If the point is to train, would you consider training pants? Like Imse Vimse for day, maybe Super Undies for night?
Since you're not sure how it will go I would try some cheap pocket diapers personally. At her age I'd go for Alva baby diapers unless she is quite thin or tiny. You can get 10 for like $50 so in case it doesn't work well for you it won't be too big of a loss and you can probably sell them to get at least some of that back. Here is the page with their package deals:
If she goes through lots of diapers I'd get more like 20 so you don't need to wash constantly ($84, still not bad and they have free shipping). Than you'll just need a pail liner (but you can skip it) and some baby washcloths for wipes.
I don't think I would buy all one type of diaper, I would get a few different easy to use pocket diapers, AIOs, or AI2s, different brands if possible to see what works for you. Maybe buy a pair of training pants to try as well? If the few you end up buying don't work, then you'll know you tried a few different options.
I only have a 2 month old, so I'm not sure what would be best for a toddler. Our favorite diaper so far is BumGenius, it's easy to put on and doesn't leak. A plus with pocket diapers is that you can add more inserts for better absorbency. I also really like the quality of my Imse Vimse covers, but those require prefolds or fitteds underneath,
If you've already tried cloth diapering, what didn't work for you?
Pocket diapers, AIOs, and AI2s don't need covers. Fitteds, flats, prefolds, and contour diapers do require covers
Different inner materials are going to feel different against her skin: cotton versus fleece versus other microfibers. You might want to experiment a little. (and you can get liners that sit inside either a cloth diaper or a disposable to make them feel, for instance, drier) Some of it may depend on what aspect is irritating her.
Thank you for the replies. As far as what didn't work....it was a different failure point each time. First baby I was twenty, in college full time, didn't have washer, and it was too much. Eight years later I had number two, was still working full time and our sitter just couldn't get it and it was overload and I just punted it. Number three I was sahm and ready to roll. This was my one born with health issues and special needs and I just hit overload. Number four is due next month. Number three is my current 21 month old.
Other sticking point were just managing the diaper situation. Due to DHs job we end up with people here a lot...meeting with DH, entertaining, etc. I became self conscience of diaper sprayers, pail, and my poor ability to keep it flowing. We have a front load HE washer and I never felt like I could get the process down.
In fairness, I've never given it a long fair shot. But I am more than open to any suggestions. :) Honestly, it has been a bandwidth issue, mainly.
There are a few reasons I would beware of getting regular cloth diapers for a 2 y/o.
- you will have trouble finding ones big enough to fit
- they may not be absorbent enough to hold the amount a 2 y/o pees at one time
- many of them (the ones needing covers) are more involved to put on than a disposable, which poses a huge problem with a child who can get up and run away at will
- esp if you get velcro, they will be easy for her to take off but impossible for her to put back on. This will result in your having a half-naked toddler constantly running around your living room.
Also cloth diapers are difficult for overnights because in order to have enough cloth to hold a whole night's worth of pee, the diaper has to be hugely bulky. I know lots of mamas have found overnight solutions that work for them, but personally I eventually gave up and started using a disposable for overnight.
So if you mainly want them for overnight, I would first get something specifically designed for a toddler to wear overnight. That's why I suggested the Super Undies (overnight version). They are crazy expensive but if you only want them for nights you could get one and wash it each day, or get two and wash every other day, until you figure out whether you like them.
You could try that for a bit, see what you like and don't like, and then if you still want to go to cloth for days you could buy something else (lighter training pants if you like them, or a regular diaper if you don't).
One of the reasons I'd recommend pockets is because you can put in more inserts for extra absorbency and most have a stay dry layer against baby's skin (which sounds like it would be good for your DD). For nights, does she sleep on her back, tummy, or side?
So, I wouldn't get all one type of diaper. Like a pp pointed out, you don't know what your DD's going to tolerate. I would also try for a OS dipe, so that you have the option of using them on the new baby.
Is she able to tell you what she doesn't like about her dipes now?
For a super heavy night-time wetting toddler, the only thing that worked for us was Happy Hempys. They're a pocket fitted, so they do need a cover over them (we use wool). I get the snap close ones, with the stay dry interior. Stuff with 2 infant PFs and a Loopy Do. It's really bulky, but it's the only thing to get us through the night. Now that he's weaning, we're down to 1 pf plus a doubler, which is a much more reasonable size.
For daytime, my preference is Rumparooz. They're a OS pocket dipe, I get them with snaps. Bonus is they'll fit a NB (many OS dipes won't). They don't sag and gap like some of my other pockets do, and the internal gusset mean we've never had a blow-out in them (although we're past that point now). My toddler can slide them off and on like underwear if I don't snap them really tight. He's also figured out how to unsnap them, but luckily only does that occasionally. They're not cut as high as many OS dipes - they fit more like bikini underwear (under the belly) on my guy, but that means they fit under clothes a lot better at this point. I've heard many moms complain about the cut though, and I know that many OS dipes land more at belly button level. This is totally a preference thing.
The Imse Vimse trainers are lovely, but they are not suitable for a heavy wetter, IMO. We've started using them during the morning and one moderate pee soaks them to the flooding point. With a new baby on the way, I wouldn't want to take on this project, you'll be changing often enough as it is.