Parenting is filled with magical moments, but the one thing that most parents might not find so enchanting is changing dirty diapers. It doesn't help that they need to be changed continuously throughout the day, over the course of a year or two. In fact, by some estimates, your baby will go through nearly 6,000 diaper changes during their diaper wearing tenure.

While the comfort and safety of your baby is your number one priority, environmental and financial concerns have fueled the debate over disposable diapers versus cloth diapers. While there is no disputing the convenience of disposables, cloth diapers have come a long way — especially when it comes to economy and style.

If you've ever thought of using cloth diapers, but decided it wasn't worth the effort, it might not be a bad idea to give them a second look. Today's cloth diapers have a lot to offer, and here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.

When to Try Cloth

Using cloth diapers is easier and more convenient than most people realize, and it doesn't have to be a life sentence. You can change your mind at any time. In fact, experts recommend trying out cloth diapers while you are still using disposables so that you can switch back and forth as needed.

Many cloth diapers fit best on babies after they have outgrown their newborn diapers and have moved on to a size 1 disposable, which is generally after their first month.

Choosing will more than likely boil down to two major choices: the Pre-fold or the Fitted.

The Pre-fold Diaper (Includes the Shaped/Contoured Diaper)

Pre-fold diapers are the cheapest and most durable option. They can be used for subsequent children, and eventually make excellent cleaning rags.

The downside is that pre-folds are not as convenient, and require a little trial and error to get the folding right. They are not as stylish, and they require pins or snaps to hold them together. Finally, since pre-folds are not waterproof, so you'll need an additional waterproof cover.

The Shaped Diaper

This is a pre-fold diaper cut into an hourglass shape. The convenient design of the shaped diaper eliminates the need for folding. Shaped diapers have the same positives and negatives as pre-fold diapers with the added benefit of stylish colors and prints.

The Fitted Diaper (Includes the Pocket and All-In-One)

The pros are that fitted diapers are cut like shaped diapers, except that they have snaps or velcro closures to hold them together. This eliminates the need for pins or snaps. Fitted diapers have a variety of colors and patterns that make them a stylish option.

The cons are that fitted diapers cost more money, and in some instances, significantly more. Fitted diapers can also require a waterproof cover, thus compromising any colors or designs.

The Pocket Diaper

This is a two-part fitted option with a waterproof shell and absorbent pads and inserts.

The waterproof shell comes in a variety of colors, thus increasing the style factor. Snaps or velcro closures make them easy to use, and one or more pads of different absorbency can be used to modify the dryness and comfort.

The only bad thing about this kind is that the pads need to be washed, which is not always fun. Plus, the need for a shell and pads means more items to think about, and transport.

The All In One

This is a fitted diaper with a waterproof shell, absorbent pads, and snaps and velcro closures.

As you'd expect, the AIO is the most convenient and easy-to-use option, and they come in a variety of styles and colors, as well.

But since the AIO is an all inclusive unit, you cannot easily modify the absorbency. And they are more expensive.

The choice to use cloth diapers can seem like a big leap, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, the environmental benefits are hard to ignore.

While cloth diapers have a higher initial cost, keep in mind that they are reusable, and if they are employed for multiple babies, they cost much less in the long run. The use of a flushable liner can also help to reduce the unpleasantness of diaper changes.

To learn more, visit the website for BabyCenter and All About Cloth Diapers.