End of Summer Sale & New Fall Arrivals

Woolen Season is Near! 

It seems as though summer has only just begun here in Colorado, and yet we already find ourselves daydreaming of crisp autumn days.  We feel it’s important to spend time outdoors every day, regardless of the weather, and so we look forward to pulling out our woolens and bundling up so we can all play outdoors comfortably- even our littlest family members!  

A warm wool base layer is the perfect way to stay warm outdoors during the fall and winter, and cozy wool outerwear is excellent for winter in cold climates.  

New Fall Arrivals

We’ve been working hard to add many exciting new arrivals before fall arrives.  Here are a few of our latest arrivals.

Ruskovilla 

We are very excited to introduce Ruskovilla’s beautiful & high quality organic woolens for the entire family & cloth diapering products.

Pololo Outdoor Shoes

Pololo outdoor shoes for toddlers and children have arrived!  Pololo shoes are made from natural, vegetable tanned leather with wool felt insoles.  They have just the right amount of flexibility for developing feet.

Engel Machine Washable Wool for Adults

Engel’s new line of machine washable organic woolens are now in stock in adult sizes & beautiful new colors.

End of Summer Sale

  

Now is a great time to prepare for the cool weather with woolens for the entire family!

Save 20% on your entire purchase, this week only.*    

Coupon code endofsummer

*Excludes Sale items, Ostheimer, Pololo, Nanchen, Expires 8/17/14

Waldorf Dolls: Authentic, Natural Beauty that Encourages Creative Play

Cradling a doll that has been crafted in the traditional style of a Waldorf doll for the first time is an unforgettable experience.  It’s an experience that makes one want to just linger in that moment for quite some time, just taking in the striking simplicity and natural beauty.  It’s no surprise that children are so drawn to these beautiful dolls.  

So just what is it that make these dolls so special? 

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The facial expression is simple.   Most Waldorf dolls have faintly hand-painted or embroidered facial features that are typically very basic, and some faces are even left intentionally without facial features at all.  The idea behind such simplicity, which is a stark contrast from the artificial facial expressions present in most mass-produced dolls available today, is that the emotions and expressions of the doll is left open to the child’s interpretation.  When this much room is left for imagination, the child plays to create, and the play is free and without boundaries of pre-conceived ideas of which emotions a doll should have at any given moment during play.   

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The dress is simple, and the colors are natural, often earth tones. You won’t find any sparkles or glamorous jewelry adorning a Waldorf doll.   Instead, you will find a doll dressed in a simple pair of overalls, dress, or baby gown.  Colors are soothing to the senses and are usually earth tones that children are drawn to without being over-stimulated.    

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The shape is flexible and the texture soft.   The shape of a Waldorf doll is simple, mostly unformed, and does not contain too much detail.  Just as the facial expression is left without too much detail, the shape of the doll’s body itself is very basic, while still having a soft, nurturing texture with a flexible form that is easy for children to grasp and cuddle.

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The doll is made from natural materials.   Waldorf dolls are typically crafted entirely from natural materials, from the stuffing to the threads to the yarn used for the hair.  Exquisitely and lovingly put together, often handmade, each doll encourages creativity and nourishes a child’s senses.   These beautiful dolls are often made from organic cotton and filled with organic wool or cotton.  Their clothing is usually made from cotton or wool in rich, natural colors.  The doll’s hair is often made from wool, cotton or mohair yarn.  A doll made from natural fibers embodies everything that is nature and allows a child to feel even closer to nature as they play with their toy.   Just a child learns best while in nature, a child’s connection with nature is stronger as they play with a toy made from natural materials.       

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All of these characteristics are deeply connected.  The Waldorf doll is created to inspire children in play rather to place boundaries on their play.   Each toy awaits uninhibited, complete expression of the young mind and encourages imaginative play.  

Winter Woolen Essentials for Babies

As winter approaches, we receive many inquiries about which wool items are the most important as parents prepare their children’s wardrobes for fall and winter.  Browsing through the many different  options for wool underwear layers, outerwear, socks, hats, sleep sacks, and blankets, to name a few, can be overwhelming, so we have put together a list of favorite, essential winter woolen items that we hope will be helpful as you pull woolens out of storage and decide what new items will be needed for the snowy days ahead.   We compiled this list based on what we use for our little ones at home as well as feedback from our customers. 

Wool or Wool/Silk Baby Hat

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If you purchase only one woolen item for your baby for winter time, a good quality hat or bonnet is one of the best investments you can make.  It is so important for babies to have their heads covered, especially during the first few weeks and months of life.  Young babies have not yet fully developed their  ability to regular their own body temperature and have no way of telling us when they feel too hot or too cold.  A great deal of warmth is lost through a baby’s head.   In many cultures throughout the world, it is common for infants to have their heads covered most of the time, both indoors and outdoors, well into their first year of life.  A breathable hat or bonnet made from natural fibers is an excellent way to ensure that your baby stays comfortable and warm.

The Engel Organic Wool Fleece Baby Hat is one of our favorite all-around winter hats.  Wool fleece is probably the softest wool you’ll find, so it’s lovely for a newborn, and the hat is nice and thick for outdoor wear as well.  This hat will be large on a newborn, but a baby born in the fall or winter is likely to be able to wear it for two winter seasons.  Once your baby grows into it, the fit is snug, covers the ears nicely, and it has nice soft ties to help keep it in place when needed.   The Disana organic merino wool knitted bonnet is another lovely mid-weight option that is great for babies and is available in smaller sizes.

For a lighter option, a nice lightweight bonnet made from wool or wool/silk is also lovely for an infant.   Living Crafts makes a beautiful bonnet available in organic cotton or a wool/silk blend, and Cosilana’s popular baby bonnet is available in organic cotton, pure wool, wool/silk, and a machine washable wool/silk/cotton blend.

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For babies who have wool sensitivities, a pure silk hat is an excellent choice that has some of the same temperature regulating properties of wool.

Wool Tights

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Wool tights are an indispensable winter item in our family, particularly for the youngest family members who aren’t yet walking.  Feet are another crucial body part to keep warm for young babies, and while socks are necessary and an obvious choice for keeping little feet warm, they are rather notorious for being kicked off and magically disappearing into the depths of the washing machine.

A warm pair of tights keep not just little feet warm, but also ankles, legs, lower backs, and tummies!  Tights for babies are simply brilliant.  Pure wool tights are doubly wonderful because they require washing so infrequently.  Just like wool socks, as long as you allow them to air out between uses, you can go weeks, even months at a time, without laundering your baby’s wool tights.

One of the greatest things about wool tights is that they keep baby’s ankles and legs covered any time baby is lifted up.  Pants tend to ride up the legs, and so baby’s legs are frequently exposed to the elements any time baby is lifted in or out of the stroller or car seat, and also when baby is worn in a carrier or sling with legs dangling down.  If your baby is wearing a pair of wool tights, your baby’s legs will always stay warm, regardless of how high baby’s trousers ride up.

The wool tights found in our store have nice high waistbands and generally are spacious enough to accommodate cloth diapers, even wool covers.

For an even softer texture without compromising warmth, tights are also available in a wool/cotton blend, and for babies with wool sensitivities, tights in pure organic cotton.

Woolen Base Layer:  A Baby Bodysuit 

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A woolen underwear layer for babies and children is essential for families in any region with cold winter weather.   These single layer, lightweight garments are breathable and soft and are snug fitting to be worn on their own in mild weather or layered underneath regular clothing on the colder days.

Woolen underwear is available in the form of a bodysuit, shirt, or a pair of leggings, and while all options are wonderful for babies and children, in our opinion, a bodysuit is the most ideal option for an infant.  This is once again due to the fact that babies are lifted up so frequently that shirts and pants inevitably ride up, exposing baby’s skin to the cold outdoor air.   A warm bodysuit underwear layer solves this problem, keeping baby’s mid-section warm underneath regular clothing.  We often dress our baby in a long sleeved shirt or sweater layered over a wool or wool/silk bodysuit.

For cloth diapering families, it is important to note that most wool bodysuits available in our store DO fit over a wool soaker.  When in doubt, sizing up is always a good option, but generally speaking, European manufacturers are sure to leave room in the diaper area for a bodysuit to be easily snapped over a thick wool soaker.  A wool or wool/silk bodysuit is excellent in this regard because it adds yet another layer of absorbent wool to help keep baby dry in the case of leaks.

Underwear layers are available in pure wool, a wool/silk blend for some added softness, and even a wool/silk cotton blend for a machine-washable option.

Wool Baby Sweater

I had to update this post to include a wool baby sweater because just a month into the autumn season here in Colorado, we have pulled out the wool knitted baby sweater more than any other apparel item we own (other than the wool hats, of course!).   For babies, a warm wool sweater is the perfect solution to a chilly day and provides just enough warmth for outings in the car or walks in the baby carrier without over-dressing baby.  On a crisp October day, we typically dress our baby in a wool/silk bodysuit layered underneath our favorite knitted wool sweater and a warm pair of wool leggings or cotton pants.  I love the wool sweater because it can quickly go on and off over any outfit, and it’s trim-fitting enough to be kept on in the car seat, keeping baby cozy when a thicker jacket needs to be removed.

A few of our other favorite wool sweaters are the Disana Organic Knitted Sweater and the Engel Organic Wool Fleece baby sweater.

Wool Bunting for Outdoors

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A wool bunting is often more appropriate for an infant than a jacket, since the bunting keeps baby warm from head to toe without exposing any skin.  Buntings are available in soft organic wool fleece or wind resistant, boiled (felted) organic wool lined with organic cotton.

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For something a little lighter that can be worn indoors or outdoors, a pair of wool overalls or a wool romper is also nice to have on hand for a baby.   The organic knitted wool overalls from Disana are wonderful for this purpose and can be worn indoors on their own or outdoors with a warm jacket or sweater.   The organic knitted wool romper with optional feet from Reiff Strick is another excellent choice that has the added benefit of foot coverage when needed.

Wool Sleep Sack

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Most parents become quickly aware of their newborn baby’s need for warmth to stay comfortable, particularly while sleeping.  It can be challenging to keep babies warm while sleeping, especially if they are asleep alone in a bassinet or crib.   As babies become older and begin exploring the world around them, they often pull blankets over their faces or kick them off entirely.   A wool sleep sack helps tremendously and is an item that can be used beyond the first year as well.

Wool sleep sacks come in all shapes, sizes, and varying degrees of warmth, so the decision will depend primarily on your baby’s age and how low the temperatures go at night in your home.  While any wool sleep sack will keep your baby warm and will help regulate your baby’s temperature while sleeping, the warmest options are the long sleeved wool fleece and knitted wool sleep sacks from Reiff Strick, followed by the sleeveless wool fleece sleep sacks from Reiff Strick and the boiled wool sleep sacks from Disana.

For a mid-weight option the Disana Knitted Wool Sleep Sack is lovely, and for a lighter weight option, the Engel Organic Wool Terry Sleep Sack is another favorite in our home.

What have been some of your most treasured woolen items for your baby during winter time?

Organic Cloth Diapering & Wool Covers for Toddlers

We had high hopes of liberating our oldest son from diapers at an early age, and while we never intended to push potty learning on him, we did try to encourage him to become aware of his elimination from the time he was tiny.  We were thrilled when he began enthusiastically using the potty before he turned two-  even more thrilled since we had baby #2 on the way!  The arrival of his baby brother wasn’t quite as easy as we had anticipated, however, and try as we might, our strong-willed toddler began resisting the potty and asking for diapers again. 

Now, at nearly 3 years of age, he is back in diapers full-time.  Not wanting to fight or push him to do something he clearly wasn’t ready for, we have begrudgingly given him back his diapers, which seems to be a safe place for him, and we’ve decided to let him show us when he is ready for the potty again.

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And so we find ourselves diapering two children, one of whom has grown quite large.  Many of our “one-size” diapers no longer fit him, despite the manufacturers’ best efforts to create something that would fit all babies from birth through potty training.  Since potty training takes place at a different age for each child, one never knows how long diapers will be needed.   In our case, we needed to find diapers and covers that fit a child well over 35 lbs.

Wanting very much to continue our love affair with wool & diapers made from natural fibers, we naturally wanted to use organic cloth diapers with wool covers for our toddler as well as our baby.

So what are the best cloth options for a large toddler?   We tried a wide variety of cloth diapers on our toddler, and here we share a few of our favorites- we have chosen these because they fit him well and they perform well.   All of the diapers shown in these photos are pictured on our 3-year-old.

Organic Cloth Diapers for a Toddler

Disana Tie Nappy

This timeless nappy was brilliantly designed, and so far, it is the only diaper we have found that is an authentic “one-size” diaper- from birth through toddlerhood.  You can fold this diaper down and tie it snugly enough to fit a newborn, and unfolded and tied with still more room to stretch, this diaper will easily fit a much older child as well.

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When to use it:  Day or night.  For nights when you need lots of absorbency, fold an extra double or even a prefold inside, and your toddler should be set for the night.  This diaper works best with a wool soaker since the rise is higher, but it can be worn with a wrap cover as well, as long as the rise on the cover is high.

Engel Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Size 98/104 (2-3T)

It can be somewhat challenging to find a fitted diaper that actually fits a larger child, even in sized options.  Engel’s fitted diaper in the largest size is quite generously sized, and its softness and absorbency makes us love it even more.  With nearly a 10 inch rise and an aplix closure that allows for more freedom to adjust the waist on a larger child, this diaper fits most toddlers comfortably.

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When to use it:  The Engel fitted diaper is by no means the most trim of fitted diapers, but its high quality and thick, absorbent organic cotton make it a favorite in our home.   In spite of its bulk, we use it day and night.  The rise is high, so like the tie nappy, it fits best with a wool soaker, but it can be worn with a high-rise wrap cover as well.

Tiny Tush Trim 4.0 One-Size Fitted Diaper 

The Tiny Tush One-Size fitted diaper is one of our favorite fitted diapers because it really fits babies from a very young age through toddlerhood.   A tiny newborn can wear the snap-in doubler as a contour diaper on its own, and most infants can begin to wear the fitted diaper on its smallest setting when they are one to two months old.  Likewise, this diaper still fits many toddlers at or over 35 lbs.  Our toddler can still comfortably wear his Tiny Tush one-size diaper, snapped on its largest setting, and the diaper leaves no red marks on his skin.

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When to use it:   This fitted diaper is great for day or night.  It comes in organic cotton or an organic cotton/hemp blend, so you can choose hemp when you’re looking for even more absorbency.  This fitted diaper has a moderate to low rise, to it’s an excellent choice for both wraps and pull-on covers.

OsoCozy Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Toddler Size

The OsoCozy fitted diaper is a basic, no frills diaper made from organic, birdseye weave cotton.  The toddler size fits our 3-year-old perfectly and leaves no red marks; the fit is gentle around the legs and there is no hidden elastic at the waist, so he can move comfortably.  This diaper is packed with absorbency as well- the thick layer in the center makes this one a true workhorse.  A great choice for a toddler, it’s trim fit make is excellent for daytime.

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When to use it:   Anytime!  This is a great daytime diaper because it’s fairly trim, and it could also be used at night with an extra doubler.   The rise is moderate to low, so like the Tiny Tush, you can use it with either a wrap or a pull-on cover.

Kissaluvs Organic Cotton/Hemp One-Sized Fitted Diaper

This is another excellent choice for a toddler.  It’s a bit thicker and therefore more bulky than some of our other fitted diapers, but the hemp/cotton blend make it super absorbent and gives it a fluffy, fleecy soft texture.  A snap-in liner is also included when extra absorbency is needed.  This diaper fits a toddler fairly well when snapped at its largest setting, but it is slightly more snug around the thighs than the Tiny Tush or OsoCozy, so it may not fit as well on a chunky-legged toddler.

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When to use it:  Anytime- especially great for night time.  There’s a little bit of bulk, but it’s certainly trim enough for daytime, and the rise is not too high, so wraps or pull-on covers both work well.  The hemp fleece gives this diaper a “stay-dry” effect.

Disana Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Size 86/92 (12-24 mo)

This diaper pleasantly surprised us by fitting our toddler at 35+ lbs, even though its size indicates a 12-24 month age range.  This is a generously sized fitted diaper, and the fit is comfortable on our toddler and leaves no red marks.   The diaper is made from Disana’s super-soft organic brushed cotton flannel, which seems to get even softer with each wash, so it feels lovely next to baby or toddler skin.

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When to use it:  The shape is rather unusual- there seems to be a bit of extra fabric in the back of the diaper, making it pooch out a little in the back (and also accommodating those extra large toddler poops!).  This is only noticeable when the diaper is worn without a cover- once you put a cover on, its soft material easily fits into any cover, the diaper is trim and works well with either wraps or pull-on covers.

Organic Cotton Muslin Flat

Last but not least, the organic cotton flat.  This is an excellent, affordable choice in diapering that fits newborns and toddlers with ease.  Our organic cotton muslin flats have a permanent spot in our cloth diaper stash, and the same flat is worn by our 8-month-old one day and our 3-year-old the next.  Organic cotton flats are available in lightweight muslin from Engel and Disana, or from a thicker birdseye weave from OsoCozy.   There are unlimited possibilities of methods for folding a flat, and we have tried many, but the fold we always fall back on for our babies is the “Jo” fold.   This fold seems to be the most versatile when it comes to fitting both small and large babies and is shown on our 3-year-old below:

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Wool Covers for a Toddler

Disana Wool Soaker, Size 110/116 (4-5T)

The Disana cover in size 110/116 (4-5T) is very generously sized, so if you have a toddler who needs a diaper cover, this is one of the best options.  Since wool soakers have no closures, you can really stretch them and make them fit your child for even longer than the age range indicated.  These are excellent for older children who still wet the bed at night as well, fitting most children well into the ages of 4 or 5, and sometimes older.  Pull-on covers are comfortable for children of any age, and they slide easily on and off like a pair of shorts.

When to use it:  While most parents will choose a wool soaker as a night time solution for toddlers or older children who are still not night trained, a toddler can wear a soaker during daytime as well.

Engel Organic Wool Soaker, Size 98/104 (2-3T)

Engel makes a lovely wool soaker from soft knitted organic merino wool, and its largest size, 98/104 (2-3T), is so generously sized that it’s nearly identical in size to Disana’s size 110/116 (4-5T).  This size fits our toddler just right and still allows  for plenty of room for growth.  Wool soaker are fabulous for toddlers who are still in diapers full-time or for kids who aren’t quite night time potty trained and need some protection for nights.

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Disana Boiled Wool Cover , Size 98/104 (2-3T)

Disana’s boiled wool wrap runs very large, so size 2-3T should fit most children up to at least 3 or 4 years of age.   With a rise measuring a whopping 11 inches and a waistline that stretches to around 23 inches, this cover was clearly designed with the un-potty-trained 3 or 4 year old in mind.  This is another nice option for a child who needs a little more night time protection in case of accidents.

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When to use it:   We prefer this for night time or naps.   The rise is high, and the cover is unusually shaped, so during daytime it can be obtrusive for a baby who is just learning to sit or walk.  For a toddler who is very competent at walking and running, obtrusion of mobility isn’t an issue with this cover.  However, this is not a trim cover, so some parents prefer this for nights.

Wool Longies

Wool longies are a great investment for an older baby or child, and you can get even more use out of them if you are cloth diapering.  Use the wool pants as a cloth diaper cover while your toddler is still in diapers, and once potty trained, you can of course continue using them just as pants during the winter months.  Disana wool pants are a favorite for this purpose, and they come in large sizes.

Flushable Liners

Flushable liners deserve to be mentioned when discussing cloth diapering a toddler.  These liners make messy diapers a little easier to clean.  OsoCozy and Disana both make nice disposable liner option.

Which cloth diapers have you found that still fit during toddlerhood?

Cloth Diapering a Newborn with Wool

After months of scraping, spraying, rinsing and soaking toddler cloth diapers and overcoming the tremendous challenges of potty training, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed cloth diapering a newborn.  I welcomed the simplicity of a diaper that requires nothing… extra, other than the sheer joy of gazing into my sweet newborn’s face while putting a fresh diaper in place.

When our first son was born, we had not yet discovered the joys of using wool full-time, hence the great struggle with stinky polyester covers that never seemed to breathe enough to keep the diaper rash away.

This time, everything is different, and I am thrilled to report that it is entirely possible to use wool full-time, even on a tiny newborn.  Cloth diapering a newborn with wool covers does require some preparation and planning ahead to be sure that you have the right supplies on hand, so we have compiled a few tips to make it as easy as possible.

Fitted, sized diapers will make your life a lot easier when using wool on a newborn.  You will need approximately 2 or 3 dozen fitted, organic cotton diapers in a newborn size.  If you plan on using cloth full-time for your newborn, it’s not a bad idea to invest in newborn, sized fitted diapers, such as the Organic Caboose newborn fitteds or the OsoCozy fitteds, as opposed to a one-size diaper.  You can certainly use a one-size fitted diaper, but we have yet to find a one-size diaper that actually fits a newborn baby, so unless you want a diaper that is so gigantic that your tiny baby can hardly move, it will be well worth the money spent.  Plus, newborn sized fitted diapers typically fit babies between around 7 and 13 lbs, so your baby can wear them for at least a few months.  Compare this to the cost of buying a package of disposables every week, and your savings are big.

Photo courtesy of Organic Caboose

Tie nappies are great for newborns, but with wool covers, they work best only if you have become quite skilled at tying them so that there are no gaps at the legs (to avoid messes inside of your wool cover)

We suggest fitted diapers for newborns because of the notoriously explosive newborn poo!  We love prefolds, flats, and tie nappies, but if you want to use wool full-time on a newborn, you may quickly tire of rinsing out stained wool covers, which must be hand washed.  Fitted diapers are much more effective at containing the orange explosions—far better, in fact than disposable diapers, from which newborn poo inevitably finds an escape route and ends up all over the blankets, clothes, and anything else that was just cleaned.

Wool soakers and newborn babies are a match made in heaven. We love wool soakers for newborns for so many reasons- organic, soft, warm natural fibers keep your baby just the right temperature, warm and dry, and they can wear them all the time!  With so much time spent at home just cuddling and loving, your newborn can wear his or her soaker on its own or underneath loose clothing and stay comfy and warm.  There is really no need for separate day/night covers when using wool full-time on a newborn.  The soft wool envelops their tiny bodies, rising up to the chest to keep their mid-sections warm, and the long legs of the soaker fits a newborn like a little pair of pants, keeping those tiny legs just the right temperature too.  With a fitted diaper underneath, your wool should stay clean enough to require very little washing, which is always a relief for a new mother.  A wool soaker that has been lanolized properly will keep your little one’s clothing and bed dry at night time as well.  If your budget is small, purchase a wool soaker one or two sizes up, which will fit big right now but can be used for many months, if not years.

Another type of wool cover that we adore for our newborn are the lightweight, Engel nappy pants.  Lightweight, breathable, and comfy, these little wool shorts will keep your newborn dry just long enough for you to know it’s time for a diaper change.  Since frequent changing is ideal for sensitive newborn skin anyway and helps prevent diaper rashes, the nappy pants offer just the right amount of protection.

Prep your wool covers in advance!!!  This means before baby arrives, not after.  This must be part of your nesting duties.  If you wait until after your baby arrives, weeks will pass before you have any desire to stand over a sink lanolizing and washing wool covers, so unless you have a family member who loves you enough to do it for you, prep your wool while you’re still pregnant!

This means washing and lanolizing brand new soakers several times, and allowing for a few days of drying time.  This also means prepping your cloth diapers if they are brand new- remember that cloth diapers made from natural fibers must be washed in hot water 3-5 times before they are ready for use. Do not skip these steps and attempt to put a brand new cloth diaper with an unwashed wool soaker on your newborn because you’re anxious to try them out. Skipping this important step will result in lots of leakage.

Have a wool wash bar on hand for spot cleaning.  Despite your best efforts and a stash of fitted diapers that fit your baby well, there will be times when your wool gets messy.  As a new mom, protect yourself and respect those first few precious weeks of recovering from childbirth and bonding with your baby- the last thing you should be doing is washing your wool.  With a wool wash bar, you can easily rinse out stains and rub a little soap onto the stain in less than 2 minutes, set the wool aside to dry, and by the end of the day, your cover will be good as new!  This is a great job to delegate to husbands and other family members who can offer a helping hand.

Most importantly, make sure that cloth diapering is enjoyable for you and your new baby!  If it’s too much, give yourself a break and use disposables for the first few weeks.  We moms have enough mom guilt for the rest of our babies’ lives to stress over extra laundry when we should be resting, so if you don’t have someone doing laundry for you, don’t do cloth, and don’t beat yourself up over it!  Spend every minute you have resting and cuddling with your precious new baby.  Bringing a baby into the world is hard work, and you have earned every minute of this babymoon.

Woolens for Babies During Wintertime

It’s Woolen Season! In this article: 

  • The Benefits of Woolen Underwear for Babies & Children
  • Which woolens are best for underwear?
  • What other wool garments are good for babies for winter?

As the cooler months approach, wool is flying off of our shelves faster than we can keep up with it.  And it’s no wonder- wool is nature’s perfect fiber to bundle up your baby for the winter months.  Wool booties, wool hats, wool sweaters, wool leggings, wool overalls, wool mittens, wool blankets, wool diaper covers… and a well-kept secret, wool underwear. There is no better way to keep your baby at a perfect, consistent temperature while playing outside in the cold and snow, going for walks, hiking and camping, riding in the stroller, sleeping…and just about anywhere!

Woolen Underwear for Babies & Children: The BenefitsWhile there’s nothing like a cozy wool sweater, hat, or jacket for playing outside in chilly weather, it can be easy to overlook the tremendous benefits of how your child is dressed underneath her regular clothing.  It’s incredible how much extra warmth is provided by a simple, single-knit wool shirt or pair of leggings.

  • Wool is breathable.  Unlike a synthetic long underwear for winter, a high quality wool base layer still allow your child’s skin to breathe, keeping them from overheating or sweating.  This is excellent for newborn babies who are unable to regulate their internal temperature or let us know when they feel too hot or too cold. This also makes wool excellent for sleeping- babies sleep comfortably in wool, as their skin can breathe and they are not exposed to synthetic materials, which are not breathable and can easily cause overheating.
  • Wool is temperature-regulating:   Woolen underwear are wonderful for those crisp fall days when the weather could turn any way the wind blows.  If the day is warmer than expected, the temperature regulating properties of wool will prevent your child from overheating.    A lovely single-knit wool shirt or leggings are perfect for use on their own as well when the weather warms up a bit.  For very chilly days, a snug layer of wool or wool/silk blend will keep your child insulated underneath regular clothing.
  • Wool is very absorbent:  Wool can absorb up to 40% of its weight In moisture before it will begin to feel wet.  This is extremely beneficial for an underwear layer because if your child is very active and begins to sweat,  the wool will absorb the moisture but will take some time to feel damp, thus keeping your baby feeling warm and dry.   Even when wool becomes wet, since it regulates temperature very well, it does not feel cold.
  • Wool is self-cleansing:  Wool has naturally antibacterial properties, so it does not need to be cleaned frequently.  The lanolin that is naturally found in sheep’s wool helps to remove odors as the wool becomes damp.  This is beneficial for underwear layers because your child can wear them again and again, through sweat, urine, and dirt, and you will not need to wash it frequently!

Which woolens are best for underwear?

Single-knit Organic Merino Wool.  A single-knit, pure, 100% organic merino wool shirt and leggings is excellent for underwear during winter, and it is also perfect on its own for spring, fall, and even for summer camping trips!  Our son wears his pure wool shirt from Engel year-round, and his favorite time to wear it is for summer hiking an camping trips.

Wool/Silk Blends (Single-Knit).  A wool/silk blendis also a lovely choice because these garments have not only the beneficial properties of wool, but also the benefits of silk.  This lightweight, breathable, temperature-regulating fabric  makes an excellent combination with pure organic wool.  This blend keeps your child warm and cozy without overheating, it is easy to clean, and most importantly, these natural fibers are safe for your baby.

Photo courtesy of Living Crafts

Choosing garments that are single-knit as opposed to thicker, double-knit  garments enable you to dress your baby in other clothing over the wool.    You can also dress your baby in a single-knit garment on its own, but they are thin, so while they are wonderful for moderate weather, if the weather is quite cold, it is ideal to add an extra layer over the woolen layer or to dress your baby in a double-knit or thicker, felted wool garment.

What other wool garments are good for babies for winter?

Wool pajamas.  Investing in a high quality pair of footed wool pajamas will allow your child to sleep comfortably year round.  Wool terry pajamas are excellent for the cooler months of the year, as they are slightly thicker without being too hot, and you can still layer a single-knit layer of wool underneath them or add a thick pair of wool socks for the coldest nights.  If your baby does not like sleep sacks and still kicks the blankets off, wool pajamas will keep your baby at just the right temperature without any blankets at all.   For the warmer months, a single-knit pair of wool/silk pajamas is ideal.

photo courtesy of Engel Natur

Boiled Wool Outerwear.  Boiled wool is the warmest wool we have found, making it ideal for outdoor wear during the colder months of the year.  Boiled wool is essentially felted wool.   Water, heat, and friction are used to break up the wool’s structure, resulting in felted wool that is half the original size of the wool in all directions.  During this process, thousands of tiny air bubbles are trapped in the material, which forms an entirely natural barrier against both hot and cold temperatures, keeping your baby’s temperature constant even in very cold temperatures.

Photo courtesy of Disana

Boiled wool is soft and light, so it is very comfortable for your child to wear.  Boiled wool protects your child against the cold, is almost entirely windproof, and like all wool garments, helps balance hot and cold temperatures.   The result is a fabric that keeps your baby warm and dry while allowing your baby’s skin to breathe.

The Perfect Summertime Wool Cover: Engel Nappy Pants

At first glance, these thin, single-knit, nearly transparent wool shorts are a little perplexing.  How can something so thin function as a diaper cover?  But after your baby has pushed these nappy pants to their limit, you’ll realize why they are worth every penny.  For hot summer days, there is simply nothing better for keeping your baby comfortable.

Why we love them:

They pull on like shorts.  What’s not to love about that?  You will especially love this feature when your baby has graduated from the phase of lying calmly on the changing table and entered the phase of wildly twisting, kicking, running all over the house, resisting the diaper change.  Just pull on those shorts and you’re good to go, before your baby even knows what happened.

They are trim!  These are by far the trimmest diaper cover we have found.  This holds true for both PUL and wool covers.  When your baby wears these, they fit like a pair of underwear.   Trimness can be a lovely breath of fresh air for cloth diapering parents, especially when you’re trying to fit your baby into that one pair of pants you love so much but just never seems to fit over a cloth diaper…

They are breathable.  This is so important when cloth diapering, especially during the hot summer, and this lovely, lightweight wool exceeds all expectations in the breathability department.  A breathable wool cover helps with diaper rash problems and eliminates the concern for your baby overheating.

They are just the right thickness to encourage more frequent diaper changes.   Nappy pants are thick enough to keep your baby dry for short periods of time, but they are just thin enough that there is no question about when your baby needs to be changed.  They typically start feeling damp on the outside after one or two pees, thereby encouraging frequent diaper changes.   Why is this a good thing?  It is much healthier for your baby to be changed more often.   This is the way it should be, all the time.  What baby wants to sit in a urine-soaked diaper for hours on end?  Babies should be changed every 1-2 hours on average, and most babies pee once or twice in a 2 hour period.  The timing is perfect.   This is also fabulous for parents who practice EC (or for potty training).

They do not itch.  If you are having doubts about wool due to a dislike for itchy wool or suspected wool allergies, we recommend trying organic wool.  Organic wool is the softest wool you’ll ever touch, and it absolutely does not itch.  Often, wool allergies are caused by pesticide residues or residues from other chemical treatments found in conventional wool.   Organically raised sheep are not treated with synthetic pesticides, so the concern for pesticide residues is drastically reduced.

They are 100% organic & natural.  Engel’s nappy pants are made from 100% pure, certified organic wool.  It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that only natural fibers are touching your baby’s skin, especially when it works as a diaper cover too.

They are easy to clean.  Like any wool cover, the nappy pants do not need to be laundered frequently.  You really don’t need to clean them until they start smelling of urine (this can take a while!) or become soiled, as long as you air them out between each use.  If they are soiled in just one area, spot cleaning with a wool wash bar does wonders, and a full laundering can wait until necessary.    Also, since they are so thin, washing them is easy and quick, and they dry faster than most wool covers.

They are perfect for summer time.   These are by far the BEST wool covers for hot summer days that we have found.    In our home, we continue using wool year round, and we don’t usually have any problems with wool being too hot since wool regulates temperature exceptionally well, but our baby lives in his nappy pants during summer.  He runs around at home wearing nothing but a fitted diaper and his nappy pants, and they are truly the most lightweight, breathable, and comfy little wool shorts imaginable.

They aren’t just for cloth- they are great for using over disposable diapers too.   Even if you use disposable diapers, nappy pants are excellent to have on hand.  For nights, disposables are notorious for soaking through, and an excellent way to curb that is by using nappy pants over a disposable.  The nappy pants provide just enough wool to keep your baby dry if the disposable diaper does soak through.  The wool will absorb the moisture before your baby’s clothing does.  They are so trim that neither you nor your baby will notice a difference while wearing them over a regular diaper.

As you can see, we love these little wool shorts!  Have you tried the Engel Nappy Pants on your baby?  If so, we would love to hear about your experience.