Cloth diapering with prefolds / fitteds with covers is the most basic form of cloth diapering. The next step up is pockets, followed by all-in-twos (AI2) and all-in-ones (AIO). Using AIOs and AI2s are much more convenient than using prefolds or fitted diapers, especially for the spouse who isn’t quite convinced that cloth is the way to go. They are also great for babysitters, grandparents, and even daycare. All-in-ones in particular are so similar to disposable diapers, that they are pretty much fool proof!
WHAT IS A POCKET DIAPER?
A pocket diaper consists of a lined diaper with a waterproof outer shell. The lining is usually some sort-of fleece, but can come in a variety of materials. Built into the lining is a pocket for separate inserts that allow you to customize absorbency. There is usually room for one, two, or even three inserts. The more you stuff into the pocket, the more absorbent the diaper will be. You just always make sure that there is still a snug fit around baby’s thighs, otherwise you mind end up with some leakage. The inserts can be made of the following: microfiber, cotton, hemp or bamboo. The natural fibers like hemp and bamboo tend to last longer and hold less stink than synthetics like microfiber.
If you are diligent about stuffing all of your pocket diapers with inserts right after drying, then pocket diapers can work as a very convenient form of diapering. Just pull one out of your storage, put on baby and you’re good to go. If you forget to stuff your diapers before use, however, then you have an extra step when it’s time to change baby. Once the diaper is soiled, be sure to pull out the insert when placing your diaper into your dirty diaper pail, otherwise it might not get clean enough in the wash.
WHAT IS AN ALL-IN-ONE (AIO)?
There are just a couple of downfalls when it comes to all-in-ones. Even though they are convenient to use, they can be a bit more work to thoroughly wash and dry. Because everything is truly all-in-one, sometimes you can get a bit of stink build up in the diaper due to it not getting completely washed out. Also, drying time is increased due to the bulk of the diaper. Lastly, if you don’t hang dry your diapers, then the added dryer time can increase wear and tear on the diapers, making them have a shorter life. These negatives are something to consider when deciding which diaper option is for you. You may find that the convenience of using all-in-ones might just be enough to out weigh any negatives!
WHAT IS AN ALL-IN-TWO? (AI2)
All-in-twos are very similar to all-in-ones. The only difference is that the absorbent layers of the diaper come apart in some way or another, instead of being completely sewn into the diaper. All-in-twos are great in that they keep the convenience of an all-in-one, but allow for a more reliable wash routine and a quicker dry time. All-in-two diapers usually come with a waterproof outer shell, lined with something like cotton fleece. Then, there is usually a snap-in component that snaps into the outer shell for absorbency. Like pockets, you need to take the time to prepare all of your diapers after laundry day so that they can be conveniently grabbed for use during diaper changes.
HOW MANY SHOULD I BUY?
If you were going to build a stash made entirely of AIOs, AI2s, and/or Pockets, I would say that you need about 24 that will fit your child at all times. Whether that be 24 of just one of the above, or 24 in a combination of the three. 24 should get you through so that you do diaper laundry every other day. If you want to go longer between washes, then you may need a few more.
If you decide to do all pocket diapers, then you will need to pay attention to whether or not the ones you order come with inserts. Some do, some don’t (but in my experience, most do.)
I also want to note that I’ve found that one size diapers will NOT fit a newborn…so if you plan to cloth diaper from the get-go, then you’ll want to purchase some diapers in the newborn size as well. This means that you might need 24 newborn sized diapers and 24 one size diapers (if you decide to make the bulk of your stash one-size.) When it comes to AIOs, AI2s, and pockets, my advice is to get a mix of brands. You’ll find that some work well with your baby, while others don’t. Each diaper fits each baby differently. It would be a shame to buy an entire stash in one brand only to find out that it’s not your favorite diaper. Start with a mix, and then buy more of your favorites as you get a feel for what you like.
Grovia (I’ve only tried the all-in-ones) - The Crunchy Wife approved.
Bumgenius All-In-Ones (I’ve only tried the Elementals) - The Crunchy Wife approved.
Fuzzibunz Pocket Diapers (both perfect fit and one size) - The Crunchy Wife approved.
Do you have a product you’d like to see listed in this post? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Do you have more questions about cloth diapering with all-in-ones, all-in-twos, or pocket diapers? Please leave them in the comments below!
Want to see this info in video form? Check out my video post here!
Disclaimer: I was not paid nor was I provided any free products to write this post. Any recommended products are purely based on my opinion after using them with Monkey for almost 9 months (or they’ve come highly recommended from friends.) Secondly, this post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on one of the links that goes to a product recommended in this post, I might get a small percentage of your sale should you choose to buy.July 26, 2012
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