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I'm due in May with my 1st and have never cloth diapered before. I feel very well educated on the subject and have been reading lots and lots on the subject!
My current plan is/was (as I think it may be changing):
Use prefolds with snappi's and covers for the newborn stage, until baby fits well into one size diapers, and then experiment with brand sticking with AIOs or Pocket diapers! The more I research and look into Prefolds the more I kinda wanna just stick with that! I thought it would be a lot more, harder work, but I'm thinking once you consider how easy they are to prep/clean, the overall cost... and that the snappi makes life 1million times easier maybe I'll just continue on with prefolds...
What was your plan before you started cloth diapering? Did what you thought you'd use really end up being your favorite? What about experience with prefolds?
When I was pregnant with M, I registered for 2 dozen nb and 2 dozen small GMD prefolds and several different NB and small covers and some Thirsties Duo size 1 covers, plus snappis, wipes, and wet bags. I think I had a dozen flats too just for backup and having on hand. From friends, I got a BG pocket to try and some more hand me down tiny covers and some fancy flannel/velour wipes with cute prints (which I used for face and boobs and not for butt wiping!)
Overall it went absolutely great in the nb and small sizes. DH and I were both expert jellyroll and snappi-ers and the covers all did their job. I ended up buying another dozen prefolds in each size just to have plenty for lazy laundry days. I liked some covers better than others and some seemed more comfortable or a better fit at different times but they all worked.
The BG pocket made M red all over and I decided she was sensitive to stay dry. I was thinking stay dry was not necessary anyway since I liked knowing when she was wet and changing her promptly. So pretty much all pockets were a no go.
In medium I started getting fancy though. I tried fitteds and wool. I loved the wool but realized that front snapping fitteds just didn't seem to work on M's thunder thighs and smaller waist. I still got 2 dozen medium prefolds too and mostly used those. She was getting more mobile though and it was harder to snappi them. Then she outgrew them really fast. She chunked out A LOT before crawling!!! I went to GMD workhorse fitteds (closureless) and after much research got some Bottombumpers AIOs in aplix, size Large. We still use the Bottombumpers frequently over a year later. But she outgrew the large workhorse in like 2 months. I learned to fold flats because I was so sick of buying diapers that didn't fit. My medium prefolds were put up in storage. I got some large Sandys fitteds which were good.
Then I got a Flip cover in a trade and discovered the ease of padfolding a flat in a Flip. OMG I wish i had discovered it sooner!!! Her poops were finally firming up a bit so I didn't need containment from a fastened prefold or flat anymore. Eventually I got my medium pfs out of storage and now we trifold those in Flips frequently.
Sorry for the long saga but in the end with a walking baby on solids I love Flips with trifolded prefolds. And Bottombumpers are nice too when I am extra lazy or for the diaper bag. We also have some fancy fitteds for naps and some OS flannel pocket fitteds for fun or airing-out time (used to use the Sandys for that too but she outgrew them). With baby #2 I will definitely stick with the prefolds and covers for the early days and hopefully the large workhorse will fit him longer too. But I will move to trifolded prefolds much sooner. It is so dang easy once they are not pooping as much and are squirmy for changes.
I decided to try out a few different options for my son before he was born. 1/3 of my NB diapers were AIOs, 1/3 were fitteds, and 1/3 were prefolds plus 3 different covers. I ended up HATING prefolds, and tolerating fitteds. After a while I ended up washing my NB diapers every day so I could mostly use my AIOs. When he outgrew his NB diapers, I purchased a bunch of OS AIOs and some pockets diapers as well. I recently picked up a few new things to try, and I am now LOVING trifolded prefolds with a cover. So easy! Currently my favorites are prefolds + cover or pockets for daytime, and fitteds + cover for nights.
My plan was to do all prefolds and covers, so that's what I bought while I was pregnant. I wasn't a huge fan of the prefolds but did have some closureless workhorse fitteds that I loved so we primarily used those with the covers. When she outgrew the small workhorses I started buying pocket diapers and now those and Flips are pretty much all we use.