AIO’s…What are they?
AIO stands for All-in-one. One of the first things you have to realize about cloth diapers is that you need a couple of components for cloth diapering to work. Diapers need to have an absorbent component and they must have a waterproof component. So, if you know about the old fashioned diapers that many of us remember for the 70’s and 80’s, there was the cloth diaper held on by pins, and the plastic pants that were the cover.
All-in-ones make all of this into one piece and do not resemble the cloth diapers of yore at all. They actually function a lot like disposable diapers. They are usually the same shape as a disposable diaper. So in the back there are tabs that snap or velcro to the front of the diaper. They are probably the most user friendly cloth diaper type on the market. Anyone can figure out how to put on an all-in-one. Also, they come in many adorable prints and colors.
Most of my personal experience with all-in-ones comes from using Bum Genius all-in-ones. Many all-in-ones also come in adjustable sizes. BumGenius Elementals are an example of an all in one that adjusts to the size of your baby. To adjust the size you can snap part of the front of the diaper together so that it will fit a smaller baby. However, though the companies claim that this makes the diapers one size fits all, and I will tell you that these diapers are very bulky for newborns all the way up to when my babies were about 12-13 pounds. It was a lot of cloth to try and put in between the legs of a tiny babe. Also, that size diaper on a small baby will almost guarantee that you will not be able to get pants on the baby. So just be aware that if you plan to use one size (adjustable) AIO diapers on babies who are small, you may need to get creative in the pants department. If it’s summer, that might not be such an issue as my babies tend to wear only diapers all summer long.
As an aside, have you seen this hilariousness regarding cloth diapering? (the good the bad and the crappy things, illustrated with crappy pictures).
All-in-ones are easy. Grandma, babysitters, etc…will have no trouble changing baby. If you want to cloth diaper, but want to have the ease of disposable type diaper changes, these are probably the diapers for you.
Like all cloth diapers you can use them over and over. The all-in-ones that we have for our children have lasted through three babies (We didn’t use them with our first, used them with our second, and now the twins are 10 months old with not a tear or hole). This is typical for a quality cloth diaper product.
Almost always more expensive (unless you find them on super sale). They cost more per diaper, and you need more of them.
If all you have are all-in-ones, then you probably have more laundry to do. Here is why. Almost every other diaper type is composed of a cover and the absorbent diaper portion. And you can reuse the covers multiple times before laundering. This is also why they are more expensive. Because in order to fully diaper a child in all in ones, you will need more diapers.
These are easy to change, but do take longer to dry. Since all in one diapers have so many layers of cloth, they tend to take longer than other diapers to dry in the dryer, or on the clothes line (on a warm sunny day, it’s not much longer).
Cleaning poop of on an all in one is a little different too. The many layers of cloth tends to make them a little more cumbersome for me to wash out. I generally like to use the shake off what comes off method, the toilet dunk method, and/or the rinse in the tub method. I have found that with all in ones, when there is a big soiled mess I generally must wash them in the tub before putting them in the wet bag or diaper pail. I’m sure this could be remedied if I were to invest in a diaper sprayer, or in a poop spatula. More on diaper rinse methods later.
All in ones are great diapers, and many people love them. I love them myself, but I needed a more affordable option for day in day out use. So we have a few all in ones. My favorites are Bumgenius Elementals for babies that are about 12-14 pounds or bigger. They are nice and trim and the sewn in liners are organic cotton. We use them when grandma is watching the baby, or when we are going out and need a really easy diaper to pack and change.
Did I cover all of your questions about all-in-one diapers? If not feel free to leave me a comment, or shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org