Wool Diaper Covers: Eco-Friendly Baby
Wool Diaper Covers, An Old Solution That Still Works
The first time I read about someone using a wool diaper cover rather than plastic pants for their baby I was skeptical. I could not see how, if plastic pants were not keeping my baby's clothes dry, a wool cover could. After all, wool clothing gets wet, doesn't it? It' porous, isn't it?
Yes and yes....and not really. Wool is amazingly waterproof. In fact, when our property flooded I found out that wool really doesn't wet through easily. As we were moving out sheep through high water I noticed that they were not soaked. It was at that point, oddly enough, that I began to be more interested in wool diaper soakers.
Diaper Covers on Amazon
The Qualities of Wool
Wool naturally contains a waterproof substance called lanolin. Lanolin is very healing for your skin, but also makes things resist wetness. It has the added benefit of melting at a warm temperature so it can soak into fibers. More about that later.
Wool also has natural anti-bacterial qualities. I was intrigued whe I read that. It seems that the natural antibacterial qualities of wool coupled with it's breathability help fight against diaper rash...and that awful ammonia smell that older babies can get. Wool also keeps babies bottoms cooler. This also helps guard against diaper rash, often caused by a yeast infection that thrives in warm, wet environs. There have been numerous studies that have expressed concern that increased temperature due to disposeable diapers or plastic covers could permanently lower sperm counts in boys.
Wool also has elasticity. That means that it can be reshaped and always fit well. It isn't hard to take care of, regular airing out and washing in cool water with a mild soap is all that needs to be done. About once a month lanolin is heated in water to the melting point and added to the final rinse so that the wool can soak it back up and the absorbancy is renewed.
Wool is dirt resistant. Even here, on our small homestead, my daughter's diaper covers looked pretty clean even though she was outside with little more than the diaper and cover on. I found that airing the cover when it was damp and washing when it started to have a urine smell, or was dirty from feces, was sufficient, meaning that I washed the cover about 2-3 times a week. It did take a long time for them to dry so keep in mind you will need three at a minimum.
Wool can absrob up to 40% of it's own weight! I found that the bed was normally not wet in the morning, even as she got older.
Another benefit was that when she was potty trained I was able to sell those wool diaper covers on eBay for nearly what I paid for them. Quite a good investment.
There are many types of covers. Most are initially quite expensive ($50.00 on average) but when you take into consideration how long they last it doesn't seem like so much money. Most of them do not fit tightly at any point, so your baby does not end up with the elastic marks on her legs and waist.
You can get a big brand soaker, like aristocrats and have confidence knowing that you are dealing with a large company with a good reputation. You can also get a nice soaker from a work at home mom on ebay, or etsy.com and feel good knowing you have helped to support a cottage industry.
Some of the soakers are pull on type. These are my favorite because they are simple to get on a wiggly baby. An added pluse is that babies can't unsnap them and remove them as easly as they can the snap sided ones. However, there are also snap sided types that some people swear by. Again, try to get a couple of different types on ebay and see what you like best. What you don't like resell on eBay and get multiples ofthe ones you do like.
Making Your Own
You can easily make your own wool covers in a variety of ways. There is not room on this Hub to discuss that aspect of wool covers. It is also good to know that you like them before you invest alot of time making them. Wool covers can be knitted, crocheted, or sewn and are a great way to save money as well as keep an old skill alive.
If your baby is still in diapers consider wool covers as a very viable alternative to plastic pants.