Welcome to day two of the all you wanted to know about cloth diapering series by my good friend Maggie over at Enlarging Marge. If you missed Day 1, start here.

Cloth Diaper Starter Kit

World, meet the what was the Spurgeon Cloth Diaper Starter Kit, care of our AmEx and The Little Seedling

Because Will and I were brand-spanking new to this rodeo, we opted to test out a few different cloth diaper “systems” to see what worked best for our family. Making the short-list? Pre-folds, all-in-ones and fitteds. (Not making the list, but very popular? Pocket diapers.)

First, pre-folds…

Quantity: 12 diapers, 3 snappis
Diaper cost: $2.33
Snappi cost (for three): $7.75

These are the traditional, old-fashioned, cheap cloth diapers. Now, I admit I was wholly confused with the term “prefold.” If I have to fold them to fit the baby, why are they called “prefold”? Wellllllll – back in the day, these puppies were ginormous and you had to fold them mucho times before you could even fold them onto the baby. Somebody got smart and now they are “prefolded” and sewn, eliminating user “prefolding.”

Also an improvement from the old days? No pins. Modern moms use this handy-dandy little T-strap clasp thing called a Snappi. The arms have ace-bandage-like claws, and the “t” is a stretchy, rubber band material, so you just pull and clasp.

I wanted to test prefolds because they are the old-standby and also, very cheap.

An additional piece to the pre-fold puzzle? Covers. More on that in a jiffy.

Second, the fitteds…

Quantity: 6 diapers, two types
Diaper cost – Kissaluvs: $13.95
Diaper cost – Bummis Bamboozle: $19.95

Fitteds are the next step up in the evolution of the cloth diaper, after prefolds. Fitted diapers are exactly what they sound like. Instead of the flat piece of cloth, fitted diapers are sewn to look like disposable diapers. They are fitted and snug, usually with elastic gatherings in the legs and waist, and have snap or velcro closures. They typically some in two sizes – x-small/small and one-size-fits-all. We got two different brands, both sized for newborns (x-small/small).

Though the one-size-fits-all would last forever, they are just HUGE for newborns. Meaning, if we liked this type of diaper, we’d have to buy more a couple months after she arrived. As for the different brands, they are different fabrics, so we can test absorbancy (cotton vs. bamboo) and the Bummis are slightly larger so should last longer. Again, these require a cover.

To accompany the prefolds and fitteds, we had to buy covers…

Quantity: 6

Cover cost: $12.95

Okay – so these are much cuter than the old rubber pants babies used to don, but function in the same way. They slip over the prefolds or fitteds and go in the laundry same as the diapers. There are a multitude of prints and brands, and they close using either snaps or velcro. Though I am attracted more to snaps (velcro can wear out), velcro would be easier. We got some of each.

And lastly, Will’s ideal cloth diaper, the all-in-ones…

Quantity: 6

Diaper cost – Blueberry: $16.95
Diaper cost – bumGenius: $12.95

An AIO, or All-In-One, is exactly what it sounds like. What you get is what you need. It is a type of diaper that functions completely on its own without the need for extra accessories. It does not require a cover to contain leaks. All of the features are neatly packaged into one diaper. The downside is that they’re not always as absorbent and can take longer to launder and dry. (Which is why I also got some of the fitteds.) Like the fitteds, they typically come in two sizes – x-small/small and one-size-fits-all. And again, we got two different brands, Blueberry and bumGenius, both sized for newborns (x-small/small), but again, Blueberry should supposedly last longer (they’re slightly larger).

Along with the diapers, we picked up some cloth diaper system accessories…

Including a wet bag, to put dirty diapers in when we’re not home, cotton wipes, instead of disposable, two diaper pail liners and a diaper pail (not shown).

And special detergent for washing diapers…

Cheap, right? (Insert laugh track.) Well, apparently this will last a year if I only use it for diapers. You can’t use regular detergent because the “whiteners and brighteners” compromise absorbancy. To whiten and brighten, most cloth diaper places recommend the sun.

So, that’s the long and the short of our what was our cloth diaper starter kit. Quite an investment.

Stay tuned for what came out on top “ and why.