Alright, since I have had quite a few people asking me for info on cloth diapers in the past month or so, I thought I would put it all out here for you guys. I will do a little info on each time of diaper and some links to find them. I know I will miss some things so I tried to include lots of informational pages to go to as well. I don't know much about AIO and AI2's so there isn't a whole lot of info on those, but I got what I could. So here we go:
Prefolds are the oldest and probably simplist and cheapest type of cloth diaper out there. When you say you are using cloth people automatically start thinking of these. Prefolds are great for new babies and no so heavy wetters. Prefolds require some sort of cover (more info to come). Now once upon a time the only option you had with prefolds were pins. Now there is a great new invention called the snappi (http://shop.thegoodmama.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1431) that eliminates the sticks and pain of pins. Prefolds due require folding into a "diaper" shape. A good place to get different folding techniques is: http://www.thediaperhyena.com/diaper_folding101.htm. This has several different styles of folding.
Even with a diaper as simple as a prefold there are many different options. First we will start with gerber prefolds (which you can find a walmart, target, etc). These will do the trick if you need to use them. However they are not very absorbant and your baby will require alot of changes. Next we will move on to Diaper Service Quality diapers. These are what you get if you ordered a diaper service. A few stores to buy them from:
There are also some WAHM (work at home mom) made prefolds out there. These give you a snugger fit to your prefold, generally with less folding. A few of my favorite stores are:
These diapers go on like regular diapers and are mainly equipped with snaps or velcro. Just like the Prefolds, these do require covers. A few advantages of these over prefolds are that they are more absorbant, no pins, no folding, and are a bit easier on the go. Again you have several different types of these as well.
http://shop.thegoodmama.com/ (this is all we use)
There are many more options for fitteds these are just a few of them out there.
Pockets (in my opinion) one of the easiest and most convient diapers to use. They do require you to "stuff" them with inserts, but they do no require any type of cover and are water proof. They are very fast and very effective. Alot of people (myself included) have found these great for overnight use. You can buy pockets that are "sized" or you can buy one size that normally go from about 9 lbs-40 lbs. If you are going to use pockets, I highly recommend getting the One Size because then you don't have to worry about having to replace them as you baby gets bigger.
All-in-Ones or All-in-Twos
AIO and AI2's are great diapers. Most of these are sized only. AIO's are all one peice just like the Pockets, but require no stuffing, however they have about 2x's the drying time as other diapers. AI2's have a snap in insert that you can change as your baby needs changing. As long as the cover isn't soiled, you don't have to replace the whole diaper.
Covers are one of my favorite things to talk about. You have so many different options for covers it's insane. You have your basic "wrap" cover that is made out of PUL (think raincoat material), or you have fleece soakers, wool soakers, knitted/crochet soakers, etc. Personally, I would stay away from fleece soakers as they have a tendency not to absorb and get a smell build up in them. You will be washing them more than you do diapers on some occations. However, fleece, wrap covers, and interlock wool can all be washed and dried in the machine. For fleece or wool interlock soakers, check out www.hyenacart.com and search for them, there are HUNDREDS out there. Now the next option is knitted/crochet wool. These can be a bit pricey sometimes (unless you know some one that can make them, which I do! LOL). But these normally come in shorts, pants, skirties (with bloomers attached). They are so wonderful. First of all wool only must be washed once every 2 weeks (give or take). They must be handwashed, lanolized (which you can do in the same step with the proper wash) and hung to dry. I found the love for these after my first pair, it became so easy (especially since we use fitteds) so I didn't have to have extra covers to put on over his diaper to put on pants. Contrary to popular belief wool is good all year (seriously it is Summer in Florida and Jess wears wool and his skin stays cool now and in the winter it kept him warm). If you choose this meathod, I highly recommend Ewe Need It wool wash (it has lanolin in it so it's one step to wash/lanolize!) www.hyenacart.com/eweneedit. Lastly there are wrap covers. http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=36&products_id=1284 These are very easy to use and wrap around your baby's diaper making it water proof. Only Prefolds and Fitteds need any type of cover. The others are waterproof already.
No matter what kind of cloth diapers you use, you will need a Wet bag. (Again go to www.hyenacart.com and search for them you can find some great ones) This is a way to store your dirty diapers without a smell reaking around your house. If you choose to use cloth wipes (which if you are washing diapers, why not right?) just buy some baby wash cloths (24-30 is plenty for a 1 week supply) and I recommend Ewe Need It Foaming Wipes solution (www.hyenacart.com/eweneedit).
www.diaperswappers.com is a great place for more information. It is a forum where people buy and sell new and used diapers at great prices. If you are looking into cloth diapers, I strongly urge you to join Diaperswappers just to chat with other moms who do use them. The ladies there give great advice and love to help people get started. You do not have to buy or sell diapers to join there.