this is a review of my cloth diapering experience thus far. it has been going magnificently well. (even better than i anticipated). so i want to share some of my insights and hopefully encourage others who are considering it to give it a try.
my initial stash
i did a lot of research and everything i read indicated that what works for one baby does not necessarily work for all. so i decided to buy several different types to test out before purchasing my full inventory. my starter stash consisted of: 12 green mountain newborn size unbleached indian prefolds, 6 kissaluvs size 0 fitteds, 3 fuzzi bunz size S pockets, 3 bumGenius one-size pockets (+1 i got for free), 1 proraps size S cover, 1 bummis super whisper wrap size XS cover, 1 thirsties size XS cover, 1 hemp babies insert, 1 kissaluvs booster, 2 snappis, and 24 flannel wipes.
Green Mountain Unbleached Indian Prefolds - $21/dozen
prefolds are by far the cheapest option, and they are not as "scary" to use as one might think. especially with the the snappis in lieu of pins. actually, chad was quite adept at diapering with the prefold. but i personally decided that i'd rather pay more for the convenience of a fitted or a pocket. also, i made a mistake in buying the newborn size - they are really really small. mags outgrew them within a few weeks (which is why there is no picture). in retrospect, i would've ordered the infant size or maybe even the size S. oh well. they make decent burp rags. also, i could use them to extra stuff my pocket diapers.
kissaluvs fitted diaper- size 0
Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper - $12.95 (unbleached) - $13.95 (color) each
in my opinion, these are by far the best diapers for a newborn. pros: they fit very well starting from day 1, they are relatively trim yet absorbant, have a center snap down for the umbilical cord, are very soft, and contains breastmilk poo extremely well. cons: pretty pricey considering baby will outgrow them by 4-6 months, need to use a cover with them and the rise is pretty low on them - hasn't been a problem for us but i've heard other moms complain about it. the size 0's still fit maggie now at 13 lbs, but she wets more heavily so the diaper gets soaked pretty quickly. i haven't had any leaks, but i hate having so much wetness next to her skin for too long.
thirsties cover - size XS
Thirsties Diaper Cover - $11.25 each
of the three covers i tried, the thirsties were by far my favorite. the key to leak-proofing is to make sure that none of the diaper (prefold or fitted) undeneath sticks out. this cover was the only one that i could put on her and not have to adjust. with the bummis and the proraps, i had to make sure to tuck in the diaper that would stick out around the legs. the size XS still fits her now at 13 lbs. we bought another one in size S, and it fits her well, too.
fuzzi bunz pocket - size S
Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Diaper - $17.95 each
i found these to be just okay. they are your average pocket diaper - very easy (husband and babysitter-proof), no need for a cover, inside layer is fleece to wick moisture away from baby, can adjust absorbancy. additional pros: bindings are very soft and do not leave any marks on baby's skin. cons: expensive, not one size. although i have to say that i think these will fit maggie for a long long time. she still wears them on the smallest snap setting and there's a lot of room to grow.
bumGenius 3.0 pocket - one-size
BumGenius 3.0 Pocket Diaper - $17.95 each
we've decided to go with the BG's as our full-time diaper. All the same pro's as the fuzzi bunz plus they are one-size, meaning you can adjust the fit as baby grows. theoretically, they fit babies weighing 7-35 lbs so these should last until baby is potty-trained. also, they come with two pocket inserts - the regular one-size insert and the less bulky newborn insert. right now we are using the newborn inserts during the day and the thicker insert at night. cons: although they supposedly fit a 7 lb-er, i found it to be way too bulky and big until she weighed at least 10 lbs. another big con for me is that it tends to leak when maggie sleeps on her side because the pee runs down her leg and doesn't get absorbed by the insert, which is usually kinda bunched up in the middle.
i also purchased a couple "fashion" diapers, such as the blueberry minky and the muttaqin 3sr. but they're too expensive ($30-35/each) to be a practical everyday diaper so i'm not going to go into detail on them. you can email me if you want more info on them.
because of the side-sleeping leak issue, i am currently investigating other options for just nighttime. i'm leaning towards fitted diapers with a cover. perhaps crickett's hemp or thirsties fab fitted. i will post info once i've made a decision and tested it out.