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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.

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

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.


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

You are a brand new parent and baby has arrived! You’ve decided that you want to cloth diaper, but maybe you aren’t totally ready to commit and/or don’t want to add yet another element of parenting to deal with right away. Enter: a cloth diaper service.

In this article, we will be discussing what makes up a cloth diaper service, reasons to choose a cloth diaper service, how exactly to use a diaper service and the benefits of using a cloth diaper service.

What is a cloth diaper service?

A cloth diaper service is a professional cleaning service that takes your dirty diapers every week and gives you a fresh, clean set in exchange.

Usually, cloth diaper services are set up on a monthly payment basis and can be great options for new parents who are navigating the ins and outs of parenting for the very first time.

Why choose a cloth diaper service?

Those with shared laundry or ‘coin op’ laundry facilities, may truly appreciate the convenience of a cloth diaper service. Coin op laundry facilities can be very expensive and using a diaper service may actually save you money in the long run if you are using shared laundry.

In terms of budget, choosing a diaper service will give you a definite monthly price for cloth diapering. You can budget in the exact amount of the service and you won’t have to figure out how much coin op laundry will cost that much or whether or not you can afford it.

There are also specific health codes that all cloth diaper services must follow, so one of the big benefits of using a service is that you know your diapers are going to be very clean. No worrying about did you use the right wash routine or are your diapers clean enough!

And honestly, if you just have a hard time coming to terms with washing soiled diapers, a cloth diaper service may be for you. It will take one more thing off your plate each month and you won’t have to deal with dirty diapers. (And for the record, washing dirty cloth diapers is definitely doable and we would love to show you how, if that’s your desire that is.)

How do you use a cloth diaper service?

First, you’ll need to ensure that you have a cloth diaper service available to you. Checkout Google to make sure that there is a service in your area and read some reviews to make sure you are choosing a high quality organization.

Each diaper service will have its own procedures, so make sure you are familiar with their washing procedure, the detergents they choose to use, the pricing and any other requirements they may have of their clientele.

Some services rent everything you need to cloth diaper; covers, prefolds, inserts and even the diaper pail itself. Others will provide the prefolds, but not the accessories like pail liners and covers. All of the parts and pieces of each cloth diaper service will be a little different, so it’s important to get that information ahead of time to decide which particular service will work for you.

Benefits of a diaper service

You can actually use a diaper service from birth to potty training. Services will have prefolds and possibly covers, if that’s a part of their offering, to fit a full range of sizes. Just let them know when your little one has grown out of their current size and they will replace your stash with the appropriate size.

Saving disposable diapers from landfills is always a huge benefit! Going green from birth will make the sustainable switch so much easier at each age and stage. Most cloth diaper services are largely environmentally friendly and use green practices as well.

Many diaper services have been around for decades and there are so many reasons to think about using them. There are lots of different ways that you can use diaper services and still use your Thirsties, so don’t automatically think you have to give up your cute Duo Wraps if you join a service. And remember, it’s important to be open to this option. Just because it may not work or be needed in your home today, doesn’t mean that will be the case in the future!

Want more info about joining a cloth diaper service? Checkout Laura’s Thirsties Live all about cloth diapering services here:

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

Dear parents of older babies, babies who have just hit their first birthday, or even toddlers,

It’s not too late to switch to cloth! There are even benefits of starting later on in the game. In this article, we are going to discuss the benefits of starting cloth later on in your diapering journey as well as share some tips to help you navigate the later diapering stages.

Starting Cloth

Kiddos that are 12-24 months only have between six and eight diaper changes a day, on average. In comparison, an older toddler (two year olds and older) may only need four to six diaper changes per day. This means, assuming that you are washing your diapers every other day (which is what we recommend), you can get away with having a collection of only twelve to eighteen diapers in total.

When choosing a diaper style for your older baby, aim for something that has maximum absorbency. You may want to invest in a small collection of doublers as well which will allow you to boost absorbency should you need to for nap time or nighttime.

A great style to use for this stage of diapering is the Duo Wrap/Duo Hemp Prefold combination. Duo Hemp Prefolds are extremely absorbent and allow you to customize absorbency should you need to add a different fiber, an addition insert or even double up on your Organic Cotton Doublers for nighttime.


One great advantage of this system is that it is less costly than others due to the fact that your Duo Wrap can be wiped out and reused as long as your baby has only wet their diaper. Each cover can be used two to three times and therefore each individual change will be less expensive than a one time use diaper such as a the Thirsties One Size All In One. To take this system from day time to night time, you can simply add a Thirsties Natural Duo Insert for increased absorbency and fast absorption.

Another great advantage to cloth diapering later in the diapering stages is that potty training will be faster and easier. Kiddos who potty train after using cloth typically have an easier time making the connection between feeling wet and needing to use the restroom. The bonus is that because you will already have all the diapers you will need, there is no rush to complete potty training in order to save money on buying more diapers.

The environmental impact of using disposable diapers is another fantastic reason to switch to cloth diapering, even if you are getting a later start. Each disposable diaper saved from a landfill makes a difference, so don’t feel that your later contribution isn’t important!

Recouping Your Costs

The amazing thing about cloth diapering is that cloth diapers can be used across multiple children. Even if you start your cloth diapering journey a little later than most, you will still get your money’s worth by using your diapers for subsequent kiddos.

Another thing we love about cloth diapering is that cloth diapers hold their value well. Consider reselling your cloth diapers on local sales pages or even checking to see if your local cloth diaper retailer accepts used diapers as part of a consignment or store credit program.

Don’t want to bother selling your diapers and done having kids? Think about donating your diapers to a non-profit organization such as Jake’s Diapers. Many families are truly in need of diapers and even a few donated cloth diapers can make all the difference.

Sizing Up

The Thirsties Duo Wrap in size three (40-65+ lbs) will allow you to continue your cloth journey well beyond your toddler years. This system may be perfect for families with toddlers that potty train a little later and/or families of kiddos with special needs. It may also eliminate the need to buy costly pull ups for the nighttime accidents that are a little tougher to out grow.

As always, you can shop the entire Thirsties collection 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