On our cloth diapers where to start page, I explain that all diapers are made of two parts: a waterproof or water-resistant shell, and layers of absorbent material placed inside that shell.
So, what are all-in-two-diapers? Just as like all diapers, all-in-two diapers (often referred to as AI2 diapers) are made up of two pieces: a waterproof or water-resistant shell, and an insert, made of several layers of absorbent material(s), which is snapped or otherwise attached to the shell. It’s that attaching/detaching feature that makes a diaper an all-in-two instead of something else, that’s really it.
All-in-two diapers are interesting, as that attaching and detaching makes them a cross between all-in-one diapers, and prefold diapers paired with diaper covers.
To explain, once the insert is attached inside the cover, the diaper is ready to go and essentially a one-step diaper just like an all-in-one, BUT because the insert can easily be unattached, after a simple wet diaper, the soaked insert can be taken out, the cover wiped down, and a new insert snapped in place, meaning less diaper covers are needed — just like when using prefolds and covers.
This means that all-in-two diapers may be the best solution for those looking for economical diapers that are also daycare/grandparent friendly.
All-in-two diaper brands also often offer disposable inserts for their all-in-two diapers. A diaper cover that’s paired with a disposable diaper is called a “hybrid diaper,” which is why you can sometimes see some diapers labelled “all-in-two/ hybrid” (so confusing, I know). If you’d like to learn more about hybrid diapers instead of all-in-two’s, check out this post here.
What are the Pros and Cons of All-in-Two Cloth Diapers?
- Fast Diaper Changes. Once the insert has been snapped in, the diaper is ready-to-go at change time, making diaper changes easy.
- Daycare friendly. As pre-assembled all-in-two diapers make for quick and easy diaper changes, they are perfect for child care providers, grandparents, and others who are aren’t completely on-board with cloth diapers yet.d Assembled all-in-two’s can be used as all-in-ones by care providers, meaning they can be put on and taken off after each use as though they were disposables.
- Easy to Wash. Because the insert is removable, it washes more thoroughly and dries faster than an all-in-one diaper.
- Economical. Because the diaper cover can be wiped and reused during wet diaper changes, you need less covers, which are usually the expensive portion of the diaper. Also because the diaper covers are detached during washing, they can be hung to dry (they dry very quickly, even inside) which helps them last longer than when dried in a dryer. Finally, when a diaper cover has expired (usually inserts last for what seems like forever, while covers, especially PUL covers, will eventually stretch or de-laminate), you can simply buy a new cover and use it with your old inserts, which is less expensive than replacing the whole thing.
- Bunch Free. All-in-two diapers resemble the pairing of prefolds with diaper covers, except for one key difference, the inserts you will use snap in place. Because the inner absorbent layer is attached to the cover, there is less chance that an active baby will cause the inner layers to shift and bunch which can cause leaking.
- Hybrid Inserts. AI2’s often have a hybrid liner option offered through their brand, which may be great for long vacations, etc.
- Extra Preparation. The absorbent insert must be added to the diaper shell before use, and removed prior to washing. While we’re talking about seconds per diaper per wash, when faced with a pile of clean diapers, diaper prep. can feel like a pain.
- Extra Step at Diaper Changes. While you can have grandparents or your daycare provider use them as though they are all-in-ones, once the dirty diapers come home all of the inserts must be unattached before washing. Removal of the inserts from all-in-two’s can be also be messy, especially at when you’re still getting the hang of it, and if you don’t use mess minimizing accessories like disposable inserts or a diaper sprayer.
Top All-in-Two Cloth Diapers
GroVia Hybrid Cloth Diapers (Top Choice)
GroVia disposable inserts, when used with their snap-in soaker pads, are true all-in-two cloth diapers.
Here’s a good video showing how to use the
GroVia hybrid diapers are my top choice for all-in-two diapers, not only because they are an economical option (especially when taking advantage of their bulk discounts, more info on those here) but also because their disposable inserts are actually somewhat eco-friendly if you decide to use them now and again.
Where Can I Find
GroVia Hybrid Diapers?
You can purchase
AI2s have an attachable insert, which means that the shell can be reused for more than one diaper change. All-in-two cloth diapers are a favorite many reasons including their simplicity, customizable absorbency, quick drying times, affordability, and versatility!
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