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Using Prefolds While Cloth Diapering: An Overview of the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold

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It seems that prefolds and covers have gotten a somewhat negative reputation along the way as newer cloth diaper systems appeared that were more streamlined and (thought to be) easier. Yes, prefolds and covers are the more traditional method of cloth diapering. However, the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold, paired with a Duo Wrap make up an easy to use and budget friendly cloth diapering system that is far from what your parents or grandparents remember. Duo Hemp Prefolds are created from the signature Thirsties 55% hemp/45% organic cotton blend, are naturally antimicrobial, trimmer and clean more easily compared to regular cotton prefolds. Made in the USA from soft hemp jersey, they are versatile, have an open design that allows for quick drying and are 25% more absorbent and more durable than pure cotton. The Duo Hemp deserved its very own review because it’s so different than other prefolds on the market. In this article, we’ll discuss pairing your duo hemp prefold, sizing and use and laundry care and tips. Let’s dive in with a perfect Thirsties pairing!

Pairing Your Duo Hemp Prefold

  So, you’ve chosen the prefold and cover system, you want to use Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds and now you need a waterproof layer to successfully begin cloth diapering. Enter Thirsties Duo Wraps. Thirsties Duo Wraps are the perfect cover to use with your prefolds and here’s the good news: choosing a size works pretty much the same way. Size One Duo Wraps are recommended to fit babies 6-18 lbs, while Size Two Duo Wraps are recommended for babies 18-40lbs. This past summer, Thirsties introduced a third option, the Size Three Duo Wrap, recommended for babies 40-60lbs+ as the final edition to their Duo Wrap lineup. Although there is not currently a Size Three Duo Hemp Prefold, you could easily pair your size twos. You may also find that you prefer to add a booster to your prefold and cover system as well. There are several options here. One of my favorites is to use the Size Small Hemp Inserts as a third layer of absorbency. However, some caregivers prefer the Organic Cotton Doublers as they aren’t as wide as the hemp inserts. Using a booster will give you extra absorbency for overnights, long car rides or, hopefully, long nap times. Boosters are one of those cloth diaper essential, can’t live without items. So, if you find yourself ready to get rid of them at any stage of your cloth diapering journey, I would encourage you to hang on to them as your baby and your need for boosters might change again soon. #ThirstiesTip Because Thirsties makes so many versatile products, I have to mention the organic cotton wipes. One organic cotton wipe folded lengthwise can be the perfect booster for Newborn All In Ones or Size One Prefolds. These wipes are made from organic fibers, so easy to clean and provide just a little extra absorbency without adding any bulk. Plus, you probably already have them in your stash. #momhack  

Sizing and Use

  Sizing your prefolds couldn’t be easier. Size One Duo Hemp Prefolds are recommended to fit babies 6-18lbs, while Size Two Prefolds are recommended to fit babies 18-40lbs. Although these are general sizing recommendations, the stretch of the hemp/cotton blend will allow you to get a few extra pounds out of your prefolds on either side. Once you have chosen your size, using your prefolds is simple.
  1. For smaller babies, fold under the top flap to decrease your length.
  2. Next, fold the diaper into thirds and fan out the back for better coverage.
  3. Tuck your tri-folded diaper into your Thirsties Duo Wrap or Diaper Cover.
  4. Place under baby and secure with snaps or hook & loop closure.
#ThirstiesTip Don’t skip fanning out your diaper in the back for better coverage. This will help contain leaks and eliminate blowouts. Do the fan out, trust me.  

Laundry Tips and Care

Like all Thirsties’ hemp products, your prep will be slightly different for your Duo Hemp Prefolds. You’ll want to prep your prefolds separate from your other cloth diaper products due to the oils and residue released from the hemp fiber in your prep. Once your prefolds are prepped, you can launder them as normal with the rest of your Thirsties cloth diaper products. So, how do you actually prep a prefold? To prep your prefold, you’ll need to start with cloth diaper safe detergent. Using a small amount of detergent, wash and dry your prefold at least three times before use. For maximum absorbency, you’ll want to wash and dry your prefold eight times. You can absolutely use your prefolds after three wash and dry cycles, just know that they will get more absorbent over time. Before washing your prefolds, you’ll want to remove any solid waste present (unless your baby is exclusively breastfed). You can do this by using a disposable liner, spraying out your diapers using a diaper sprayer or using the ‘dunk and swish method’ in the toilet. Once the solids have been completely removed from your diapers, it’s time to wash. Some caregivers opt to remove solids as they are present, which is preferable, and not wait until laundry day. However, it’s more important that you find a routine and a system that works for yourself and your family than it is that you are doing exactly what every other cloth diaper friend is doing. #youdoyou To wash your Thirsties Duo Hemp prefold:
    1. Pre-wash on WARM with half the recommended amount of detergent.
    1. Do a long, heavy duty wash on HOT with the recommended amount of detergent.
  1. Add an extra rinse.
This routine will give you a great place to start, in general. You may need to alter your routine slightly if you have hard water or are using the bucket and plunger method. #ThirstiesTip The open design makes Thirsties prefolds very easy to clean. If you are having trouble getting your prefolds clean (stain-free is a different topic), make sure your wash routine is not too complicated or too lengthy. Cloth diaper launder should be simple and easy!


  The signature Thirsties hemp/organic cotton blend is one of my absolute favorite fiber combinations in the cloth diaper world. It’s so thirsty, so trim and cleans so easily. The prefold and cover system is also budget friendly, easy to add to over time and works well with multiple children in cloth. I was a little intimidated by prefolds and covers at first, so I opted for All In Ones with my first baby. When I finally did try the prefold and cover system, I was so upset that I had convinced myself it was any more difficult than All In Ones. I actually prefer to clean a load of prefolds and covers because it’s just so simple. In other words, keep your options open. Consider visiting a local cloth diaper retailer and ask if they have any Cloth 101 classes to offer or demo diapers that you can use to practice. Has your baby outgrown their prefolds? Prefolds make great burp cloths, surface wipes, potty learning pads and more! Hang on to those outgrown size ones and use them around the house. How do you use your old prefolds? Have you tried Thirsties’ Duo Hemp Prefolds yet? We'd love for you to share your favorite thing about the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds below! Are you new to Thirsties’ Prefolds or cloth diapering in general? Please share any questions you may have. You can shop Thirsties Duo Wraps 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.
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