When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. I didn’t know much about the options that were available. I was leaning towards doing diaper service and we received a gift to a local diaper service – so that decision was solved! We used the service and they were fine. At first we really liked the convenience of having someone drop off and pick up our dirty diapers. We struggled from the beginning with leaks. We would take our son on a walk, or he would wake up in the morning, and be soaking wet. Like SOAKING wet. Poor guy. We used many different types of covers. We had some that were made for us, we used Thirsties, Imse Vimsy organic covers, Bum Genius, and several others. Basically you name it, we tried it. We were told to make sure all the cloth was tucked in. We were obsessive about each little piece of cloth being tucked in and we still leaked. I knew we needed to make a change but I didn’t know what we wanted to do. I did want to continue using cloth but washing my own. I also wanted to use organic cloth and organic covers. So I started doing research. When I do research, I do an obsessive amount of research.
I found that even if you are buying organic covers (or not) most are waterproof with PUL. What is PUL? PUL is Polyurethane Laminate. What is Polyurethane Laminate? Well, I had to look that up but before I even looked it up I knew that I didn’t want my baby wearing PUL all day long. If I didn’t know really what it was made up of without doing research it I decided he didn’t need to wear it. Basically, PUL is a highly toxic carcinogen. Besides PUL, several covers use polyester or a polyester fleece on the outside of a waterproof barrier (PUL) in the middle. I prefer natural fibers over synthetic so I was also not interested in these diapers. There is a lot of information out there on polyester but for a baby to be wearing polyester literally all day long with their diapers I think it’s worth doing research on that. What I have found that is most concerning is that polyester can slowly emit phytoestrogens, which is an endocrine disruptor, which can promote certain types of cancer (this from the diaper pin web site). There is a good article on the Diaper Pin that goes into detail of PUL and polyester that is worth reading if you are considering any diaper cover that uses polyester or PUL.
When I went to a local Seattle shop, Bootyland, looking for some eco-friendly baby toys, I found out that they sold diapers. This is where everything changed for me. They had organic cotton diapers & organic cotton / hemp blend diapers (more absorbent than just cotton). There were prefolds and fitted. Then the woman at Bootyland showed me wool covers. WOOL covers. I guess I had known about them but totally forgot. A natural material that works well and no chemicals touching my baby. I have found that you need less wool covers than you do PUL covers. Wool covers are naturally antibacterial, absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture, and are breathable. In cool weather it stays warm, in warm weather it keeps baby cool. You only wash them when they start to smell of urine or if poop leaks onto the cover (we find that they can be washed about every week and a half to two weeks). I came home with a sampling of different diapers and covers and tried them out. Guess what? No more leaks. The running baby poo that would cause blow outs was now being absorbed by the diapers. What a difference! It made me realize how low of quality the diaper service diapers were. My life was changed, and I was unreasonably excited about my new diaper find. I went back and bought enough to get us started.
I feel good knowing that natural products are touching my baby’s skin all day and night. I was so excited about this new diapering system that I literally was telling everyone about it. I couldn’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to use wool covers. I had more than one person ask how much more expensive it is to buy wool than PUL. I actually think the wool covers are about the same or cheaper than other covers since you needs less wool covers. I haven’t actually run the numbers but just quickly thinking about it that is what I came up with. If even it was the same or more, I think having a natural product over a synthetic is worth it! We do fine with 4 to 5 wool covers. We just air dry between changing. When we were using the other diaper covers we needed easily 10 because of all the poo and leakage issues.
When you think of wool at lot of people think of scratchy, itchy wool. Organic, untreated wool is so, so soft. Most people who are allergic to wool are allergic to the chemicals that are put on the wool, not the wool itself.
These are the diapers and covers we use:
Organic Caboose wool covers.
Babee Greens wool covers.
Babee Greens also has wool covers with cute upsized wool on the outsides.
Disana Wool Pull-On Diaper Cover in natural (For night-time, no more leaks).
Bummis organic cotton prefolds (the premie size makes a great burp cloth!).
Growing Greens Organic Cotton / Hemp fitted diapers.
Growing Greens Organic Cotton fitted diapers.
Willow Sprout pre-fold. I LOVE these pre-folds!
We use a mixture of all of these. I have also found Green Mountain Diapers to be extremely helpful. They have a large selection of wool covers and cloth diapers. They also have a cloth diaper FAQ. I’ve ordered several things from them and they are extremely helpful.
To wash the wool I use Sudz N Dudz organic wool wash. I use both the bar and the liquid. Cleaning the covers doesn’t take much time at all.
I now want everything to be wool. I’m obsessed with it!