Why Cloth Diapers?
I am planning on using cloth diapers on my baby. I have never changed a diaper. Ever. Others might be skeptical of the hassle and laundry. I am completely ignorant of the work and, um, mess of diaper output. For this reason I can blithely say that yes, I will use cloth diapers, with no idea of the commitment that means. Maybe my naivety will work out in my favor, because I won’t know how disposables compare to cloth diapers? There are those who say its gross to wash dirty diapers. But what about the baby clothes that get dirty from leaky disposable (and something horrifying called a ‘blow out’) and then washed? Same thing.
I was lucky enough to be given a few months of a cloth diaper service as a baby shower gift. Score! This means that for a while I will be using prefold cotton diapers with a leakproof/waterproof cover over them. The diaper service will pick up and wash the dirty prefold diapers and deliver clean ones. I will need to supply the waterproof covers and clean them if they ever get dirty, which I am sure they won’t.
Wool Diaper Covers
I have ordered a couple of basic newborn diaper covers to use over the cotton prefolds, but another option that cloth diaperers seem to love are wool diaper covers. But wow wool diaper covers can be expensive! Wool is supposed to be a great material for diaper covers. It is natural, breathable, neither too hot or too cold, and excellent for moisture absorption. It is supposed to actually be cleaner than plastic-y type covers because lanolin will naturally neutralize the ammonia in urine (meaning it needs to be washed less often that you would think).
To make my wool soakers, I used the “newer soaker pattern” of Katrina’s Sew Quick Diaper Pattern. I started out with a newborn size to conserve fabric and test the pattern. The sewing pattern does not have instructions, so you will need a bit of sewing experience to figure it out. Scrimply Thrifty made this pattern and had some helpful pictures. You will need to stretch the leg bands and waistband to fit the main diaper body so you get a snug fit. I found that a walking foot was absolutely essential for sewing sweater fabric.
I needed help on finishing up the diaper cover correctly. The tutorial by Stitching Liberty’s Belle showed me that the legbands and waistband should be doubled up. My first cover was not doubled up, but I might as well see how it works out anyway.
My diaper cover is an uber-swanky cashmere soaker. I had an unwearble cashmere sweater dress that was the perfect fit for sewing wool diaper covers. The wool is already felted because I tried to shrink it. The fabric is soft and fairly thick for cashmere. At least the dress is no longer going to waste. And yes it was on super final sale clearance when I ordered it. I hope to have some good thrift store finds in the future for sewing more wool diaper covers! Sewing wool diaper soakers from thrift store sweaters and downloadable patterns makes them so much more affordable!
I did have to lanolize the wool. You need to add lanolin back into the wool fabric to make it moisture resistant every once in a while. This process was simple. Get the wool soaker completely clean and wet in a sink, then add in warm water with melted lanolin to the sink water. Swirl and soak. This tutorial was helpful. You will of course need lanolin. I used Lansinoh Lanolin which is also good for cuticles.
I am happy with the way my wool soaker turned out. I just hope it works.