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. This is primarily due to the fact that wool does not need to be washed frequently (at most once a month), and as long as you let the covers air out between uses, you can use the same cover again and again, rotating two covers throughout the day and night.
For a small to moderate budget, we have found that you can get by with two daytime wool covers (either pull-on or wrap style, depending on your preference), and one or two nighttime soakers (one will work, but two is ideal so that you can rotate between the two while one is being washed and dried). If your budget is larger, investing in a few additional wool covers can certainly make things more convenient, though it’s not necessary.
Choosing the Right Wool Cover
Like most cloth diapering products, the variety of wool covers available can be daunting. It can be difficult to determine which wool covers will be appropriate for your baby’s needs. The types of wool covers that you need will depend on several factors, such as the amount of time you and your baby spend outside of the home, the climate, the time you have available to care for your wool, etc. Once you identify your needs and determine which types of covers will be a good fit for you and your baby, you may soon find yourself reaching for a wool cover every time you change your baby’s diaper.
If you’re just getting started with wool and are intrigued by the possibility of using it, either on a part-time or full-time basis, the charts below provide a comparison of some of the wool covers we carry in our store, appropriate times to use each cover, and some pros and cons of each.
We have placed the following wool covers into two basic categories: Pull-on Wool Covers, which have no velcro, snaps, or closures of any kind and can simply be pulled onto your baby like a pair of pants; and Wrap Wool Covers, which have a closure such as velcro or snaps and fit in a very similar fashion to a polyester diaper cover. Both work well; the decision is really based on your own personal preference and needs.
Pull-on Wool Covers (No Velcro or Snaps)
|Cover||Knit/Fabric||Use||Appropriate Cloth Diaper to Use||Pros||Cons|
|Engel Nappy Pants||Single-knit organic merino wool (very thin)||Daytime only, Short periods of time (excluding naptime); Can be worn alone or under clothing||Fitted Diapers Recommended; Tie Nappy (can be used with Prefolds or Flats with snappi, but care must be taken since wool is delicate), Trifold not recommended||Most trim & lightweight cover available; Breatheable; Easy to put on baby; Can be stretched to fit over diapers with high rise; Affordable||Baby must be changed more frequently (cover will soak through faster than some)|
|Little Beetle Wool Shorts||Double layer of organic merino wool jersey (stretchy)||Daytime||Any diaper, (wool can be stretched to fit over diapers with high rise); Trifold not recommended||Very trim, comfortable fit; Highly leak resistant||More expensive than some|
|Engel Double-knit Cover (Soaker)||Double-knit organic merino wool (very thick)||All-around use (Nighttime & Daytime, including naps, car rides, carrier rides etc)||Any diaper; Trifold not recommended;(Fitted diaper recommended for newborns to contain messes)||Bulletproof; Lasts all night without leaks; Easy to put on baby; Breatheable;High rise keeps baby’s mid-section warm;Versatile||Can appear bulky for daytime if worn under clothing|
|Disana Soaker||Double-knit organic merino wool(very thick)||All-around use (Nighttime & Daytime, including naps, car rides, carrier rides, etc)||Any diaper (trifold not recommended);(Fitted diaper recommended for newborns to contain messes)||Bulletproof; Lasts all night without leaks; easy to put on baby; Breatheable; High rise keeps baby’s mid-section warm; Versatile||Requires more preparation than some (should be lanolized 3-4 times); Bulky underneath clothing|
|Disana Merino Wool Leggings (Longies)||Knitted, Ribbed Merino Wool (single layer)||Daytime use when worn alone; Nightime when worn over a soaker as PJ’s||Fitted Diapers recommended if worn directly under leggings; Any diaper can be used if combined with additional cover or soaker||Versatile (can be used over any diaper and/or cover to keep baby more warm & to ensure dryness)||Hidden elastic around waist can be too snug on some babies; Can soak through if worn alone|
|Little Beetle Wool Pants||Double layer of organic merino wool jersey (stretchy)||All-around use (night or day)||Any type of diaper (trifold not recommended)||Very versatile; Doubles as pants and diaper cover; very leak resistant||Higher price tag|
Wrap Covers (Velcro or Snap Closure)
|Cover||Knit/ Fabric||Use||Appropriate Diapers to Use||Pros||Cons|
|Disana Organic Boiled Wool Wrap||Organic Boiled Merino Wool (soft, fleecy, felted wool)||Naptime and night time (rise is too high for most babies during playtime; better for lying down)||Any diaper; Works with trifold||Very leak resistant (can be worn for long periods of time); Comfortable Knitted wool around waist and leg (no elastic)||Bulky on some babies (Larger sizes 86/92 and 98/104 are very large)|
|Little Beetle Wrap (Little-to-Big and Regular)||Organic Merino Wool Jersey (stretchy); double layer||Daytime (naptime or playtime, outings, car rides, etc.- very versatile)||Any diaper with relatively low rise; works with trifold||Extremely versatile; Very leak resistant; Trim||Low rise around waist (does not fit over diapers with high rise)|
|Organic Caboose Wrap (Regular & LITE)||Organic Merino Wool (felted, thick)||Any time (daytime or night time; long excursions)||Any diaper (fitted, flat, prefold, tie nappy); works with trifold||Bulletproof; Durable enough for night time; Extremely versatile||More bulky than some when worn under clothing|