These styles of cloth diapers are quite similar in function, the one difference being most contour cloth diapers do not have any elastic. Some contour brands will also have an extra soaker sewn into the center of the diaper where as others will have a soaker that snaps in or out. You may find on some retailers sites that they are calling fitted and contours the same name, which can be confusing.
When using a contour cloth diaper (one that does not have any elastic), you are relying solely on the cover to contain any blow outs or leaks. Depending on the cover this may not be a problem, but this also means you will need to change the cover, as well as the diaper, with each change.
Fitted cloth diapers, due to the elastic around the legs and waist, are much better at containing leaks and blowouts therefor increasing the number of times you can use the same cover in one day, cutting down on laundry.
Some parents prefer contours because they do not leave any red marks on an infant’s legs but these parents also tend to use the more expensive wool covers which fit more like pants and less like a diaper.
Now, the one similarity with fitted and cloth diapers is that you need to purchase multiple sizes, just like pre folds.
There are a few brands out there that are “one size” which means they will take you from newborn (depending on the size of you baby) all the way to potty training (or 35lbs, which ever comes first). The one size style tends to be a bit more expensive up front but overall I think you would save money after that initial investment. They can also be a bit more bulky in the early months because of the way the fold and snap to size down.
My suggestion is to buy one of any style you are considering and try them out. See what you prefer. That is really the best way to try any cloth diaper system and pretty much all brands come individually so there is no need to commit to buying a large lot right away.
Plus, every baby is built differently and that has a lot to do with how well a diaper fits. Some styles are designed for skinny legs and high waists where as others are better for chubby babies.
If you know for certain that you want to use cloth diapers but are unsure of what style you would like to use…then plan to have a few different styles on hand when the baby is born, try them out along with some eco-friendly disposables while you make your decision.
Any questions? Did I forget something? Let me know below…