It seems that this question has a rotating answer. It’s almost seasonal.
Winter: fitteds and wool. Spring: pockets. Summer: all-in-ones. Fall: prefolds and wool. Those are just an example but it may be more true than I thought.
Right now it’s most important for me to have simplicity. That can mean many types for me but making it simple enough for my husband and 7yo daughter is vital.
Since Michael works at home and Haley is homeschooled that means helpers available all the time…why wouldn’t I take advantage of that!?
After much trial and error over the years here are my top 4 simplest cloth diapers:
1) Bum Genius Organics All In One w/ snaps. My favorite. These are super trim and very absorbent. The snaps are manageable and well worth the fuss compared to the velcro version. I get a perfect fit with the BG organic and the rise measurements actually allow this to be the only one-size diaper I have found to work for Sterling. This is my #1 cloth diaper over the Anne Marie Padorie because of the organic inner material and quick dry soaker (which means the soaker is not sewn inside the inner material but at the ends allowing the air to pass through and under during drying time.)
2) Anne Marie Padorie All In One. Wide, strong velcro tabs coupled with a trim fit make this a great diaper. The absorbency is excellent for daytime use. I have left Sterling in an AMP aio for a very long time and only after several hours (eh, the kid takes long naps and I have 4 kids…I sometimes need a trigger to remind me to change him :D ) do I feel wetness coming through. If I could find a good bulk discount with these I’d have many. I have written a review on the Anne Marie Padorie all in one if you’d like more detailed information.
3) Weehuggers All In One. My husband says this is his favorite so it makes the list. Check out the Weehuggers Review I wrote. The *only* complaint I have is the wetness at the legs that occurs after Sterling pees a couple of times. I’ve paid close attention and if I change Sterling after one pee or poop all is good. But, if I leave him in it for more than 2 hours something will be wet.
4) Thirsties All In One. Inexpensive. Trim. Simple. Are they perfect? No. Are they a suitable diaper bag or car stash diaper? Yes. AMP aios are better but Thirsties have nice gussets. I used Thirsties AIOs with Paisley a lot and really enjoyed them.
It wasn’t until last week that I remembered them and ordered some for Sterling off of Diaperswappers. They would be perfect had I ordered the right size! Talk about mommy brain. I thought Sterling had outgrown the smalls so I ordered 2 medium covers from Cloth Diaper Superstore and 8 AIOs off Diaperswappers.
When I got them I realized that it was the x-small cover that he had outgrown. *sigh* At least I have cloth diapers that will fit him a long time :)
Simplicity in any form has many benefits. Besides making it easier for others to help with diaper changes it keeps the overall stress of cloth diapering down. All In Ones are easier for my children to fold. I don’t have to explain to them a hundred times that this part goes with this diaper and snaps in here, then add the “soft” doubler to the “soft” diaper.
Recently in a comment, a reader asked my opinion about traveling out of the country with cloth diapers. Immediately and without hesitation I recommended that she buy 2 dozen prefolds and a handful of Thirsties covers. Cloth Diaper Superstore has a package that I suggested called Beginner Prefold Package. When traveling and unsure of laundry arrangements, prefolds and covers give you that simple option of handwashing and hang drying if necessary.
Each time things get too chaotic I want to throw in the towel. Life with four children and homeschooling is busy enough. No one needs another speed bump in life.