When I started getting serious about wanting to cloth diaper and started doing my research my initial reaction after realizing all the types was almost a panic attack!
Which ones do I pick? What the crap does that mean?!? Why are there like 5 different kinds? What is an AIO? And the list goes on... Well get your pencil and paper out! Here is my personal experience with the types of cloth diapers I have used as well as information on other types.
What I've experienced so far:
1. Prefold - yes the classic old school rectangular-shaped cloth diapering system I was so terrified of while pregnant and lead to me thinking my mother-in-law was nuts!
I myself never did the old school fold with my prefolds. I would just fold them 2 times into a rectangular and put them in my FLIP covers (and yes these are also pricey covers however I was lucky and found 5 for $25 from a mama that cloth diapered triplets. I now use Happy Flute covers and they are just as good of a quality as my FLIP and were about $4 new.
2. Fitted diaper - this is similar to a disposable diaper in shape and is super absorbent however you do have to have a cover over it. They are great for night-time use for heavy wetters and Ava IS a ridiculously heavy wetter.
Ok so the first two types you have to have a cover over. My recommendations for covers are Happy Flute and Weegro. If you want to spring the extra bucks FLIPs work great as well. The plus about covers and prefolds is that all you have to do is change the fitted diaper or prefold after a potty and the cover can be wiped out and used again. I do not reuse a cover is she poops though. Something mentally in my head says, "Gross baby poop = new cover."
3. Pocket Diaper - so our house is a HUGE fan of pocket cloth diapers. Pretty much it is like a regular disposable diaper in shape and has snaps or velcro to open and close it. It has a waterproof layer that usually is a fabric lined with PUL (polyester/polyurethane laminate) and an inner layer of fabric that is usually fleece or some other type of soft fabric. Between the inner and outer layers is a pocket that an insert goes into which is the absorber for pee. If it is one-size (which is what we use) then it will typically fit a baby from 8-35 pound.
The other types of cloth diapers:
1. All in One (AIO) - The shape is just like a regular disposable diaper. It has a outer layer that is waterproof and the inside is a "soaker" which will be either sewn in or snap in.
2. All in Two (AI2) - Similar to a diaper cover it has a waterproof shell and then an insert that will go inside of it that may or may not snap in.
3. Hybrid diaper - the gDiapers are considered to be hybrid diapers. It has the same characteristics of a AI2 however you can buy disposable inserts to put in them.
A Small Part of My Stash:
Charlie Banana, Baby City (Junk stopped using after a week), FLIP covers
My Sunbaby Diapers that I LOVE!! (Only $5 a diaper)