Wool? For a diaper cover? What?!
I know! I was skeptical, too! But I tried it a little over a year ago, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Let me tell you why.
Temperature expert: Wool keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Breathable fibers make for smoother baby bottoms. A lot of families dealing with skin issues make the switch to wool because their babies stay rash-free. PUL and other synthetic materials can put a greenhouse effect on a baby butt in the hot summer weather! We’ve used wool all summer without issue. Sounds crazy, I know… but it’s true.
Absorbency: Wool is made to soak it up. All of it. It can hold somewhere around 30% of its own weight before it begins to leak through. The cover might eventually feel “sweaty” but it doesn’t drip or transfer wetness to anything else. The other day, I left two pieces of wool in a sink half-way filled with warm water for about an hour, after I’d washed it. When I came back to wring it out, the sink was empty. The two pairs of longies had absorbed all of the water. Magic, I tell you.
Ease of use: Wool never stinks. Urine goes through a salinization process when absorbed by wool. Everything virtually turns to salt water and evaporates off of the cover. Our wool always smells like the wash we use, which is delicious. The same cover can be used over and over. I only wash my wool once a month or so. It stretches to fit bigger babies and shrinks back to fit smaller ones. Also, it can complete a baby’s outfit – they only need a shirt & a sweet headband!
When you talk wool types & blends, it can get confusing. There’s a lot out there! But basically, there are two main types of wool – interlock & knitted. Interlock is stretchy and comes in a fabric that doesn’t look like wool. A very popular brand out there is Sustainable Babyish/Sloomb. We only have one piece of wool like this, but I’ve never had anything leak through it – we own these karate pants. Knitted refers to the sweater-looking stuff, which is what we typically use. Different blends of wool make for different textures and degrees of softness. So far, nothing we’ve bought has been scratchy or uncomfortable. Wool can be very expensive, due to both the materials and the labor involved. I buy all of mine used, though, so it’s not too bad for us.
As far as fit goes, we prefer longies (pants). Soakers (which look like a regular diaper cover) tend to stretch out around the legs and it’s hard to get a good fit when going back and forth between three babies. Shorties and skirties (which look exactly like they sound) are fun, but longies get the job done year-round, and are simply too dang cute!
Washing: Like I said, I only wash my wool once a month or so. I try not to do it all at one time, though. Wool takes a long time to dry (because it’s so absorbent), and I don’t want to have my entire stash out of commission for days on end. So when I need to wash a pair of longies, I throw them in a sink filled with warm water. I run a few drops of this wool wash under the faucet, and I swirl the wool around in it to make sure it gets completely soaked. One time, I walked by minutes after dropping wool in the sink, and it was floating dry at the top of the water line. How many times can I type the word absorbent in this post? There’s a wool setting on my washing machine, but I’m sorta scared to try it. Once in awhile, I add some lanolin (the kind breastfeeding moms use) to the water and rub it in the crotch of the longies, to waterproof it. But my wash has lanolin in it, which makes it easy to clean my wool and keep it waterproof!
I think that about covers it! How about you? Have you tried wool? If not, you’re missing out!