All-in-One: The Easiest Cloth Diaper to Use

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-resistant material, usually PUL or TPU. Sometimes the waterproof layer may be “hidden,” with a cotton or other fabric layer on top for decoration.

Bumkins AI1

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.

Thirsties AI1

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.

GroVia AI1

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.

Thirsties AI1 “Tunnel” Design
BumGenius AI1

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
  • Trim fit



  • Long drying time
  • Not as customizable
  • More expensive


Have you tried AI1s? What did you like/dislike about them?

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Combatting Mildew in Cloth Diapers

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

Yup! That’s a freshly peed in mildewed diaper insert.

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.

Bleached and Dried- No Improvement

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.

Lemon Juice and Salt Paste


Paste Rubbed into Spots

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.

Sprayed and Sunning

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.

Results: No Improvement on Spots

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?
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Review: Thirsties Duo All-In-One Cloth Diaper

I love all-in-one diapers because of their simplicity. So far I have AI1s from GroVia, BumGenius, and Bumkins, but I was looking for something new to add to the stash. I’m slightly hesitant where Thirsties are concerned, since my son grew out of their size one fitted diapers by the time he was three months old (about 14 lbs.), although the sizing says 6-18 lbs. or 0-9 months. But I thought it’s only fair to give Thirsties another try, so I purchased a Thirsties Duo AI1 in size two from my go-to store for cloth diapers: Diaper Junction.

Since they are the closest to disposables, AI1 diapers are great for babysitters, church nurseries, daycares, and reluctant cloth diaper users (hubby likes them). They go on in one piece and come off in one piece.

The Thirsties Duo AI1 is very affordable for an AI1. This diaper retails for $15.75 from Diaper Junction. For the price, it really does have a lot to offer!

Thirsties Duo All In One Cloth Diaper- Size Two

Thirsties Duo AI1 comes in sizes one and two. The row of three snaps on each diaper allows them to be adjusted for smaller or larger babies. Thirsties states their size one fits 6-18 lbs. or 0-9 months. Size two fits approximately 18-40 lbs. or 9-36 months. There’s a row of eight snaps across the waist. Although there aren’t any hip snaps, my son had no issues with “wing” drooping.

The inside center of this diaper is quite thick due to the built-in three-layer microfiber terry soaker, reported to hold seven times its weight in liquid. I read a complaint on another site where the reviewer thought the built-in soaker was too short for a boy, and needed to come up higher in the front. However, Mr. Stinky Pants didn’t have any issues with peeing out the top of the diaper, and when the diaper is actually on him, it looks to me like the soaker comes up high enough. Perhaps this will change as he gets older?

The soaker is topped with stay-dry fleece, so nothing irritating touches baby’s skin.

Although many of Thirsties diapers come with leg gussets, sadly, the AI1 does not. Unless you have a little guy or gal with skinny legs, this really shouldn’t be a turn off. My boy doesn’t have a lot of extra rolls or chunk, and he’s never (yet) had a blow out in any of his cloth diapers, gussets or no. But if gussets are something you’re really looking for, check out the Thirsties Duo Diaper. The leg elastic is thick which makes it less likely to leave marks on baby’s legs. (To be honest, marks don’t really bother me anyway. They don’t hurt him, and the diaper does need to be tight enough that runny breastfed poo can’t seep out.)

The signature tunnel design allows for faster drying and better washing. When I dry the diaper, I usually turn it inside out to speed up drying. The tunnel area is pretty narrow, but you potentially could even slide an insert in there for additional absorbency.

 As I mentioned earlier, my son grew out of his size one Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper and Duo Wrap by the time he was three months. This does lead me to speculate whether or not the size two will actually fit him to potty training. Here he is in his size two Thirsties Duo AI1. He’s just shy of 4 months in this photo, and about 16 pounds. I’ve got it on the smallest setting, and there does seem to be plenty of room to grow in the waist and rise. It’s a little bulky under the crotch, but he’ll grow into that.

These diapers come in both solids and prints. My son is in the “Scottish Storm” print with snaps. You can purchase them in Aplix hook and loop closures as well. What’s also great about these diapers is that they’re made in the U.S.A.!

I would buy this diaper again. It fits well. It’s very absorbent. It’s holding up well after several washes, and it’s affordable for an AI1. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this diaper.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I was not compensated for this review. I purchased the item shown above. These opinions are my own and may differ from yours.


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