All In One Diapers: Everything You Need To Know

by Bailey Bouwman

If you're a new parent or about to become one, choosing the right cloth diaper can seem overwhelming. With so many options available, it's hard to know where to start. All In One (AIO) Cloth Diapers can make diapering a breeze. In this article, we'll dive deep into AIO Cloth Diapers and explore the different types, pros, and cons.

Unfortunately, at this time Nest & Sprout doesn't carry an AIO diaper in our cloth diaper collection, despite being one of my personal favourites. To shop cloth diapers in Canada, I full recommend checking out Cloth Diaper Kids for the biggest selection dedicated exclusively to cloth diapering. Stephanie is a fantastic resource and retailer everyone should know about.

Interested in learning more about cloth diapering? Check out our comprehensive guide on Cloth Diapering 101,where we break down the different types of cloth diapers and provide tips and tricks for success.

What are All In One Cloth Diapers?

All In One (AIO) Cloth Diapers are a one-piece diapering system that is theoretically designed to be easy to use fro caregivers. The both the pocket cloth diaper and the cloth diaper cover were two step systems requiring you to either add an insert or absorbent material. The AIO has the absorbent material sewn directly into the diaper and features an outer waterproof layer.

It's almost like a fitted cloth diaper and a cloth diaper cover hybrid, but there are so many variations of the AIO diaper that the options are truly endless on how the insides will be stylized based on the innovation of creative cloth diaper entrepreneurs around the world. 

Types of All In One Cloth Diapers

In attempting to describe different ways an all in on diapers are designed, I've created these loose and broad types of AIO. Of course, many brands mix and match these styles to create functionality that you as a parent may want.

There are many different types of All In One Cloth Diapers, including:

  1. All In One with pocket - These diapers have a pocket opening in the back to allow for additional absorbency to be added, or perhaps there is an insert that is sewn into the diaper that can be placed in the pocket or not in the pocket. 

  2. All In One with attached insert - These diapers have a flap-style insert attached to the back or front of the diaper that can be folded to provide additional absorbency where needed. These insert style diapers come in many variations and give the feel that an insert was just sewn to the inside. 

  3. Sleeve-style AIOs - These diapers have a sleeve or tunnel design that allows for additional absorbent inserts to be added to the diaper. There may be layers of absorbency sewn into the sleeve of the diaper to give the diaper either full absorbency or partial absorbency.

Of course, we see all in one diapers manifest in many more shapes and forms, and other types of products are similar to the AIO diaper. Commonly training pants are very similar to an AIO in that everything is sewn together. AIO diapers are also very common at the newborn diapering stage. 

Why Choose All In One Cloth Diapers?

AIO (All-In-One) diapers have become a popular choice among cloth diapering parents due to their convenience and simplicity. I loved AIO diapers because of their absorbency, fit and overall function. However, over the years, I've learned that this really varies and like many cloth diapering products every diaper results in a different user experience and brands that pursue less product development give mediocre results, to be honest.

 Here are some reasons why you might choose AIO diapers:

  1. Ease of use: AIO diapers are the most similar to disposable diapers in terms of ease of use. They come in one piece, but you may still need to adjust the inserts to fit baby best, unless there's simplicity of sewn in products. They are easy on laundry day because typically you aren't matching up pieces or loosing things.

  2. Great for Caregivers - AIO diapers can be a great option for caregivers who may not be familiar with cloth diapering. The simple design of AIO diapers makes it easy for grandparents, babysitters, or daycare providers to use them without any confusion.

  3. Trim Fit - AIO diapers can provide a trimmer fit compared to other cloth diapering systems like fitted diapers or pockets. I know that this is not often shared, but I truly believe that a well constructed AIO diaper offers a fantastic fit on most babies, and the option to purchase newborn AIO diapers provides additional trimness during the first 5-15lbs. 

  4. Variety: AIO diapers come in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials. Some AIO diapers have snap or velcro closures, while others have elasticized waistbands or leg openings. Additionally, some AIO diapers feature natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, while others have synthetic materials like microfiber or fleece.

  5. Natural Fibers - Many AIO diapers are made with natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, or hemp, which are gentle on baby's skin and offer excellent absorbency. Of course, there are many microfiber models on the market, and these have less longevity and durability for some parents.

  6. Absorbency - Natural fiber AIO diapers are known for their high absorbency, which can exceed other types of cloth diapers, including pocket diapers. While this isn't always the case across all products, I make this generalization for many AIO diapers that have gone through product development phase because we see them designed with enough absorbency of 1.5-2 inserts that are commonly used in a pocket cloth diaper.

How Much Will It Cost to Use All In One (AIO) Cloth Diapers?

When it comes to calculating the cost of AIO Cloth Diapers there's significantly less things to consider because ideally you have everything you need. I've built these numbers based on my favourite styles and options available at Canada's best cloth diaper retailer, Cloth Diaper Kids.  

Brand Style Textiles Cost/Diaper Number of Diapers Stash Cost
Blueberry Simplex Organic Cotton $36 24 $864
Thirsties NAIO Organic Cotton $37 24 $888
GroVia One Size Side Snaps Organic Cotton $37 24 $888
Tots Bots EasyFit Star Bamboo $35 24 $840

Note: The stash cost is calculated by multiplying the cost per diaper by the number of diapers in the stash. Not everyone needs 24 cloth diapers, some families may need more and some families may need less.

How to choose an AIO Cloth Diaper

Choosing an AIO diaper can be overwhelming given the variety of options available in the market. One thing I want you to know is that many of the AIO diapers are absolutely fantastic, and it really comes down to fit and that's not something you can easily navigate prior to the birth of your child. So try a few that catch your eye.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing an AIO diaper:

  1. Absorbency: Look for an AIO diaper that offers enough absorbency to last for the duration of a typical diaper change. For me, that means considering the value of natural fibres and looking at a product that is designed to grow with my child (maybe I can add or remove inserts depending on the stage). 

  2. Sizing: Consider the sizing options available for AIO diapers. Some brands offer a one-size option that grows with your baby, while others offer specific sizes for newborns. We don't typically see larger size AIO diapers in the marketplace due to cost, but some trainers can compete in this space. 

  3. Closure Type: Consider whether you prefer snaps or hook-and-loop closures. Snaps are more durable and tend to last longer, while hook-and-loop closures are easier to use and adjust. Most are available in snaps, but in the AIO space we do see more variety in closure types than we did with pocket cloth diapers.

  4. Brand Reputation: Look for a brand with a good reputation for quality and customer service. Read reviews from other parents to learn about their experiences with the brand and its products - for me this really speaks about product development. Anyone can sell a cloth diaper, but have then been able too fine tune the product to really respond to your needs and the functions of the child?

  5. Budget: AIO diapers come in around the same price point. We don't see as much variation as we did with pocket diapers or covers, and that can influence things.  

I've written a few of these different deep dives into cloth diaper types this week and I'm still emphasing that you don't have to commit to one type of cloth diaper. You can decide you want to start cloth diapering with 10 diapers, and choose 1 cloth diaper cover, 2 inserts and a fitted diaper, 3 pocket diapers, and 3 AIO diapers. Or if you're committed to the AIO, try three different AIO. Some retailers offer sample kits, or you can shop on your own picking out the things that are important to you - and yes, prettiness of a cloth diaper is important.

Answering Common Questions about All In One Cloth Diapers 

Question Answer
How often do AIO diapers need to be changed? AIO diapers should be changed every 2-3 hours for most babies, unless soiled or your child is holding their pee longer. This general schedule applies to all diaper types. 
Can AIO diapers be used overnight? Yes, some AIO diapers can be used overnight, especially those made with natural fibers. You may need to add an extra insert or booster for extra absorbency - this will really vary depending on your Childs night time output and can be hard to measure without trial and error.
How do I wash AIO diapers? AIO diapers can be washed in the same way as other cloth diapers. They may require additional agitation to get deep cleaned, and may take longer to dry - especially if hanging. 
How many AIO diapers do I need for my baby? This can vary depending on how often you plan on washing them, but a good starting point is around 6-8 per day. You might start with 10, see if you like it and add more as you find your groove.
Can AIO diapers be used for potty training? Any cloth diaper can be used during potty training? Some training pants remind me of AIO diapers, but they don't offer that same pull on and pull off functionality.
How do I know if an AIO diaper is the right fit for my baby? The best way to determine the right fit is to try out a few different brands and styles. Look for a diaper that fits snugly around your baby's legs and waist, and that doesn't leave any gaps. Check the manufacturer's sizing chart to make sure you're choosing the right size for your baby's weight and age. And really, just give it ago. Remember things take practice, including cloth diapering.

One of the biggest drawbacks of AIO cloth diapers is really wash and care. All In One diapers because they are all sewn together can be a little finicky to wash and is part of the reason we see complex returns (that and synthetics). You might find that you need solid agitation to really get them clean, and they can take longer to dry, even if you're using a dryer. 

All In One diapers can be fantastic and worth it, but like all the different types of cloth diapers they are designed for a certain niche of people. You won't know if that's you until you try them. 

Experience the convenience and comfort of All-In-One Cloth Diapers for your little one!

All In One (AIO) Cloth Diapers are a fantastic option for parents looking for a convenient and eco-friendly solution to diaper their babies. With their all-in-one design, AIOs offer a simple and straightforward diapering experience that is similar to using disposable diapers.

If you're ready to take the plunge into cloth diapering, we encourage you to check out other cloth diaper retailers in Canada such as Cloth Diaper Kids, or a baby boutique near you. We currently don't offer AIO cloth diapers in our cloth diaper collection, but might be able to help you with maternity wear, baby toys, and other fantastic clothing options for baby and kid. 

To learn more about cloth diapering, check out our exclusive cloth diaper blog. Don't forget to sign up for our email list to get access to our cloth diapering guide and other helpful resources.

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