Prefolds: Prefolds (above) are the least expensive cloth diaper system on the market today. Chances are you own a set of Gerber prefolds and you are using them as burp cloths. Prefolds have multiple layers of absorbency, with the most absorbent layer in the middle. They are often referred to as 2x6x2's, 4x8x4's, etc. The numbers refer to the layers of absorbency. When putting a prefold on a baby you can either fold the diaper around the baby and pin it, or you can lay the prefold into a diaper cover like a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap, which Velcros or snaps close just like a disposable diaper. When the prefold becomes soiled you just toss the prefold into your diaper pail and as long as the cover is not dirty you can place a new prefold into the cover that was already on baby. Prefolds are inexpensive, but they are not the most absorbent or user friendly cloth diaper out there.
Pocket Diapers: A much more popular, and user friendly choice, pocket diapers have a layer of fleece sewn into the diaper cover and an opening in the back of the cover, so that the diaper can be stuffed with an absorbent layer. With velcro and snap closures, the diapers go on and off just like disposables. When a pocket diaper is soiled, both the cover and the absorbent layer must be washed. When your diapers come out of the dryer, stuff the absorbent layer into the pocket and your diapers are ready for use. Pocket diapers are more absorbent than prefolds and pretty easy to use, unfortunately they are also more expensive too.
All-in-Ones (AIO's): All-in-ones are the easiest cloth diaper to use. The absorbent layer is sewn right into the diaper cover, so there is no stuffing or folding. The diapers go on and off just like disposables. While AIO's are the easiest diaper to use, they are not very absorbant, and they take a long time to dry. They are best used during the day (especially since they are so husband and babysitter friendly) but they are not recommended for night time and long naps.
Fitteds: Fitted diapers are a pocket diaper or an AIO that are designated to fit a certain size baby. These diapers will give you the trimmest fit and are best for cloth diapering a newborn. The downside to buying fitted diapers is that you have to keep reinventing your diaper stash as your baby grows.
One Size: One size diapers (like the Bumgenius 3.0 and the Fuzzibunz diapers we carry at Nurture) adjust in the front and on the sides so that they will grow with your baby. One size diapers are great if you are choosing to cloth diaper in an effort to save money. However, one size diapers can be very bulky on small infants and may not fit a newborn baby.
There are a lot diaper choices out there but most cloth diapers are only available for purchase on the internet, so it's hard to tell what you are getting. We now carry FuzziBunz One Size cloth diapers and Bumgenius 3.0 cloth diapers at our store, so feel free to come in and take an up close and personal look at our diaper stash.