So I have finally taken one of the final challenges in the cloth diaper world. I’ve begun using wool covers. I’d been wanted to experiment with wool again recently because my son seemed to get diaper rashes so easily. Wool breathes so it seemed like a natural choice. But wool covers are also super expensive and most are sized. So you are looking at $30-$50 a cover, needing at least three in each size (in my opinion). I had a few handmade wool covers a friend gave me as a baby shower gift when my daughter was born and I had tried my hand, only semi-successfully at knitting two others. None of them seemed to work right. So I started researching what I could do to make them work better. I partially felted the two I had knitted since the stitching seemed too open and I was having leakage issues. Then I lanolized all of my wool covers using instructions I found online. I dissolved some Lansinoh lanolin in my bathroom sink and then immersed the covers. After they soaked for fifteen to twenty minutes I rolled them in a towel and then let them air dry for a day or two (they took a long time to dry in my semi-humid basement). I slowly started using the covers. Mostly it’s been a good experience. My son definitely gets fewer rashes but when I go too long between diaper changes, his clothes do sometimes get a little damp. But I use these even more now that my son is starting to crawl. He has developed terrible chafing rashes from his PUL covers and even some of his fitted diapers and pocket diapers. So at home during the day we mostly use prefolds and these hand knit wool covers.
I’ve looked for thicker wool covers, but I can’t find anything in my price range. Cotton Babies carries a partially recycled wool cover for $21 which is the cheapest I’ve seen, by far. I also found an Etsy seller who makes one-size wool covers that are secured with snaps and I’ll admit that I am sorely tempted to try these. Yes, they cost $20, plus shipping, but they are one-size. My main issue with wool covers is that you must buy so many different sizes. So for now I’m going to try knitting and crocheting a few others of my own, now that I have a better sense of what I need. I have some wool yarn left and even if I bought more yarn, it would still be cheaper than buying a $40 cover.
I haven’t been brave enough to let him wear these out of the house yet so we are constantly battling the chafing created by a day out in pocket diapers. Wish I knew why this chafing is so bad (same thing happened with my daughter at this age), but the positive result is that it has pushed me to try something new that I probably wouldn’t have attempted before. Do I love wool? No, I’m not a complete convert, but I do find that there are a lot of advantages and I can see why some people swear by it. But my son is also an older baby. I wouldn’t trust anything to hold in those newborn poo explosions except for a PUL gusseted cover. If you haven’t given wool a try, it’s worth it if you can do it inexpensively. Try searching for some good sales at big online cloth diaper retailers or check out Etsy for sellers making repurposed wool diaper covers; these tend to be much less expensive options.