**This post is from 2008. Please see My Recommendations for up-to-date favorites.**
I love a good All In One. All In Ones (AIO) offer simplicity, trimness, absorbency and cuteness. When I refer to an AIO I do not use the word to describe a “true AIO”. A true AIO has a sewn in soaker, therefore looking very similar to a disposable. There are many true AIOs available yet I have not found one that works well for us. I have, however, found a lot of success with AI2s (All In Two) and pocket AIOs. A pocket AIO has a sewn in soaker with a pocket for adding extra absorbency and an AI2 has a snap in or external soaker. Both of these allow for me to transition the diaper from a 2-hour diaper to a 4+ hour diaper by adding extra doublers. Over the years I have tried many different AIOs and have narrowed down my top 5 for your benefit.
1.) Fanciful Fanny (FF) When a diaper is cute, trim and can last for hours at a time you know it is a winner. FF are side snapping (the ones I have) and have a perfect snap in double layer soaker. The quilting and way she sews together the top of the soakers makes this diaper my favorite. I can easily slip a doubler between the two layers and any of my FF diapers will last many hours. I would love to have an entire stash of these delightful diapers. Oh and I can’t forget that they are extremely affordable! It would not be unreasonable to actually own more than a dozen Fanciful Fanny AI2s.
2) Thirsties Pocket AIO These diapers currently make up the bulk of my stash. Thirsties diapers have a double gusset with aplix closure. The AIOs contain a sewn in soaker of microfiber and a front-loading pocket to add a doubler. Thirsties run larger than other diapers so it is best to size down! I like these diapers for many reasons. 1) Very, very daycare, nursery and dad friendly. My husband will always reach a Thirsties AIO because it is so simple. All he has to do is Velcro it on. When I use them I add extra to the pocket but they will still last a couple of hours with out anything. 2) Inexpensive. I buy my Thirsties from Leslie’s Boutique because she is a sweetheart and she has great prices. 3) Trim. I can put a pair of blue jeans over a Thirsties easily. They are as trim as a disposable in my experience. My only complaint is the small tabs. I prefer them to be a little bigger.
3) Berry Plush Lusciously soft diaper. Berry Plush are made with a minky outer and a waterproof inner layer. The snap in soaker is a strip of minky sewn to a hemp flat. The hemp flat is trifolded and the soft minky is what touches baby’s skin. They are side-snapping diapers and offer a wide selection of gorgeous colors and animal prints. One of the aspects of this diaper that I enjoy is the ability to get multiple uses out of one diaper. When I change the diaper as long as the cover has not been soiled I can unsnap the soaker and replace it with a dry one. The shell also can double as a cover over a fitted diaper. Berry Plush diapers don’t fit all babies well, however. They work well for my baby but even still there is a bit of puckering under the belly. I have found that the rise is higher on these than other diapers I have. Berry Plush AI2s make my top 5 because of the softness and the design of the soaker. They are a bit pricey but you can frequently available on the FSOT (for sale or trade) forum on Diaperswappers.
4) Pampered Bunz I recently bought a used Pampered Bunz online and am very pleased with it. The workmanship is one of the best I have seen. Mine has an aplix closure and a burly knit terry inner. The soaker is a trifold jersey hemp flat also topped in BKT. BKT is not a soft fabric but I like it for its absorbency. The aplix is the strongest I have seen and the tabs are large. Other diapers I have tried either have weak aplix or tiny tabs both of which prevent me from reaching for it. After looking at the Pampered Bunz website I am pleased to see a great selection for customizing an order. The prices are excellent as well!
5) Baby Softwrap This diaper rounds out my top 5 because of the generosity of the WAHM behind them. Kim read of some problems I was having with Paisley and rashes and offered to let me try a Baby Softwrap at no charge. Although I have not tried it on my baby, I have thoroughly reviewed its anatomy. One thing I love on a diaper is for the leg casing to be soft and not irritate baby’s legs. Baby Softwraps have a fleece edge that is actually sewn in place around the leg. This allows for no PUL (poly urethane laminate) to touch the baby’s skin yet still allows you to have it for it’s waterproof barrier. They are a side snapping diaper, which allows for a trim fit. The soaker is a double layer of hemp topped with fleece and snaps in the front and the back – which is awesome! That means no bunching up of the soaker. I can’t wait to give this diaper a real test tomorrow morning!
There are other very popular AIOs that I have not tried. Some of them, like the BumGenius AIO have a suede cloth inner, which my youngest is allergic to. The BumGenius is an extremely popular diaper. They are not only available online but also in Whole Foods grocery stores.
Others look tempting like the Mommy’s Touch All-In-One, One-Size Diaperand Rumpsters because of good reviews. The Mommy’s Touch has a wide variety of color choices and the One Size makes it a good investment. Swaddlebee EcoNappi One-Size Cloth Diaper can function as an AI2 or pocket. It has a velour inner and is a one size diaper. From past experience with Swaddlebees pockets I know they run small but they are very trim.
A final recommendation will go to the Bumkins AIO. Although I didn’t like the silky feel of the exterior, it is pvc and pthalate free, which make it an environmentally good choice. The inner is made of 100% cotton flannel. For an AIO the price is affordable but if you have a heavy wetter this option won’t be the best.
There are hard to get, expensive AIOs and there are widely available, affordable AIOs. I’d suggest starting with a few easy to buy diapers and see if the AIO will work for you. Then you can comfortably experiment with a few pricier, higher quality brands. But remember paying more doesn’t guarantee that the cut of the diaper will work for your little one.