So like our friend Jessica, I thought I would give ya'll a cloth diaper update. Who knows - maybe one of you other mamas out there will be able to use this info. All babies are different and require different diapering techniques to keep them, and their bottoms happy. Just as an FYI - Fiona has a very sensitive bottom & doesn't tolerate being wet very well if at all.
First of all let me say that I would not recommend using cloth diapers on your newborn until s/he is a few weeks old. Especially if this is your first baby or your first cloth diapering experience.
When Fiona was a newborn she used up to 25 diapers a day. You say this doesn't seem like a lot, but disposables are ~$0.25 each...which amounts to several dollars a day.
I bought cloth pre-folds from Green Mountain Diapers at $1.75 each (I bought 3 dozen - a total of $63.) These pre-folds are held together by something called a snappi fastner (another few dollars for a package of three). And then covered with an outter cover to keep the moisture from seeping through onto clothes.
The covers that I originally bought were Bummis Super Snaps. These covers just snap in place over top of the cloth diaper. The positives to this type of cover is that they are not expensive (~$12 each), and you re-use them through several diaper changes until they are wet or stinky. The downside to these is that there is no protective layer to keep babies from being wet. The layering order goes: Bottom, Cotton pre-fold diaper, Bummis cover. Therefore once baby is wet or dirty they are going to sit in it until you change them. Now some babies don't mind this and don't fuss very much when wet. Well...not Fiona. As soon as Fiona would become even the slightest bit wet she would scream and scream and scream until she was changed.
Needless to say - this type of cover just wasn't going to work for us. We needed a type of cloth diapering style that would keep Fiona's bum dry even if she was wet, capiche?
So onto ebay I went and bought some diaper covers called Fuzzi Bunz. Fuzzi Bunz are a pocket style cover which means that you slip the cloth diaper inside a pouch in the cover and that there is a layer between the cloth diaper and the baby's bottom. The positives to this type of cover is that it keeps baby's bottom dryer and keeps the wetness contained in the cloth diaper in the pocket. The downside is that they are expensive brand new (~$18 each...I bought mine secondhand for ~$12 each), and they can only be used once then must be washed. The way I use my Fuzzi Bunz is to stuff the pocket with a folded cloth pre-fold diaper (which I already had, so I didn't buy any additional "inserts"). So, the layering order goes: Bottom, fleece layer of the Fuzzi Bunz to keep baby dry, Cotton pre-fold, outter waterproof layer of the Fuzzi Bunz.
This method has worked wonders for us! Fiona loves her Fuzzi Bunz and rarely fusses about being wet. We wash the FB and cotton pre-folds daily because I don't have enough Fuzzi Bunz to last us more than a day. I am also still using ~4 disposable diapers during the night in order to have all the FB washed and ready for the next day. If I had enough FB to last me through the night I would definately use them - they're just so easy.
Overall - if you have never used cloth diapers I would seriously recommend purchasing a trial pack from a company like Green Mountain Diapers. That way you can test out several different types before deciding which one will work best for your child and your budget.
Last of all, I would like to pitch the idea for cloth wipes. I'm using cotton flannel wipes for Fiona. They're just two pieces of flannel sewn together ~6"x6" and I use a spray bottle with a diluted mixture of California Baby Diaper Area Wash to make them wet before using. The benefit is the cost is cheap, and I can just wash and re-use when done. For you sewing mamas these are super easy to make. Just get some flannel, cut into 6x6 squares. Place wrong-sides together and serge the edges. Voila! For you non-sewing mamas, you can buy some online at Green Mountain Diapers.
For additional resources on how-to cloth diaper check out these videos on You-Tube:
Using cloth pre-fold, snappi, and bummis cover
Using Fuzzi Bunz