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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.

When a cloth diapering parent hears the word “flat”, thoughts of tedious folding, leaking, and how-on-earth-will-I-get-this-on-my-wriggly-baby overtake our minds. I mean, just look at it, a plain, white, large square of organic cotton. #Boring

Bear with me for just a second…what if I told you that flats can be the diapers with the lowest cost, easiest washing, longest durability, and more versatile ways to keep leaks at bay, from newborns through toddlers?

Shocking, I know!

Flats & Newborns

Flats are perfect for newborns who are leaky, explosive, and need the most diaper changes. You don’t need extensive Origami training to be able to make this work! Simply fold into smaller squares for the perfect pad fold in the duo wrap, a fantastic tutorial can be found here.

You can also be creative with rolling in the sides, “The Bikini Twist” (sounds like a great summer dance party!) or a myriad of others ways to make this diaper fit perfectly, and contain everything your little bundle of joy can dish out. Flats, being fewer layers, are also incredibly easy to wash and very fast to machine or hang dry without the potential for mildew issues in thicker diapers.

Older babies and toddlers? Let’s take a dive-

A flat inside Thirsties Duo Wrap

The Versatility of Flats

Flats for older babies retain the same easy wash/dry perks that we went over for newborns, but hold some extra “pros” for those babies who are crawling, walking or getting close to potty learning.

Since flats can be use SO many ways they are arguably the most versatile style of cloth diaper. For some great folding tips, take a peek here:

Benefits of Flats

You can reuse your cover throughout the day, or replace if it becomes soiled, keeping costs to a minimum! And without elastics, snaps, seams or laminates, flats will last through potty learning for your little one, making the investment one that pays off over time.

And speaking of potty learning? With flat diapers, those natural wetness cues will be a great way for your toddler or preschooler to learn about their own body, and recognize the cues that facilitate the process.

Flats also make diapering a heavy wetter easy. With a number of ways to optimize absorbency where your toddler needs it most, and thin enough to layer hemp, bamboo or cotton inserts to hold overnight, and wrap absorbency all around (not just down the middle).

DID YOU KNOW that there is even a fun challenge for flat users? Every year hundreds of families enjoy challenging themselves to a week of using only flat diapers + covers, and handwashing. The Flats Challenge is a fun way to learn about flats and connect with like-minded families.

Flats combine the best of many perks of cloth diapering, and after your little one is out of diapers, can be repurposed into cleaning cloths, dust rags, or any number of uses for an absorbent piece of fabric. Consider adding one to your collection today!

Have you tried Thirsties flats? We would love to hear what you think!

stages of diaper laundry

Newborn Diaper Laundry

When you hold your tiny little baby in your hands, you will spend countless hours marveling at the exquisite detail of their little body. The toes, the fingers, the ears, the nose…And you will also spend countless hours marveling at how that perfect little body can produce SO MUCH POOP! An absolute machine dedicated to not only generating copious amounts of it, but also being able to project it across a room and into your master closet across the hall (true story). The good news is, even at this stage, diaper laundry is incredibly easy. Until your baby’s bowel movements change form from liquid to semi-solid (meaning it isn’t completely runny and has some texture to it), absolutely nothing needs to be done with it. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t have to spray or dunk poopy diapers until your baby produces enough poo with the texture that you could spread over a piece of toast. Simply plop in the wash and let the machine do the work! You can rinse if you want to, but it is optional. Keeping the water temperature hot will release most stains (make sure your detergent is a good one!), and stubborn stains can be sunned out, sprayed with lemon juice, or Shout stain remover gel if they are sticking around. Diapers will add up quickly, so making a full load every 1-2 days will be easy.

laundry basket of clean newborn cloth diaper
image by Thirsties Groupie, Kayla Russell

Watch #ThirstiesLive Ages and Stages of Diaper Laundry

Diaper Laundry & Starting Solids

Once your baby starts solids, you will notice a pretty substantial change in their bowel movements, and once fully on solids, another one into fully formed and solid bowLearn how your baby’s ages and stages of development through newborn, starting solids, and approaching potty training will impact your diaper laundry.el movements. In *any* stage of your child’s life, new foods or illness will mean less than formed bowel movements will happen from time to time. Formed movements are easily “ploppable”, just roll them off into the toilet, flush, and then take care of the remaining waste by spraying or dunking to remove before putting the diaper in the pail. A diaper sprayer can be an invaluable tool at this stage, but workarounds of dunking/swishing are easy to do without it becoming messy. You might notice your quantity of dirty diapers decreasing a little, as babies tend to hold it for slightly longer periods of time, but washing every 1-2 days is still important to keep odor and stains at bay.

Diaper Laundry & Approaching Potty Training

diaper laundry and the toddler stage

Many babies will start the potty learning process at this stage, so the time your toddler is in diapers may be short-lived, or, you may still have a few years ahead to master this stage. Either way, knowing how to handle the larger amounts of poop is helpful! Much like the baby stage, taking care of the semi-solid and solid waste is important, but what changes here is the quantity of diapers going into the pail. Toddlers tend to hold their urine for longer periods of time. Instead of tiny pees and poops every few minutes, they will have growing muscle control, and then release substantial amounts of urine at one time. In cloth diapering lingo this is referred to as “flooding.” While there will be fewer diapers in the pail, the intensity will be stronger. Rinsing and wringing out nighttime diapers and particularly strong or full diapers can be helpful. If you need to bulk up loads to make sure diapers still get washed every 1-2 days will help consider adding hand towels or other household items to the diaper laundry.

Remember, at every stage Thirsties recommends this wash routine:

  • Prewash
  • Hot wash with detergent
  • Extra Rinse
  • Hang dry or machine dry on low

At Thirsties we always say diaper laundry does not have to be complicated: -Prewash on warm -Wash on hot -Add another rinse. However, during your cloth diapering journey, you may need to tweak things within your wash routine like load size, water level, detergent, amount of detergent etc. Here is a list of signs that indicate you need to tweak your wash routine as well as the possible causes behind them.

signs you need to tweak your diaper wash routine

Sign: Diapers stink after coming out of the dryer.

Potential Causes:

Diapers did not get clean enough.

  • not enough agitation
  • not enough water
  • not enough detergent

You need to clean your washing machine.

Groupies’ Experiences:

“I had to add in a towel to improve agitation. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t coming out super clean, came to the groupies and looked through old posts and found that suggestion – works great!” -Krista C.

“I had to switch to a stronger detergent in our prewash. We never had major issues, but sometimes things didn’t smell 100% fresh. Once I made that change and used a longer main wash cycle, things come out so so clean, and I don’t get a faceful of ammonia smell between the prewash and the main wash.” -Svetlana N.

Sign: Diapers stink when freshly peed in.

Potential Causes:

Ammonia buildup

  • Hard water (180ppm or higher requires softener)
  • Not enough detergent
  • Not enough water
  • Nighttime diapers need rinsing

Too many diapers in wash loads.

Groupies’ Experiences:

“I suspected something was off (They started to have on off smell when the babies would wet their diapers) so I had to interrogate my husband to find out that he had been leaving off the extra rinse! On purpose! Because “it seemed long enough without it.” Trust no man with your wash routine, ladies. 😂” -Kayla R

“Once kiddos became about 9 months I had to begin rinsing night diapers to avoid ammonia build-up. And again when they began to potty train and use less diapers I had to tweak my routine.” -Ashlea F.

“I had to add more detergent to my prewash when my baby became a toddler 😭 I was getting ammonia stink.” -Katie D.

Sign: Fast developing edge wear

Potential Causes:

Too many diapers in a load

Not enough diapers to rotate use between.

Washer’s spin speed is too fast.

Groupies’ Experience:

“I was getting crazy edgewear and realized that I was putting too many diapers in my top-loading washer(old school with an agitator). I could tell it was too many because the pocket inserts wouldn’t agitate out and my prefolds would come out all twisted.” Mackenzie W.

Sign: Change in location, Change in your washing machine

Potential Causes:

Different water hardness / softness

Different water levels

Different agitation mechanism

Groupies’ Experiences:

“I’m in the process of completely changing my wash routine. We just moved from pretty soft water to a place with really hard water. It is crazy what a difference water hardness makes. Still tweaking here and there but I had to change the detergent and the amount I was using, adding water softener, and eliminating the extra rinse at the end that was needed for softer water.”  – Kim G.

“We moved from a house with an HE washer to one with a standard washer. I figured out after a few loads of stinky diapers coming out of the dryer that I need to use more detergent since I didn’t have an HE washer anymore. (I actually like this washer better than the HE now that I figured that out! – Kelli D.

Sign: Rashes, Irritation, Red marks that don’t go away on legs or pressure points where diaper hits

Potential Cause(s): These issues could be a factor if you have ruled out potential fit problems.

Detergent Sensitivity

Ammonia Build Up

Detergent Build-Up (Check if there are a lot of suds in the final rinse cycle)

Groupies’ Experiences:

“My kids have detergent sensitivity. They get red splotchy rashes in their diaper area. We actually had our doctor check it at one point to make sure that was the cause.” -Danielle W.

“After following bad wash routine advice (not Thirsties), too much Tide caused a chemical burn. It looked almost like a sunburn but instead of flaking off the skin peels off and is a big open sore where the diaper touched.” -Cheyenne S.

Remember there is a solution to every bump in the road on your cloth diapering journey. Thank you to all the Thirsties Groupies who shared their cloth diapering experiences with needing to tweak their wash routines. Remember, we are always here to help troubleshoot your wash routine so feel free to contact us at support@thirstiesbaby.com.

There are so many different Thirsties cloth diaper systems to choose from and one of our favorites is the Thirsties newborn fitted.

In this article, we are going to discuss the newborn fitted system, how to fit it on your baby and how to pair it with a cover for maximum leak protection.

The Newborn Fitted System

The name ‘fitted’ actually comes from the fact that the absorbency is shaped to fit your baby, verses a prefold diaper that would need to be folded to fit your baby.

The newborn fitted itself will be all the absorbency you could ever need in an overnight diaper, but because there is no waterproofing attached to this diaper, you will need to pair it with a Thirsties extra small cover or size one Duo Wrap.

The body of your fitted diaper is comprised of three layers of the Thirsties bamboo/cotton blend, while the insert carries four layers of the same bamboo/cotton blend absorbency.

The Fit

Fitting babies 5-14lbs, the newborn fitted comes with what we call rise snaps on the front, allowing you to size the diaper up and down as needed.

5-14lbs is actually quite a large weight range and the great thing about this diaper specifically is that your baby won’t outgrow the absorbency of this diaper before they outgrow the size. The bamboo/cotton blend provides enough absorbency that many parents choose to forgo boosters in favor of the built in absorbency that is present in the newborn fitted.

One of the coolest features of the newborn fitted, which is unique to newborn diapers, is the umbilical snap down which allows for extra room where the umbilical cord stump would normally lay.

Pairing With a Cover

So, here’s the million dollar question: do you need a cover? To be honest, it depends on when/where baby is using diaper. In your hospital days, when you are awake during the day and checking baby’s diaper often, we would say go ahead and skip a cover. Know that your diaper won’t be fully waterproofed, but in this situation, it probably isn’t anything to worry about.

Out and about, overnight or starting to go for longer feeds/gaining weight? It’s time for a cover! In this instance, you can choose to go with either a Thirsties extra small cover or size one Duo Wrap. Remember, because there are no rise snaps on a Thirsties cover, you’ll want to make sure that you grab the extra small size and you can size up later on.

Care and Use

As with any natural fiber from Thirsties, you’ll want to wash and dry your newborn fitted diapers three times before use. By doing this, you’ll be washing away the natural oils contained in these fibers making them extra absorbent.

For normal care and use, start with your prewash cycle on warm and add a small bit of detergent to start with. Then, use the heavy duty selection on your machine with hot water and the normal amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer for your machine. Add an extra rinse and you are ready to air dry or tumble dry on low.

So, why do we love the newborn fitted? Bamboo/cotton blend protected elastics plus the elastics present in your cover or Duo Wrap mean that you have double the protection from leaks and blowouts day or night!

Generally, you’ll want 24-30 diapers in your cloth diaper stash, but because this system pairs an absorbent interior with a waterproof exterior, you only need about 8 covers to pair with your 24-30 newborn fitteds.

Need more absorbency? A Thirsties Newborn Cotton Doubler can quickly and easily give you more absorbency while not over bulking your diaper.

Want more cloth diaper tips and tricks? Visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to follow the Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc

For more information, checkout Laura’s #ThirstiesLive all about the Thirsties Newborn Fitted cloth diaper:

Are you in search of a cloth diapering system that takes the guesswork out of cloth diapering? The Thirsties All In Two system is simple and effective. AI2s are easy to use, easy to clean and so budget friendly.

In this article, we’re going to breakdown the definition of an All In Two system, the benefits of using AI2s, how to build a collection and how to prep your diapers.

What is an All In Two System?

An All In Two system, or AI2, literally means that everything you need to cloth diaper your baby is included all in two simple pieces: a waterproof cover or Duo Wrap to keep leaks away and some sort of absorbent core. Your absorbent core can consist of a prefold, an AI2 insert, or really any sort of insert/booster combination that you like.

How you choose to customize your AI2 system to meet your needs is up to you and there are tons of Thirsties products to help along the way. The trick is to pin point the needs of your baby, your lifestyle and your budget first. Let’s explore some options.

Benefits of an All In Two System

The biggest benefit of an All In Two system is that you can potentially reuse your cover up to three separate times, while only changing out your absorbency. Not only does this make diaper changes quick and easy, but it cuts down on costs as well.

As long as your baby has only wet their diaper, you can wipe out their Duo Wrap or cover, grab a new insert and change baby while reusing your cover. You can do this about three times before you need a new cover, unless baby soils their diaper, in which case you would want to grab an entirely new cover as well.

Another benefit of the AI2 system is that it cuts down on storage space, given that you will only need to purchase 24-30 changes in absorbency rather than 24-30 separate All In One diapers. 8 covers plus 24-30 inserts should be all you need to fully diaper your baby for two entire days (the length of time we recommend you go between washing).

Building a AI2 collection

SO, how do you go about building your AI2 collection? First, you’ll need to choose a Duo Wrap or cover size for your kiddo. Duo Wraps actually come in three sizes; size one fits babies 6-18lbs, size two fits babies and toddlers 18-40lbs and size three is designed to fit toddlers 40-60+ lbs.

If covers are your waterproofing of choice, you’ll have a few more size options to choose from. Covers range in size from newborn which fit babies 4-10lbs all the way to large which fit babies 28-40lbs.

Once you’ve chosen your waterproofing portion of your system, you’ll need to choose some absorbency. There are lots of absorbency options including fitteds and prefolds, but the trimmest options are going to be the AI2 inserts.

The original Stay Dry Duo Insert comes in two sizes, size one and size two and combines the signature Thirsties five layer hemp/organic cotton jersey knit insert with a microterry and microfleece synethetic insert. The newer Natural Duo Insert is topped with three layers of 100% certified organic cotton, combined with a bottom insert made of the same signature Thirsties five layer hemp/organic cotton jersey.

However, if you put the best aspects of both these inserts together, you’d end up with the Stay Dry Natural Duo Insert. The Stay Dry Natural Duo Insert has the same 100% cotton top layer insert of the Natural Duo Insert, but it is topped with the same microfleece later of the Stay Dry Duo Insert. It’s the best of both worlds both in terms of ease of cleaning and quick absorbency for baby.

Prep

Don’t forget to prep your inserts! Every natural fiber product you receive from Thirsties will need to be prepped before it is ready to use on baby.

How do you prep your inserts? You’re going to want to wash and dry your inserts three separate times to ensure that all the natural oils have been removed from your fibers before you give them a go on baby. You can throw them in with your regular cloth diaper laundry and call it a day.

And that’s it for the All In Two system! This system is simple, convenient cloth diapering for baby and mom. For more information on Thirsties All In Two System, checkout Laura’s Thirsties Live all about the cool benefits of AI2s:

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