So, you've learned all the cloth diaper terms and what else you might need. But there's more. Now that you know the differences, you might be thinking "well this sounds the best, why might someone want all these other ones?" there really are advantages to each kind, and you may find it easy to have a variety, depending on your situation.
-Simplicity. These are hands down the easiest ones to use. It's just like using a disposable. Very dad and sitter friendly.
-Very trim, especially if they are sized.
-Expensive, not just to purchase, but also in energy costs. They often take at least 2 dryer cycles to completely dry.
-If you line dry, they can take a full day to dry.
-A lot of daycares will only take AIOs. They aren't trying to be a pain in the butt. Sometimes it's the law, but even it's just their own policy, it's a sanitation thing.
-Adjustable absorbancy. Awesome if you don't want to buy separate diapers for 2 children, or for naps and night time. You can just add extra when you need it, but when you don't need it, they don't have to have that extra bulk.
-Although they cost about the same as AIOs in initial purchase, they have lower energy costs since they are 2 separate pieces. Much easier to line dry as well.
-Many daycares will take pockets. They won't take inserts out. They will treat it as an AIO and you will be responsible for taking it out. So you don't necessarily have to have AIOs for daycare.
-You can use a variety of inserts depending on your needs: cotton prefolds, hemp inserts, micorfiber, and microterry. Most come with microfiber, but you can mix and match however you need to.
-They require stuffing and unstuffing, which can take a bit of time. To make things easier, I stuff as I pull out of the dryer, rather than try to do it as I'm hurrying to get it on my son. And also so that anyone who may change him doesn't inadvertently put the wrong insert in.
-Initial cost is about the same as AIOs.
-More economical than AIOs or pockets
-Requires a separate cover
-Usually must buy bigger sizes as your child grows
-Many daycares will not use these
-The most economical option
-Can be folded a variety of ways, with or without pins/snappis
-Can be used in pockets for extra absorbency
-Easy and cheap to replace as needed
-Multiple uses after diapering days are over
-Ideal for the newborn days, and for potty training
-Requires a separate cover
-Infant can feel the wetness more, so may require more frequent changes
-Can be more difficult to get a good fit on a wiggly baby
-Most daycares will not accept these
-Can be difficult to use if you've never used them before
WOOL VS. PUL COVERS
-harder to clean
-needs cleaning less often
-leaks are almost unheard of
-easy to clean, just wipe out if damp
-quick drying when washed
-Combines a little bit of the best of every option
-Disposable option if needed
-Can reduce cost by using prefolds
-Disposables can increase costs and environmental impact (only some are flushable/biodegradeable)
-Can leak if inserts are not placed properly
-Can be bulky
I highly recommennd a diaper trial if you aren't sure. jilliansdrawers.com has a great one, it's only $10! And you don't need to stick to only one type. You may find that you prefer different types for different situations.