I fell madly in love with all in one cloth diapers with my first child. I love everything about them. I loved how they were simple and easy. As a new mom who knew nothing about diapering or parenting it was grab and go bliss for me. I quickly accumulated a large stash of all in one diapers and dumped my prefold diapers.
My stash was full of Blueberry Simplex, bumGenius Elemental, Smart Bottoms, and more. My favourite type of all in one diaper is one made with natural fibres. If you’re into microfibre, check out this list of the best microfibre all in one diapers.
But then, life changed and the simplicity of an all in one diaper began to shift. The perks that once were, no longer were. I share this post with you because I think its’ important to remember that any review of a product is merely a glimpse of time. That sometimes a product is your all time favourite but then something happens and it’s not as functional. Reviews are fantastic and insightful, but they are limited.
This post was originally published in July 2017, and was republished in October 2020 with fresh links and insight. Need more help with cloth diapering? Check out my book – Cloth Diapers: the ultimate guide to textiles, washing, and more.
What is an All In One Diaper?
An all in one diaper is simply a cloth diaper with sewn in absorbency. Some styles have snap in soakers, but I would consider that a Snap-In-One or more of a all in two for it’s functionality.
AIO Diapers Don’t Work For Me Anymore because…
- Smaller sizing – unlike covers and prefolds, all in one diaper sizing shifts to the smaller side of functional. They do fit most babies until 30/32 lbs, but then it starts to feel like your cramming a sausage into a small space… at least if you have chunky babies. I started to find that covers and prefolds were much more adaptable to the changing size of my baby as we hit toddlerhood and preschooler ages.
- Absorbency, lack thereof – I struggled with maxing out the absorbency on my all in one diapers. Now days I often recommend that parents use a booster or change more frequently. I don’t think I could have changed more frequently, I was already changing every 60-90 minutes, and the idea of adding a booster to my diaper just made me not interested. If I had to add absorbency, I might as well use another diapering system that is trimmer for the absorbency needed.
- Most all in one diapers average between 6-12 ounces of absorbency. It really does vary. Natural fibre diapers can holder closer to 8-10. I found that my heavy wetter needed 10-12 ounces for daytime use.
- Space Hogs – it might not seem like it, but all in one cloth diapers can take up a lot of space. Like a lot of space, and when you have two in diapers and use 30-40 diapers every 2-3 days, the space issues begins to add up, especially on road trips, day trips, and any other travel adventure. I found it much simpler to carry around two covers, four prefolds, and a wet bag.I also got frustrated with the amount of space that it consumed in my laundry. I can get almost four days worth of diapers going if I use flats and prefolds, but if I use AIO then I have to wash almost every day. That’s exhausting when you’ve already got a ton of laundry.
So for those three reasons, I’m moving on. I’ve folded up my stash of AIO cloth diapers, and I’ve tucked them away in the drawer. They are ready for a different time in my life. In the meanwhile, I’ll admire the pretty stack of prefold diapers, flats, and enjoy reusing and swapping out covers on my 2 in diapers.
How do you cloth diaper? Has your cloth diaper journey changed?