Thanks to those of you who have answered my questions via email. Cloth diapering is a little overwhelming at first~what with all the jargon and choices~and it's easy to just give up and buy a package of Luvs. But no! I have stuck with it and spent several hours tooling around the Internet and have a game plan. Your job is to analyze my game plan and make suggestions for what I have missed or point out when my lack of experience shows. I also want to make clear that this is our last baby. I would be doing things differently (in other words: willing to spend more money) if I was going to be diapering future children. So please keep frugality in mind.
What I have:
1 washing machine
2 large garbage-pail-like containers that the diaper service gave us
18 regular size Chinese prefolds (for babies 15-30 lbs) I bought these off ebay to use as burp cloths.
What I am planning to buy pre-baby:
24 Chinese prefolds - infant size
6 covers - 3 newborn and 3 infant size - probably just the prorap classic. We used it with the service and it was fine for E and L. Plus, it's cheap. (Unless, of course, you can sell me on something else. Go ahead and try.)
1 PUL pail liner
detergent - there are varying warnings about different detergents and I'll probably go with whatever the store website recommends. Or do you think I can use my Costco brand that is supposed to be similar to Tide Free?
After the baby comes:
I think I'm going to get a sampler package from Jillian's Drawers unless someone can point me to a better all-inclusive diaper sampler. Based on what I like/dislike from that, I'll order about 6 fancier infant sized diapers. These will give me a little more leeway on washing and will be good for when we're out and about or someone else is in charge of changing the diaper. (Although, to be fair, both my mom and mom-in-law stepped up and learned how to use our diaper service system. It's not like it's hard.)
Disposable liners for when we need to use diaper cream and for use when the baby is eating solids
I anticipate having to upgrade to larger prefolds and wraps eventually. It also seems like as your baby sleeps longer stretches at night and is therefore changed less often, it's necessary to use 2 prefolds or add a doubler/soaker. Is that true? I seem to remember switching to disposables at night for E and L when they stopped waking up to nurse and would go 8+ hours without being changed. Maybe a doubler plus a couple wool or fleece diaper covers for nighttime would solve the problem?
I was momentarily interested in the fitted diapers, but then discovered that you still have to use a diaper cover. So it's like you have to fasten 2 diapers at every diaper change. Is that right? What's the appeal?
If I was going to be using these diapers on more than one kid, pocket diapers seem like the way to go. I'd probably end up with a couple dozen of those in each size and just skip the prefold/wrap thing. Ah well.
Snappis. Necessary? An unnecessary extra step?
Specific websites that offer the best deals on various diapers is appreciated.
What else do I need? Do I need more/less of something?