One of the latest trends for today's families is cloth diapering. Whether parents are looking to be economical or environmentally-friendly, they can find both features with cloth diapers. One of the least expensive and most eco-friendly is the all-in-one (AIO) diaper. This convenient style can be bought in bulk at a lower price and costs less per use than disposables. How it Works The AIO is the classic cloth diaper that offers one garment to fit babies snugly. The garment has extra layers of padding in the wet zone to protect the baby's clothes and bedding, as well as laps and furniture, from being soiled. Many brands offer comfortable contoured and fitted leg designs. Snaps or hook and loop closures are the most common. The idea of the all-in-one is that no other pieces or parts are needed; simply wrap it up and go. Diaper covers and extra soaker pads are not needed. Some brands do have pockets for extra inserts for heavy wetters or long trips. It is wise to rinse off any solids before dropping the diapers in a diaper pail and laundering several together every two to three days. Materials The most common materials used are cotton, fleece, hemp, bamboo and wool. Some AIOs have a thin waterproof or water-resistant coating for outer layer protection. A soft inner lining made of cotton or biodegradable fibers are available in some styles. The AIO comes in a variety of sizes, colors and prints. They can be laundered in a machine or hand-washed. While many parents prefer to line-dry their cloth diapers to last longer, they can be tumble-dried in a machine for quickness and convenience. Green Depending on the material, there are many green options for AIOs. They are a convenient alternative to disposable diapers, which are used once and made of plastic and man-made materials which are not biodegradable. About 18 million disposables make their way into landfills every year, making up about 4 percent of the solid waste in landfills. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are washable and reusable about 80 to 100 times. When one child has outgrown the need for diapers, they can be passed down to siblings, cousins or friends, donated to the local thrift store or used as rags for cleaning. When AIOs are finally retired, they are made of biodegradable materials that will eventually decompose, unlike their disposable counterparts. All-in-one cloth diapers are a practical option for parents who want a simple, green alternative to disposables. They can be bought online or through a cloth diaper merchant.
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