Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wool What?!

When I started looking into cloth diapers over a year ago, I read about wool covers, but had no interest in them what-so-ever!  They were $$, and I didn't really get it.  I read about people's addictions to wool, and how they couldn't get enough.  I understood that (to a point) about cloth diapers, but not the wool.  I did eventually try prefolds, contours, flats, and fitteds -- all of which require a cover to be waterproof.  I just used a regular PUL cover, though, and was not impressed.  I still felt no need to try wool.  No big deal, I loved my pockets, wahm AI2's, and AIO's!  Easy to use and quick changes.  I sold the few fitteds I had (including my favorite doggie pirate BSRB).  No regrets.

Until now.  In January, I decided to try a fitted diaper with PUL cover for overnight.  I was tired of overly stuffed pockets, which worked fine, but sometimes they did leak.  I have heard for over a year (and even recommended) fitteds with wool for a bulletproof overnight solution.  However, I was still intimidated by wool (I hate handwashing!), so I just went with the covers I had.

I first tried the Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted with a Thirsties Duo Wrap.  However, after a month I dealt with horrible ammonia issues in only these diapers, which I tried for a month to overcome before admitting defeat.  The Fab Fitteds have microfiber, which was the cause of such stink.  Not a good material choice for all night toddler pee.  I finally went back to pockets, but was determined to find a better, natural fitted that wouldn't give me such stink.  You can read about my battle here.

Tiny Tush Trim fitted with a gFlapper laid inside.
This is great for overnight!!

I bought a Tiny Tush Trim fitted diaper and a Tiny Tush Organic Wool Soaker at Babies Bottoms and More in Farmer's Branch.  After washing and lanolizing the wool (using samples of wool wash) and waiting 3 days for it to dry (the downside to wool -- it takes forever to dry!) and prepping the fitted, E had his first overnight in wool.  Well, not exactly.  I had to wait until after my 2 week hospital/rehab stay following my motorcyle accident.  I had it all ready to try, then we had our accident. But once I came home, he finally had his first night in a fitted and wool!  I added a bamboo/hemp gFlapper from the Nappy Shoppe in Allen to the fitted so he had enough absorbancy.

After one night I was hooked!  I finally understood what all the hype was about.  A leakproof, all night, breathable solution.  And they're cute.  Why did I resist so long?  If only I had caved in and tried wool sooner, I would not have sold my favorite print -- a doggie pirate BSRB (Bagshot Raw Bamboo).  And now BSRB isn't even in business anymore: super sad face.  She probably didn't have that print anymore, anyway.  I loved that diaper (well, not then, but I did love the print!).  I would especially love the diaper now.  I love fitteds under wool, but not under PUL.  

The doggie pirate BSRB that I regretfully sold last year.
So my hunt began.  Since I'm unable to walk (temporarily, a result of my accident), I do a lot of sitting, which means a lot of computer time.  I bought a Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb Organic Bamboo fitted, a Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb Snapless Multi fitted, and a Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb Knit Wool Cover from Baby Rear Gear in Arlington.  She brought them to the May CD meetup, and I couldn't wait to get home to prep the fitteds and lanolize the wool!

4 of my 5 wool covers (counterclockewise starting at top left:
Wild Child Woolies, Sustainablebabyish, Tiny Tush, Fluffabebe)

I started buying more fitteds, and also wool!  So far, I have 5 wool covers: 1 Tiny Tush Organic Wool cover in brown, 1 Sloomb cover in squash, 1 Wild Child Woolies with an adorable dinosaur, 1 Fluffabebe cover, and 1 Just Peachy Knits shorties.  I want 1-2 more wool covers, the problem is deciding what!

Some of the fitteds, a flat, and a contour diaper.

The fitteds I now have are:  3 Sloomb w/snaps, 1 Sloomb snapless, 1 Organic Caboose, 1 Little Fancy Pants, 1 Little Comforts bamboo, 1 secret tester (that I love and want more of!), and 1 that I can't remember the name of (and is in the wash).  I also have some flats that I sometimes use under the wool, and one Tiny Tush Contour

I mentioned I hate to handwash.  Here's the great thing about wool:  You only need to wash it about once every 3-4 weeks!  It is antimicrobial and actaully stays pretty clean, and NO it doesn't stink (unless it has been a few weeks and it's time to wash).  Of course, if poop gets on it, wash it right away.  but other wise, just let it airdry between uses.  It needs to be lanolized to be waterproof (lanolin is a natural sheep by-product that keeps the wool waterproof  I can deal with once every 3-4 weeks, and it's actually very simple!  Hands on time is less than 5 minutes. 

Here's how I wash:

Put 1 tsp per gallon of wool wash in lukewarm water, in either the sink or a small bucket.  I only put enough water to cover the wool, so it depends on how many I am washing at a time (usually 1-2).  Then add wool (turned inside out) and gently swish.  Then let sit for 15-20 minutes (or just go back when I think about it;).  Roll the wool and gently squeeze out excess water (do NOT ring or twist it!).  No need to rinse (according to my wool wash instructions).  Lay on towel while I pour out the dirty water.

The dirty water after soaking for 20 minutes.
I used 1 capful of wool wash, seemed too much.

Rinse sink or bucket, then fill with lukewarm water.  Melt 1 tsp of lanolin in HOT water (boiling water works best but I'm lazy, you may also briefly microwave the lanolin to soften it).  Make sure it is fully melted before adding to the rest of the water, so clumps of lanolin do not stick to one spot on the wool.  Stir and mix well.  Then add wool, ensuring that it is fully submerged (still inside out).  Let sit for 20-30 minutes (or until I remember to get it).  Roll wool and gently sqeeze out excess water (again, do NOT ring or twist!).

Soaking in lanolized water.
Lay wool flat on a towel, then roll it together to gently squeeze out excess water into the towel.  Then lay wool flat to dry, indoors and out of direct sunlight.  I sometimes hang them on the shower curtain rod.  It takes about 3 days for our wool to dry completely.

After gently squeezing excess water, I rolled them in the same towel (one is already rolled up at top of picture).
I have started off using Eucalan wool wash, which I picked up at the Nappy Shoppe.  I am currently using Lansinoh brand lanolin, since that's what I could quickly and easily find at a trip to Target.  There are many brands of wool wash and lanolin, which I plan on trying!  Once I'm out of Eucalan, I will try something else.  Same with the lanolin.  I want lanolin that smells yummy!! 

Overall, wool has been an amazing choice!  If you are looking for a new night time option, or just want something more breathable for your LO's bum, I definitely suggest making the switch!  Or do what I did, and just add it to your stash.  I still like pockets/AIO's for out of the house and under his clothes.  But for a great breathable option in this Texas heat, while at home and at night, E will wear wool!

The newsest addition to the stash:
a Little Fancy Pants fitted and Just Peachy Knits shorties.

 Brenda is mommy to Riley (almost 4) and Eli (18 months).  She started CDing when her yougest was 2 months and they were tired of the high cost of disposable diapering 2 kids!  Her oldest is now potty trained, and she is planning on CDing their next baby (whenever that may be) from birth.  She is the founder of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and the author of Adventure's of a Crispy Mama.

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