After 4 years of heartache and loss, we became parents to two little miracles through adoption and surprise after infertility. This is our story. :)
I've been following your journey and thought I would post about this topic. I too cloth diaper my now 8 month old since she was about 3 months. I enjoy the pocket diapers that you mentioned at the end. When I want a more snug appearance I use thirsty duo diaper cover with a prefold. It is much less bulky. I think it's because you buy them in sizes not one size. They do run big. My 8 month old that is 17 pounds still fits in the size small.
I have a 2 moth old now too and we use flats (Nicki's bamboo flats) folded in a kite fold under a Thirsties Size small ( 6 to 18 lbs) and its very trim. I tried AIOs for my second baby and I disliked them for being bulky as well. I love love love the flats and covers so much more. Once he gets bigger I might try the AIOs again. Also my guy is 11 lbs 11 oz.and 22.5 inches long and wears a 3 month clothes without a problem with his.cloth diaper.
I had the same excitement and then disappointment when cloth diapering my son. I only spent $100 total and I tried to get about that much use out of them before passing them to a friend. I missed being able to so easily hold him on my hip. :/ Perhaps there was a nicer brand I could've found that would've acted more like a disposable, though the diapers I used did absorb fine. Kristin