NOTE: This post has been updated as of May 2018 with several new diaper reviews.
More mothers than you might think choose AIO diapers for their newborns. Why? Though typically not as absorbent as prefolds or fitteds, AIO diapers are quick to get on and off and require no stuffing or folding. In short, they can save a new mother some time. An AIO diaper has everything you need in it: waterproof outer plus an absorbent inner. It’s the closest thing to a disposable diaper in the cloth world.
Lalabye Baby 2.0 Newborn AIO: This is an updated version of Lalabye’s original newborn diaper. It has a microsuede lining and a 4-layer snap-in bamboo terry insert. There’s also a waterproof “belly band” on the inner front to prevent leaks in tummy sleepers, and 1 extra set of snaps on the rise in case you need a little more growing room. Katie tested this diaper on her 10 pound newborn with the rise completely open (1st photo), and found the absorbency was “ok” but needed a booster almost right off the bat. The velcro closure is very secure and easy to use, however, it is bulky and stiff. When Evangeline reached about 12 or 13 pounds, and her legs were chubbier, the velcro began to rub against her thighs.
I tested on Camille, who was 8 pounds at birth (2nd photo, rise snapped up to smallest setting), and also found the absorbency to be just fair. Dry time is longer than average, too. The price of $17 is on the higher side, considering it does not contain any natural or organic fabrics and isn’t highly absorbent. You can find Lalabye newborn diapers at Nicki’s, and Diaper Junction and Kelly’s Closet.
Best Bottom Heavy Wetter AIO (with Newborn Inserts): Nicki’s sent us one of their Heavy Wetter AIO’s to try on Camille, but with Best Bottom newborn-sized inserts. They snap into the shell and can be used alone or together. This is a one-size diaper, so it was big on Camille; however, because of the snug leg gussets and crossover snaps on the waist, we were able to make it work from birth. She was 8 pounds. What’s great is that we can keep using this diaper potentially until she potty trains; we’ll just switch to the medium and large inserts later on.
The Heavy Wetter is lined with bamboo, and each insert is another six layers of bamboo.
You can shop for the Heavy Wetter AIO at Nicki’s and Kelly’s Closet, or at Lagoon Baby (Canada). At $29.00, it’s definitely pricey, but since your baby can wear it so long, and since it can be used as an overnight diaper, it could be a very good investment. Best Bottom diapers are made in the USA.
Nicki’s Bamboo Newborn AIO: This unique bamboo AIO comes in a huge variety of prints, plus a line of solid colors with dyed-to-match inserts. Designed to fit from 5 to 13 pounds, the diaper is waterproof on the outside and lined with bamboo on the inside. It includes a semi-attached 70% bamboo/30% cotton terry 4 layer insert that snaps into the back. The insert measures 10 x 3.5 inches. The inside of this diaper is very soft and snuggly, and the “rolled” elastics around the legs are really gentle. However, you must be very careful after putting the diaper on, to tuck any exposed fabric in at the legs, or the diaper will wick (see pictures below). Absorbency is average for us (but keep in mind I’m testing on a 9 lb. newborn); sometimes it holds Mary Kate through a nap, and sometimes it’s a miss. The newborn bamboo AIO comes with either hook & loop or snap closure and retails for $11.95 at Nicki’s.
Mary Kate is just under 9 pounds in the photo below. Camille is 8 and a half pounds (pictured further below in the aplix diaper). Because it has crossover snaps to tighten the waist and legs, this diaper should easily fit small to average newborns (the aplix version can also be adjusted to fit snugly across the waist). However, the rise is not adjustable and will fit well above the belly button in a newborn smaller than Mary Kate.
Nicki’s Ultimate Newborn AIO: This stay-dry AIO also comes in a huge variety of prints and solid colors, all with dyed-to-match inserts. Designed to fit from 5 to 13 pounds, the diaper is waterproof on the outside and lined with plush microfleece on the inside. It includes a semi-attached microfiber insert with a stay-dry fleece topper. It measures 10 x 4.5 inches and snaps in only at the back of the diaper. The inside of this diaper is very plush, and if your baby is sensitive to wetness, the stay-dry fleece will keep him/her much more comfortable between changes. Absorbency is good; Mary Kate has no problem wearing through a nap. The Ultimate AIO comes with either hook & loop or snap closure and retails for $11.95 at Nicki’s.
Mary Kate is just under 9 pounds in this photo. Because it has crossover snaps to tighten the waist (and legs), this diaper should easily fit small to average newborns. The double snaps at the waist mean you can angle one or the other to get a tighter fit at either the waist or the legs.
Smart Bottoms Born Smart 2.0: This organic cotton AIO received some updates in 2018, just in time for Camille’s arrival in November. First of all, it’s bigger overall (rated for 6 to 16 pounds), and has an extra row of rise snaps, as you can see in the photos below. My favorite improvement is the “no prep” fabric; Smart Bottoms diapers usually have to be washed a lot before first use. Who has time for all that when you’re getting ready for a newborn? Another change is two snaps on the wings instead of one; this allows you to fine tune the fit around both waist and legs, if need be. Born Smart 2.0’s fabric content is 55% hemp and 45% cotton.
Other updates: The soaker is now semi-attached, the crotch is narrower, and the wings are a little bit wider at the hip for better coverage.
This diaper fits perfectly under the cord stump as it heals. It’s also very trim through the crotch, which is great on a tiny newborn. It’s also made in the USA. The biggest drawback is the price tag of $19.95.
Diaper Rite Newborn AIO: For $12.95, this is an excellent, hard-working diaper! It’s rare for me to find a newborn AIO that can work overnight. This one did the trick, and Mary Kate was even a larger baby at 9 pounds. In those first weeks of sleep deprivation, it’s SO nice not having to add a diaper change on top of nursing sessions. I laid a fleece liner inside to protect her skin from the wetness overnight. The inside of the diaper is lined with an 80% bamboo/20% poly blend, and there’s a semi-attached soaker (11 x 4 inches) of the same fabric that snaps into the back. Dry time is about one cycle after washing in our HE machine. The bamboo blend fabric stains pretty easily, but I treat with a Buncha Farmers stick.
This diaper fit easily past 6 weeks, so it’s a great value for your money. Plus, you can use the snap-in soaker as a booster for your other diapers when baby is past the newborn phase.
Easy Peasies Newborn AIO: Previously, the Easy Peasies newborn was all microfiber, but about a year ago hemp was added to the core. It’s a traditional AIO in the the sense that all the layers are sewn into the diaper. There are no attached or semi-attached inserts. The drawback is that dry time is really long. The diaper can snap up to create a dip in the front that keeps the cord stump dry. There are crossover snaps that enable this diaper to get really small, although I do wish there was more stretch in the wings. Mary Kate is just under 9 pounds and about 20.5 inches long in the picture below.
Easy Peasies also sells small microfiber inserts with an orange fleece topper, perfect for boosting the absorbency of any newborn diaper (below).
While this diaper has been incredibly absorbent for us (it holds a lot!), Mary Kate occasionally leaks wetness out of the leg openings and I can’t figure out why since it looks and feels like a good fit. Perhaps it has something to do with the way the fleece lining is sewn near the gussets. The Easy Peasies AIO retails for $17.99 (Canadian) and is sold at their website and at retailers like Cozy Bums (CA) and Nicki’s (USA). NOTE: Easy Peasies also more recently added a pocket opening to the back of this diaper.
AMP Size Small AIO: An all-in-one with aplix closure is just about the easiest style of diaper to use. So I really do like newborn diapers in this style for quick changes on a newborn. This is our first experience with AMP and I’m nothing but pleased. Size small fits from 6 to 14 pounds and is made with a 4-layer microfiber core. The fit on Mary Kate (just under 9 pounds) is snug and trim, and the aplix has held up well (staying closed in the wash and not curling back with use). I love the stretchy wings tabs! We haven’t had any leaks anywhere, even around the legs where there’s fleece inside. Like the Easy Peasies AIO, this one has a longer dry time since there are multiple layers sewn into the core.
Some newborn diapers with aplix closure have wide, stiff tabs, but not the AMP AIO. It’s flexible and trim.
The AMP size small AIO retails for $19.99 Canadian and can be found at Lagoon Baby. I’m looking forward to trying the AMP all-in-one diapers in other sizes as Mary Kate grows.
Imagine 2.0 Newborn Bamboo AIO: Updated just last year, the 2.0 line now features a softer bamboo terry weave. Having tried the older versions of Imagine, I can definitely say the newer fabric is an improvement. The diaper features a waterproof outer and a bamboo lining with a soaker pad that is sewn down at the back and can snap down (or not) at the front. The inner fabric is color-coordinated to the outside, which is really neat. The diaper can be snapped down in the front to dip below the umbilical cord stump as it heals. This diaper is average in terms of absorbency, but the fit is good and the silky bamboo feels wonderful. One issue I encountered was that the waist snaps are spaced quite a bit apart, leaving some gaps when it comes to getting just the right fit. This is not a problem with the aplix version. This diaper fairly wide in the crotch, and I prefer something trimmer on a tiny baby. The Imagine bamboo AIO retails for the very affordable price of $11.99 at Nicki’s and other Imagine retailers like Diaper Junction and Kelly’s Closet.
Mary Kate is just under 9 pounds and about 20.5 inches long in the first photo. Camille is 8 pounds and is wearing the aplix version in the second photo. Note: The rise cannot be snapped down to accommodate the cord stump on the aplix diaper.
Evangeline, my niece, is pictured here at 2.5 weeks and 11.5 pounds in her Imagine bamboo AIO. She was a 10 pound newborn. Katie’s experience with the absorbency was the same as mine – it’s average. She had to start adding a booster soon after Evangeline’s birth. Katie also pointed out that the dry time is longer than average for this diaper.
Sweet Pea Newborn Bamboo AIO: The Sweet Pea bamboo AIO has a snap-in soaker that is one layer of microfiber between two layers of soft 70% bamboo/30% cotton fleece. It’s also lined inside with the same smooth bamboo blend fabric. The diaper is available only in velcro closure and has plenty of room to grow in the rise. Katie told me this was her favorite newborn diaper for Evangeline, who was 10 pounds at birth. The absorbency was excellent and yet dry time was not excessive. This diaper fit Evangeline until she was 5 weeks old and 13 pounds. The only downside for some might be the price tag of $17.95. You can buy at Nicki’s, Diaper Junction and Kelly’s Closet.
Mary Kate is wearing the Sweet Pea bamboo AIo below at 3 months and 11.5 pounds. Sweet Pea’s velcro is average in terms of quality, but since newborn diapers only get used for a short window, it should last for another baby (our Sweet Pea velcro newborn covers definitely did).
Thirsties Newborn AIO: This diaper has one layer of microterry sewn inside the shell, plus a 4-layer microterry insert that is attached at the inside front. The insert is topped with stay-dry microfleece. Dry time is very quick.
Only the snap version has the umbilical snap-down. I like the aplix version we tried because it’s so easy to get on and off, and for me, having the diaper cover the cord stump is ok (it’s going to rub on the baby’s clothes anyway). I would definitely recommend the aplix diaper for a very skinny newborn, especially for a good fit around the legs. Thirsties aplix is pretty good quality, but thankfully newborn diapers don’t get used for very long so you shouldn’t see much wear. This is a very trim and cute diaper that offers good absorbency for the first few weeks (at 3 weeks we had to add a small doubler to get her through a nap). It retails for $14.75 and is found at retailers like Kelly’s Closet, Nicki’s and Diaper Junction.
Thirsties Natural Newborn AIO: The much-anticipated “natural” diaper was released right before I became pregnant last year. It has a 2-layer organic cotton core and 6 layers in the two flaps/inserts that are sewn down just at the front. What this means is you have soft, smooth organic cotton against your baby’s bottom, many thirsty layers AND a quick dry time. If you have a newborn boy, one or both flaps can be folded down more in the front for better coverage. The inserts measure 9 x 3 inches each. There’s also a strip of PUL at the inner front waistband for added leak protection.
It’s performed great for us, getting Mary Kate easily through a long nap. Absorbency is excellent – definitely one of the thirstiest (pun intended) newborn AIO’s we’ve tested. There’s also 1 row of snaps on the rise which you can let out as your newborn grows. The snap version offers an umbilical cord snap-down. I’d like to try the aplix version next time around for quicker changes and to see if it offered more stretch in the wings. The elastic casings around the back and the legs are very gentle and effective. It retails for $17.95 and is found at retailers like Kelly’s Closet, Nicki’s and Diaper Junction.
Mary Kate is just under 9 pounds and about 20.5 inches in this photo.
Blueberry Newborn Simplex: A hugely popular diaper, I’ve only just now gotten around to try the Simplex. It has a waterproof outer and is 100% cotton birdseye inside (the only newborn diaper I know of with this fabric). This diaper can be snapped down in the middle to allow the umbilical area to heal. The inside of this diaper looks like a tunnel of cotton that’s open at both ends. Sewn to one end of the tunnel or pocket is an insert of the same fabric that you can tuck inside or just fold back and lay on top. It’s not hard to stuff for an average size hand. This ingenious design helps the diaper dry in a normal amount of time.
There’s “rolled elastic” around the legs, so you’ll need to tuck any of the cotton fabric in that might be showing after you snap the diaper on. This is a really trim diaper, well-fitting diaper, and Mary Kate has some room to grow. She’s just under 9 pounds in the pictures below, and is now still wearing this diaper at 6 weeks. It’s very absorbent (comparable to the Thirsties Natural AIO above) and we had no leaks for the first month using the diaper as is, without boosters.
It retails for $18.95 and is found at retailers like Kelly’s Closet, Nicki’s and Diaper Junction. NOTE: This is a different diaper from the Swaddlebees Simplex (reviewed further below and no longer made).
Wink Diapers Organic Bamboo AIO: This diaper has a 6-layer bamboo terry core inside and 4 different snap settings on the rise. So it has a lot more room to grow than most newborn diapers. Mary Kate is around 9 pounds in this picture.
Sweet Pea Stay Dry Newborn AIO: This new arrival from one of my favorite brands includes a built-in soaker (3 layers of microfiber) plus an extra two-layer insert (2 layers of microfiber) which you can stuff inside. It’s lined with white microfleece. With the velcro closure it’s quick to put on and take off, and with extra snaps on the rise there’s room to grow past the newborn stage. If you use the insert, it will come out of the pocket on its own during washing. Only drawback? Sometimes the laundry tabs come undone in the wash. This diaper costs less than $13, which is really good for an AIO. You can find them at Kelly’s Closet and Nicki’s.
Imagine Newborn Stay Dry AIO: Similar to the Imagine bamboo AIO in terms of fit and style, the stay dry version is lined with cozy polar fleece and includes a 3-layer microfiber insert that is sewn at one end and snaps at the other. You probably guessed it dries much more quickly than the bamboo diaper. The stay dry fabric cleans up really easily, too. Like the bamboo diaper, I’m happy with how they fit and with the absorbency which rates as pretty good. Neither one of our Imagine AIO diapers has leaked or let the occasional newborn explosion escape. It’s also easy to add a small doubler to this diaper as your newborn’s output increases. I recommend the inexpensive Nicki’s brand cotton or bamboo doublers.
As with the bamboo version, the Imagine Stay Dry Newborn AIO only has the snap-down feature for the cord stump if you buy the snap version (2nd photo, Camille at 8.5 pounds). You can’t do this with the aplix diaper (first photo below, Ingrid at just under 8 pounds).
Swaddlebees Newborn Simplex: NO LONGER MADE. This is a unique AIO diaper because it features 10 layers of 100% cotton birdseye fabric in the wet zone and a cotton lining. This is the “old school” fabric that flat diapers are made of, and it’s soft and natural and very thirsty. The soaker is only half sewn in, which offers several advantages. You can stuff it inside the pocket or leave it out and just fold up to fit your baby. It also means the diaper washes and dries more easily, and more quickly. Even neater, one layer of the soaker is made of stay-dry microfleece; if you want that against your baby’s skin, just pull the soaker out of the pocket opening with the stay-dry side facing up. I really love this diaper and not just for the cuteness factor – it’s one of the most absorbent we tried and the fit is just perfect on Erik. At $18.95 they are on the high side, though.
GroVia Newborn AIO: We first used the GroVia AIO on newborn Erik about 4 years ago. I absolutely loved the fit, and the unique and durable GroVia snaps. We encountered leaking through the leg gussets a few times, so I was eager to try GroVia’s improved/updated version with newborn Mary Kate. It’s turned and top-stitched for a nicely finished look, more absorbency has been added inside, and the hourglass soaker is more trim. There are 2 layers of hemp/cotton sewn inside, plus a microfleece lining. The hemp/cotton soaker is attached only at the back, so the whole design gives you a diaper that dries in an average amount of time. Just like the previous version, the fit is adorable, making this still one of my favorites.
Lil Joey AIO: These are so adorable! When I first got a positive pregnancy test last year this is the first diaper I bought for my newborn stash because it was just so cute in pictures, and has good reviews. I like what other mamas like about the Joey’s – trim fit, good absorbency and a snap-down rise to protect the cord stump. It has an internal gusset to keep poo inside and the soaker is 4 layers of microfiber. Erik was skinny and less than 8 pounds at birth so these were just perfect for his little body from day one. Only drawback? He is going to grow out of them way too fast for me to spend money on a lot of these. I would say if you have a preemie or a small newborn, then this is the AIO for you. But if your babies tend to be average or larger, Lil Joey’s won’t last very long. The manufacturer’s size range is spot on – Rumparoo suggests 4 to 12 pounds. Oh and something else I noticed? They take quite a while to dry, which surprised me since they are synthetic.
Kissaluvs Newborn AIO: This is another moderately priced AIO at $14.95. It features an umbilical snap-down and a stay-dry fleece inner. So unlike many other Kissaluvs products, it’s made of synthetic and not natural fibers. But this means it dries more quickly and doesn’t hold onto newborn poo stains. I like the fit ok, but it’s not one of my favorites. You can also pick these up at Nicki’s Diapers.
bumGenius Littles 2.0 Newborn AIO: This is the updated version of the original bumGenius newborn diaper (featured below this review). Interestingly, this new take costs less, at only $14.95. Even better, the inner soaker is now organic cotton. The Littles 2.0 also includes an extra cotton soaker with a microfleece topper. I definitely prefer fleece over microsuede in terms of softness. The diaper is easy to get on since there’s just one row of snaps to deal with.
Katie tested this AIO on her 10 pound newborn (1st photo, pictured at 11.5 pounds) and said “This diaper fit the best out of all the ones I tried at the start, but it was also the first one she outgrew.” It will obviously fit much longer on a small or average newborn. Dry time is longer than average because of the organic cotton, but the absorbency of the 2.0 is certainly better than its predecessor’s.
My experiences echoes Katie’s. Our daughter, Camille (2nd photo), fit great in this diaper from day one, but it was the first to be packed away when she outgrew by 4 weeks. For the price and quality, however, I think this is a good addition to the average-sized newborn’s stash; they are adorable, fit perfectly under the belly button, are easy to use and affordable. Oh, and they are American made!
BumGenius Newborn AIO (Original): bumGenius has a newborn AIO in its lineup with a very reasonable price point of $12.95. The inner soaker is microterry and the diaper lining is suedecloth. The product description indicates that it fits below the belly button, but this was not the case with Erik. Still, I found it didn’t matter too much if our diapers touched the umbilical stump. Why? Because if the diaper doesn’t, the clothes they are wearing will. And it doesn’t seem to affect drying or healing either way. I like the way our BumGenius fits and the aplix closure is fast and easy to use. However, compared to other aplix diapers, the BumGenius tabs seem a bit flimsy – they are tiny and attached right at the end of the wings and not reinforced in any way around the edges. And in terms of absorbency, this diaper is only fair and will leak after just an hour or two.
This diaper is no longer manufactured. It has been updated and renamed (see diaper review just above this one).