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Cloth Diaper Education

Our recommendations regarding cloth diaper care, wash routines, and proper use. Here you’ll find #Thirstiestips, troubleshooting advice, and cloth diapering how-to guides.

Fun fact: Sometimes, if you are having issues with your wash routine or using diaper rash creams unsafe for cloth diapers, your cloth diapers can get what we call build up. Build up is a concentration of either hard water minerals, leftover detergent or petroleum based diaper rash cream that causes your cloth diapers to smell badly or repel moisture. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to deal with build up, what causes buildup and how to prevent build up in the future.

Let’s start with the most common type of build up, hard water build up.

Hard Water Build Up

Hard water build up happens when the extra minerals in your water deposit onto your diapers, making them extremely hard to fully clean. As a result, your cloth diapers will start to smell and rashes can occur.

#ThirstiesTip It’s worth it to note that diapers with hard water build up may smell clean right out of the dryer. However, you will notice the smell as soon as baby wets the diaper, usually referred to as stink or barnyard stink.

To treat diapers with hard water build up, you’ll need either a packet of RLR or a GroVia Mighty Bubbles pod. Wash your diapers in hot water, using either the RLR or Mighty Bubbles to release the mineral deposits and help get your diapers back to smelling clean.

You may also consider doing a bleach wash immediately after your RLR or Mighty Bubbles treatment to sanitize your diapers. Use 1/4 c. bleach for HE machines or 1/2 c. for non-HE machines in a warm water wash to finish the stripping and sanitizing process.

To continue on cloth diapering without hard water build up, you’ll want to add a capful of Calgon to your regular wash routine to help soften the water and prevent minerals from being deposited back onto your diapers.

Detergent Build Up

Detergent build up is somewhat the opposite of hard water build up, as it results from using too much detergent in softer water. Detergent build up is less likely than hard water build up, but it can and does happen. Detergent build up occurs when your diapers feel slimey out of your washer or create lots and lots of suds in your rinse cycle. There are however, a few ways that you can check to see if you have detergent build up and they are both very easy.

To check your detergent build up while your diapers are in the washer, open the lid mid rinse cycle and look at the water. Lots of suds and/or cloudy water mean detergent build up. If your machine does not allow you to open the door during a cycle, you can still check for detergent buildup. You’ll need a bowl filled with water and a clean cloth diaper from your diaper collection.

Wet the cloth diaper and the absorbent pieces as much as possible and wring them out over the bowl. If the water looks murky or has soap suds sitting on the top, you have detergent build up. To get rid of detergent build up, you’ll need to do a few hot washes with extra rinses until your diapers no longer suds when in clean water. Afterward, continue your routine as normal, but reduce the amount of detergent you’re using while also considering switching to a powder detergent as they typically suds less than liquid.

Diaper Rash Cream Build Up

Although diaper rash cream is uncommon, these cases mostly stem from the use of petroleum jelly based diaper creams. Vaseline can also cause this build up, as well as several other Zinc based creams.

To prevent rash cream build up, use a cloth diaper safe ointment such as Thirsties Booty Love. If you must use another cream, remember to use either a fleece liner or a cloth wipe as a barrier to prevent your diapers from repelling.

To treat diaper rash cream build up, use hot water and blue dawn along with a scrub brush to scrub the surface of your diapers. This should help break up the petroleum and keep your diapers from repelling.

For more info on cloth diaper build up, checkout Jessica’s latest Thirsties Live all about how to deal with build up in your cloth diapers!

Remember, you can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For other cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.

Of all the Thirsties products currently available, pocket diapers are the most customizable. There are so many different ways to stuff pocket diapers as well as different strategies to accomplish different goals.

This Thursday’s Thirsties Live was all about stuffing pocket diapers, which fibers to use when stuffing your pockets, and how to strategically place your absorbency. In this article, we will discuss which fibers absorb fastest, the wetness zone, adding absorbency and overstuffing your Thirsties pocket cloth diapers.

Fastest Absorbency First

When stuffing pocket diapers, you always want to place your fastest absorber closest to your baby and your slowest absorber furthest from your baby. Fibers absorb in order from fastest to slowest like this: microfiber, cotton, bamboo, hemp.

This means, if you are using a Thirsties hemp prefold with a cotton doubler to stuff your pocket, you would put your cotton doubler on top of your hemp prefold and stuff your pocket with the cotton doubler closest to baby’s skin because cotton absorbs faster than hemp. If you were to use the Thirsties original pocket diaper, you would put your microfiber insert on top of your hemp/organic cotton blend insert and stuff your pocket with the microfiber closest to baby.

#ThirstiesTip A good way to remember which fibers absorb the fastest is My Cloth Baby is Happy: Microfiber, Cotton, Bamboo, Hemp.

Wetness Zone

When stuffing pockets, it can be beneficial to know where your baby’s wetness zone is located. The wetness zone is going to be the area of their diaper that they wet the most. Little boys tend to wet more towards the front of the diaper while little girls tend to wet more towards the back of their diaper. Knowing where your baby’s wetness zone is can help you more strategically stuff your pockets and customize your absorbency.

Start by adding a full layer of absorbency. Next, choose a top layer of absorbency and fold it in half. Place the folded layer on top of the full layer in baby’s wetzone (this would be the front, middle or back side of your insert). Stuff your pocket while keeping both layers in place so that eventually, your baby’s wetzone will have triple the absorbency.

Adding Absorbency

You can use all kinds of combinations of fibers to add absorbency to your pocket diapers. Some caregivers prefer to use only the Thirsties Duo Inserts that come with their one size pocket diapers. However, if you have a heavy wetter or you are using your pocket diaper for nighttime or nap time, you may need to add absorbency to your pocket.

Thirsties Cotton Doublers are a quick and easy way to add absorbency to your pocket. They are trim, absorb quickly and are narrow enough not to create any creases or folds inside your diaper. Another great option, which you probably already have at home, is a Thirsties organic cotton wipe. Folding a wipe in half long ways can give you a quick and easy boost of absorbency without having to purchase anything new.

For really long nights or naps or really heavy wetters, you may consider stuffing your pocket with a Thirsties hemp prefold in addition to one of even both of your pocket inserts. Hemp prefolds are stable absorbers and will hold onto liquids regardless of baby’s position or length of time. If you have a flooder, you may consider a microfiber insert on top of a hemp/organic cotton insert or two. This is the combination that comes with the original Thirsties one size pocket diaper and adding an extra hemp/organic cotton insert to this pair will give you so much more absorbency without adding bulk.


While all these options are great ones for really customizing your pocket diaper to meet the needs of your baby, you want to be careful not to overstuff your pocket diaper. Overstuffing will cause leg gaps in the gussets near baby’s legs which leads to leaking. To ensure you aren’t overstuffing, put baby’s diaper on and run your finger along the edge of the leg elastics. If you can feel a space there or any sort of gap, your pocket is overstuffed and you need to rethink how much absorbency you’ve added to your pocket.

You may also need to swap out one fiber for another, trimmer fiber. For example, cotton prefolds tend to be thicker and fluffier than a hemp/organic cotton blend. Consider swapping out a cotton prefold for Thirsties’ hemp/organic cotton inserts instead. They will absorb more and be trimmer as well.

#ThirstiesTip Don’t forget that just by adding a Thirsties organic cotton wipe, you will have already added a decent amount of absorbency to your diaper. Sometimes just a little will go a long way!


Hemp and organic cotton inserts were what my fourth baby lived in for almost two years. The combo of fibers holds so much liquid and the trimness was just perfect for her. I used two large hemp/organic cotton inserts overnight and one small and one large for daytime. When she was a newborn, I used All In Ones, but still was able to add just an organic cotton wipe for lots more absorbency.

Pockets might be my favorite diaper style because they are just so customizable, so easy and your inserts will even agitate out in the wash. Not having to unstuff them before wash day was a huge plus and ultimately was the reason I added more pockets to my cloth diaper collection.

Do you have a favorite pocket diaper tip? Share it with us in the comments! Remember, you can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For other cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.

It’s summertime and the livin’ is… HOT. Warmer temps mean dirty cloth diapers get warmer, cars get warmer and it’s probably too hot to run the drier.

You can easily cloth diaper all summer long, but there are a few tips and tricks that will help make your summer cloth diapering journey a little better. In this article, we are going to discuss ways to make cloth diapering in the summer easier and include some tips about washing and reusing your Thirsties cloth diapers. Let’s start by talking about how to beat the heat!

Beat the Heat

Are you in a hot climate? Be careful. Dipes that sit for too many days in hot climates are at risk for developing mold, mildew or attract unwanted insects. Make sure your dirty diapers are in a well ventilated area and you are washing every two to three days. Make sure to spray out any poopy diapers before you wash (provided that you are not exclusively breastfeeding. Exclusively breastfed babies produce water soluble waste that does not need to be rinsed.) 

#ThirstiesTip Leaving your diaper pail or wet bag open to air will help air circulate and keep mold and mildew at bay. Wash your pail liner or wet bag after every use during the summer to keep mold and mildew away from your storage items as well.

Bring It In

Being out in the heat makes us want to run inside towards the air conditioning! However, make sure that after every trip out of the house, you remember to grab your wet bag with your dirty dipes and take it inside. Your car can harbor even more heat than your house and leave dirty diapers and wipes more difficult to clean if left too long. 

If you have pre-wet wipes, it’s a good idea to bring those in too. To get the most longevity out of your wipes, you’ll want to keep them in a cool, dry place whenever possible. Finally, don’t forget your wipe spray. Wipe spray can also turn sour if left in the heat for too long, so make sure to bring it in the house as soon as you can. 

Sun’s Out, Dipes Out

Thirsties Lightning Bug

Are you trying to rid your diapers of stains? On wash day, simply wash as normal and then lay your clean, damp dipes out in the sun and watch the stains disappear! Need even more stain fighting power? Grab some cloth diaper safe Buncha Farmers stain stick and apply to damp cloth diapers. Wash as normal and then sun. 

#ThirstiesTip The sun isn’t just for dipes. Lay your damp, stained cloth wipes out in the sun to rid them of stains and they’ll be ready to use again.

Swim Diapers

Headed to the pool? Don’t forget to pack your Thirsties Swim Diaper! The Thirsties Swim Diaper comes in two sizes: size one is recommended for babies 6-18lbs while size two is recommended for babies 18-40lbs. The Thirsties Swim Diaper has a jersey mesh liner and a layer of waterproof TPU. Solids will stay in and the waist and leg elastics will prevent yucky messes in the pool. Waist snaps will ensure that changes are quick and simple with no messy diaper to slide down baby’s legs. 

#ThirstiesTip Always pack an extra swim diaper. The swimming pool tends to be a relaxing place for baby, which means you will probably go through at least one dirty diaper while you are swimming. 


It’s a good thing Thirsties cloth diapers and trainers are SO cute because that’s all my kiddos will be wearing in the foreseeable future. With record high temps here in Alaska, we are all melting for sure. 

My favorite summer time cloth diapering tip is actually a cloth wipe tip. Wet your Thirsties cloth wipe and freeze them! These make awesome cooling rags or teething aids for hot littles. And the new Thirsties Organic Cotton Wipes are so thick that they can really take a beating. You can even use your frozen wipes between you and baby to cool you off when you are nursing, babywearing or just snuggling for a long while. 

Do you have a favorite summer cloth diapering tip? Share it with us in the comments! You can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For other cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.

Meet Thirsties diaper covers! Five sizes, lots of colors to choose from and many of the same great designs that you will see on a Thirsties Duo Wrap. SO, what makes these covers so different and why would our clients prefer them to the extremely popular Duo Wrap? Let’s find out.

In this article, we are going to review the Thirsties sized diaper cover as well as help you decide if they would be a good addition to your Thirsties lineup!

So first, let’s go whatever what exactly is a diaper cover, for those who are unsure (also, recall minute four of Laura’s video). Each complete diapering system is made up of an absorbent element and a waterproof element. A Thirsties diaper cover is going to provide your waterproof layer, but you will need to add an absorbent layer as well before putting diaper on baby.

Duo Wraps

In other words, the diaper cover is the waterproof layer that holds leaks in and prevents poop explosions out the back. Diaper covers are very similar to do Duo Wrap in that they they have those famous double leg gussets and are sized, but the sized requirement is just a touch different than the Duo Wrap sizes. The covers are also without rise snaps themselves, so they are not nearly as adjustable as the Duo Wrap alternative.

Thirsties Size Three Duo Wrap
Thirsties Size Three Duo Wrap


Duo Wraps come with three different rise setting and therefore allow the recommended weight range to be quite wider that that of Diaper Covers. Let’s look at how the weight range differs from product to product:

Duo Wrap:

Size One recommended for babies 6-18lbs

Size Two recommended for babies 18-40lbs

Size Three recommended for babies 40-60lbs

Diaper Cover:

Newborn/Premie recommended for 4-10lbs

XS recommmeded for 6-12lbs

Small recommended for 12-18lbs

Medium recommended for 18-28lbs

Large recommended for 28-40lbs

Although the Limited Edition prints and releases are special only to the Duo Wrap line, the key difference is that the Diaper Cover line was designed to fit a very special time in baby’s life, to fit perfectly and to know when to size up easily.

thirsties sized diaper covers

Another difference is the roominess in the bum of the diaper over to support nighttime solutions and nap time solutions without having to size up! As well as the newborn umbilical cord cut out in the extra small and small sizes.

The Duo Wrap line was designed for parents who want to use covers, but don’t necessarily want to continue to size up as baby grows, which is ok too! But seriously consider the Diaper Cover lineup if you are looking for that perfect fit!


Whether you decide to choose Thirsties Diaper Covers or Duo Wraps, they are both excellent products that I have used them across multiple kiddos. Something things to consider if we’re down to the nitty gritty: You most likely will not have a preemie baby. (The good news is that if you do, you can send a friend out for a few more premie covers) So, I would personally begin at the XS cover.

I will also say that if you have a history of bigger babies, Duo Wraps may be the choice for you. Covers give that perfect fit every time which will always encourage you to continue to cloth diaper. These are both incredible products that are asked about in our shop daily. You almost can’t go wrong!

Do you have a favorite cloth diaper fit tip? Share it with us in the comments! You can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For more cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties’ Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.

Despite Thirsties modern cloth diapers being extremely user friendly, sometimes cloth diapers can be intimidating to put on. If you are a former disposable diaper user, or brand new to cloth diapering, you may be wondering how to put on a cloth diaper. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In this article, we will discuss how to put on a cloth diaper as well as how to achieve that perfect fit. Fit can sometimes be confusing, but with a few tips and tricks, you can get that perfect fit every time.

Before we get started, here’s a simple Thirsties tutorial detailing how to put on a cloth diaper:

Seems easy enough, right? But let’s get into more detail, starting with the perfect fit. Here are a few ways to check to see if you have achieved the perfect fit:

  1. Make sure you can fit two fingers inside the waistband of your diaper without pinching baby. You shouldn’t see a ‘muffin top’ near your waistband as your baby should have enough room to comfortably exhale.
  2. Check for leg gaps around your leg elastic. The elastic should be snug to baby’s thighs and be without gaps between the elastic and baby’s skin.
  3. Your diaper should be no more than an inch below baby’s belly button and high enough on their back that you cannot see the top of their bum area.
  4. You shouldn’t have any bunching or bulging around the bikini area. Remember, the perfect fit is flat! Your crotch area, back of your diaper and front panel of your diaper should be relatively flat and without lots of extra fabric.

Here are a few more tips to get you and baby the perfect fit when putting on your Thirsties cloth diaper:

First, start with your rise snaps. Your rise snaps are the Thirsties design feature that makes your diaper longer or shorter. Roughly, babies weighing between eight and twenty pounds will be on the smallest rise, twenty to thirty pound babies will be on the middle rise, while babies thirty pounds and up will fit their diaper with the rise all the way open.

Once you have chosen your rise snaps, start with your diaper high up on baby’s back and fold the front panel towards baby’s belly button. Remember, your front panel should be no lower than an inch below baby’s belly button. Then, pull your wings straight out to the side and fold over to choose the correct waist snap. Do this on both sides and then fold or tuck in any extra fabric both near the leg elastic and the rise snaps. Finally, use your finger to run around baby’s waist and leg elastic, checking for gaps and enough room for baby’s waist.

Do you have a favorite cloth diaper fit tip? Share it with us in the comments! You can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For more cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties’ Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.