This is baby #4 for me. I wanted to cloth diaper from the start, but with my first baby, we had breastfeeding (and general adjustment to being a mother!) issues at the beginning. I felt overwhelmed trying to learn how to cd, so I took a break from it and started again when she was a few months older.
I think that part of the problem was that I started with one-size fitteds and covers. Now I realize that there are SO many different types of cloth diapers, and that just because one method is not for me, it doesn't mean that there isn't something nearly perfect out there that I will love! So my advice to new cd'ers is- don't give up! If it's not working, try another kind.
With my last baby, I had 2 friends who loved prefolds and Snappis or just covers, so I gave that a shot. Nope, I didn't like it! I found other ways to use them though, so not a complete waste. And they're cheap.
What has worked beautifully for us is pocket diapers. They're so easy and I absolutely love them. I even like stuffing them fresh out of the dryer (sometimes i used my newborn prefolds to stuff them). Fuzzibunz are a great workhorse pocket. All in ones sounded like they would be even easier- nothing to stuff- but for me they didn't work well. They were too thick to dry in one cycle in my dryer or in any reasonable time in the sun, plus mine retained odors.
I also found that I prefer snaps over hook & loop fasteners. The velcro is so stiff and wide that I was always worrying about it digging into my baby's soft belly. Not to mention how L-O-U-D it is during middle of the night diaper changes! RIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!
Now I did keep my fitteds, and I use them without covers whenever I don't have the baby in a carrier. Just for running around the house, because it's easy to notice if they pee and you can change it right away. We have done Elimination Communication with our last two kids.
These are the ages they were out of diapers:
DD with no EC: done with diapers at 3.5
DS1, started EC at 6 months: out of daytime diapers at 2 years (in diapers at night til 3)
DS2, EC from birth: out of diapers daytime, 16 months, and nighttime at 19 months.
I swear by EC. It is completely awesome. Especially if you're at all squeamish about washing poopy diapers! Poops are easy to predict and see coming, if you watch for the signs, and then you can just pop the baby on a potty! So much better to have him learn that this is the place to do it from the start, than to let him finish in a diaper and then have all the cleanup, right? I so wish I had known about it with my first child. With the boys, I washed less than 10 poopy diapers each the whole time they were in diapers.
Pees were much harder for me to catch, so I washed a lot of those, but we weren't fanatical about it. Many pees were in diapers, many in the toilet. We just basically did it by timing. I took them as soon as they woke up, and they would always pee on the potty. We made a little cue sound (psssssssst) to help them know what to do. Just the fact that they were using the toilet as infants, and understanding that it was for pee and poop, was the best thing- they never had the huge mental block of transitioning from diapers to toilet that my daughter had!
Edited by Lula's Mom - 7/2/11 at 7:12am