Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wool cloth diaper covers / Review of Etsy Shop MyWoolieBaby

I love wool for my babies, especially since the winter months have arrived and our home is quite chilly.  We have a nearly 100 year old country home that has terrible insulation.  It is helpful to wear layers of warm, yet breathable clothing since even cranking the heat thermostat to 74 still leaves us with some cold spots.  

We have cloth diapered for several years now (3 children), and the 2 youngest are currently in cloth.  I am loving our Green Mountain Workhorse Clotheez fitted diapers.  They are basically a cotton prefold that is fitted and has similar diaper tabs that can be pinned or snapped (depending on what you choose to purchase).  I like the snap-less so I can pin with diaper pins as I get a more customized, secure fit.  I hate snapp-is (rubbery stretchy things that fasten a snapless diaper.  The diaper with snaps work okay, but the tabs are shorter and if a baby is in between snap sizes, you cannot get a very good fit.  My diaper pins of choice are most anything vintage.  The vintage ones work the best as they are sturdier and generally have guarded coils (end of the pin where it bends is thicker and guarded so it does not snag on fabric).  Look at my pretty vintage pins still on the original card! I was able to get 3 full cards of these on eBay for a great price! I would have gotten the pinks ones as well, but alas my daughter is 5! :) These blue are perfect for my 2 boys though!  The pin cushion is a handmade one I purchased from etsy years ago, before my children.  I am not a seamstress at all, so I use this for my vintage pins.  The mint green pins are my favorite, they came on the card with the sweet bear, but only had 2 pins.  I use them on my 6 month old daily.  

These cotton diaper need a cover over them to keep the outer part dry and comfortable.  I discovered using wool as a diaper cover back in the summer months and am obsessed.  Wool in summer? YES! I have found it to be breathable and comfortable even in very warm months.  Wool is can absorb 30% of its own weight before feeling wet. I sold my pul snap covers and now use wool full time as it is natural and works so well for us. Wool is perfect for hot or cold weather. 

The nice thing is that I do not have to wash our wool covers as often as I did when I used the plastic pul ones.  Wool is naturally antibacterial and somewhat self cleaning.  I wash my wool by hand when it is soiled (happens more often with younger, breast fed babies as you can imagine).  When wool absorbs urine, it does something almost magical.  It creates a process that turns the urine into a salt water and self cleans.  The wool needs to be removed from baby, turned inside out, and aired.  I air my wet wool covers in front of a fan and generally they are fresh and dry by the next time they are needed.  For most cases, wool diaper covers need to be washed (by hand) about 2-3 times a month.  I use an old Rubbermaid plastic dish tub from my late grandmother's (Gammy) home.  It has seen much better days (look at the deep plastic marking from someone putting it on a hot burner accidentally or putting a hot dirty pan inside it to wash).  It still has more life in it and it is nice knowing that it is being used to wash other items now.  :)

I wash my soiled wool diaper covers in room temperature tepid water with gentle natural soap.  I usually purchase a hard coconut and sodium hydroxide soap from etsy to wash my wool.  I have used Castile soap as well.  I gently rub (not too much as you do not want to felt the wool or damage it) over the stains and soil with the soap and rinse.  Do not use hot water.  I then dump this water and fill it with fresh water and my lanolin soap mixture.  To make my lanolizing wash, I use bulk lanolin melted in water with a little bit of natural soap to emulsify it.  I use an old Mason jar or jelly jar with a lid to shake it up and this creates a milky appearance.  Sometimes I add essential oil (lemon or lavender usually) to scent it.  A few times I have used a fragrance oil that is suited for bath and body use (blueberry cupcake is the scent I have).

Generally you can let your wool soak into the lanolin water for about 20 minutes or so, but I usually do 3+ hours to overnight.  When your wool has lanolized, gently squeeze the excess water out, taking care not to twist or stretch the wool.  Use a thick towel to lay the wool cover   on top and roll the wool and towel to absorb the excess water into the towel.  I unfortunately did not take pictures, but you can find extra info on this easily (with pictures).

I have gradually built up my wool covers.  With 2 cloth diapered young children in wool full time, and a 5 year old who needs padded undies at night for wet accidents, I need several pieces in my collection.  I have long wool covers and short wool covers.  Not only do I use our long wool covers (longies) for diapering, but they also serve as pants when we go outside the home as well.  It makes thing easier and it looks nice (while feeling cozy).  

The bulk of my wool is from a wonderful shop on etsy.  The shop is called MyWoolieBaby  and she is a parent of a little girl about my daughter's age.  (She also has an older son who nearing college age).  She began the shop years ago when she needed a reliable, yet budget conscious way to cover her daughter's cloth diapers.  She is an excellent seamstress and so very talented with her creations.  

Here are some of her sold items.  She makes wool items from premie and newborn, all the way up to XL which fits my 5 year old.  Her XL woolies are intended to fit around the older toddler stage (2T+), but my 5 year old is rather slim so she can fit into the L and XL without issue.  She now makes woolies in the XXL size which would fit up to 5T (maybe 6 depending on the size of the child). This makes it nice because I can purchase a L and know it will fit both my 2 1/2 year old son and my daughter.  The length may be an issue for some items, but honestly the Larges look really cute on my daughter when rolled a little as a capri style pant.  

Jaime creates such colorful and cute woolies.  She makes them from up cycled, gently used  cashmere and merino wool sweaters.  My favorite of her covers are the ones she makes from cable knit sweaters.  They are cozy and so classy for girls and boys alike.  She also makes woolies with animals and fun objects on them.  My daughter loves her pink shortie with a slight ruffle leg and balloons on the bum in coordinating pink and purple shades.  She also loves her sunshine woolies.  I got these for her as she is always drawing sunshines on nearly every crayon and Magna Doodle drawing she makes.  

Besides Jaime's gorgeous and extremely well made items, what I love about her shop is how personable and kind she is.  She prices her items reasonably and cares about her customers. She wants wool to be affordable.  I cringe when I see other companies and shops charge $35, $45, $55, and above for wool covers.   Many people cloth diaper for the economical aspect of it, and spending that amount of money each for diaper covers can be difficult.  Our family of 5 has one incoming coming in, and it is rather limited at that.  We would not be able to do wool full time if it weren't for finding this shop.  Jaime is consistently good at what she does.  We have purchased several covers from her and will return.  I do not have excess funds for purchasing wool when I see something that strikes my fancy (which happens so often with her shop) but when I have some paypal funds, I often buy a woolie or 2 from her.  The nice thing is sometimes 2 sizes will fit the same child (you can buy a little longer or bigger to have the woolie fit for a longer span of time and just cuff up the legs).  Sometimes 1 or 2 sizes will fit 2 children (such as my 2 1/2 year old and 5 year old).  

I love how the waist bands are wide and soft, almost like a yoga type band.  I like to pull the band high on my 6 month old.  Sometimes when the days were warm in the house, my 2 young boys would wear only their diaper and the woolie pants (pulled up high).  It is ultra soft and cozy and I love snuggling a woolie baby against my babies.

These pictures are a time span of about 3 months.  I have been wanting to post sooner, but since my daughter started Kindergarten in August, we have been sick with flu and cold (entire family each time except for the 6 month old) 4-5 times.  I also have just been been busier than I thought I would with a 2 1/2 year old and new baby.  

Here are some tips from Jaime's Shop on how to find a woolie that will fit your little one:

How to measure your little one, use a flexible measuring tape, such as for sewing or a piece of string/yarn and a ruler. Baby needs to be wearing whatever diaper/underpants they usually wear to get the most accurate measurements. I list inseam lengths on longies.

WAIST ~ Measure around the waist at the top of the diaper. 
RISE ~ The rise is from the bellybutton to the small of the back, making sure to go over the top of the diaper.
THIGH ~ Measure around the top of thigh at the thick part.
HIPS ~ Measure baby around the lower part of the hips, above the thighs and around the bum.
INSEAM ~ Measure from the top of the inside of the thigh to the ankle.

Ok, now that I have gotten you all excited about wool, let me show you all the pretties! Warning, picture overload!  Look at how precise and talented she is!  She sews wool boosters into most of her woolies for added protection for heavier wetters.

Please visit MyWoolieBaby to see all her wool shorties and longies! You can also find her on Pinterest.  

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