds (prefolds made into fitteds, with or without closures)
Pictured are 6 Workhorse dipes from Green Mountain Diapers w/o closures, hence the Snappis and pins
L-R Small Sandies fitted diaper, 2 Swaddlebees pocket velour diapers (discontinued, hard to find)
All of these types of diapers must be used in conjunction with a waterproof cover.
L-R are a NB Bummis Super Bright, a Thirsties Duo Wrap Size 1, and a Small Polar Bummis (discontinued, hard to find)
Pockets (waterproof outer, wicking inner layer w/ stuff-able pocket to adjust for heavy wetters, inserts are used for absorbency)
Pictured is a Happy Heinys MINI on the left open w/ micro terry inserts for absorbency, on the right are 2 One Size pockets - a Happy Heinys and a FuzziBunz
AIOs - all in ones (waterproof outer and absorbent inner all in one, no stuffing, just like a sposie that is washable)
These are Lil-Joeys NB size AIOs, see the snap-down for umbilical chord healing?
There are many brands and options of each of these types, but these are the basics.
The resounding feedback I got regarding the newborn system was prefolds or prefitteds with covers, because they are more affordable and wash and dry quickly (pockets and AIOs, anything with the waterproof outer must line dry, the prefolds/prefitteds go in the dryer because they are cotton). I bought 6 Workhorse Diapers from Green Mountain Diapers (GMD), which are their version of prefitteds, without closures (can use a snappi) in infant size. They were the "Beta release" so I got them for pretty cheap. I started thinking, "I sew, I can make my own prefitteds for way cheaper." So I asked for a serger for my birthday and found a great deal on Overstock.com. I bought 18 orange edge organic prefolds, and 12 yellow edge organic prefolds, that's enough to make 18 of each size prefitteds from GMD (I already have 6 yellow edge workhorse diapers). These are the favorite prefolds among most CDing moms, from what I can tell.
I've been buying used (and some new) newborn and infant covers from The Pin FSOT (for sale or trade) forums. We also plan to register for CDs, and will get more covers there. I've collected a few additions to my newborn stash as well. I got a set of Lil-Joeys from Rumparooz (NB AIOs pictured above), a Happy Heinys MINI (Xsmall one size pocket diaper), and a couple of Monkey Doodlez micro (small size AIOs) all for going out or church or convenience diapers for sitters. I also bought a couple of fitteds and velour pocket diapers to go under covers as well. I'm completely bummed that these Swaddlebees velour pocket dipes are discontinued, because I heard they were great for nighttime/naptime because you can stuff them with as much absorbency as you need. So other than covers, we are set on our small size diapering system.
As for CDs after 12-15lbs, we are registering for a couple of diapers of about 4-5 different styles and brands (a combination of pockets and AIOs, all one-size that will grow with baby). We will use what we get for a while and decide what we want the bulk of our stash to be after use, although I have a feeling we will use FuzziBunz. FuzziBunz seem to be a favorite among mamas, they dry quicker than AIOs, they are the most adjustable b/c they use an elastic system instead of snaps, and people love the convenience of pocket diapers. They say it's nice to have options for different situations, and our registry variety will give us that. I've done quite a bit of research, and Kelly's Closet seems to have the most extensive stock of choices for a registry, so that's probably the way we will go. If you want to watch video reviews of ALL DIFFERENT TYPES and brands of cloth diapers, go to Dirty Diaper Laundry. I've found her videos to be really helpful in deciding what to register for!
If you go with pocket diapers for your main diapering solution, you have lots of options for stuffing. Most diapers come with their own inserts, but you can also purchase extra inserts for nighttime or heavy wetters. Hemp is the most absorbent type of insert out there, although they take a bit more prep before use than other diapers (properly prepping your CDs is SO important and every shipment I've received so far has come with prepping and washing instructions). My CDing friend's favorite insert are the Babykicks Hemp that come in several sizes as your child grows.
We will also be doing cloth wipes along with cloth diapers. It would be a pain to have to separate throw away wipes from washable diapers! I will likely be making my own out of flannel and old towels. Most CDing moms say you need a stash of about 36 or so cloth wipes to get you through 2 days of changes before laundry time (obviously more if you have twins ;)).
Other necessities are: wet bags for the diaper bag to store dirties in, special detergent for cloth diapers (it's important to use detergents that don't leave residues that can affect the diaper's absorbency), a diaper sprayer to clean the yuckies off in the toilet, and a diaper pail liner (or 2) that is waterproof and washable with the dipes. The links above are all to the products that I've read the best reviews about for each item, and the ones that we will have on our CD registry.
So there you have it! That is all the knowledge I have to impart as a future-CDing mama. I'm sure I will have more advice once we actually have our Sweet Pea here and in cloth! I will definitely be sure to post pics of the sweet fluffy bum!