What is the best cloth diaper? That depends entirely on what feature is most important for you? When you know what you need, it is easy to choose the best cloth diaper for your family.
If convenience is your first priority? Then an all in one style (AIO) cloth diaper may be the best cloth diaper for your family. These combine the absorbent part and the waterproof part into one sleek option. These go on the same way as disposables, so there is nothing to figure out and no extra parts to match up out of the dryer. Simply wrap around baby and fasten. The downside can be that some brands do not wash thoroughly or dry quickly. A well designed all in one solves both of these problems. AIOs are also a great option for day care, babysitters and novice cloth diaperers. Some parents choose to keep a few AIOs on hand for diapering on the go and for when baby is with someone else, even if they choose another option for day to day use. This is the most expensive option, but will still save about $1,500 over the cost of disposables.
Pocket diapers are similar to an all in one, but the absorbent part can be removed for cleaning. This makes them wash and dry quickly, and also makes it possible to adjust absorbency for naps, overnights, or heavy wetters. Most pockets offer a stay dry lining, helping baby to feel dry even when they are not. Pocket diapers are a great option for convenience and ease of use.
Fitted diapers with are a favorite combination of easy to use, easy to clean and economy. They are also great at containing messy blowouts since they offer two elastic barriers at the legs and the back. These work just like the above diapers, except that the absorbent part is put on baby first, then the waterproof cloth cover is added to protect clothing and bedding from moisture. This is an economical option since you need only a few covers for each dozen fitteds.
The least expensive option is prefold cloth diapers and covers. Prefolds are easier to use than many people believe and they are the fastest to wash and dry. They fit for a long time and they are very inexpensive. Prefolds are rectangular absorbent pads that can be easily folded to fit babies, then a waterproof cover is added to hold in moisture and help contain any messes. Quality covers are easy to use, usually fasten with snaps or Velcro like tabs, and can even help hold the prefold on without pins.
No matter what option you choose, buying a good quality cloth diaper will make it easy to keep your baby clean and dry while saving trees and your wallet.