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My journey as a mom, teacher, and Navy wife, one challenge at a time!
For someone who’s hesitant to cloth diaper, an all-in-one (AI1), may be the best place to start. All-in-one diapers are the most like disposables, because they go on as one piece and come off as one. No stuffing required. They fasten on the baby with either snaps or a velcro-like closure.
The outer part of an AI1 is always made with a waterproof or water-resistantÂ material, usually PUL or TPU. Sometimes the waterproof layer may be “hidden,” with a cotton or other fabric layer on top for decoration.
The inside of the AI1 varies, depending on the brand. Some are made with organic cotton or bamboo. Others, like the Thirsties AI1 below, have microfiber inside topped with a stay-dry material to lie against baby’s skin.
All-in-one cloth diapers work well for care-giver situations, babysitters, nurseries, or day cares, since they’re so simple to use.
Another positive of an AI1 diaper is they’re often trimmer than other styles.
There are some negatives. They tend to take a longer time to dry than a pocket diaper, since the soaker part is actually sewn into the diaper and cannot be removed for dry time.
Some diaper brands like Thirsties make their AI1s with soakers that are only attached in one or two areas. This allows the soaker to “pop out” for faster drying time.
There are other possible negatives besides the long dry time. All-in-one diapers tend to be the most expensive cloth diaper option. They also tend to be more difficult to customize absorbency, since there is usually no pocket to stuff. One must add doublers between the baby’s skin and the diaper in order to add more absorbency.
Easy to use
Most like a disposable
Long drying time
Not as customizable
Have you tried AI1s? What did you like/dislike about them?
A few weeks ago, I noticed a few small spots on the inside fabric of one of our Bumkins AI1 diapers. I thought the stains looked weird, but set the diaper outside in the sun…like I do with any stained diapers. Well, for the first time, the sun did nothing.
Fast forward to last week.
I noticed the spots seemed to be spreading, and they appeared on the hemp side of a GroVia AI2 insert.
Click on Photos to Enlarge
That’s when I realized I had a mildew problem (At least, I think that’s what it is). I searched the Internet for causes of mildew on cloth diapers, and from what I can tell, the most likely reason for us is that I’m not getting these particular diapers and inserts dry enough. The Bumkins AI1 is made with a bamboo blend, which can take a while to dry. The hemp inserts also take extra time to dry. At this point, I’m assuming that although I’ve thought this particular diaper and insert was dry…it still has wet spots somewhere inside the absorbent layers.
This began my quest to eliminate the mildew and the spots.
Before doing much research, I reached for the bleach. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have reached for that first. When it comes to cloth diapers, there are often other methods that are equally or more effective, and certainly safer than chlorine bleach is on your lungs and diaper fabric.
I soaked the diaper and two inserts (it happened on a second GroVia hemp insert) in a full washer tank of water and a capful of bleach for an hour. Stains were still there.
I went back to the Web. Thirsties has a page dedicated to techniques and procedures to remove mildew from cloth diapers. Based on what I read there and elsewhere on the net, I decided to try tea tree oil, baking soda, lemon juice, salt, and the sun.
With the diaper and inserts soaking in cold water from the beginning of a washing machine rinse cycle, I added teaspoons of tea tree oil and a 1/4 cup of baking soda. I dropped the washer lid for a few seconds to let the water agitate and stir the oil and baking soda around. Then I stopped the cycle, and let the diaper and inserts soak for an hour, before letting the rinse cycle finish.
After the cycle finished, I made a paste with 2 parts salt, 1 part lemon juice, and rubbed it into the spots. After letting them sit for half an hour, I washed them with a regular diaper load.
When I finished my regular diaper wash, I pulled the stained inserts and diaper out, sprayed the spots with a mixture of water and lemon juice, and left them laying in direct sunshine for several hours.
Did it work? Nope. At least, the stains are still there. I’m certain the mildew is dead after the bleach, tea tree oil, etc.
The next day, I sprayed the spots with lemon juice and water again, and placed in the sun. Still no improvement. The spots look faded when the diaper and inserts are dry, but as soon as they are wet, the spots show up brightly again.
So that’s my experience with mildew. You can kill it, but the spots are permanent.
Have you had a different experience? Did you get the mildew stains out? Any suggestions for me? Should I try something else or give up on the stains?
Some weeks ago, I was walking through one of our local Navy Exchange stores with my husband, when I spotted cloth diapers. I don’t know if they recently started carrying them, or if I just never noticed before, but I was ecstatic to see them on the rack at a “chain” retail store! (Click on the photos below to see larger images)
The NEX was selling several different print of the Bumkins All-In-One one size diaper. We bought two: one in the Cat in the Hat print, and one in the Blue Pixel print. The prints were perfect. I love Dr. Seuss, and the Blue Pixel print reminded me of my husband’s Navy uniforms.
All-in-one styles of cloth diapers are great, because they’re essentially one piece. For cloth diapers, this makes them the closest to a disposable. Caregivers, reluctant cloth diaperers (husbands), daycares, and nursery workers may find this style the easiest to use.
The negative of an AI1 diaper is they usually take a long time to dry.
The Bumkins AI1 is a one-size diaper. The three rows of snaps on the front of the diaper allow the rise to be adjusted. There’s one row of waist snaps, as well as hip snaps. The snaps allow the diaper to beÂ adjusted to fit babies from approximately 9-35 lbs.
The outer shell is made from waterproof PUL fabric with TPU, making it stain and odor resistant. The diaper comes in either a hook and loop or snap closure.
If you’re out and about, and baby poops, just roll the diaper up and fasten the waist snaps (or hook and loop) before placing in your wet bag. This will keep the poop contained until you get home.
The inside of this diaper has stayed very soft, despite using and washing every other day for weeks now. I love putting this on my son, because of the softness!
The center panel on the inside of the diaper is made of an absorbent cotton and bamboo rayon blend fabric. The panel is surrounded by fleece to wick moisture away from baby’s skin, keeping him dry and comfortable.
The center panel actually folds down and snaps inside a pocket that opens at the front of the diaper. This gives the diaper an extra layer of bamboo absorbency without a ridiculously long drying time.
The opening and pocket at the front of the diaper is wide enough, that you can even add another insert for more absorbency! For heavy-wetters or older babies, this is a great option to have in an all-in-one diaper.
The fold-in panel can be unsnapped and pulled out, making this diaper very quick to dry…especially for an all-in-one diaper, and one with bamboo, at that!
Since this diaper has bamboo fabric, it needs to be prepped before you use it the first time, by washing it several times. It does not need to be dried in between wash cycles.
The daily care for these diapers is simple: machine wash on hot (don’t forget your extra rinse cycles!) and tumble dry on low. I line dry most of my diapers, to save energy and prolong the life of the fabric. The sun is also a wonderful natural disinfectant and stain remover!
I’ve noticed that you do not need to unsnap the fold-in panel before washing, and it will still get cleaned. After it’s washed, I’ll pull the panel out to speed up drying, and then place the diaper in full sun (with the colored, outer side facing away from the sun). The Bumkins AI1 dries much quicker than my other AI1s and my other bamboo blend fabrics.
Mr. Stinky Pants is four months and about 16 lbs. in this photo. I’m using the middle row of snaps, but I can stretch the first row and have him wear the rise on the smallest setting. Between the hip, waist, and rise snaps, I’m able to get a good fit on this diaper. So far it’s contained my son’s poop (but I can say that about all of his cloth diapers, since he’s never had a blow out in cloth).
There’s plenty of room to grow in this diaper, and I could see it fitting him until potty training. On the flip side, this diaper probably will not work for newborns or very small babies, but that’s true of many one-size diapers (see my list of newborn and preemie-appropriate diapers here).
I only have one complaint with this diaper. The fold-in panel is made to fit the diaper at its largest setting. This means, if the diaper is at a smaller setting, you have to put your hand all the way inside the diaper, and fiddle with the panel at the very end (back) to get it folded under to fit. Otherwise, the inside of your diaper will be lumpy with the extra fabric squished around. At first it was annoying to do this, but I’ve gotten the hang of it and can do it quickly now.
Easy to use
Panel has to be fiddled with when diaper’s on smaller settings
All in all, I love this diaper and definitely recommend it! I think it would be a great addition to anyone’s stash.
This diaper comes in a bunch of different prints, so make sure you’ve shopped around to find one you like. AmazonÂ has several listings with different prints. Also on Amazon is a Bumkins AI1 that is not a one-size diaper (I believe it’s a discontinued style), so again, make sure you’re buying exactly what you want.
I’ve seen this diaper retailed from $16.95-18.95, but if you’re lucky enough to have access to a military exchange, I bought ours for $12.99 each, no tax! That’s a steal!
Note: This review contains affiliate link. I was not compensated for this review. I purchased the items reviewed above. The opinions are my own and may differ from yours.