As with so many things, there is no simple answer as to which is better, one-size or sized. Otherwise there would be only one kind of cloth diaper on the market. My diaper stash includes a wide variety of diapers including sized Sandy's, Monkey Doodlez, and WAHM made diapers, one-size BumGenius, Mother-ease, Mommy's Touch and Haute Pockets and adjustable sized Bamboozles (comes in two sizes, but each size can be altered a little with snaps) as well as prefolds and contours. I have found that diapers pass in and out of favor with me over time.
One-size diapers are certainly convenient and economical. The idea of registering for 36 diapers at your baby shower and having them last throughout the diapering years is an attractive one if it means less hassle and expense for you. My daughter has been wearing the same BumGenius and Mother-ease diapers since she was two months old and they're still going strong at nineteen months. I didn't start using cloth diapers at birth though, and I have heard that it can be very difficult to get a good fit on a newborn from a one-sized diaper. The same goes for toddlers and very chunky infants. It can be very disappointing to buy a heap of diapers thinking you will never need any others, only to find they really DON'T fit your particular shape of baby. The most recent additions to my collection are one-sized Mommy's Touch and Haute Pocket diapers. I love them both, and my daughter has fallen in love with the fancy prints on the Mommy's Touch. She requests them specifically and calls them her "Pretty bums" but a quick examination of the akward size snapping procedure on them would lead me to believe I would not have liked them at all for a smaller baby.
Fitted diapers seemed like a waste to me when I started out. Each size would only last a few weeks or months at the most right? But it turns out they can offer a really fantastic fit for quite a long time. I'm pleasantly surprised that I can still use the smallest size of prefold tucked into a medium Bummis Super Whisper Wrap, just like I could when my baby was only a few months old.
At nineteen months and twenty four pounds my long, lean girl can still fit into the small Sandy's fitted diapers, and the Bamboozles I folded down for her at three months are still in heavy rotation too. Sized diapers can fit so nicely under any cover and offer a really trim fit and the right amount of absorbency for each stage. I do find that the sized fitted diapers last longer than sized All in ones though. Diapers with PUL built in to the size, like Monkey Doodlez or BumGenius All in one just don't have the same give. With sized diapers I think it would be practical to think of using two sizes of diapers, as opposed to being afraid of having to buy three or four sets. With that in mind, you will have a small set of diapers and a larger set (for instance many people go right through potty training with medium Fuzzy Bunz and never go up to a large while others skip medium sizes completely when their little ones pack on the pounds and go right to large) and your baby will always have a diaper that fits comfortably without being too bulky or too low-cut.
After much experimentation I have decided that I personally really like one-size when it comes to pockets and all-in-ones, which I use for sitters and away from home, but I also really like sized fitted diapers, which I often pair with wool for overnight and around the house.
I always encourage people not to commit to one kind of cloth diaper until they've tried a few and figured out what works best for them and their babies. Some say BumGenius 3.0 one-sizes are better for skinny mini's but Fuzzy Bunz sized diapers work best on chunky monkeys and there's no point buying a lot of diapers that you don't really like. There are plenty of cloth diaper Trial Packages available that let you experiment without breaking the bank. What works for me may not work for you, and what works for you today may not work next week, but there are still great cloth-diapering solutions available that fit everyone.
- by EdenSky