We have used cloth with all of our kiddos. And each experience has been different with each individual child.
We ultimately began the whole cloth thing with our first, because we needed to cut costs on diapers. We really had very little extra money, so this was definitely one way for us to make ends meet. When we initially began pricing cloth diapers, I really thought there was no way we would be able to afford that either. Because, really, the initial upfront costs of cloth can get pretty crazy. And finally after searching and searching, I found Econobum, an affordable line from the same makers of BumGenius. So if you are looking for a budget friendly way to start out, these are a good place to start.
My main issue with Econobum was just the overall bulkiness of the prefolds. The covers worked great and lasted us for 2 little ones. The prefolds, we did away with when we started using cloth for our 2nd because she was just way too tiny and she could not move very well with one of those on her.
We had a little more flexibility with our budget by this time, so I began experimenting with different types of covers and inserts. I tried various brands of prefolds, flats and covers. I really liked the slim fitting inserts from the Flip brand. The daytime flats and the stay dry inserts really worked well for her since she was so tiny. We did have to use stay dry liners with the regular flats and prefolds we used because, unlike our son, our daughter had very sensitive skin, and would get rashes. I also had to change her a little more frequently, which wasn't an issue since it wasn't costing me any more money. We continued to use cloth, and not sure if it was a factor or not, but she did potty train herself around 18 months. Yes, did it all on her own. Which came at the perfect time, as we were expecting twin girls shortly after that.
When we found out that we would be having twins, I knew we needed to continue to use cloth to stay in budget. I bought a few of the Flip hook and loop closure covers, and some all in ones, since my husband was more likely to help with diaper changes if he wasn't having to stuff and unstuff them.
Long story short, throughout the first year we went through a variety of different cloth diapers and systems. And there was a point where I just stopped using cloth. As I was having a difficult time keeping up with every day household chores and was overwhelmed enough without throwing extra laundry in the mix. But now that the girls are older and not so dependent on mom, we have a better, less stressful routine going and are now using cloth again, daily.
What has worked the best for us, after trying out even high dollar all in one diapers, were flats and covers. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I love my Nicki's Diapers Bamboo flats. The small size works for us and they are always out of stock, so if you want to try these out and they are available, get them! These flats are so soft and so absorbent. I wish I had these from the beginning. We just padfold them and use them just like you would a prefold. They are so slim and work perfectly with all kinds of covers.
And my newly discovered FAVORITE covers are the Buttons Diapers One Size Diaper Cover. These fit my girls perfectly. We never have wing droop and no red marks are left on the girls when I change them. I only have 2 of these at the moment, but I NEED to buy more. These are my first picks...whenever they are not dirty. Another reason to love flats and covers: covers are reusable until soiled or smelly. So you can use your favorite covers multiple times in a day. Also,I do use stay dry liners with my twins, as they have sensitive bottoms as well. I love the Flip Newborn Stay Dry Inserts for this purpose. They are slim and keep baby's bottom dry, and are relatively inexpensive.
If you are at all interested in that cloth diaper life and want to just test it out, I definitely recommend the flats and covers system. This will definitely have a lower up front cost than other diapering systems.
Do you cloth diaper your little ones? Why or why not? If so, what is your go to cloth system?