Growing up, I was active in 4-H and showed animals at the county fair each summer. One of the projects I participated in was called Lamb Lead. For this project, members would wear a wool outfit & lead their sheep. The purpose of the project was to raise consumer awareness about wool & to show the raw and finished product. The judge would ask questions to each person about the many benefits of wool and the wool industry. I knew wool was a breathable material that would keep you cool in the summer & warm in the winter, that it was flame retardant & that is was a very durable fiber among other things.
Even with all my background knowledge in wool and the benefits of it, I was still very skeptical of using it when we started cloth diapering. Nightime diapering woes are what first led us to cloth diapering and we solved them temporarily with lots of stuffing in Kawaii & Bumgenius 4.0 pockets. However, at 20 months old, my boy was just getting too big for the pockets. At almost 32 pounds, we were working to get the last snaps snapped & it didn’t look very comfortable for him. I had also started researching options for our second baby & decided wool might be fun to try over the Kissaluv fitteds I had purchased. I was still reluctant of the effectiveness of wool along with the price tag for soakers or longies. I did some digging and found some old sweaters I had used for past Lamb Lead projects & decided to try making my own (I also participated in the sewing project in 4-H, as well as another activity called “Make it Yourself with Wool”). I searched online for some tutorials and free patterns. After felting a couple of sweaters by washing & drying on hot, I completed my first wool soaker in less than an hour. I really just wanted to try it to see if it would work before making more for the new baby. I lanolized it & then patiently awaited a toddler-sized Motherease fitted and stay dry liner & gave the combo a try. It works! Even though the outside portion of the diaper may be wet in the morning, the wool soaks up everything. Even more shocking to me is that the cover doesn’t hold that strong toddlerpee smell like the rest of the diaper!
As with any nighttime diaper, it may look a little ridiculous with all of that fluff on the bum, plus the wool cover. I actually have trouble zipping his jammies up around it all. To me though, it looks more comfortable & flexible than a PUL diaper & keeps him dry for 12 hours so it is worth it. The sizing isn’t perfect but it works & the price was definitely right. This leaves me very encouraged to move ahead with making some smaller wool soakers (and maybe I’ll get really crazy and try some longies) for our new baby.
I encourage you to give wool a shot. If you are intimidated by the hefty price tag, consider swap boards to buy used or if you have a sewing machine, find some old sweaters & make your own. Minimal sewing skills are required and remember even if it’s not the prettiest thing, as long as its functional, it will work just fine!
Megan is a full-time working mama of a handsome & busy 21 month old boy. She looks forward to using cloth diapers from the start with their next baby, due the end of February & not wasting any more money on disposable diapers!