All in One Nappy (AIO Cloth Nappies) : A Comprehensive Review

As a parent, you’re probably well aware that there are tons of options for baby nappies and diapers out there. You can find disposable or cloth diapers, and everything in between. With so many choices to choose from it’s hard to know what the best option is for your child. We’ll take a look at All-in-One Nappies, what they are, how they work, pros & cons of using them as well as reviews from parents who have used them!

What is an all in one nappy?

An all in one nappy or AIO nappy as they are commonly referred to is a reusable nappy that consists of the outer waterproof shell and then a super absorbent core sewn into it. It usually has a top fleece stay dry layer sewn in as well, so is, as the name suggests an all in one nappy. The soft fleece layer is what is next to the baby’s skin and keeps them lovely and dry.

People like AIO nappies because they are most similar to disposable nappy. When you change the nappy, you change the whole entire nappy, and they are some of the favourite nappies for cloth nappy users.

Popular brands include bumgenius , tots bots, bambino mio & grovia.

How Do I Prepare an AIO Nappy?

Simply put on the baby like a disposable. No preparation needed!

How do All in One reusable Nappies work?

All-in-one diapers consist of a waterproof outer part that has an opening at the back for your baby’s bottom. The absorbent material such as cotton or microfiber is sewn into the diaper.

All in Ones used to be seen as the less reliable option when it came to cloth. These days, however, things have moved on considerably and All in One style nappies are more popular than ever before.

All in One nappies do what they say, they have all the components you need built into one nappy. The waterproof outer layer has a disposable core attached to it. So much like a disposable you can pick it up and go. No need to stuff or fold. No need to wipe out and reuse a separate wrap. When you change you remove the entire nappy. No need to unstuff and separate inserts from wraps.

Cloth Bum families often find that this style of nappy is most suitable for carers who are not used to reusable nappies. So when sending their little one to nursery or to granny for the day, they find it easier to show the caregiver to use an All in One type nappy as it has fewer composite parts to get confused with. It also helps to send just one type of nappy so the caregivers only have one type to contend with.

There is no issue with matching the right insert to the right nappy. They are stitched in. So no sitting with a basket of nappies and trying to work out why you are a cover short.

All in Ones can be seen as taking longer to dry. With freetimes the absorbent core is split across two flaps which are stitched in at one end, meaning they dry really quickly. Elementals can be spread out so that the cotton can dry faster.

Cloth Bum Mums when asked: “What do you love about All in Ones? Aside from the convenience, why choose them?” say…

“Because I absolutely hate stuffing and having inserts everywhere haha. I also think they are slimmer than pockets. Pockets I need 2 inserts aio’s I only need the attached insert.”

“I love my all in ones mostly because they are easy but they look good too 😉  especially my elementals”

“Easy/ non scary for grandparents or nursery. Also no awol inserts (drives me mad – for me, with pockets, the correct inserts must go in to every nappy!)”

How easy to use are AIO nappies

Very, we give them a 10/10 for ease of use. These are the best nappies to give to childminders, nurseries or grandparents to use.

Pros of AIO Nappies

  • The convenience and ease of use make this a good option for those who don’t want to deal with stuffing or folding inserts into pockets as they are already sewn into the nappy, meaning you just put them on & go!  No prepping required other than washing.
  • Because there is no stuffing involved, AIOs are easier to wash because you’re not dealing with removing the insert afterwards.  
  • Very slim fitting. Most babies wearing AIO nappies will not need any special cloth nappy clothes like with some other nappies.
  • For maximum performance you can boost with extra inserts for heavy wetters.
  • They are super cute and super easy to use.

Cons of AIO Nappies

  • Slower drying time can be an issue. Because all the layers are sewn together you can’t separate like pockets to dry more quickly.
  • Another downside could potentially be the longevity of the product, all in ones are washed after every single nappy change which means they will wear faster than two part nappies. 
  • Not all can be tumble dried, especially if they are made from organic cotton or bamboo which do not like being dried.
  • Absorbency is not as easy to adjust.
  • Harder to stop leaks if they don’t fit right.

How many all-in-one reusable nappies do I need?

20-25 depending on the brand and absorbency.

Do you need liners for all in one cloth nappies?

No, they are usually fleece lined but not all are. For example, the bumGenius elemental is just organic cotton so will need fleece lining. The Bambino Mio and tots bots aios are fleece lined so worth checking on each style to see if you need to line.

What Fabrics are all-in-one cloth diapers made from?

They cam be made from anything from organic cotton to microfibre to bamboo, depending on the brand. The waterproof outer layer is always PUL.

Sizing?

They can be sized or come in birth to potty sizing.

How to wash an AIO reusable nappy?

Same as other types. Store in a nappy bucket or wet bag, wash in your machine and avoid fabric softener when you are being the washing nappy lady. Check our detailed guide to washing nappies here. Generally, they are not a fast-drying nappy but this really depends on the fabric.

Is an AIO cloth nappy suitable for newborns?

Yes! You can get newborn sized AIOs.

Are AIOs suitable for a toddler?

Yes! However, for a toddler for night time you may prefer not to use an AIO nappy as it can be harder to get sufficient absorbency and prevent leaks.

Do AIOs have adjustable absorbency?

No! You can easily adjust the absorbency by adding additional layers on top of the nappy but the reusable nappy itself is not adjustable. Some have a double gusset which makes adding layers slightly easier.

Does an AIO reusable nappy need an outer wrap?

No! They have a built-in waterproof layer so you do not need to add any additional outer wraps.

Pricing?

AIOs tend to be the dearest of all nappy types, the regular price of an AIO would be £20 each. They do come out with new prints and designs frequently.

AIO nappies are the easiest to use and require no prepping other than washing.

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