Free Shipping on Orders $50 or more! Most orders ship same day when placed before noon MST, Monday-Friday.

The Basics Of Cloth Diapering

For all of you new cloth diapering mommas out there, we wanted to give a summary of the basics of cloth diapering. We are happy to help you with your cloth diapering journey! You will first want to prep your diapers for use.
  • Wash all microfiber diapers/covers together at least one time before use, using a cloth diaper safe detergent. (Make sure to use the laundry tabs to fasten Aplix or Velcro fasteners.)
  • Wash hemp, cotton, and bamboo diapers/inserts separate from your other items for the first 3-8 washes. (Thirsties hemp products can be used after 3 wash/dry cycles, and will reach maximum absorbency after 8 wash/dry cycles.)
*Energy Saving Tip: Wash your natural fiber diapers/inserts with your white laundry for the initial wash cycles, taking care to use a cloth diaper safe detergent.
  • For wool covers, please follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions.
Here are instructions on how to use the different kinds of cloth diapers and their accessories:   AIO (All-In-One) Diaper: Simply slide the diaper under baby, and fasten. Your AIO diaper does not need a cover, as it includes a waterproof layer. If your AIO diaper has a pocket opening inside, it has the option to stuff an insert or doubler into the pocket for more absorbency.
inside of cloth diaper
Pocket Diaper :
A pocket diaper will have a separate “shell” and absorbent insert. The shell is like a cover with a lining sewn into it, which is open on one or two ends. You will take the insert and stuff into the pocket. If using a Thirsties Duo Diaper insert, you will put the terry side up, and the hemp portion on the bottom. Once the insert is in place, slide the diaper under baby and fasten. You will have to pull the insert out of the soiled diaper before washing, accept in select diapers like the Thirsties Duo Diaper. Our pocket is designed so that your insert comes out in the washer, leaving you with clean hands! You may find it easier to stuff the inserts into the diapers after washing and drying, so that your diaper is ready for use. There is no cover needed, as the waterproofing is sewn into the diaper. Fitted Diaper/Diaper Cover: Your fitted diaper is the absorbency, and the diaper cover is the waterproofing layer. Diaper covers may also be called wraps. Simply take the fitted diaper, slide under baby, and fasten. Repeat with the cover, making sure that the rise snaps are adjusted to the proper level for your baby. For adding absorbency, please see our note on inserts below. Prefold Diaper/Duo Wrap: Your prefold diaper is the absorbency, and the Duo Wrap is the waterproofing layer. Duo Wraps are diaper covers with an adjustable rise. Prefold diapers may be trifolded, or folded and fastened when using the Duo Wrap cover. If fastening, you can use diaper pins or a Snappi fastener. A trifold prefold looks like the photo above. This type of fold is also called a “newspaper” fold. The tri-folded prefold is laid into the Duo Wrap. Please do not tuck the prefold under the front flap on the Duo Wrap. This flap is to keep moisture away from the stitching and snap holes on the front of the cover. To find different methods to fold a prefold, please visit: For adding absorbency, please see our note on inserts below. Prefold Diaper/Diaper Cover: The instructions for this combination is the same as above for the Prefold/Duo Wrap, with one exception. The Thirsties Diaper Cover is a sized cover, meaning it comes in sizes Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large. When using a Thirsties Diaper Cover, you will always need to fasten the prefold. This is due to the fact that the Diaper Cover is more generous in sizing than the Duo Wrap, and will not hold a trifold prefold in place. If the diaper is not held close to the skin, the diaper will sag and will most likely cause leaking and bunching issues. For adding absorbency, please see our note on inserts below.   Stay-Dry Duo Insert/Duo Wrap: Thirsties Stay-Dry Duo Insert can only be used in a Duo Wrap or other trim fitting cover. This is due to the fact that the Stay-Dry Duo Insert is not fastened on baby in any wa y, and will bunch and/or leak if not close enough to baby’s skin. Make sure the wrap is adjusted in the rise according to baby’s size, and lay the insert fleece side up into the wrap. Slide wrap under baby, and fasten the wrap.       Thirsties fit tip: Make sure that the diaper and/or cover is snug, but not tight. There should be no visible gaps at the legs or waist. If there are gaps at the legs, but not the waist, you may need to pull the diaper up a bit at the front and back waist. Inserts: For adding absorbency to a diaper, you can add an insert or doubler in a pocket, tunnel, or in between the diaper and cover.
We welcome any questions you may have! You may contact us via email at, via chat at, or via telephone at 888-315-2330. We also have many FAQs on our website that may be of help during your cloth diapering experience. Happy Cloth Diapering!

Written by Sonya Choron 12/1/11

Previous post Next post


  • I love that you guys give a run down of all the options. I’m not a new cding mom, but I always read these blog posts to see how others recommend/explain things.

    Elizabeth on
  • Thank you for posting this! I am 30 weeks along with #1 and have been looking for something that breaks it down.

    Bianca Tarleton on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published