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Any posts regarding the care, wash, use, stripping, trouble-shooting problems in relation to cloth diapering.

I previously wrote about cloth diaper trial programs, and where you can find ones that offered Thirsties products in the trial. The list hasn’t changed much, but I wanted to post this again since it is really useful information for many of you who are new to cloth diapering or need a new stash.

Cloth Diaper trials are programs that allow you to pay a deposit on a certain number of diapers and try them out for a select period of time. The deposit is almost fully refundable if you send all of the diapers back, which makes it a very affordable way to try out diapers before you buy a whole stash. (The diapers do need to be sent back clean and in good condition.) Please keep in mind that a trial is not the same as a Sample Kit or Diaper Package. Trials may also go by the name of “Hire Kit”, “Nappy Hire Kit”, or “Diaper Loan”

Diaper trials are very useful for those who are not sure what kind of diaper will work for them and their baby, or for those who are not sure what brand to choose. Some programs have preselected items, and some programs allow you to choose exactly which diaper(s) you would like to try. Below are some links to some of Thirsties retailers that offer cloth diaper trials with Thirsties diapers offered as part of the trial program.


Diaper Daisy Custom Cloth Diaper Trial (You choose)
Earth Angel Diaper Company Try Me Kits (You choose)
Itsy Bitsy Bums Build Your Own Trial Package (You choose)
Jillian’s Drawers Changing Diapers, Changing Minds Program (Preselected) 
Jillian’s Drawers Newborn Changing Diapers, Changing Minds Program (Preselected) 
Modern Cloth Customizable Cloth Diaper Trial Program (You choose)
Mom’s Milk Boutique 30 Day Fling with Fluff (Preselected) 
Nell’s Natural Baby Pick Your Own Trial Pack (You choose) 
Nicki’s Diapers 15 Day Wash Diaper Trial (You choose) 
Sew Crafty Baby Cloth Diaper Trial Package (You choose) 
Squishy Tushy 30 Day Cloth Diaper Trial Kit (Preselected)

Squishy Tushy Full Time 30 day Cloth Diaper Trial Kit (Preselected)

Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique Diaper Trial Package (You choose)


A Mother’s Touch Cloth Diaper Trial (Preselected)

Ottowa Cloth Diapers Diaper Trial Program (Preselected) 

The Cloth Diaper Shop Make the Switch Trial Package (Preselected)

The Extraordinary Baby Shop Cloth Diaper Loan Program (Preselected)

United Kingdom:

Funky Monkey Pants Trial Kits (Preselected)

Plush Pants Cloth Nappy Trial Scheme (You choose)

We are always looking to update our list, so if you know of anyone else offering Thirsties in their Cloth Diaper Trial Kits, please let us know!


The answer to this question may seem simple – just change them when they are dirty or wet! However, there is more to it than that. Since babies of different ages will have different outputs, you will need to have a general idea of when you will need to check the diaper, and how many diapers you need to have on hand for each age. Some babies may not let you know when they are wet or dirty, so checking the diaper periodically may be necessary. If switching from disposables to cloth, there may be a considerable difference in the amount of diaper changes.

As a general rule, diapers should be checked every 1.5-2 hours during the daytime. Older babies may go longer in between changes. You will quickly find out what the elimination routine is for your baby, and will adjust according to their own personal needs. The absorbency of the diaper will also determine how often baby needs to be change. Some babies do not want to stay in a soiled or wet diaper for any amount of time, whereas some may seem indifferent. Keep in mind that a soiled (number 2 ) diaper should be changed immediately – day or night.

New or expecting parents may not realize that babies have different outputs at different times during the day. I have researched and compiled some information on the fluid output of children that may help give an idea of how it can change including factors of age and time of day.

Estimated fluid output in newborns in ounces:

7 AM-3 PM 3 PM-11 PM 11 PM-7 AM 24 hours
Total 19.49 oz. 26.12 oz.       31.93 oz. 77.50 oz.
2 hr. average 4.87 oz. 6.53 oz.       7.98 oz. 6.46 oz.
4 hr. average 9.75 oz. 13.06 oz.       15.97 oz. 12.92 oz.


As you can see, newborns will most likely put out more during the nighttime hours. This is, of course, an estimate. Your child’s output will be determined by many factors including diet, age, health, medications, quantity of fluids consumed, and time those fluids are consumed.

The chart below will give you an idea of what the liquid output at different ages looks like.


Stage Age Weight Per hr. Every 2 hrs. Every 4 hrs.
Newborn 0-4 weeks 6-12 lbs. 3.23 oz. 6.46 oz. 12.92 oz.
Infant 1-12 mo. 12-28 lbs. .6-1.2 oz. 1.2-2.4 oz. 2.4-4.8 oz.
Toddler 1-3 yrs. 20-40 lbs. 1.96-2.8 oz. 3.92-5.6 oz. 7.84-11.2 oz.
Preschool 3-5 yrs. 30-50 lbs. 1.96-2.8 oz. 3.92-5.6 oz. 7.84-11.2 oz.
Schoolage 5-11 yrs. 40-80 lbs. 1.96-2.8 oz. 3.92-5.6 oz. 7.84-11.2 oz.


Newborns will have a higher fluid output overall, but it is released more frequently. This is understandable, considering that they are on a liquid diet. Older babies will need fewer changes as they start to eat solid foods and have more control and a greater bladder capacity. You will notice that the fluid output seems to remain the same after the toddler years. This is most likely due to the fact that babies and toddlers tend to drink a lot more than older kids in comparison to their body mass.

As a convenience to our customers, Thirsties has recommendations on how many diapers you will need for each age. This information can be found on our FAQs section of our website:

Newborn: 20-24 diapers
6-12 months: 14-18 diapers
12-24 months: 12-16 diapers
Potty Learning: 4-8 diapers

If using a two piece system, you will need a waterproof cover as well as the absorbent diaper. Below are the cover quantity recommendations:

Newborn-9 months: 1 wrap for every 3 diapers
9 months-18 months: 1 wrap for every 4 diapers
18 months to potty: 1 wrap for 5 every diapers

The numbers above are for a two day supply, as we recommend washing cloth diapers every other day. Wipe covers down in between changes, and wash every 5 uses. Soiled covers should be rinsed and pretreated for stains, then hand-washed or put in the diaper pail for laundering.

Adding an insert to any diaper will boost its absorbency, and is recommended for nighttime use past the infant stage. We don’t want you waking up any more than you have to!

You can also find package recommendations on the following Thirsties blog articles:
Diapering Full-Time with the Duo All in One
Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted Startup Package
Getting Started With the Thirsties Duo Wrap and Duo Hemp Prefold
Getting Started with the Thirsties Duo Diaper System

Happy cloth diapering! If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know.

Resources include:

Written by Sonya Choron 8/25/13

Diaper rash is a skin irritation or “dermatitis”  in the diaper area. You will most likely come across a diaper rash on your baby’s skin at some point in their diapering years. Have no fear! Most cases disappear after home treatment.

Causes of diaper rash can be traced to a number of sources, including:

  • Irritation from feces and urine. Prolonged exposure to urine or feces can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Your baby may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she is experiencing frequent bowel movements, because feces are more irritating than urine.
  • Introduction of new foods. As babies start to eat solid foods, the content of their stool changes, increasing the likelihood of diaper rash. Changes in your baby’s diet can also increase the frequency of stools, which can lead to diaper rash. If you’re breast-feeding, your baby may develop diaper rash in response to something you’ve eaten, such as tomato-based foods.
  • Irritation from a new product. Chemicals in disposable wipes, detergents, bleach, or fabric softener can irritate your baby’s delicate bottom. Ingredients found in some baby lotions, powders and oils can also cause irritation.
  • Bacterial or yeast infection. What begins as a simple skin infection may spread to the surrounding region. The area covered by a diaper is especially vulnerable because it is warm and moist; making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. These rashes generally start within the creases of the skin, and there may be red dots scattered around the creases.
  • Sensitive skin. Babies with skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, may be more likely to develop diaper rashes. However, the irritated skin of atopic dermatitis and eczema primarily affects areas other than the diaper area.
  • Chafing or rubbing. Tight-fitting diapers or clothing that rubs against the skin can lead to a rash.
  • Use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria — both bad and good. Without the right balance of good bacteria, however, yeast infections can occur. This can happen when babies take antibiotics or when mothers who are breast-feeding their babies are taking antibiotics.
  • Thirsties Wash Solution contains probiotics which actually introduces good bacteria – the only wash of its kind!
  • Teething – babies can develop diaper rash when teething. Teething can cause extra ammonia in the system, which in turn will “burn” the skin causing a very painful diaper rash.
  • Diapers that are not thoroughly cleaned – Cloth diapers can harbor bacteria – especially in very thick diapers that are hard to deep clean. A thorough cleaning with a safe and effective detergent is essential. For Laundering tips, please go to our website at:


Here are a few diaper rashes that can be more than just irritation from the stool, urine, and diaper. They usually require more specific therapy:

Contact diaper rash – this is simply the regular rash as discussed above.
Appearance – flat, red, irritated skin. When severe, skin will peel or blister and slough off.
Treatment – a cloth diaper safe cream.

Intertrigo – this is a specific rash that occurs within the skin folds and creases around the diaper area where the skin rubs together.
Appearance – Heat and moisture mixed with urine cause a red, burn-like appearance.
Treatment – a cloth diaper safe cream.

Yeast rash – when the skin is damaged, yeast from the intestines can invade the skin. This especially occurs with antibiotic use or prolonged rash.
Appearance – it is a red, raised, patchy rash with sharp borders, mostly over the genitalia but with satellite spots sprinkled around the diaper area.
Treatment – in addition to the above measures, there are two commonly used anti-fungal creams:

  • Clotrimazole – over-the-counter. Apply 2 – 3 times a day beneath another cream.
  • Nystatin – prescription. Not necessarily better, just different.
  • Acidophilus – this is a natural bacterial powder that fights off yeast.

Impetigo – this occurs when bacteria invade the damaged skin.
Appearance – coin-sized blisters or red raised patches that ooze a honey-colored crust.
Treatment – prescription antibiotic ointment as well as the above general measures.

*Be careful when using ointments with cloth diapers. If you do use ointments, you might need to strip the diapers each time they are washed to avoid diaper leaks and stink issues. Diaper stripping is only recommended when needed.

Seborrhea – an inflammatory condition that can affect different parts of the body, but can be especially severe in the diaper area.
Appearance – a big, red, sharply demarcated patch over the groin, genitalia, and lower abdomen. It can be more raised, rough, thick, and greasy than the other rashes.
Treatment – a cloth diaper safe diaper cream.

Allergy ring – a variety of foods can irritate baby’s bottom, especially acidic foods such as citrus and tomato-based sauces.
Appearance – a red ring around baby’s anus.
Treatment – discontinue suspected foods. Breastfeeding moms may need to eliminate certain foods from their diet.

When to seek medical advice
Diaper rash is usually easily treated and improves within several days after starting home treatment.
If your baby’s skin doesn’t improve after a few days of home treatment with over-the-counter ointment and more frequent diaper changes, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, diaper rash leads to secondary infections that may require prescription medications. Have your child examined if the rash is severe, worsens despite home treatment or occurs along with any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Blisters or boils
  • A rash that extends beyond the diaper area
  • Pus or weeping discharge


  • Rinse your baby’s bottom with water as part of each diaper change. You can use cloth wipes with a mild wipes solution, or fresh water. Do not allow plain water to sit for diaper changes as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance.
  • Pat your baby dry with a clean towel. Don’t scrub your baby’s bottom. Scrubbing can further irritate the skin.
  • Give your baby’s bottom a little breathing room. When possible, let your baby go without a diaper. Exposing skin to air is a natural and gentle way to let it dry. To avoid messy accidents, try laying your baby on a large towel and engage in some playtime while he or she is bare-bottomed.
  • Don’t over-tighten diapers. Diapers that are too tight prevent airflow into the diaper region, setting up a moist environment favorable to diaper rashes. Tight fitting diapers can also cause chafing at the waist or thighs.
  • Change diapers often. Remove dirty diapers promptly. If your child is in child care, ask staff members to do the same.
  • After changing diapers, wash your hands well. Hand washing can prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast to other parts of your baby’s body, to you or to other children.
  • Wash cloth diapers carefully. Prewash in cold, and wash on Hot. Use a cloth diaper safe detergent and skip the fabric softeners and dryer sheets because they can contain fragrances that may irritate your baby’s skin. Other ingredients to avoid are soap, enzymes, brighteners, bleach, dyes, and perfumes. Double rinse your baby’s diapers if your child already has a diaper rash or is prone to developing diaper rash.


Over-the-counter products: Various diaper rash medications are available without a prescription. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in many diaper rash creams, but should not be used with cloth diapers as it coats the diapers causing stink and repelling issues. Lanolin is great for breast-feeding mothers, but straight Lanolin is not recommended – it is just about impossible to wash out of microfiber cloth diapers! We recommend any 4 star cream from

Increasing airflow:

To aid the healing of diaper rash, do what you can to increase airflow to the diaper region. These simple suggestions may help:

  • Let your child go without a diaper for short periods of time.
  • Avoid using tight-fitting diaper covers.
  • Use larger sized diapers until the rash goes away.

While your baby has a diaper rash, avoid washing the affected area with soaps and disposable, scented wipes. Alcohol and perfumes in these products can irritate your baby’s skin and aggravate or prolong the rash. A good choice is to use cloth wipes such as Thirsties Fab Wipes. They are soft and gentle on baby’s skin, and best for baby as well as the environment.

In the past, it was common to use talcum powder to protect a baby’s skin and absorb excess moisture. However, doctors no longer recommend this. Inhaled talcum powder can irritate a baby’s lungs.
Resources for this information include the Mayo Clinic Online, Ask Dr. Sears Online, and Thirsties, Inc.

**Important note: Before diagnosing or treating a rash we do recommend consulting with your pediatrician at all times.

*This post originally posted on June 22nd, 2011.

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Before wearing…
Wash all diapers at least one time before use. Washing and drying your hemp and natural cotton diapers at least 3 times before use will wash away the natural oils that inhibit absorption. You can add them to your normal white laundry for the initial 3 wash/dry cycles, to save on water and energy.

Diaper changing station…
Shake solids into toilet after each diaper change. Store your soiled Thirsties® Cloth Diapers in a DRY diaper pail. A standard 52-quart garbage pail with a lid works great and can be purchased at your local department store. Be sure to line your pail with a Thirsties® Deluxe Diaper Pail Liner to avoid having to clean your pail on every laundry day. Simply dump the diapers into the washer and throw in the pail liner for every cloth diaper load. If you have a second liner on hand, place into the diaper pail, and you are ready to add more diapers while the others are being laundered.

Store your Thirsties® Fab Wipes on or near your changing table along with Thirsties Booty Luster, or your favorite wipes solution. Toss soiled wipes into your pail along with your diapers.

Follow diaper changes with a cloth diaper safe rash cream if needed. Our first recommendation would be our very own Booty Love diaper ointment. Made with certified organic oils to moisturize and nourish your baby’s sensitive skin, and natural herbs to relieve dry skin and rashes. It can also be used to aid in the healing of minor cuts, burns and skin irritations.


bootyjarIf Thirsties Booty Love is not available, some other good brands to use are:

Angel Baby Bottom Balm (Diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, insect bites, burns)

Baby’s Bottom Butter (Diaper rash, thrush / sore nipples, bug bites, cuts, healing perineal tissue, chapped skin)

Magic Stick (Diaper rash, skin irritations)

Motherlove (Diaper rash and thrush)

Northern Essence Diaper Salve (Diaper rash)

Northern Essence Better Butter Cream (Diaper rash and yeast infections)

Note: Using a non-approved diaper cream or ointment may cause repelling of your cloth diapers, and void your warranty.

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High Efficiency, or HE machines, can be top loading or front loading washing machines. Top-loading models look like standard machines from the outside, but like their front-loading cousin, they use different maymvwb750ywtypes of washing action to get clothes clean using less water and energy. Front-loading models are similar to machines used in Laundromats, which lift and drop clothing into the water instead of rubbing clothes around an agitator.

Many HE machines have sensors to monitor incoming water temperature and the weight of the load. They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.

Both top-loading and front-loading ENERGY STAR certified washers save resources such as gas, electricity, and water. They utilize faster spin cycles to extract more water out of the laundry, reducing dryer time and energy use.

HE Facts


Traditional machines generally require enough water to cover all the clothes in the drum, while a high efficiency washer needs only about a 20-66% of that amount.

Wash Time

Wash cycle times are generally longer with a high efficiency washing machine, but dryer times are decreased.


Cleaning the machine

Since water use is low, there’s a tendency for soap and soil residue to build. This requires you to run a monthly cleaning cycle.

Laundry Detergent

High efficiency machines cannot use the same detergent you buy for a traditional machine. High efficiency detergents do the same great job of cleaning but are formulated to work better in a low water environment.


Since there’s either no agitator or a smaller agitator in high efficiency washing machines, you can also generally do larger, and hence fewer, loads than in traditional machines.


Energy Star

Washers with the ENERGY STAR rating use about 35 percent less water and about 20 percent less energy than standard washing machines (15 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons).

Benefits of HE machines

  1. Performance: Great at getting clothing clean. HE machines usually have more customized settings which can provide for better cleaning.  Many newer models of HE washers have sensors, enabling the machines to detect the weight of a load and the type of fabric, so they can run at optimal temperature and water levels.
  2. Less Wear and Tear: Unlike washers with agitators, which actually scrub the soil out of fabric, high-efficiency models toss and tumble through a stream of water to clean the laundry.
  3. Greater Capacity: Due to the removal of the agitator, front-loading washers save space inside allowing for larger loads. Front load machines  can also be stacked with a dryer to save space.
  4. Resource Preservation: Energy Star-rated machines are required to use 30 percent less energy than traditional models, and most high-efficiency washers use 20-66 percent less water.
  5. Shorter Dry Times: Although the wash cycle is longer, the spin cycle removes more water from fabric. This may not be an issue for those line drying in arid climates, but can help for those using the dryer or with more humid climates.
  6. Cost Savings: Although HE machines can cost quite a bit more upfront, they can save money on resources such as energy and water. Keep in mind if using the sanitize cycle on clothing or linens, that this super-hot cycle increases energy use significantly.

Drawbacks of HE machines

  1. Initial Cost and Maintenance Costs: HE machines can come with a hefty price tag. The machines will also have higher maintenance costs, due to the high tech features and cost of specialized parts.
  2. Noise: The spin cycle on HE machines may be a bit noisy. Placing a thick mat under the machine may help.
  3. Mold and Mildew on front loaders: Due to the rubber seal utilized to keep the water in, mold and mildew can grow around the inside seal and in the washer. Cleaning the machine on a routine basis should help, as well as keeping the door open in between uses (make sure small children do not have access to the machine when the door is open). Also make sure to remove laundry promptly after the wash cycle is finished.
  4. Difficulty Cleaning Cloth Diapers: Due to the amount and nature of the soil in cloth diapers, HE machines may not clean cloth diapers thoroughly. This can depend on the amount of water that the machine uses, wash routine, and the make and model of machine.

Common Questions

I need to strip my diapers. Does Dawn or other dish soap void the warranty?

Maytag says yes. Since dish soap is not low sudsing, it will most likely void the warrany on any HE machine.

How hot is a sanitize cycle? Can I use it on my cloth diapers?

160 + degrees Fahrenheit

We do not recommend using the sanitize cycle, or any cycle that is higher than 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit on our products, as it can damage the fibers and components.

What detergent should I use?

Here are our recommended detergents which are HE compatible:


Allens Naturally Liquid

Ecover Liquid

Ecover Powder

Mountain Green Free and Clear Baby

Mountain Green Ultra Baby

Nature Clean Powder

Planet Delicate Laundry Wash

Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent HE



What brand of machine should I purchase?

We cannot recommend a specific brand or machine, but if you have an HE machine, please feel free to leave a comment for others to read.


As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions!



Sources include:

Maytag Customer Service


Written by Sonya Choron 7/23/13

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