Well, you can learn a lot of information by visiting some of my favorite blogs and websites, or I can give you the straight and skinny here and you'll thank me later.
Cloth Means Choices
Plastic pants and diaper pins are no longer the only option. Ready to learn your many choices. Here we go:
FLAT DIAPER: a big single layer of cloth that you fold to make a diaper and fasten with a diaper pin or snappi. Needs to have a water proof cover (we'll get to those!)
Pros: Dries quick, cheapest option.
Cons: Requires folding and pin/snappi, stays moist against babies skin.
PREFOLD DIAPER: that big single layer of cloth was folded into many layers, sewn and cut to the perfect size. Very minimal folding is required along with a water proof cover.
Pros: Dries quick, cheap option.
Cons: Requires minimal folding and a diaper cover, stays moist against babies skin.
DIAPER COVER: it's that water proof cover for your flats and prefolds! Come in one-size (fits most babies from 8-35+ lbs), or sized (fits a weight range, ex: xs, s, m, lg, xl), and can be either snapped or velcroed on.
Pros: Dries quick, cheap option, can be wiped clean between uses.
Cons: Requires absorbent liner.
ALL-IN-ONE DIAPER: most similiar to disposables. Water proof cover sewn together with an absorbent inner to make a one piece diaper.
Pros: throw entire diaper in wash, easy for day care providers.
Cons: long drying time, not so easy to increase absorbency, one time use before wash.
POCKET DIAPER: think of a pillow case sewn into a diaper cover. The pillow case is made of fleece that pulls the moisture away from babies bum. This pillow case is stuffed with an absorbent insert (micro-fleece, prefold, hemp, bamboo).
Pros: can be "stuffed" to customize absorbency, quicker drying time than AIO
Cons: absorbent insert must be pulled out before it can be washed, one time use before wash.
ALL-IN-TWO DIAPER: A diaper cover with snaps on the inside or an insert to snap into. You can reuse the cover and snap in new inserts.
Pros: Highly customizable, quick drying, economical, cover can be reused.
Cons: Can only snap in what's available through manufacturer.
There are LOTS of choices regarding manufacturers of cloth diapers. My recommendation is to visit their different sites, read blog reviews, enter for free giveaways. So here's some links to help you out.
You can also check out diapers I have personally reviewed here.
How to Clean
As always, don't hesitate to ask. No one question can ever be asked too many times! You'll find the fluffy community is very eager to lend their voices.
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