Monday, June 7, 2010

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Wonderful Wool

In recent months I finally jumped on board the wool wagon. For as long as I’ve been cloth diapering, I’ve heard mom after mom rave about using wool as a diaper cover. I was initially hesitant to give it a try due to the up front cost, as well as the additional care wool needs when it comes to wash day. I’ve always enjoyed seeing other cloth diapered kiddos sporting their cute wool longies, but never saw anything that was boyish enough to put on my little guy. I had fun looking at all the cute wool soakers and longies, but it wasn’t until this past January that I started to get a bit more serious about giving wool a try.

Now that my little man is reaching the size limit of many of his current diapers, he is wearing a lot of fitted diapers instead of pockets. He just turned two years old and is approx 32 pounds. Thank goodness he has a small waist, thus extending the lifetime wear of some of his diapers. Making the transition to fitted diapers brought with it the need for a few more diaper covers.

I already had a few large Thisties diaper covers left over from my oldest son’s diaper days, and have added a few Blueberrry Coveralls, both of which work great for us. I wasn’t finding as much success with night time diapering as in the past (a bumGenius One Size 3.0 pocket diaper stuffed with a SuperDo insert was my go to diaper for night time until he began to outgrow it and we began experiencing frequent leaks). I remembered many mom’s swear by wool for nighttime, so I decided to give it a shot.

Dreading the initial lanolizing, my first wool sat on my kitchen counter for a good two weeks before I dived in and lanolized it. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I originally thought. I simply stirred a pea sized amount of solid lanolin into a cup of hot water. I then added a small amount of wool wash to the mixture and stirred some more to emulsify it. Next, I added this mixture to a sink full of lukewarm water and stirred it in. I then added my wool and let it soak for 30 minutes. After the soak, I folded and pressed out the excess water before rolling it in a bath towel. I then let it air dry on a sweater dryer for about 24 hours. Because my wool was brand new and hadn’t been lanolized before, I repeated the process before using it the first time.

I was both excited and slightly nervous the first night I put Brendan in wool for the first time. However, I became a believer overnight when the following morning, Brendan woke up with dry pajamas and a dry bed. The fitted diaper was soaked, but the wool had contained the wetness wonderfully. I turned the wool soaker inside out and let the dampness air dry during the day and it was ready to go again at bedtime.

I’ve found I can typically go 2 weeks or so between washes unless we have a rare accident where the soaker gets soiled. When this happens, I simply wash the wool in a sink full of warm water and a bit of wool wash, followed by the same dry routine as I mentioned above. Yes, wool does require a bit more care, but for our family and our diapering needs, it’s well worth the effort. If you’ve been considering adding wool to you stash, I highly encourage you to give it a try.

By Katrina

19 comments:

Keshia said...

THANK YOU for this post! I just ordered a wool cover and was worrying about what the heck to do with it! Now I know :)

Kimberly said...

I, too, have been hesitant to try wool. I have a cover that I won from a Fluff Friday that is just sitting around... My 1 year old just potty trained, so now I guess I will have to wait until the baby fits the cover to try it. I had just gotten curious enough, too! Wool seems like a wonder material!

AJU5's Mom said...

I was wondering if wool was really warm? We live where it gets to 100 degrees (or more) during the summer, and I don't want to bake my kids! Until I get more diapers, we are stuck using disposables at night (ordered last week), so I haven't even tried cloth at night!

Brena said...

The wool is so darn cute too!! How does wool do with really sensitive skin though?

Secret Mommy said...

I adore wool! And though I don't live where it's warm, I've heard that because wool is a natural fabric that "breathes" (unlike PUL or other waterproof materials) that it can be cooler than other diapers. I'd try to find a lightweight wool, though, for warmer climates.

Oh, and PS - if you use a wool wash with lanolin already added to it, you can skip one step in your washing/lanolizing routine! :)

JMC said...

I have been curious about about wool as well and I waiver back and forth all the time. I, too, am wondering about how warm or cool it would be because we live in Phoenix where it will be in the 80's and 90's overnight, too! Let alone the 110+ temperatures that we will be facing the rest of the summer. I would love to hear thoughts on this aspect of wool.

Suzy said...

I might just have to try wool after reading your article.

Saisquoi said...

@AJU5: Wool is great even in warmer climates! I live in New England, where it can get into the 90s and horribly humid. Last summer, my daughter had perpetual diaper rash if we put her in a PUL cover. This year we've been all about the wool, and with our early heat waves she has been just fine. No rashes in sight! It seems counterintuitive, but the wool is much more breathable than PUL, so baby stays cooler.

Nikki said...

To the moms worrying about wool being hot: Actually, wool is cooler than PUL covers because it breathes! I personally wouldn't do wool longies during the summer, but cute wool shorties or just a soaker is perfect for keeping little bums cool and happy!

Katrina said...

It's been pretty hot (around 90) where I live the past week or so and we've had no problem with the wool being too hot at night. (We keep our house around 78 F) I've heard people in really hot climates say it breathes well though. If it were me, I would still try the wool soaker and then not put pj's over it, just a t-shirt or pajama top.

As for the sensitive skin, we haven't had any problems with Brendan and his sensitive skin, but he's not as bad as some kids. If you wanted to try it, I would recommend using an unscented wool wash though. :)

whocg23 said...

I love my wool. It can be so cute and a great thing with fitteds. I haven't tried it at night yet, but I can't wait to do it.
@AJU5's Mom - Wool is warm in winter but actually can help cool the child in the summer. It is so breathable yet keeps material dry on the other side so it really is a win win. I hope that all made sense :)

ammcnamara said...

@AJU5's Mom I was wondering the same thing! I think you can get shorties too, right? But it get's pretty hot here and my little one's room is upstairs, so even with the A/C on, it still get's pretty warm, plus he's a heat box anyways...so I have the same question...is your child baking when you get them in the morning when they wear wool at night?

Anonymous said...

So, I've never cloth diapered but I'm preparing to this fall...forgive me if this is a dumb question! Is it really sanitary to not wash a woolie every time? Even if it doesn't get soaked, isn't it still getting urine on it when the baby wets? I'm intrigued by the concept, I'm just wondering if you can really go weeks without washing the cover.

time4latte said...

I've been tempted to try wool at night and I even have a few old sweaters I've considered reclaiming as covers, but I've been skeptical about the waterproof-ness of wool. We cosleep and leaks really aren't an option for us so I've been using disposables at night because my son is such a heavy wetter. Your post has made me think about giving it a try!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the cute longies, and are there shorties available, too? I have one who is potty trained during the day, but often is able to pee through his overnite trainers, even with a heavy duty microfiber, a HH hemp insert, and 2 hemp ovals. I'm looking for another option, though I will say that the upfront costs of wool are daunting.

Katrina said...

@anonymous : the lanolin in wool has anti-bacterial properties that kill any germs. If your wool cover is starting to smell like urine even after you've let it air dry a bit after use, it is time to wash and lightly lanolize again. Most likely when this happens, you will also notice that the soaker is less waterproof than just after a wash/lanonlin cycle.

@ time4latte : In our experience, we haven't had any leaks with wool at night. If you are co-sleeping, wool covers would definitely be the way to go. My son leaks right through a disposable at night, but never has a problem with a fitted and wool cover. That's awesome that you want to make a cover out of a wool sweater - hope it all works out well for you and your little one.

@ anonymous : Yes, the upfront costs of wool are scary. That was probably my main reason for not trying it sooner. There are many online WAHM shops that sell wool longies and shorties. (skirties as well for little girls) If you knit or crochet you can even make your own, as I have begun to do. Word of warning though, the yarn addiction can become as dangerous as the cloth diaper addiction!

rbkincaid said...

This fascinates me - I'm so interested in using wool, but scared to take the plunge. Thank you for simplifying!

Krista said...

For real?? That's all it takes??

Thank you for this post! I'm very hesitant, but am looking for a nighttime solution. Have something I can use over and over before washing it very appealing!

What kind of fitted do you usually use at night?

Katrina said...

@ Krista - Since my little man is 27 months, just over 30 lbs and very heavy wetter, I usually grab a goodmama goodnight or a toddler size Piddle Poddle fitted for night time. Best of luck with wool - I'm sure you'll fall in love with it!