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Written by Mama Monday

Blog posts written by mamas on cloth diapering, green living, natural parenting.

With a maiden name like McCoy, it’s pretty clear that I’m a huge fan of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m also a history buff and amateur genealogist, so I love that a holiday exists that allows us to celebrate our Irish heritage (even for those of us with zero “green” in our blood).

So, I thought I’d share a handful of ways for you and your family to mark St. Patrick’s Day that don’t involve spending the day at the pub (or church, as true Irish Catholics observe the day in the old world; of course you’re welcome to if you see fit).
#RainbowAndGoldEverything – There are some trends lately that make it even easier to celebrate this holiday than ever. Gold is IT (even if it’s tied with rose gold at the moment) and it’s impossible to walk into a store that doesn’t sell kids’ clothes emblazoned with rainbows. Just awesome.

So, go with it! Dress up in rainbow colors (or green and orange). Make some craft projects using gold glitter and paint rainbows (extra points for shamrock shapes and pots o’ gold), or go with one of these super fun artsy ideas:

St. Partick’s Day Crafts

Marshmallow Shamrock Stampers (and more ideas!)

Gold at the End of the Rainbow Chain

Fruit Loop Rainbow Craft

Leprechaun Traps

Search Pinterest and you’ll find a ton of ideas for your kids to make their own leprechaun trap (and for your kids to see that a leprechaun visited, ahem). Don’t forget to lure those tricksters with plenty of “gold” (chocolate coins work great).

Look at it like Elf on a Shelf but with only one night of work involved. 😉

Read an Irish-themed Book

Hit up your local library (says the totally biased school librarian) to find an age-appropriate book. I gave a solid list last year for just this purpose to help you track one down, but don’t be afraid to ask your librarian for his or her favorites. Since I’m back in the high school setting, I’m going to have to work harder to find my fave – Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato – to put on my annual Irish accent for our kids.

Cook Something Irish

Ireland hasn’t really been known for its stellar culinary arts, but in recent years the quality of their beef, milk products, and the rest of their “locavore” delights are breaking down that stereotype.

So, whether you try corned beef, shepherd’s pie, colcannon, stew, creamy mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of Irish cheddar or soda bread with Irish butter (now easy to find at most grocery stores), you can give your family an authentic AND delicious experience. And even if your family won’t touch those dishes (seriously, why don’t my kids eat mashed potatoes?! My Irish blood curdles over that), try a nice Irish dessert (like apple cake with custard sauce – yum!).

And, of course, it’s all about the fun, so even just picking up some rainbow cupcakes at the supermarket still helps make things festive, so don’t get too serious here!

Get Into the Spirit

Take your kids to a parade, visit an Irish step dancing group, or simply put on an Irish playlist on Spotify to have an Irish dance party. (I’m a huge Elders fan, meself.)

I also use this opportunity to talk about the Irish ancestors that came before, what it was like for them both there and here, and what we carry today – in our personalities, our looks, our determination, even our tempers (ahem) – that make us who we are and bind us together. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to have the kids hold a potato and note that my family wouldn’t be in America if not for the lowly spud.

Whether of Irish descent or not, how does your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I know that Americans mark it totally differently than the Irish, but I love the idea of taking a bit of time to share in the mischievous fun and shared heritage of the day.

I’m far from a sleep expert. Heck, I’m one of those people who gives you a blank stare if you tell me to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” I still try to find 5-10 presleep minutes to read or mindlessly check social media on a work night as the kids (and, sometimes, husband) slumber away.

But, I’m concerned about the kids’ sleep schedules. With daylight saving time fast approaching, I get a little frantic about how it’ll affect everyone in the house.

So, I did a bit of research and found a couple of great resources that I thought I’d share with you. And if you don’t have the time to peruse each one, I’ve given a quick review/summary of them to make it even easier on you.

For the record, we have a five-year-old boy, a 2-year-old girl, and a 4-month-old girl. My husband and I both work full-time. Let’s be honest – I’m as concerned about we grown-ups handling the transition as I am the littles.

Today’s Parent: Apparently some people prefer spring daylight savings. Who knew? I personally hate losing an hour – and my son slept until 8:30 or later all weekend (he’s been sick so I allowed it) so I know there will be some dazed faces around here.

Anyhoo, Today’s Parent suggests getting kiddos up at their usual time of and continue with their usual naps and bedtimes, and they’ll be acclimated within a few days to a week. But for sensitive sleepers, start adjusting those times by a half hour several days in advance.

My favorite tips are the tools to help things go smoothly. From blackout curtains to a toddler alarm clock to sound machines (a must to keep our light-sleeping 2-year-old asleep when her little sister wakes up fussing at 3am), they’re all great ideas to make things easier on everyone.

Working Mother – A sleep expert at this “wow, they get it” website seconds the last advice as far as how to acclimate your child to the workday schedule, but adds a great extra tip for a general bedtime routine:

“Also, develop some quiet activities and a solid nighttime routine that can give you both some downtime and prevent baby from going to bed before she’s tired, resulting in tears and frustration for both of you. Puzzles or books are good options, and consider having your child flip through her own book while you catch up on your favorite magazine.”

Sleep Baby Love – This sleep consultant offers a list of five tips for helping your child cope with the change, but two are particularly great.

First, know your child. Some children won’t bat an eye at the changes, but others will be miserable and hyper sensitive to them. (For the record, I fall in the “doesn’t cope well” group, myself. I tend to get sick when the time change happens, too. My body just hates it.)

Secondly, use the light to your advantage. Nothing helps your body awaken like a shot of sunshine – but the same can apply when you’re trying to get your child down. Using the aforementioned room darkening blinds or curtains can help contain the brightness and opening the shades can help your child’s body clock adjust and get ready for the day.

She also suggests an adjustment to your child’s routine AFTER the time change, which is interesting. Move naptime in 15 minute increments towards the new naptime (and do it slowly – every three days move another 15 minutes) until they’ve reached the new norm.

I’d love to hear how you all handle the change. Do you do anything or not? Do you make adjustments? Do you try to trick everyone’s system with special curtains? And how do you feel about the whole daylight saving, overall?

“They’ve got the right stuff…baby….”

If you’re not old enough to remember the brief but awkwardly spectacular infatuation for NKOTB, I apologize…for soooo many reasons.

But, seriously, I thought it’d be fun to meet the new “kids” (styles and other cool stuff) on our block lately. Some of these are new prints, new collections, new styles, and even new products altogether. Since I’ve been focused on our new baby, a few of these may not be BRAND new, but they’re all amazing additions to the Thirsties lineup. Maybe you’ll find an exciting new item to add to your collection – just like a “new” Joey McIntyre collectible card. *swoon*



First up is my personal favorite new print, Floribunda. This. Is. GORGEOUS. The intensity of the pattern’s colors gets me right in the feels. It’s unique and fresh (yet equally retro at the same time). I’m in love.

Another newer product that I’ll be stocking up on soon is the Thirsties Potty Training Pant. Made with 4 layers of soft, absorbent, certified organic cotton and a wet zone lined with waterproof TPU laminate to help keep clothes dry, these are designed to help catch small accidents while training. You can add extra absorbency for overnight use to make it easier to stay consistent from day to night. I foresee all three designs – Unicorntopia, Duck Duck Moo, and Classic Jurassic (my daughter is a girl who gives dinos and unicorns their equal due) – getting heavy rotation as she’s showing signs of an interest in potty training. *cries, singing “Please don’t go, giiiiiirrrrllll!!!”*


A new, highly versatile option for parents is the Size Three Duo Wrap, for children 40-65 pounds. With double gussets, a trim fit, and made from 100% polyester with waterproof TPU laminate free of VOC’s, PVC, phthalates, lead, and latex, this offers the perfect solution for any scenario. (Side note: Isn’t the limited edition Heart-to-Heart shown here the perfect mix of edgy sketch art and adorable show of love??)

The Sweet Dreams Collection is so stinkin’ cute and I love that it offers a gender neutral array of adorable diapers (great for families hoping to pass the collection from one kiddo to the next). Available in NAIO, AIO and Duo Wrap, the prints include the sweet Counting Sheep, the dreamy Stargazer, the super cool abstract Dreamscape, the silly cowtastic Over the Moon, and the absolute perfect shade of Aqua.


Most people already know and love the Thirsties Diaper Pail Liner, but the new MINI Pail Liner is amazing. Whether you have a smaller baby changing space, want a more mobile option throughout your house, or simply want another solution for a smaller diaper pail, this will definitely meet your needs.

So, are any of you “hangin’ tough” with any of these “new kids” yet? Anything I’ve missed that you want to shout out? (I’m sure I’ve forgotten one or two, sorry!) Let us all know what you think below!

(And if anyone else wants to share their favorite childhood/tweenaged group, we’d love to hear those, too! As much as I loved NKOTB, I’m actually a HUGE Monkees fan…and now so are my kids!!!)

My kindergartener is having a blast in school. He’s learned to read and write multiple sentences at a time. His math skills are on point. He loves all of his “specials” equally. Oh, and he’s socializing like crazy.

As a matter of fact, it’s so prominent that it made an appearance on his report card.

And while I totally agree with and support his teacher (he needs to focus more and talk less), I feel it’s a valuable thing for him to be learning. Communication and social skills are pretty important…when done at the right times. 😉

As a grown-up, I feel like I’ve gotten worse at socializing. I’m awkward at topic choices, always second guess whether I offended someone when sharing my opinions, and stumble over my words darn near constantly.

The more that we, as parents, stay in and avoid seeing friends, the harder it becomes. But, I’m here today as a painfully introverted person who was once voted “most outgoing” in high school to say that we must keep trying; we need to “hang out” more.

We give all we have to our kids. We feel more daily stress than many in generations before us. We juggle our work, meals, practice schedules, play dates, and more. Add the isolation of being a new parent and it’s true; we’re simply not filling our own buckets. This isn’t good for us OR our families.

As I write this, I’m admiring the fresh, new, albeit “Mom safe” shade of paint my nails are newly sporting. My husband took all three kiddos to his parents’ house so that I could get my nails done with my sister and grab a bite to eat, bless him. It’s the first time in countless months and was literally what my sister and I “gave” each other for Christmas.

My sister is my best friend and while we chatted plenty about our awesome kiddos and juggling our respective responsibilities (no one said you’re not allowed to vent), we also found time to reminisce and talk about totally non-family-related stuff. It was great (as were the sweet potato fries).

When she dropped me off, we vowed to “do this more” and even start walking together (another excuse to socialize with a health bonus to boot) in the spring. I skipped into my house feeling lighter and reenergized.

So, to you I offer these bits of advice:

Make the time and share the wealth.

Just start with one quick hang-out, then start scheduling more. The positivity that you feel will be passed along to your kids and partner. Just be sure that it’s a two-way street and your significant other has a chance to hang, guilt-free, with a buddy soon, too.

Pick the right friend.

Some people steal our happiness and send us into a negativity spiral. Life is simply too short and your time too precious to allow them to poison you. This is why picking someone you’re totally comfortable with (like a BFF or sister) may be an easier start than, say, a new colleague or an old friend who gossips non-stop.

Schedule it and make it a priority if you need to.

When you force yourself to hang out, it gets easier every time you do it. Even if the first time is a quick coffee together or asking someone to hang a little while during naptime, the length of time doesn’t matter as much as it being quality.

Play dates can be Mom dates.

It’s actually advised to let kids play independently together during play dates so they learn how to solve problems and think for themselves. I remember when my mom would bring me to play with a friend and she’d have tea in the kitchen with his mom (her friend from high school). They didn’t hover, they got some time to decompress, and we grew up relatively well-adjusted. Wins all around.

Do like the older generation did.

One of my favorite books from college was called Bowling Alone in which it described how Americans have become less involved socially and politically since the beginning of the 20th century. Think about it: adults used to be in bowling leagues, have weekly bridge games, and join clubs. As you’re able to secure a sitter or just as your children get more independent, make it a point to join something that interests you, or at least have friends over for a regular game night. My husband and I met doing community theater so we’ll jump back in when we can, but a game night with nearby friends sounds like a blast.

Get the kids involved.

My husband recently mentioned getting a projector to hold summer movie nights for some kids in the backyard and I jumped at the idea. Giving kids a group activity and hanging out in the back with the other grown-ups is fun all around.

If all else fails, pick up the phone.

My 12-year-old self would balk at me, but I hate talking on the phone as an adult. However, I find time on my way to work to check in with my mom a couple times a week and it puts a spring in my step to hear her voice, to give her updates on the kids, and to stay abreast of the latest family news. I guess phones aren’t so bad if the right person is on the other end.

So, we’d love to hear your favorite way to socialize sans social media (which often doesn’t feel like“real” socializing much anymore,does it?). Is it a gym meet-up? A quick run for coffee? A weekly book club? Let us know how you’re filling your need for adult interaction in the comments!

The most common questions about cloth diapering revolve around laundry. How do I get them prepped to use? What’s a good wash routine? Do I prewash? Rinse? Hot or warm? Line dry?

Well, our customer service guru, Jessica, addressed many of the basics of diaper laundry in a recent #ThirstiesLive discussion and we’re ecstatic to be able to share her topic with you here today. For more great advice and cloth diaper topics, be sure to check in with the Thirsties team every Friday at 1PM MST on Facebook and 1:45PM MST on Instagram for #ThirstiesLive.

You can find this information and much more at our Customer Center section of our website, as well. (The pull-down area will allow you to find your specific concern.)

First things first, though.

Prepping Diapers

Before using cloth diapers, it’s important to launder them properly. This will ensure that any natural oils are removed from the product and your diapers are sufficiently absorbent to keep baby dry.

That said, synthetic diapering materials and products (often including covers) only need one warm wash with detergent. However, diapers and inserts that contain hemp and/or organic cotton will need at least three warm washes with detergent.

Air drying between prep washes fluffs the fabric and helps attain absorbency.

Your Basic Wash Routine

Before laundry day, there are steps you can take to make laundering your diapers simpler and to help your diapers have a longer lifetime. Be sure to remove all solid waste before placing your diapers in a wet bag or dry pail.

Also close your diapers’ hook and loop laundry tabs.

When dealing with overnight diapers, you may want to spray them (whether soiled with a solid or just a liquid).

Thirsties recommends washing every other day, but just be sure not to go more than three days before washing. For a top loading machine, a max load size would be 18 to 24 diapers. For a front loading HE machine, launder 12 to 15 diapers max load size at a time.

The Main Event

Cloth diaper laundry doesn’t have to be complicated. If you just remember that it’s a 3-step process: 1. prewash 2. hot wash 3. extra rinse.

Start by prewashing your load on warm with small amount of detergent, if desired. Depending on your machine, this can be a prewash cycle or a quick wash cycle. The Real Diaper Association recommends a warm prewash to aid in removal of waste and a cold prewash aids in stain-lifting, so choose depending on your needs.

Hot Wash

Next, run the load on heavy in hot water with detergent. When choosing detergent, consider temperature (which should not exceed 130 degrees). Also avoid white or sanitize cycles because they are hard on diaper components.

Agitation is another important factor. Use enough water so that the diapers have room to move around. Don’t use too much water, though, so that the diapers are unable to agitate together. When looking at it, it should be more of a “stew” than a “broth.”

Extra Warm Rinse

This one’s pretty self explanatory. Just do a final rinse in warm! Easy as that.

The best choice for a long-term life of your diapers is air drying. If you’re hoping to make your diapers last for several children or just want to treat them the best, consider using a rack or hanging system to dry your diapers.

When using a dryer, anything with TPU or elastics should be dried on low. Prefolds, inserts, AIOs, etc may be dried on medium. It may surprise you to know that a monthly 15-minute hot dryer cycle is good for diapers’ lamination. Oh, and consider adding wool dryer balls or a clean dry towel to all dryer cycles.

We hope that these suggestions will help you master your own cloth diaper laundry. Again, these are just the basics and there are sometimes exceptions, but this should provide a good starting routine.