Note: I will be writing a separate post on buying used diapers, where to find them, how to clean them, etc. Most of the diapers I mention below I purchased used or new from other moms. Very few diapers in our stash came brand new. Cloth diapering is much more cost effective if you purchase used and re-sell diapers when they no longer work for you.
While I was pregnant I did a LOT of research on cloth diapers. I watched videos, read blog posts, and primarily asked questions and read through the Babycenter Cloth Diaper Board. By the time BabyCakes arrived I had already purchased our starting stash and we began cloth diapering as soon as we got home from the hospital. What diapers we use have evolved as she's gotten bigger and more mobile.
From birth - three months our preferred diapers were the Blueberry Newborn Simplex, prefolds with Thirsties covers or Workhorse fitteds with Thirsties covers. I never had leaks with any of these. The Simplex were easy because they were all in one to take off and put on. I liked these especially for night time because I could change them in the dark. They were also my preference when it came to diapers when we were out. But Simplex are the most expensive option so Workhorses and prefolds with covers were a larger part of our stash that we used more regularly. I don't do any fancy folds, I just pad fold my prefolds, so it's pretty easy:
At around four months I sold my newborn size Simplex for some one size Simplex. Those I still use now and should grow with her all the way to potty training in size. I also started incorporating BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers into our stash (not because I actually needed to, but because I had a bit of a diaper obsession at that point lol). I realized early on that the microfiber inserts that came with the BumGenius diapers made BabyCakes have a rash. But the fit of BumGenius was really good, so I tossed the microfiber inserts and started stuffing the pockets with the prefolds I had been previously using with covers. I also added some Blueberry covers into our stash and purchased larger Thirsties covers, as she had outgrown the small ones we started with.
Four months also brought a challenge for nighttime. She was sleeping longer and wetting through diapers at night. Through further research I found that nighttime fitted diapers were the way to go. I started with two Soothebaby fitteds, which I love and also added two Pooters to the stash, which I also love. We have only four nighttime diapers in our stash still, and that works fine for our washing schedule (every two-three days). I also tried Mother Ease Sandy's fitteds for nighttime but they didn't fit her well so I sold them off.
|This diaper cover from Sunshine Cloth Diapers.|
Our diapering needs didn't change again until very recently where we started to have more and more leaks, especially overnight. Every diaper we use at this point has an additional insert. I think I'm going to sell off my Blueberry Simplex in favor of more BumGenius pockets because they are easier to stuff. Right now the additional inserts I use are Thirsties Hemp Inserts or Charcoal Bamboo. This means we add an insert inside of the prefolds with covers, stuffed into the pockets, or laid on top of the all in ones. We also add an insert into her four night diapers.The only system we have that hasn't needed changing are the Workhorses with covers. Those are still sufficiently absorbent on their own. I reach for these when I am diapering her, but I keep pockets and all in ones around for ease at daycare.
Cloth diapering really is a game of trial and error to find what's best, but if you research enough you'll have a good idea on what works for most people, and what may work best for you depending on your preferences.
As far as number of diapers, if you are starting at birth, you'll want to have at least 36 changes to wash every 2 - 3 days. You can have less if you think you can wash more often. If you are transitioning from disposables I would add one diaper to the number of disposables you use each day, and make that your starting point.