Monday, July 27, 2009

Cloth diapers: All about wool

For the first time ever, I'm participating in a blog carnival. A cloth diaper blog carnival. Yup, I'm talking about diapers again. This carnival is being hosted by Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry and some of my favorite cloth diapering moms are participating. So you should totally check out their posts - they'll be listed at the end of this post.

17 months ago, when I first started cloth diapering, I had a very basic knowledge of diapers. I knew just enough to get by. It would be impossible for me to try to list everything I've learned in the past year and 5 months, so I'm just going to talk about one particular topic that I'm still learning about.

Most people (including me) have never given a thought to what mothers used to cover their babies diapers before in the invention of plastic covers. Those pioneer woman had to have a way to control wet nappies, right? The solution? Wool.

Wool is extremely absorbent. It can hold a ton (well, not really a ton, but you know) of liquid. Additionally, wool contains a natural lanolin, which makes it fairly waterproof. For use as a diaper cover, wool can be lanolized to be practically bulletproof to leaks.

Because it's a natural fiber, it's extremely breathable which means it's actually cooler for your baby than a plastic cover. To sweeten the deal even more, get this: You don't have to wash a wool cover after each use.

What? Won't it get all stinky and nasty? Isn't that unsanitary?

Actually, the lanolin that natural exists in wool is also anti-bacterial. No bacteria means - no smell. You will need to hand wash your wool occasionally, and obviously if your sweet child gets some not-so-sweet poo on them, but otherwise they only need a few hours to air out between uses.

After learning all this, I decided I wanted to give wool a try. I'm a decent crocheter, so I worked up a pair of shorts for Peanut to wear over her fitted diapers.

I used a pair of the Peanut child's regular shorts as a size model and just kind of made up the pattern as I went. I lanolized them using a leftover bottle of Lansinoh (t's 100% lanolin!) by dissolving a pea sized amount in hot, hot water and then added that and the shorts to a sink full of tepid water. Soaked them for about 10 minutes, rolled out the excess moisture with a towel and then laid them flat to dry.

So. Anyway. I pretty much love them. We tried them out this afternoon for the first time and I was so impressed with the absorbancy. Peanut adores them and threw a fit when I took them off her. I'll definitely be picking up some more wool yarn this week. I can't wait to try a pair of longies for the fall and winter months! I'm sad that I didn't discover wool before Peanut was born. She was a February baby and I'm just imagining all the adorable teeny, tiny, newborn pants I could have made her!

Over the weekend, I was talking to my sister about cloth diapering and explaining to her how wool works. She was understandable skeptical - especially when I mentioned the part about not washing in between wearing. I felt the need to defend myself.

Me: "You know, I'm just mildly obessesed with cloth diapering if you compare me to some other cloth diapering moms. They are just crazy about diapers."

Sister: "You mean, crazier than crocheting a pair of wool shorts in the middle of July?"

Well, folks - she may have a point. I may be a wee bit obsessed with my diapers.


  1. haha - that's really funny w/ your sister!

    i just awarded you with an award on my blog - come on by when you get a chance to accept :)

  2. We are all obsessed I think. I like wool - I have one pair of longies - but I do not crochet or knit and they are so expensive. Those shorts you made are so cute though.

  3. Wow I am impressed with your crocheting skills! i still have yet to make the wool leap, but I have ordered a sbish soaker which is on the way to me. Good post!

  4. super cute!!! I love those shorts!

  5. Wool is on my list of things I would love to try, but haven't yet. My Mom crochets & my middle kids are learning to knit, I guess it's time to buy some wool yarn!!

  6. Wow! Those are really cute!

  7. What an exciting post! It inspires me--now I want to knit some shorties! (I can knit, slowly...) And I have heard they are so light and breathable (and dry) for summertime!

  8. Those are so cute! I need to figure some more patterns for my MIL

  9. Adorable! I had some of the cutest knitted wool soakers when Levi was a wee one. Now he's outgrown all of them. Sniff, sniff.

  10. Very adorable! I don't have the patience required for knitting. I started a wash cloth once...and never even finished that. lol