You might not be surprised to know that along with breastfeeding, babywearing and co sleeping, we also use real, or cloth, nappies. And it’s not just for their green credentials, although not sending hundreds of disposables to landfill every year is a big part of it. They are much cheaper over the course of a baby’s time in nappies, less likely to leak (really this is my biggest plus point, I hate the poo up the back phenomenon in disposables), and they are so incredibly cute. I mean really, have you seen some of the designs?! Here’s a peak at some of my pretties:
But I digress, what I actually wanted to tell you about was using wool covers instead of PUL. Doesn’t sound like it would work, does it? But a properly lanolised wool cover really doesn’t leak, and can actually leave baby’s bum drier as the wool can breathe more than a PUL cover.
In my experiment with wool I’ve been using a soaker at night time over a well boosted bamboo nappy, and we’ve not had a single leak!
Even better is the fact that you can easily knit, or crochet, your own woolies and you don’t need to buy them. Although if you don’t knit yourself there are lots of WAHMs out there who do, and who sell their creations on the likes of Facebook and Etsy. As I can knit, I’ve made 2 soakers using the Snapdragon Soaker pattern by Heather Fox, which is available for free on ravelry. I finished mine with ribbed leg cuffs and an i-cord drawstring.
You can use different types of wool to make a soaker so long as it is not superwash treated and is 100% wool (although I believe you can get away with 80% wool I haven’t tried it myself). The reason the wool can’t be treated is that it won’t then hold the lanolin which is what makes these covers waterproof. I chose to use DROPS Alaska from Wool Warehouse as it comes in nice colours and is very reasonably priced (I paid £1.60/50g). Also it came in such beautiful packaging, I shall definitely be ordering from them again!
As it’s 100% wool it does have to be washed by hand, or using the hand wash cycle on your machine (if you can trust it 😉 ), then re-lanolised before being dried flat, although they are small enough that they don’t take too long to dry or take up much space. However you don’t need to wash the covers unless they get dirty (poo!), start leaking or smell bad after use, simply hanging them up to air between uses is enough. And when you’re already doing all the extra loads of washing that comes with small children, one less thing to constantly wash has to be a good thing!
All in all I’m very pleased with the results of my wooly experiment. If you’ve been thinking of trying it yourself or are curious enough to give it a go then I can highly recommend it!