Cloth Diapers at Night Part 2: Wool Covers {Including How To Lanolize}

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Next up in cloth diapers at night series…Wool! In part one, we talked about fitteds. They need a cover to be waterproof. You can use a PUL cover, or even fleece. But I believe using a heavy duty fitted and a lanolized wool cover is your most bulletproof option. Wool can hold 30% of its weight in water before it even starts to feel wet! Many people are scared of wool. You might think it’s hard to take care of, expensive and hot. It’s NOT, promise! Let me explain.

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MYTH: Wool is hot! I can’t use it in the summer! TRUTH: Wool is actually one of the coolest fabrics you can put on your baby. TPU/PUL covers will keep heat and moisture next to the skin and will just make things hotter!

Unlike synthetic fabrics, wool breaths. (Making it cooler than any PUL/TPU cover you could use.) This means that it will actually pull moisture away from the body and evaporate it. Think about how a fan works. The fan is not actually cooling the temperature of a room, instead it works by blowing air across the skin and evaporating sweat. The more sweat is evaporated the cooler you feel. Wool evaporates moisture, the more evaporated, the cooler the bum.

*SUPER HEAVY WETTER TIP* If you want an even drier bum in the morning, leave the pj’s off and the wool uncovered! Let the air get to it. It will be able to evaporate moisture more effectively and therefor keep things even drier. If you still want little one’s skin covered use wool shorties in the summer or wool longies in the winter or in an air conditioned room.

MYTH: Wool has to be babied and it costs a lot! TRUTH: As long as you don’t put wool in the dryer, it’s pretty hard to hurt. It only needs to be washed every few weeks to a month. Wool is naturally antimicrobial. The lanolin on it will react with the urine as it air dries and actually neutralize it. It will continue to do this until all the lanolin is used up, that’s the point the cover starts to smell even when it is dry. You might also notice that it starts to not be as waterproof at this point. That is how you know it’s time to clean and lanolize.

As for it being expensive, yes it does cost more for a wool cover than a regular PUL/TPU cover. But you will need MANY TPU/PUL covers. You only need TWO wool covers. And you only need two so you have a spare for when one is drying.

My favorite wool covers are Woollybottoms (upcycled wool) and Bumby (interlock). I have not actually had the pleasure of trying a Sustainablebabyish wool cover. But I have heard rave reviews about it. Wollybottoms are very well made with carefully chosen upcycled wool pieces right here in the USA. They are very reasonably priced at about $25.

How do you care for wool?

First a few tips. It isn’t washed the same as your other cloth diapers. Hand wash it, lanolize it, air dry it and wear it…that’s it. NEVER put it in the dryer…Never…that is unless your Barbie is looking for a cute new wool piece to wear.

My wool usually floats in the water, so I use something a little heavy to weigh them down into the water.

My wool usually floats in the water, so I use something a little heavy to weigh them down into the water.

How to Wash & Lanolize:

You will need:

Someplace to let it soak. I use my bathroom sink and plug the drain.

A small container to mix the lanolin in. I use the peri bottle they gave me in the hospital. You know…the little squirt bottle they gave for your lady parts.

Lanolin. I have heard some people use Lanisoh Lanoline (nipple cream). But I have also heard that is hard to work with. I prefer to use Woollybottoms Lanolin in Love Spell. Yum! (Any brand of lanolin will work)

Soap. You need the soap to get the lanolin to emulsify (the act of getting two different things to mix together). I use Euculan but any gentle type baby shampoo will work.

1: Fill your sink with enough water to have the cover…covered. The water temperature should be tepid (not hot and not cold). Too hot and you will shrink the wool, too cold and the lanoline will turn back to a solid.

2. Add about a half capful of Euculan or a squirt of baby shampoo.

3. Now take your container (peri bottle in my case) and add a pea size dap (about a ¼” line) of Lanolin. You kind of have to scrap it off your finger into the bottle. Then add small amount of the soap, just a quick splash. Now add HOT water to your container until it is almost full. Replace lid.

5. Shake the container like a crazy woman. Once everything is mixed together, squirt or empty your container into the sink.

6. Add the wool (I prefer inside out) and gently squeeze (no twisting) with your hands until it is fully soaked with water and lanolin mixture.

7. Now let it sit. I have seen some say for 10-15 minutes each side. But I usually just let it soak overnight.

8. Allow sink to drain and have lanolin rich water go through wool. Fold in halves and push water out with your hands into basin. Do not twist as this will cause felting of the wool (which makes it fuzzier looking).

9. Two ways to dry: One way is to lay cover in a towel, fold into halves and lay on floor. Stand on the folded towel and cover to remove the most amount of water. If you feel like you have a well-made, sturdy cover…and are brave (I do this with my Woollybottom soakers) you can spin dry on the delicate cycle in the washer.

10. Once water is out, reshape and lay flat to dry. FYI, drying racks will leave lines and try not to dry in direct sunlight. It can fade some dyed wool.

That’s it. It will be clean, fully lanolized and ready for you to use for a few weeks again.

Coming up in the Cloth Diapers at Night series: Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter, fleece covers and overnight diapering on a budget including using prefolds at night and other cloth diapers you already own. Also, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter our giveaway of a great assortment of hemp and bamboo inserts that are great to use at night (sponsored by Itsy Bitsy Bums) and the Twinkie Tush night-night giveaway!

There are other ways to lanolize wool. Do you have another favorite method that works for night wool?


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About Jennifer Reinhardt

Jennifer is a 33 year old SAHM to one beautiful little girl named Sophia. She closed her business, Curves, when she found out she was pregnant so she could stay home with her. Jennifer fell in love with cloth diapers even before Sophia was born and searches for ways every day to share the love!

View all posts by Jennifer Reinhardt

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14 Responses to “Cloth Diapers at Night Part 2: Wool Covers {Including How To Lanolize}”

  1. Jean Says:

    I’ve just washed and lanolized my first wool covers and as they are drying I’m noticing I can feel the tackiness of the lanolin. Is that normal and if so will it get on our sheets?

    Reply

  2. Danielle Barlow Says:

    Hi there! Thanks for the tutorial. I have been trying to use wool on and off the past year with my two children. I recently bought a Disana cover in a larger size than I needed so that my five-month-old daughter can grow into it. I thought I lanolized it great following a different tutorial. After the second night in it she wet through the backside while the inside diaper wasn’t even soaked . I used a bamboo fitted underneath. I have yet to learn how to make these covers bulletproof! Any thoughts for me?

    Reply

    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Danielle, What were you using under the cover? Also, how long did you let the cover soak on the Lanolin. I like to do overnight for my night wool. Also is the cover or what’s under still a good fit. If there any gaps, you can get leaks while still having a dry diaper on the inside.

      Reply

      • Danielle Barlow Says:

        I had a great fitting bamboo prefold underneath the cover, which was still quite dry in spots. Pretty much a mystery to me. After that I got us some lanolin spray and sprayed it just that wet zone area. No leaks since. Thanks for the help! :)

        Reply

      • Danielle Barlow Says:

        After doing more research, reading more tutorials, I discovered that the leak was probably due to the fact that it’s a newer cover and was only lanolized one time.

        Reply

  3. Amanda M Says:

    I do!

    Reply

  4. Miranda Says:

    What do you do if poop gets on your wool?

    Reply

    • Amanda M Says:

      I just rinse it off with tepid water and if necessary (very) gently rub it off with a little eucalan soap. Then wash the wool as usual. If you are using fitteds with the wool, or even a prefold jelly-rolled, it won’t happen very often. My son has been in wool about 6 months during the day and night and I think we have had poop on the wool four times total.

      Reply

    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Miranda, Exactly what Amanda said. You could also get a wool wash bar and rub directly on the wool cover and gently rub until it is gone. Sometimes is it is a lot it will be super hard to get out though. Put again, doesn’t happen often.

      Reply

  5. Amanda Says:

    Could you use wool covers on a baby all the time versus just nightime?

    Reply

    • Beth Says:

      I use wool both day and night, especially around the house. But, I find, that you will need more than 2 covers if you are using them in the day. You can even use them when going out, but you will need an absorbent enough diaper underneath because you can get compression leaks(esp. in a car seat). It really all depends on your baby’s output. Wool can be a bit more bulky under clothes, but I find that a wool wrap is a little bit more trim, especially over a prefold. Of course, you can also just put your baby in longies, shorties, or skirties too.
      I still use pul especially when my son is playing with water or getting really dirty. My son is 2 years old and we have used wool his whole life. It really does seem more comfortable. You can get many different types of wool on etsy for reletively cheep prices. If you (or loved one) are crafty at all you can make covers by sewing, knitting, or crocheting them. There are a ton of patterns and tutorials for this. It’s really not that hard and will save you a ton of money.
      With regards to the poo. My son has had some very explosive poo, both breastfed poo and toddler poo. The key is to get well fitting fitteds with ample bum coverage, or prefolds that are wide enough to contain. For a cheeper option than regular fitteds, pre fitteds work really well. They are essentially fitteds made from prefold material.

      Reply

      • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

        Sure, but this is a post on nighttime diapers. So 2 is plenty for that. If you use fitteds all the time, yes, more are needed. Thanks for pointing that out to people who might not know. Thanks for posting Beth! :)

        Reply

    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      I forgot to mention that there are lots of people that use wool all the time. They even have shorties and longies that are worn like clothing over fitteds! Love them for Sophia!

      Reply

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