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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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Overnight Diapering and Wool - A True Story

I started cloth diapering my now two year old son when he was only a month old. For a long time everything was going beautifully. I fell in love with cloth diapers and even became a bit addicted to them. I bought a bunch of different kinds and brands. I ended up favoring Pockets. I was on top of the world with an awesome stash of diapers.

Then my son hit 18 months old and everything went south. He became a super heavy wetter and it was even worst at night. My son sleeps for around 12 hours straight at night. Every morning he woke up soaking wet and it was miserable! Nothing we tried seemed to work. I was getting so frustrated that I even considered not using cloth at night. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to throw in the towel.

Before I threw in the towel, I decided to try one last thing. I bought a couple fitted diapers and a wool cover. Truthfully, I was very hesitant to try wool and the main reason was because I have been completely misinformed about it. I thought it would be itchy, rough and a pain to care for. I was afraid of messing something up when washing or washing it all wrong. I didn't believe anything could work. I started using wool while I was still in doubt.

I put a wool cover on my son for the first time after debating with myself for days. My husband did not like the way it looked. I think it was just something he wasn't used to seeing. I thought it was adorable! But hey, my son makes everything look good!

I was pleasantly surprised at how soft the wool was and how nicely it fit. It wasn't itchy at all! My son seemed to like it too. So, I put him to bed and the wool cover began its 12 hour long test.

We woke up in the morning and he was dry! The wool cover didn't even feel damp, I couldn't believe it. The next night, we tried again. We used an Ecoposh fitted paired with an Ecoposh wool cover. The next morning, my son was dry! My husband even started coming around. We both became believers. After a full week of using wool at night, we were in love. Not one leak the entire time. My husband took one look at me and said he wanted nothing but fitteds and wool covers. He was sold!! So I started redoing my diaper stash. At least I had an excuse to buy more fluff!

Finally, the day came that I had to wash and lanolize all the wool I bought. Hmmm... Thankfully I came across a wonderful tutorial just for that. I followed all the instructions and it was done. I maybe spent a whole 10 minutes actually doing work. The rest of the time the wool was just soaking or air drying. It was so much easier than I anticipated. It was so simple! No problems at all.

Now, what we all really need to know. Why Wool?

  • Anti Bacterial - Wool absorbs moisture in it's vapor state then releases it into the air before bacteria has a chance to set up. Less rashes!!
  • Self Cleansing - With lanolin's constant presence and friction caused by vapor filled fibers, wool pretty much scrubs itself clean! This means you don't need to wash after each use and it also makes washing easier.
  • Breathable - Since individual wool fibers are crimped, it creates thousands of microscopic chambers of trapped air. When you combine those chambers and the fact that wool wicks moisture away it allows the skin to breath. Keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • Odor Resistant - Odors are caused by bacteria growing on the fibers. Since wool is anti bacterial; No bacteria means No Odor!
  • It's a Natural Fiber
  • Wool can absorb up to 30% of it's own weight before feeling damp.
I swear wool is like a magical material. When I take the cover off my son in the morning, it smells like urine. Then after it air dries the smell is completely gone! It just amazes me.

In order for wool covers to work to the best of their ability, they need lanolin. What is Lanolin?

  • Lanolin is a natural substance produced by a sheep's skin
  • When it reacts with the ammonia in urine, it creates a natural soap like compound. That is what keeps the covers from developing odors and means you only need to wash them every 1-2 weeks. Not after each use.
  • Lanolin also makes covers more water resistant.
There you have it! Wool is just an amazing thing. The perfect solution when it comes to heavy wetters, long periods of time or overnight diapering. I can't believe I waited so long to try it.

My favorite part about wool is that there is more than one option! You can get soakers, shorties, longies, wraps and more! You can also get upcycled wool covers which will be a bit cheaper and more budget friendly. There is machine sewn brands that are reasonably priced, easy to use and offer wonderful coverage. Then there is hand knit covers that can get more pricey but are more personal.

As far as washing your wool, I would recommend using the instructions given by your specific wool wash or lanolin. All are pretty much the same but they do vary a little. But I promise, it's not as hard as you may think.

But, if you are curious here are the steps I use to wash and lanolize mine.

  1. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a squirt of baby wash. *Or wool wash.
  2. Slowly add the wool cover
  3. Let the cover soak about 20 minutes
  4. Gently run any soiled spots with your hand and mild soap
  5. Rinse the wool in the basin and set aside
  6. Empty basin
  7. Prepare your lanolin - Put a very small amount (pea sized) in an small empty container. Add very hot water and a squirt of baby wash or wool wash. Put the lid on the container and shake until well blended. (You don't want any clumps of lanolin in it)
  8. Add hot water to basin
  9. Dump in Lanolin mixture and stir
  10. Add cool water to bring the temp to lukewarm
  11. Add washed/wet cover
  12. Soak at least 20 minutes. (I like to soak a couple of hours!)
  13. The pull your cover out of the water and gently squeeze out excess water.
  14. Lay cover on a towel and roll the towel up
  15. Place pressure on rolled up towel to help soak out some water from the cover
  16. Unroll and lay your cover flat to dry
  17. Your Done!!
That is it! While it may look like a lot, it really isn't. I hope this post helps someone that is considering wool or having trouble with overnight diapering.

Bio: My name is Lisa, I am a stay at home mom to 3 wonderful children under the age of 7. I love cloth diapers and sharing my experiences in order to help others. I am just enjoying my journey through life. You can visit my blog at:


Anonymous said...

Love your post!!! My son is only two months old and I don't have the overnight diapering problem yet, but i will for sure be using wool after reading this! It sounds like it is so easy to use! are you using wool ALL the time now? including during the day?

aurora pina said...

Very interesting. Thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to try them, but I live in a hot climate!

Lisa K said...

Yes, we use wool all the time now. No PUL here anymore!

You can use them in a hot climate too! They are breathable so they stay cool in the heat and warm in the cold. It is really cool!