The most common complaint I hear about cloth diapers is the BULK. When I first tell people that I cloth diaper my girls they often get a puzzled look on their face and then inevitably tell me they don’t want something that big. I too had this preconceived notion when I first started cloth diapering. I thought back to the day when thick prefolds were the only option, fastened with pins and then covered with tough plastic covers. I was very surprised, however, how little I noticed it when I actually started using the cloth diapers. The only time it seems to be that much bigger than the disposables is at night when I use cotton prefold and a staydry liner together.
Now that I am expanding my stash, two staydry liners aren't even that much bulkier than the wet disposable she used to wake up to each morning. If she could wear the pants with a disposable, she has also been able to do so with the cloth diaper. The only exception I could see to this is if she was younger and I folded down the staydry liner down to accommodate her size. Then, the rear of the diaper would be larger and I could see a problem fitting some jeans. The solution, if you are really that worried about the bulk, is to use liners that are different sizes for each diaper setting. Best Bottoms has three sizes of inserts, while Thirsties and Flip have two sizes for Hybrid systems. There are many other options if you are using pocket diapers.
Even if cloth diapers are a little bulkier than disposable diapers, why does that have to be a negative? I see it as a little extra padding for those rear ends. Adults today were raised in cloth diapers, and I don't see many people walking around bow-legged. Plus, if you look up the treatment for hip problems in babies, you will see pictures of babies with their legs out to the side. Therefore, it must actually be better for their legs, rather than worse. So, as a cloth diapering parent, we can either avoid the bulk by using the modern staydry inserts, or embrace it in keeping our traditional prefolds knowing that it isn’t going to make our babies walk around like cowboys. Just know, with all the options out there today, there is an option to solve any problem that may be holding you back from dropping the disposables.