Diapering your baby is not the most exiting topic in the world, so I will share my personal approach very briefly and insert photos so you won't be tempted to fall asleep. My approach to diapering was focused on frugality and practicality. I hope it helps you new parents out there more easily discover what works for you.
My husband was concerned at first about using our washing machine to wash diapers. He thought that it would be disgusting. We both discovered that it was no big deal. Those newborn diapers do not smell and it is simple to just run the machine again if it doesn't seem clean enough.
That being said, we still waited a couple months before going full time on cloth. It was so tiring and time consuming figuring out how to manage the new baby that it was too much to try to do all that laundry as well (10-12 diapers a day). Also, babies will grow out of the newborn size in a couple months and we felt that it was not worth the investment for such a short period of time. When my baby was two months old, I started using cloth diapers with gro-Via shells. I just fold the pre-fold cotton in half and stick it in the shell. I don’t use pins. Then I fill up a washable bag (that I hang in the laundry room) with the diapers throughout the day and wash them at night. I use a regular detergent and some bleach with hot water. I still use wet wipes. They can just go through the wash and then get thrown away, so you don’t have to touch them much when they are dirty. Make sure to buy the diapers with snaps, they last a lot longer.
Down the road, I bought Charlie Banana covers and put cotton pre-folds in them. The covers lasted about two years. The elastic around the legs eventually wore out. The cotton pre-folds lasted about year and I bought twelve at a time. I also used disposable overnight, because I couldn't find a reusable diaper that worked. Sleep is too precious to be disturbed by a diaper that leaked through.
This is what worked for me. I didn't spend money on tons of covers and special laundry soap. Bleach, laundry soap, and hot water did the trick. No need to soak the diapers or dunk them in the toilet. That was just too messy and gross for me. I would just run it through the wash a few times if need be, which was very rare.
Now that I am entering the world of potty training, I am glad to be done with all this diaper business, and ready to talk about more stimulating topics such as how to encourage trips to the toilet with healthy treats.
All the Best,