When I first started researching cloth diapers, I was a little overwhelmed at the different kinds of cloth diapers you could buy, and I really had very few resources to ask about these things. As I found out, most women in my parents’ generation (those born in the 50’s) did not use cloth diapers because of the convenience of disposables. So clearly, I wasn’t able to ask my mother about selecting cloth diapers. Luckily, in this day and age the fabulous internet helped me to learn quite a bit about the different kinds of cloth diapers out there. I would love to share with you what I’ve learned.
Pre-fold diapers are simple pieces of fabric, usually made of cotton or hemp, which are folded and require a waterproof cover and maybe pins. These literally are your grandmother’s cloth diapers. These tend to be the least expensive kind of diaper, but also the least favorite among cloth diaper users. They just aren’t as simple and neat as the newer types out there. (For the record, we use pre-folds and covers, but we love them. We chose them for their low cost, but have not been disappointed by their performance.)
Econobum diapers are this style. This is what we use, and they were about half the price of other cloth diapers. They were definitely not the most convenient of diapers, but they always got the job done.
All-in-One diapers work basically like a disposable diapers except instead of throwing them away you wash them. The outside portion is a waterproof fabric, the inside is something soft, like cotton, and there is usually padding in between that is absorbent. Some all-in-ones are called all-in-twos because there is an additional insert you can put in the diaper for nighttime for extra absorbancy.
Grovia diapers are this style.
Pocket diapers are basically a waterproof cover with a pocket for absorbent inserts. These are similar to the prefolds, except that the absorbent fabric can’t slip around or bunch inside the outer lining.
Fuzzibunz, Happy Heinys, and bumGenius diapers are all this style.
Fitted diapers snap or velcro on baby and are fitted to their bum. The outer layer is not waterproof, so it requires a cover. The nice thing about fitted diapers is that you often only have to wash the fitted diaper insert and not the outer layer..
Kissaluv diapers are this style
One-size diapers may be any of the above types, but they are adjustable to fit almost any size baby. These are useful for the family on a budget since you only have to buy one set as opposed to 3 or 4 sets of diapers. Sometimes, though, the one-size diapers don’t hold everything in as well in all sizes, so there is some risk involved.
I hope this was helpful for anyone considering cloth diapering. Please do a little research on your own, but I think this is a good general starting point.