Let me start off by saying that I never would have thought I'd want to cloth diaper or have any interest in it. I recently saw my SIL and my new 3 month old niece for the first time who wears Grovia's one size AIO snap diapers. I could not believe how much like regular diapers they were and she really sold me on the idea. An AIO or an AI2 is really all I think I could handle
Trying to find info on-line has been super overwhelming though. I'm hoping someone here can offer me some guidance. SIL can get us a very substantial discount on any major brand CD. However that requires us to settle on one brand and diaper baby exclusively in that one diaper. Most people seem to keep a stash, will using one brand work too? I know one size is supposed to fit, but will they hold up till potty training? How about for a bigger baby, my first was in 2t by the time she was a year. If this one is big too, I want a diaper to fit.
What about AIO vs AI2, is one better than the other? How many would you need to buy?
Finally what are some other good brands that are one size with snaps? I liked the grovia but reviews seem to be mixed. I also really am drawn to BottomBumbers
Thank you in advance for any tips!!
We've used BG 3.0s AIOs since birth. I tried a couple of other types but the BGs always worked best for us and I like to keep things simple! The only reason I'm even reading the diapering forum is that I have a big 15 month old who is about to outgrow his large BGs so now I'm trying to figure out what brand to buy next. Stinks that they don't make an extra large. If you have large babies, that might be something to keep in mind if you only want to buy the diapers once. It seems that FuzziBunz makes larger sizes so I guess I'll go with that.
Sorry I realized I didn't really answer your question. What works best all depends on your situation. AIOs are most like disposables so they great for daycare and dads/grandparents who don't want to fool with stuffing pockets. They take a lot longer to dry in the dryer tho. By AI2 I think you mean pockets or hybrid systems? Those require a little more effort when putting them on but lots of mommas don't seem to mind.
As far as the OS dipes, I would look at the weight limit. For ample, BS OS go to 35 lbs so larger babies will outgrow them before they are potty trained.
Actually, weight has very little to do with it. It really is about the rise/thigh/waist measurements, which most companies don't publish.
The majority of my diapers are FuzziBunz, with some bumGenius and Rumparooz, too. The problem with putting all your eggs in one basket is that kids change shape as they grow, and so diapers fit differently. For this reason, I prefer the FuzziBunz one-size b/c you can independently adjust the leg and waist elastic to get a custom fit. BumGenius and Rumparooz only adjust by folding down the front, which fits average-thighed babies, but thin- or chunky-thighed babies will have a harder time getting a good fit. Rumparooz are the smallest one-size, then FuzziBunz, then bumGenius are the biggest of the three.
I would advise pockets rather than AIOs b/c AIOs are a pain to wash and dry. AI2s are a bad idea if your child has anything less than solid poop, as once the poop gets on the cover, you need another cover. I could never get more than one or two changes out of an AI2, which defeats the purpose.
I'm cloth diapering my third child out of my four now. We're using all sorts of things from flats to prefolds to fitteds to aios. Each has perks and downsides. We're using mostly fitteds and prefolds now but I started with your thinking that aios are just like disposables and would be great. The reality is that aios are expensive, are difficult to get clean, take forever to dry, and wear out faster than other diapers. I bought a whole bunch of one size aios thinking that it would be the only diaper/cover/anything I would have to buy. The wore out and began leaking after 10 months. I had 24 of them that cost me about $400 and I had to throw them all away. I could see spending another chunk of change like that so I spent $200 on pul covers, wool covers, flats, and prefolds. Those diapers and covers are now on their third child - great value! We have a couple aios still for quick changes and grandparents but the prefolds are the base. I have a bunch of wahm fitteds as well that are all great but they are pricy and don't hold up as well. I never thought I could handle prefolds but they're easier than aios when you factor in the washing hassles. Prefolds and flats wash completely and almost never get stinky, they can sit for several days between washing without getting damaged, they can even be boiled. The covers can be made to last by washing on delicate separately and air drying, which takes only a few hours for most. Wool is more fussy but it's breathable which leads to fewer rashes. Our prefolds are from GMD, just two dozen and a couple covers in each size is all you need. Flats and prefolds also have lots of other uses like dust cloths and changing table covers.
My advice, and what I did with my first cloth diapered baby, is to gets lots of different styles and brands in newborn and small sizes then just purchase more of what you like in medium. Newborn and small diapers are usually only used to 5 months or so giving you enough time to try them out but it's not so long that you feel stuck with diapers that don't work for you. Mediums, however, often see a year or more of use.