An all-in-two is a diaper with a cover and an interchangeable insert. The insert gets dirty and you remove it and add a new one. I believe most people would air out the cover before putting it back on their child and wash the cover when it gets poop on it or smells of urine. An ai2 can be used easily with disposable inserts as well during times where you have power outages and cannot wash diapers or if you are traveling. Different ai2 diapers that I have used on my kids are: GroVia, Otter Blotters, Sweet Pea ai3 (they call it an ai3 because the insert has two parts but essentially its an ai2), Weehuggers, Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go, Bum Essentials. From time to time I've used my rumparooz cover and just laid a gflapper in it and used that like an ai2. In my experience an ai2 is a very cost effective method of diapering. You can use one cover for around four diaper changes which means more inserts and less covers definitely cost friendly :) I also like an ai2 because its easy to add more absorbency. In our Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go's I add two bamboo gflappers for night time use and haven't had a leak with that ever. My current favorite system of diapers is ai2 diapers because most of them fit both of my kids who are drastically different in size at 16lbs and 35lbs. I also prefer an ai2 because I know we are going to be visiting my parents soon. They have an HE washer that beats the crap out of cloth diapers I'd prefer to hand wash the covers and let the inserts take the beating because I know they can handle it. The covers are more delicate and I prefer not to have to change the elastic out when we get home from our trip. As far as disposable inserts go my favorite is the flip ones because they are cheap. I doubt they are the best but they are $4.95 for 18 of them and I never need more than that so I like that. Other brands we've tried are gdiapers which you can flush if you are brave enough to risk your toilet and pipes to that and GroVia which have cool adhesive so they don't slide but in my wee huggers and tuck and go's I didn't need the adhesive so i didn't feel i needed those.
For people who are resistant to cloth diapering or don't want to touch much of anything an aio is for you. Personally I am not a fan of them. Different brands I've tried are Tots Bots and Monkey Doodlez. I'm sure there is probably some I'm forgetting but if I can't remember them then maybe there is a reason that they didn't make an impact. I have no complaints about either of the diapers I've listed. They are great, very absorbent and cute. They fit chunky legs and chicken legs. They fit kids with a high rise even. I'm just not a fan because I'm snobbish with my organic inserts. My boys are sensitive down under so I like to keep them comfortable and an aio is harder to strip because you chance wearing the pul out. There is definitely a time for an aio though. One example being church or a visit to the inlaws. Why? Do you think church workers or your mother in law will want to touch a pee soaked insert? I doubt it. Chances are they'll be hesitant enough about cloth diapers get one or two of these for the squeamish people that way you wont have to unstuffy cold pocket diapers later.
Pocket diapers saved us. We started out journey with gdiapers which I'm not a fan of at all. Its great that they work for some but they certainly do not work for us and that makes me sad because they are adorable. There are lots and lots of pocket diapers. Bumgenius, Happy Heiny, Tiny Tush, Rumparooz, Sweet Pea, Thirsties, the list is really endless. In pocket diapers there are two categories the ones that have just one pocket and you have to remove the insert before washing or the ones with two pockets (thirsties & sweet pea) that the inserts just come out on their own in the wash. The double pocket diapers are amazing! Genius! My husband hates touching inserts so I try to leave these diapers at the top of the pile when I know he's watching the kids he appreciates it but he also doesn't mind an ai2 where he can just flip the insert into the pail either way a pocket is great. You can stuff them full and they have the stay dry layer to keep baby comfortable. Only downside is the diaper is a use once then wash before you can use again kind of deal which some people are fine with but if your trying to squeeze the diapers through two kids sorry its not going to happen with a pocket diaper believe me I'm trying...hence my switch to ai2 diapers.
I got my first prefold recently. A sweet pea prefold because I love all the other sweet pea products I was sure I'd at least like their prefold. So far so good its absorbent and soft and the stitching colors are cute green for the newborn size and purple for the infant size. I'm curious to see what color the baby size will be when they come out. I'm hoping for a cute orange or something. I got a snappi to go with my prefold because there is no way on earth I'm comfortable using a pin near my boys. Some people do it and thats great but its just not for me. The good thing about prefolds is that you will get them through a dozen kids probably. They have no elastic that needs replacing. You can strip them and it won't break down PUL because there isn't any. No elastic you have to worry about repairing. Prefolds are definitely very genius if you don't mind learning how to fold. Honestly I can say prefolds are not something I'd ever do full time. My husband is completely not on board with them. I'm also convinced he will break the snappi so I don't allow him to touch it. I don't want to buy another one I only have two prefolds so to buy another snappi would be kinda lame. I can say that I'm considering prefolds for my youngest for his night time diaper. I put a fitted on him currently that I'm starting to dislike because its mostly microfiber and its smells a little. I'd also do prefolds on newborns because they aren't wiggly and because I tend to have full term five pound babies that no diaper fits well unless I make it myself. A prefold would be cheap and would involve no sewing for me which is great! All I'd have to do is make some fleece covers and I'd be set.
I have never tried a flat. You have to cut me some slack though I just tried a prefold for the first time recently so I'll get there I promise. After talking to some friends I do see how a flat could definitely be superior to a prefold at least past the preemie and newborn sizes because they are one size. Its a 27 inch square of fabric that you pin or snappi on your child. There are nifty ways of folding it and I really want to try one or make one since its just a square and I'm sure I'm capable of making a square. Like a prefold you would need a cover or expect wet spots on your carpet and couch but they are great for airing your little ones bottom out without a puddle of pee or a pile of poop on your floor which is always a plus! I like that these are so compact if your traveling you can fit a lot of them in a bag easily. They also dry quickly. This is not a husband, inlaw, daycare or squeamish friendly diaper you will touch pee.
Fitteds are amazing. It took me quite a while to actually try a fitted but I did finally once I couldn't find a diaper that would work for my oldest at night. Eventually I found a good combo of inserts so he no longer wears a fitted at night. He doesn't hold still long enough for me to get a fitted and a cover on him. I do however like them on my youngest however he has just started to realized he can escape diaper changes which is a major bummer to me. Anyways fitteds are great for people who want a really absorbent diaper but don't want to use prefolds or flats. They don't want to deal with pins so they have that option. Lots of fitteds come with snap or velcro closure. I like fitteds on a newborn because they are expert pee machines and pros at leaking out of anything a fitted makes it harder to leak because its absorbent at all angles. With a good cover a prefold can be bulletproof (not literally of course). I have yet to find a favorite fitted that makes me very sad. I find ones that work and do the job but I don't love them. My suggestion is avoid fitteds with microfiber in them because there are so many layers of it in a fitted they will be hard to keep stink free. This is where you want bamboo, cotton or hemp. Bamboo is my favorite as far as stink free goes then hemp then cotton but that's just from my experience with them.
I hope you feel more educated on cloth diapers now if you have any questions please shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org If you are local to me please make sure you check out www.dfwclothdiapergroup.com and sign up for The Great Cloth Diaper Change no matter where you live I'm sure there is a local place. Most of the diapers I've tried are available at The Nappy Shoppe go look and see what is there because she adds stuff almost every day.
ta dah! (he's wearing a weehugger and some hugalugs)