Wool Covers for Newbies
Does a diaper cover that is amazing for both daytime and overnight use, can double as an article of clothing, and doesn’t have to be washed for weeks sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not! It’s wool!
When you think of wool, you may have memories of the scratchy wool sweaters your parents made you wear when you were a kid. This is NOT that wool! The wool used for most diaper covers is very soft and not scratchy in the slightest!
Since wool covers are meant to resist moisture, they need to be paired with an absorbent diaper to be a complete diapering system. Typically wool is used with fitteds, prefolds, and flats.
Wool comes in different shapes and sizes. Wool covers or soakers resemble other diaper covers and underwear. Most are simply pulled on and off baby, but some come with closures, such as hook and loop tabs.
Shorties are longer in the legs than covers, coming down to the knees, while Longies cover the entire leg. The benefit of Longies and Shorties is that they do double duty as a diaper cover and a pair of pants or shorts, making them both functional and stylish.
How Wool Works
To make your wool water-resistant, you must first properly lanolize it. Lanolin is a yellowish waxy substance naturally found on the wool of sheep to protect their skin. Treating wool with lanolin makes it resistant to moisture, forcing the diaper underneath to absorb until it is completely saturated. Once the diaper can absorb no more, the wool takes over and starts absorbing as well! Wool can absorb quite a bit of moisture without feeling wet on the outside!
If the cover gets wet with urine, let it air dry. When properly lanolized, it will not smell bad! The lanolin reacts and takes care of the urine, basically working like a soap. Once the lanolin is all used up, it will need to be replenished by lanolizing your cover again. You will know it is time to wash and lanolize when it starts feeling damp on the outside quicker than usual, or starts to stink after air drying.
Since wool is a so breathable, it can be worn all year round! It helps retain heat in the winter, while also helping to keep baby cool in the summer. Its breathability and potential to absorb also helps to prevent diaper rashes, by wicking moisture away from baby’s skin.
Although wool covers must be hand washed, caring for wool isn’t that difficult. Once treated with lanolin, as long as it isn’t soiled, a wool cover can be used over and over without washing for weeks! Once washed, it must lay flat to dry. Depending on humidity levels, it can take anywhere between 1-3 days to thoroughly dry. That’s why it’s good to have a couple of wool covers in rotation. You can continue to use one cover over and over again, while waiting for the other to dry.
Wool is amazing for overnight use! It is considered to be a “bulletproof” combo, when paired with an absorbent fitted cloth diaper. Those having trouble finding a nighttime solution are often relived when they switch to fitteds and wool, because, in most cases, their babies are finally able to make it through the night leak free!
One thing that holds many parents back from giving wool a try is the price tag. Wool can be on the expensive side, but when you consider the fact that you can use the same cover over and over again for weeks without washing, you really don’t need to have too many covers in rotation. Plus wool has a crazy high resale value! As long as you take good care of it, you may get a lot of your money back if you decide to sell, or you can keep it and use it again if you plan on having more kids!
Wool sounds pretty amazing, right? That’s because it is! Whether you’re having trouble finding a nighttime solution, or are looking for a natural, breathable diaper cover that is soft and comfortable for baby, wool is definitely worth adding to your cloth diaper stash!
- Both water-resistant and absorbent
- Don’t have to wash for up to a couple weeks, unless it gets soiled
- Great for nighttime
- Can double as clothing
- Can be used all year round
- High resale value
- Sustainable cloth diapering option
- Can be expensive
- Long drying time
- Needs to be lanolized to be water-resistant
- Must be hand washed and air dried