Ironically, the first step to cloth diapering is definitely the hardest. Choosing a style can be overwhelming in the very beginning. However, it can also give you the chance to consider some options that maybe you hadn't before while researching and gathering information about cloth diapers.
The Thirsties line gives you so much to choose from and there is definitely a style for everyone. Let's look at all the different cloth diaper styles and how to tell which on is for you.
All In Ones
All In Ones are the one step diaper that every family can appreciate, no matter what your lifestyle looks like. All In Ones (AIOs) have either one or two soaker pads sewn into the diaper shell, making the entire diaper a single piece.
The Thirsties Natural One Size or Newborn AIO has Thirsties' signature 55% hemp/45% organic cotton inners with two sewn in soaker pads. Because these options are comprised of all natural fibers, you can fold the soakers if you wish, to create more absorbency in the front of the diaper.
The Thirsties AIO is slightly different in that the inner absorbency is comprised of three layers of microfiber topped with microfleece. However, this stay dry option will help baby feel dry and be more comfortable.
All In Ones are so popular because they truly are the closest in concept to a paper diaper. The entire diaper goes on baby and the entire diaper comes off. There are no pieces to snap together or snap in, no prefolds to fold and no Snappis to adjust. With the exception of the rise snap settings, there is nothing you need to do to prepare for a change other than have your AIO handy!
Choosing a fiber can be a little more tricky. When choosing between the AIO and the Natural AIO, there are a few things to consider. The natural fibers of the NAIO tend to clean more easily, but the stay dry layer of the AIO will keep baby feeling dry for longer. The NAIO is also trimmer, but the AIO has one soaker pad as opposed to the two of the NAIO.
So, who should choose the AIO? Caregivers who have an active lifestyle, maybe have multiple caregivers working while baby goes to daycare or any caregiver that would prefer the simplest cloth diaper style will love AIOs. If you consider the caregiver first, you will choose the right style every time.
Pockets are extremely customizable diapers that are perfect from eight pounds through potty learning. Thirsties offers two different pocket options, the Natural One Size Pocket and the original One Size Pocket.
The Natural One Size Pocket has a 100% organic cotton liner with two inserts included. The newborn insert is three layers of certified organic cotton while the full size insert is five layers of the signature Thirsties hemp/organic cotton blend.
The original One Size Pocket has a stay dry microfleece liner with two inserts included. The newborn insert is three layers of microfiber while the full size insert is five layers of the signature Thirsties hemp/organic cotton blend.
So, how do you choose?
The stay dry microfleece liner in the original pocket is perfect for baby's who have a lot of wetness sensitivity. The liner will keep baby feeling dry, even when used overnight. The microfiber insert will also absorb liquid faster than any other fiber and help to wick wetness away from baby's sensitive skin.
The Natural One Size Pocket inners are made of all natural fibers for parents who want to keep all natural fibers in their diaper collection. They are also trimmer than the original natural pocket and easier to clean as well.
Pockets are perfect because they are completely customizable. In the infant stages, caregivers can choose to only use the newborn insert in their pocket. As baby grows, you can graduate to the full size insert and then eventually both inserts for nap times and nighttimes.
However, you can also change the inserts completely if you wish. Some caregivers with heavy wetters choose to use prefolds in their pockets rather than inserts. Some choose to use inserts, but prefer different fibers in their pocket, or a combination of fibers. I was always a mom that could never make up my mind as baby grew and used some combination of all of the above to stuff my pockets.
So, who would love pockets? Any family that has more than one child in diapers would appreciate pockets very much. Their ability to be customized at every change means that you can easily make the same diaper work for a newborn and big brother or sister alike. Pockets are also great for foster families, families with multiples and anyone who wants the ability to easily switch inserts, fibers and level of absorbency.
Covers and Prefolds/AI2 Inserts
Covers and prefolds or AI2 inserts are a great budget friendly cloth diapering option. This system is flexible, customizable and easy to wash. Thirsties offers several options for this particular system and they all shine in different ways.
Covers and Duo Wraps are the waterproof TPU material that keeps solids and liquids inside your diaper. Covers come in mulitple sizes, while Duo Wraps are offered in size one (6-18lbs), size two (18-40lbs) and size three (40-60+lbs). The absorbency that you choose to use with your Duo Wrap or Cover is what makes this system so customizable.
Thirsties prefolds are made from the signature hemp/organic cotton blend and are meant to be tri-folded and laid in the cover. Thirsties prefolds actually have a really cool design that leaves the middle open and thus makes these prefolds so much easier to get clean.
If you decide prefolds aren't for you, you can choose from any one of Thirsties three AI2 (or All In Two) options: the Stay Dry Duo Insert, the Natural Stay Dry Duo Insert, and the Natural Duo Insert. Each have a different fiber content and therefore make customizing your AI2 system so easy to do. Or, you can choose fitted diapers, which are similar to All In Ones, but without the waterproof later.
So, who would enjoy Thirsties' AI2 system?
If being budget conscious is first on your list of priorities, you will love Thirsties' AI2 system. You can also add to this system just a little at a time. Swinging by your favorite retailer and grabbing one extra cover and two extra prefolds can get you several more changes! With so many options, this system is for caregivers who want choices now and later.
The 'right' cloth diaper style for your lifestyle may be different than your friend's or your neighbor's. What's important is that you consider the caregiver, your lifestyle and your budget and you will find the right system every time.
I have used each system at least once in my 10 years of cloth diapering and they were each my favorite at different stages for different reasons. Ultimately, when I went back to work, All In Ones won out as we got busier and busier. But every now and then we would move into a different stage and I'd find myself preferring something different!
Which Thirsties system are you currently using? Are you a super fan of one specific system or do you change it up? Tell 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 Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.