It can be confusing! The best advice anyone gave me were to invest in just a few different types before diving in and buying all of one type or brand. For example—I bought lots of newborn sized diapers that were homemade from someone. They fit well but leaked like crazy and did not accommodate the little “stump” of the cord that hung on for weeks with a newborn. When we have another newborn we'll do disposables in the early days so they accomodate the cord stump and wait until the snap diapers fit best (which I found was around 10lbs).
Let's back up...
There are basically three types of diapers…
The cheapest diapers in diaper lingo are called “Pre-folds”… the kind your mama used to use with pins (or the kind you use as burp cloths). They usually are worn with reusable covers. I never used that kind because I figured it wasn't easy enough for me and that the hubby would not use them.Source
I tried the all-in-ones which are basically an outer cover and some kind of absorbent insert that is attached so you don't "stuff" any inserts in teh diapers-- its all one piece. I tried one like this (Bumpkins) and liked it but still didn’t find it absorbent enough and also you have to buy them in sizes so they don't grow with your kid... therefore you have to buy more from small to large. These are a lot more than prefolds for the convenience and are usually about the same price as Pocket diapers.
The ones I use are “pocket diapers”… these can go for crazy amount for the name brand but I found the KaWaii are equivalent enough to Fuzzibuns or some of the others like it. I also like that it adjusts with snaps so it grows with your child (unlike the all in ones) which you buy in different sizes. They are pocket because they have a pocket where you stuff the inserts in (I just use one but I know some people add two inserts if their baby is a “heavy wetter.” I also just stuff them one at a time when I change his diaper… it saves doing the whole basket of diapers at once. But you can do it either way.
Note: We still do disposables at night most nights so it absorbs the most and wicks away from his skin (whatever helps us all sleep the longest!) and we use them with sitters just so its easier for them. When I haven't I end up with dirty diapers back in the clean basket and parts and pieces thrown away.
Here is the inside and a photo of the outside...
We never did the diaper sprayer… another thing that I decided did not sound fun! We use disposable liners—they add cost but I wash the ones that were just peed on and use a few times. That way when he poos, we just throw away that part… the diaper avoids yuckiness and needing rinsing and we can just put it in the diaper pail without dunking in the toilet or spraying off.
Diaper Pail (Trashcan with a flip up lid)
Wet Bag (Sized to fit your trash can)
Optional but Recommended:
A second wet bag for when the other is in the wash
Cloth Diaper Disposable Liners
Small wet bag to stash in the diaper bag (Plastic bags work too)
I bought almost all my diapers for $8 and under and have about 15 in regular rotation now which means I do laundry every 2-3 days. Hubs has done lots of calcs and we feel that even using a disposable at night, we've saved lots of mulah!
Please ask any questions I may have left out or assumed and I will answer them or update the post. Good look! It's pretty simple once you get your system down and figure out what works for you!