Category Archives: Wool Cloth Diaper Covers

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.

toddler dipes2

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.

toddler tie nappy

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.

toddler engel

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.

toddler tt

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.

toddler osocozy

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.

toddler kissaluvs

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.

toddler disana

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:

toddler flat

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.

engel xl

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.

toddler disana boiled wool

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.

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.

Using Wool Full Time & Choosing the Right Wool Cover for Your Baby

Many cloth diapering parents are aware that it is possible to cover their baby’s cloth diaper with a wool cover, but few realize that it is possible to use wool both full-time and exclusively.

When we first discovered wool in our home, we had no intention of using it full-time.  Up until that time, we had been unable to find a diaper that would keep our baby dry at night, so we invested in a wool soaker, thinking we would use it for nights only.  The soaker worked so well that we purchased several other wool covers shortly afterward, and we quickly found ourselves so enamored with wool that we replaced all of our baby’s polyester covers with wool.  I cannot remember the last time I used a polyester cover, and the truth is, wool works so incredibly well that I don’t miss those old polyester covers- not even one bit.  And my guess is that our son doesn’t miss them either.

How many wool covers will I need to use wool full-time?

The exact amount of covers you will need will again depend on your budget, but the beauty of wool is that you can easily get by with very few covers.  Continue reading

Wool Care Part 3: Lanolizing a Wool Cloth Diaper Cover

You should lanolize your wool cover if:

  1. You purchase a brand new wool cover (Lanolizing is an important part of the “prepping” process and should be done up to two or three times with brand new wool covers); OR
  2. You notice that your wool cover is no longer keeping your baby dry and has begun to quickly soak through each time your baby is wet (you do NOT need to lanolize every single time you wash your wool cover, especially if you use a wool wash that contains lanolin)

To lanolize, you will need the following items:

  1. Lanolin (we recommend any type of solid, pure lanolin- many women use the same pure lanolin they used on their breasts during the early days of breastfeeding)
  2. Very hot water, either in the sink, heated up in a bowl in the microwave, or poured into a glass jar
  3. Wool wash (this helps break up the lanolin when you melt it)
  4. A sink or basin filled with lukewarm water
  5. One or two clean towels
  6. Some sort of flat drying rack or surface that allows for air circulation

To lanolize, follow these steps:

  1. Heat up the water until it is very hot but not boiling. You can do this in the microwave, over the stove, or directly out of your tap if your water comes out hot enough. The water must be hot enough to melt the lanolin.
  2. Put a small amount (1 tsp- 1 tbsp) of pure lanolin + a small amount of wool wash or mild baby wash (about 1 tsp) into the hot water and stir or shake it until the lanolin is completely melted.   Make sure the lanolin is melted and that there are not bits still floating around.  (we like to do this inside of a water-tight container such as a glass jar, which we fill halfway with hot water, 1 tsp of lanolin, and a small amount of wool wash and shake vigorously)
  3. Add your hot water/lanolin/wool wash mixture to a sink or basin of lukewarm water (or, if you are using the tap water method, simply turn on your tap again and add some lukewarm water to the mixture).
  4. Turn your wool soaker inside out and gently press it under the water. Very gently, swish it around a bit under the water so that the lanolin will be evenly distributed over the wool.
  5. Let the wool soak for around fifteen minutes. Drain the water while supporting the wool.
  6. Lift the wool from the sink, supporting it with both hands, and gently press the excess water out . Do not wring the wool out.  Supporting the wool, gently lay it down on a clean towel. Reshape, and then slowly roll it between two layers of a clean dry towel. Repeat several times until excess water is removed.
  7. Lay wool flat to dry on a supportive, flat drying rack. The wool can take between 24 and 36 hours to dry, depending on how thick the wool is and how humid the climate is. Turn the wool inside out at least once during the drying process to speed it up a bit.

Wool Care Part 2: Washing a Wool Diaper Cover in 5 Easy Steps

You should wash your wool diaper cover when: 

  1. You purchase a brand new wool cover (all wool covers should be washed prior to use, and then lanolized two or three times before reaching optimal performance); OR
  2. Your used wool cover needs to be washed (you do not need to wash your wool after each use- simply air dry between uses.  You will know it needs to be washed when it is stained or when it smells or urine; this may be every 2 or 3 weeks).

When your wool needs to be lanolized, follow these steps and then follow our instructions on lanolizing.   You do NOT need to re-lanolize each time you wash, especially if you use a wool wash that contains lanolin (e.g. Eucalan).   There is no need to dry between washing and lanolizing.

To wash wool, you will need the following items:

  1. A basin, sink or tub
  2. Lukewarm water
  3. Wool wash (ideally one that contains lanolin)
  4. One or two clean towels
  5. Flat surface or drying rack

Washing Wool:  

  1. Fill your basin or sink with lukewarm water.  Make sure the water is just slightly warmer than room temperature and is neither too hot nor too cold because extreme temperatures can shock the wool and cause it to felt and shrink.
  2. Add about a teaspoon of wool wash to the water.  Swish the water around to create suds.
  3. Gently press your wool cover under the water.  Swish the soapy water around the garment a bit to hand wash, but be careful not to wring or twist the wool while washing.  You can lightly press the wool while washing, and you can turn the cover inside out if you wish.  Let soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the water out of the sink while gently supporting the wool.  Gently lift the wool out of the sink, pressing it between your hands a few times to remove excess water.  Do not wring the wool.
  5. Gently lay the wool onto the clean towel.  Reshape the garment.  Fold another layer of clean towel over the wool and gently roll the wool while pressing softly.  Repeat two or three times.  Lay the wool flat to dry on a flat drying surface, ideally one that allows air to circulate.  Wool typically takes 24 hours or more to completely dry; you can turn the garment inside out halfway through the drying process to speed things along.

Wool Care Part 1: The Basics (The DO’s and the DON’T’s)

Wool care is easy!  We promise.  Before we get into all the details, here are just a few basic things to remember when caring for your wool.

DO’s and DON’Ts when Caring for Wool

DO wash and lanolize all brand new wool covers and other garments before using them on your baby.

DO leave your woolens to soak for a bit when washing, but not for too long! (wool fibers can swell under prolonged soaking, causing wool to shrink & felt)

DO wash your wool from time to time, but only after it is either visibly soiled or very stinky (as opposed to never washing, which can be tempting, but which we do not advocate!)

DO use a good quality wool wash (ideally one that contains lanolin)

DO use solid lanolin as opposed to liquid lanolin when lanolizing your wool

DO spot clean your wool covers if they get a small poo stain; you can easily do this with a wool wash bar.

DO allow your wool cover to air out between uses …this will keep it smelling fresh and clean

DO wash wool by hand

DO lay your wool flat to dry

DO support your wet wool with both hands when transporting it (this will keep it from stretching)

DO expect a bit of shrinkage after washing a wool cover for the first time

DO expect some felting to occur after many uses on your baby (this is actually helpful in preventing leaks!)

DO lightly press your wool while hand washing, but DON’t rub or wring out

DO melt the lanolin with very hot water & add a little wool wash to prevent it from clumping when you lanolize your wool

…and the DON’Ts

DON’T wash your woolens with water that is very hot or very cold (extreme temperatures can shock the wool, causing it to shrink and become matted and hard)

DON’T wash your woolens in the washing machine, even if you have a “wool” setting  (this will cause extreme shrinkage)

DONT dry your wool in direct sunlight

DON’T wash your wool until it’s visibly soiled or stinky!  (unless, of course, you really love doing laundry and just can’t get enough of it!)

DONT wring, rub, or stretch your wool while it is wet; this can cause it to stretch and become misshapen.

DON’T use woolite on your wool

DON’T dry your wool in the dryer (even if you have a wool/delicate setting)

It’s not as complicated as you thought, right?   Washing wool is really a piece of cake… and once you start using wool on your baby and experience all of the benefits of wool, you won’t even bat an eye when it comes to caring for your wool.

 Next on the blog:  Wool Care Part 2:  Washing Wool

Getting the Facts Straight About Wool Covers: 12 Myths About Wool


Myth #1“Wool is scary.”

Wool is not scary in the least!  In fact, wool just might become your best friend. You just have to get to know wool really well, and you’ll soon fall in love as you realize how un-scary it really is.  Before you know it, you may not be able to live without it.  ♥

Myth #2:  “A wool cover will leak.”

Wool, once properly prepped, will not leak.  Ever.  In fact, wool will keep your baby warmer and happier than ever before.   While it is true that wool itself is not waterproof, it is actually highly absorbent at a microscopic level, and the lanolin naturally found in wool is water repellent.  Our baby was such a heavy night time wetter that he never managed to stay dry the whole night through until he wore his first wool soaker through the night.  We never once had a leak after that.  This phenomenon never ceases to amaze me.  Wool by itself tends to naturally repel water, and that property combined with lanolin (the oil naturally found in wool that is secreted by the sheep’s skin, which you add from time to time during the washing process), you have an excellent water-repelling fiber that’s totally natural!

Myth #3:  “Wool is difficult and time-consuming to clean.”

Wool is not at all difficult to clean.  Start to finish, you can wash your wool in 18 minutes flat (excluding drying time, of course).  15 of those minutes, you can be in a different room playing with your baby or checking your email.    To make things even easier, you don’t have to clean your wool more frequently than once per month.  Just air out your covers between each use, rotating between two or three covers during the day, and you don’t need to wash them until they smell of ammonia or have a visible stain.  When you need to lanolize your wool, this process will add a few extra minutes to your routine, but this does not need to be done every time the wool is washed (even less if you use a wool wash that contains lanolin).

Myth #4:  “Wool is too itchy!  My baby will be uncomfortable.”

Have you touched 100% organic virgin merino wool yet?   Once you do, all fears of itching will be eliminated.  It’s one of the softest materials you will ever touch.  If your concern is a wool allergy, your baby is probably allergic to the chemical residue that conventional wool contains.  Try organic wool, which contains no chemical or pesticide residues.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.   It is also interesting to note that many babies are sensitive to polyester rather than wool.

Myth #5:  “Wool is more expensive than PUL.”

While each individual wool cover may have a higher price tag up front, in the long run you’ll spend less on diaper covers if you use wool exclusively than you would if you used PUL exclusively.  The reason is that with wool you can get away with fewer covers.  Wool covers don’t stink until they are very well used, so as long as you let the cover air out between uses, you can keep using, and using, and using it.  Conversely, with PUL covers, use them twice and they reek of urine so strongly you can smell it across the room.

Myth #6:  “Wool is too warm!  My baby will be too hot during summertime (or in general) while wearing wool.”

Wool, especially good quality wool, such as the organic, virgin merino wool we carry, is so lightweight and breathable that your baby can wear it on the hottest of summer days and not even break a sweat.  Wool by itself it so breathable that your baby’s temperature will not rise while wearing wool.  PUL covers, on the other hand, are not breathable in the least and thus result in higher temperatures inside of the diaper and more incidences of diaper rash.   This is an added benefit for preventing diaper rash too, a condition that is often the result of heat and not enough air circulation.   Plus, there are wool covers for every season…if you’re still concerned about too much warmth, try these ultra thin, single layer wool shorts, which are great for daytime and summertime.

Myth #7:  “My baby can wear wool at night, but not during the day. Wool is too thick to wear underneath clothes.”

There are many types of wool covers designed specifically for daytime use.  They are just as leak-proof as any PUL cover, they are just as trim, and they still have all of the same wonderful benefits of any wool cover.  There are stretchy one-size wool wraps, thicker, more heavy duty wraps with Velcro fasteners, and even lightweight pull-on shorts.  You can even get fancy wool pants that double as pants and a diaper cover, all in one!  Talk about cost-effective.

Myth #8:  “Wool will not last as long as PUL.  Won’t it stretch, felt, or shrink after many uses?”

If you properly take care of your wool, it will last for years, and chances are, it will outlive any PUL cover out there.  Besides, a little felting on a wool diaper cover will actually help prevent leaks, so it’s certainly not something to be feared.

Myth #9:  “I use prefolds, and those are impossible to use under wool.”

Prefolds can, in fact, absolutely be used with wool, just as they can with any PUL cover.  You just need the right type of wool cover.  A good wool wrap, such as the Little BeetleOrganic Caboose, or Disana, will fit perfectly over a prefold diaper held in place with a snappi or pin.  If snappis are not your thing, you can even trifold your prefold directly into the wool wrap and place it quickly on your baby.  If any messes leak out onto your wool cover, you can do a quick stain clean-up with a wool wash bar and some lukewarm water.

Myth #10:  “My baby will leak if we go out of the house.”

Your baby will not leak at all wearing the appropriate type of wool cover that is properly prepped.  We are full-time wool users– at night, during the day, and outside of the house–  and our baby has never once had a leak, even after several hours with the same wool cover.  There are some great options available for nighttime wear, daytime wear, and even lighter options that are great for summertime or families that practice EC.

Myth #11:  “Wool is okay for some days, but it’s impossible to use full-time.”

Anyone can use wool full time with the right combination of diapers and covers.  There are some great options available that are ideal for different times of day: thick wool soakers that are tough enough to last all night, trim stretchy wool wraps that are perfect for outings and naps, and even lighter options that are great for summertime or families that practice EC.

Myth #12:  “It’s impossible to use wool with a newborn because newborn poo is too runny and will quickly soil the wool covers.”

While it is true that newborn poo can run onto the inside of a wool cover more easily than solid food poo, using wool with a newborn is not impossible.  You simply need the right type of cloth diaper.  We recommend using a cotton fitted diaper that really fits your baby snugly and comfortably.  A fitted diaper that fits right will really help to contain poo leakage so you can continue using your wool cover without washing it until really necessary.  Another useful tip- invest in a wool wash bar and spot clean your cover in the case of a small poo stain.

Wool is an outstanding choice for cloth diaper cover.  We became addicts after our baby’s first leak-free night wearing his Engel wool soaker on a chilly winter night.  We never looked back.  Organic wool paired with a 100% organic cotton fitted or prefold diaper is the only true organic and all-natural cloth diapering solution.  No PUL, no plastic, no Velcro, and even no snaps or pins are all options!  An organic wool diaper cover is the only all-natural, polyester-free choice for cloth diaper covers.  And since it works just as well, if not better, why not go for the all natural, sustainable choice?

 

Conquering Your Fears of Wool Cloth Diaper Covers

If you cloth diaper your baby, chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about wool covers.  Or perhaps you have just spotted one in your favorite cloth diapering store, hanging by itself looking suspiciously solitary, unusually shaped, and even somewhat shabby looking compared its brightly patterned PUL counterpart in the adjacent display.  You may have been curious, confused, or even intimidated, and you may or may not have pulled that lonely wool cover off of the wall to give it a try.

If you felt this way, you’re not alone.  Many mothers find themselves intrigued by the idea of wool but do feel intimidated by this mysterious textile that found its way into the world of cloth diapering.  I was one of these mothers, and I’ll admit, it took months after the first time I saw a wool cover for me to finally put one on my baby.  And I am glad I did.  In fact, I never looked back.  I fell in love with everything about wool, and I am a die-hard, full-time wool user when it comes to diapering my baby.

So what was it that conquered my fears of wool and turned me into an aficionado?  A few things.  But first, let me tell you why I secretly feared wool (and why I later learned that my fears were entirely ungrounded)

3 Reasons I Feared Wool Cloth Diaper Covers:

  1. Fear of Leakage: After exclusively using PUL covers on my baby and still experiencing leakage from time to time, especially at night, I found it nearly impossible to imagine that a soft piece of wool could prevent leaks when a “waterproof” piece of plastic couldn’t.  I imagined my baby waking up soaked and chilled to the bone on a cold winter night.   I could not have been more wrong about this one.
  2. Fear of Washing Wool: I, like all moms, am a busy woman.  How would I have time to hand wash & lanolize my wool covers when I struggled to get the rest of the laundry washed each week, in a machine?  Wrong about this one too….the washing process is surprisingly quick, efficient, and only required once every month or so.  Plus, if you have a wool wash that contains lanolin, you don’t even need to lanolize each time! 
  3. Fear of the Unknown: Wool just, well…it looks scary, I guess.  Upon first glance.   It looks so.. odd.  Like a tiny misshapen sweater with arms that are too short for anyone.  It’s also too beautiful, in a way.  So soft and lovely and clean.  It just does not look like something that is meant to go over a cloth diaper that could potentially become soaked with pee and blasted with poo.  Whatever the reason may be, wool is intimidating.  I approached my first wool cover with a great deal of trepidation and a bit of anxiety.  And after using and falling in love with wool, I realized that it is oddly shaped and it is perhaps too beautiful to become stained with yellow poo… but it does the job, and it does the job outstandingly well.  You’ll become so comfortable handling and cleaning wool that you’ll soon wonder how you ever feared it.

In the end, despite my fears and doubts, I decided to go for it.  I had heard some good things about wool, and I was frustrated with leaky AIO diapers at night time and PUL covers that stunk after only two uses.  I conquered my fears of wool, and I got my facts straight.

Next on the blog:  Wool Diaper Covers: Twelve Myths About Wool & Then the Facts