What is an All-in-Two (AI2) Cloth Diaper and How Does it Work?

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When I was pregnant with my second son I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to try cloth diapers, at least part time. I started to browse online cloth diaper stores and immediately became intimidated. Really, really intimidated! 

With disposables a diaper is a diaper. You put it on, you take it off, you throw it away. With cloth diapers a diaper is still just a diaper except that it’s not. There are several different styles of cloth diapers which is great since everyone’s personal preferences are different but when you’re brand new and have no idea what you’re doing, it can be confusing. 

I am going to break down some different cloth diaper styles to make them easier for someone just starting out to understand. My first post is about the All-in-Two, commonly known as the AI2.

AI2 diapers. What are they and how do they work? #clothdiapers

The AI2 is a diaper shell (or cover) that is sometimes lined with a stay dry material and sometimes not. Instead of stuffing the diaper or using flats or prefolds you snap the insert into the cover. 

Some have one snap where the insert is either loose in the front or there may be a flap to tuck the front of the insert into like this one.

AI2 diapers. What are they and how do they work? #clothdiapers

Some have two snaps so the insert doesn’t move around at all and the diaper is one piece like this one from Buttons Diapers

AI2 diapers. What are they and how do they work? #clothdiapers

Some inserts are made of all natural materials and others are microfiber with a stay dry top. This is a personal preference though there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Some people have a problem with microfiber starting to stink (I don’t) while natural fibers tend to stain more. 

AI2 diapers. What are they and how do they work? #clothdiapers

AI2 diapers are my favorites after many years of using mostly pocket diapers. I love not having to stuff and unstuff them but as with anything, everyone has their preferences. I would highly recommend picking one or two up and giving them a try!


  • No stuffing diapers on laundry day. Just snap the inserts in and go.
  • No unstuffing dirty diapers. Unsnap the insert and throw everything in the diaper pail.
  • Shells are reusable if you choose. If your baby pees and the cover isn’t too wet you can hang it to dry for the next diaper change. Typically you use less AI2 diapers in a day than other styles so you can get by with a smaller stash.


  • They aren’t as dad or babysitter friendly as some other styles like the All-in-One or AIO since they look less like a disposable. 


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    1. It is the biggest change I would make if I could do it all over again. I did almost a complete stash overhaul to more AI2s and kept just a few pockets for my husband.

  1. Thank you for this article! I’ve been researching cloth diapers for the past couple of months but didn’t quite understand AI2’s because I hadn’t seen many people talk about them. I think I like the idea of these more than pocket diapers! 🙂

    1. They’re great! Having a few pockets or AIOs is nice to have around for babysitters and such but if I had to do it all again I would have skipped the pockets.

  2. I love love LOVE my all-in-twos. I started with Best Bottoms and then added some Buttons Diapers to my stash. All-in-twos are definitely my favorite cloth diaper style.

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