Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fitteds and Wool : A Love Story

Lara* is the mother of a (in her opinion) beautiful eight-month-old daughter named Carys. You can visit her blog at A Girl Named Carrots.

Like wool covers? Don't forget to check out our wool soaker giveaway here!

Overnight diapering can be one of the biggest challenges for people to overcome when it comes to cloth. It's often the last frontier of the cloth convert: many people use cloth during the day and continue to use disposables at night, because they are afraid to make the leap to cloth overnight or haven't found anything that works for them. 

My go-to solution for nighttime is a fitted diaper + wool combo. It's been totally bulletproof for us.  And my daughter? She's what's known as a HEAVY WETTER. Da-dum. Or maybe more appropriate term is CONSTANT wetter. I swear she just pees all. day. long. I'm not sure she's ever NOT been wet when I check her. So eight (or twelve if we're lucky...and we're rarely lucky) hours of constant peeing means it can be a challenge to contain it. (I stopped changing her at night - even if she wakes up - once she stopped pooping overnight.)

Wearing a wool soaker at less than two weeks old

I've found that the fitted and wool combo works extremely well for us. We've rarely if ever had leaks (and if we did, it was human error, like the wool wasn't lanolized enough).  I also like it because the combination is extremely breathable, so even with a wet diaper on for hours, she rarely gets red. I also like that the wool generally acts as the bottoms to her PJs, so she's not in extra layers - for instance, she might wear a pair of longies and a t-shirt to bed.  Wool is also naturally anti-microbial.

It's fairly easy to care for as well - you wash and lanolize it every month or two or when/if it gets soiled with poop, but reuse it night after night without washing as long as it's not dirty.  It will likely get damp on the inside from pee - and that's okay. You just turn it inside out and let it dry.  The lanonlin and wool work together to perform some magic trick where the pee turns into harmless salts. I think the two hardest parts about caring for wool are getting the lanolin to dissolve in the water (hint: use hot water!) and getting the wool dry (hint: roll it in a towel and stand on the towel to get as much water out as possible). And really, the drying part is just patience. It's not HARD to get it dry, it just takes a while.

The biggest downside? It tends to be pricey, especially interlock wool. However, because you can reuse it, you really only need one or two at the most (you could get buy with one if you had a PUL cover or other solution for the day or two the wool was out of commission being washed and dried).  And each one lasts a really long time - we're on size mediums of our interlock wool now, but used the smalls for probably six months.  It's very very stretchy!

In a Goodmama fitted as a newborn (her umbilical cord hadn't even fallen off!)

We use a mix of machine-knit Sustainable Babyish/Sloomb longies, a recycled wool Woollybottoms soaker, and interlock wool Wild Coconut Wear soakers and longies. We used to have a Woollybottoms footie, but she outgrew it and I haven't replaced it yet since summer is coming out and we probably will be sticking with soakers for the next few months. We have some homemade knitted WAHM/Etsy wool as well. For the most part, I save that for daytime use because the knit is looser, which means it's generally not quite as bulletproof (the tighter the weave, the more waterproof it is - which is why interlock is great!).

Wild Coconut Wear soaker

I have personally used the soakers under footed pajamas inside a SwaddleMe blanket without compression leaks, but that doesn't work for everyone.

Wild Coconut Wear longies

For diapers, we use Goodmama, Twinkie Tush, Monkey Snuggles, Orange Diaper Company, Tangerine Baby (below), and probably more that I'm forgetting. They are all great for us and I honestly can't say that there's one I like or dislike more than the others, though I reach for my Monkey Snuggles before the others, I'd guess - though that might have just as much to do with the fabric pattern as the diaper itself!

Most fitted diapers don't have a stay-dry feeling and 99% of the time that's not an issue for her (luckily!). If she's red, I'll throw a fleece liner in the diaper to give a bit of extra comfort. This works well for those babies that don't tolerate feeling wet as well.

Sometimes wool and fitteds aren't practical. If we're out and about or someone else is watching her, I prefer pockets.  And sometimes it can be too bulky to wear under PJs. For those times, I have a Kawaii Good Night Heavy Wetter diaper that I stuff with a Knickernappies SuperDo insert.  I love the SuperDo insert and it could easily be used in any pocket diaper for overnight (but the Kawaii has heavier duty PUL that helps prevent leaks, which is always great). I've found it to be much more absorbent than two microfiber inserts and slightly thinner.

No matter what you choose, understand this: IT WILL BE BULKY. Nighttime diapering is always bulky. But your kid? He or she won't care. They'll be sleeping. Giant huge fluffy butts are pretty amazing, anyway.

We've been very lucky with our nighttime routines thus far and they've needed very little tweaking.  Sadly I can't quite say the same for her sleeping. It'll come, I'm assured. It'll come.

So in the comments, answer me this: What's your nighttime solution?

Like wool? Want to try it? Check out our wool soaker giveaway here!
More questions about wool? Click here! (links coming soon)
Want to know how to wash or lanolize it? Click here! (links coming soon)

*(Yes, it's me, Lara, the person who runs the blog...I'm calling this a guest post since it's more personal and opinion-based than a factual article!)


  1. I agree, fitteds and wool are awesome! We started out with some Bummis covers and the fitteds I made, but when the covers started to get too small we used wool exclusively and never looked back! We do have pocket diapers for out and about.

  2. I just found you and I'm so excited to learn as much as I can in the next few months. I'm pregnant with my first and cloth diapers have come a very VERY long way since my mom used them last 20 years ago.

  3. Ok you must tell me what diaper the last picture is... with the very hungry caterapillar print!? It is adorable!

  4. Haley, it's a Tangering Baby SYOF. :)

    1. Oh I missed this... thanks for posting :D