It doesn't get any easier than AIO cloth diapers! Even if you plan to buy another style of diaper, you may want to consider adding a few AIOs to your stash for those times when convenience is important, or for when others who are uncomfortable with cloth diapers may be caring for your baby!
All-in-ones, also known as AIO cloth diapers, are the ultimate in convenience. They are super-easy to use, and are the closest type of diapers to disposable diapers. AIOs are closely related to all-in-two diapers, which we will cover off in another article.
No Extra Work Necessary
AIOs are fitted, with a waterproof shell and a built-in absorbent layer all in one piece. They do not require any unstuffing for laundering or assembling before use. You can see the easy and intuitive design of the Smart Bottoms 3.1 all-in-one, shown below.
The only step that is necessary is to rinse any solids off if your baby is eating anything more than breast milk. Otherwise, the whole diaper is thrown into the wash and replaced with a complete new diaper.
Great for Daycares!
Because they are so easy to use, many parents buy a few all-in-ones to have on hand for babysitters and grandparents. AIOs are great daycare diapers, too. If you're thinking about using cloth diapers when your little one is in daycare (and you should!) read this article for more information on introducing cloth diapers to your daycare.
You do pay a price for the convenience they offer since, for the most
part, AIO cloth diapers are also one of the more expensive cloth
diapering options available.
Most all-in-ones are $20+ per diaper, since the insert is included. All-in-twos (where shells can be reused with multiple inserts) can work out to be lower cost options with comparable overall ease of use.
Note: One potential downside you may hear about AIO cloth diapers is that they typically do not hold up as long as other diapers. I have had good luck with all of the all-in-ones I have used - they have all lasted through more than 1 baby. But, because they are all one piece, the cover and insert take more of a beating during the laundry, and so you may find that they break down more quickly than pockets or covers and inserts.
The simple one-piece design of all-in-one diapers means that it's a little harder to add in extra absorbency. If you find that you need more absorbency, you can always lay a doubler inside the shell. (For more information about doublers and other absorbency options, read this article.)
Some all-in-ones (such as Tots Bots Easy All-in-One and Blueberry Simplex All-in-One) also have a pocket to allow you to tuck in extra absorbency, while keeping with the "one-piece" style.
Looking for a Night-time Diaper?
All-in-ones may not be the best night-time option for two reasons:
This article has more on overnight diapering if you're looking for a night-time diaper.
Up until a few years ago, AIOs were a challenge because they were made up of
many layers of fabric sewn together and took forever to dry. The bulk
and tight layers also sometimes made AIO cloth diapers prone to detergent and
These days manufacturers have continued to introduce design improvements and fabric updates to improve drying times and all but eliminate stink issues with better ability to rinse clean. Getting your diapers truly clean doesn't need to to be a concern if you choose diapers that incorporate natural fibers and designs with a fold-in absorbent pad.
The bumGenius Freetime, for example, uses stay-dry fabric that is "semi-attached" meaning it is sewn in flaps that fold into the diaper for use, but open up for better rinsing and faster drying. The Smart Bottoms 3.1 is another design that incorporates a "snake style" organic cotton fold-in soaker pad that agitates well in the washer.
There aren't a lot of sized diapers available on the market today, but some brands still offer sized all-in-ones. While sized diapers mean that parents need to purchase more
than 1 set of diapers to fit baby from birth until potty-training, the benefit is that they are generally much trimmer than one-size diapers, providing a more reliable fit, especially on the lower and upper ends of the weight ranges (under 15 lbs, over 30 lbs). With
all-in-ones, the folding required for a one-size diaper with a
snap-down rise can mean that the insert and the cover can create a lot of
Some brands have created effective one-size options, while others have chosen to offer sized options that provide a more stream-lined fit at each stage of baby's life. Note: I haven't found any one-sized AIO cloth diapers that fit newborns right up to potty-training. Usually one-size all-in-ones are too bulky for newborns, meaning they don't fit snuggly enough to be reliable!
The bumGenius Elemental adjusts with snaps down the front (called rise snaps) that allow it to fit from approx 8-35 lbs
The RagaBabe Easy All-in-One is a trim option that comes in 4 sizes (newborn to Large) and features a clean front
For quick and easy diaper changes, especially on-the-go, the convenience of all-in-ones just can't be beat. We've tried lots of different AIOs, and below is a list (in no particular order) of some of our favorites!
Note: If you are looking for diapers specifically for a newborn, you may also want to check our page on newborn cloth diaper options for a more complete list of recommended products.
Learn more about other types of cloth diapers by continuing on to Overnight Cloth Diapers. To access all of the other articles in our series on Types of Cloth Diapers, go back to Types of Cloth Baby Diapers.
For your convenience, we've listed all of the articles on our website that are linked to from this article below:
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