Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fleece tips, Wool, and How to make your own wool wash

I'm attempting to make the switch to wool covers.  When Evangeline was a newborn, I made fitted diapers for her, but found that using PUL-style covers over the fitted diapers wasn't, well, a good fit.  I switched to fleece longies because I could easily produce them myself (and for really cheap), but I disliked that, if her diaper was soaked, the moisture would pass through the fleece longies.  I tried to remedy this by doubling the fleece, especially around the diaper area, which definitely helped, but still- fleece is not absorbent and while it's water resistant you should still expect wicking from time to time (again, especially when the diaper underneath is soaked).  If you do choose to go with fleece covers, you'll want to use a thicker fleece fabric. 

I would suggest that you not put your baby in fleece covers when they are in the car because the diaper is compressed and the moisture can wick out onto the carseat. If you choose to use this method, put a prefold in the seat before placing your baby in it.  However, they do work pretty well overnight.  I have actually used them a variety of ways overnight. I made oversized fleece bloomers (I call them "fluffy bums") to put over a super stuffed pocket diaper to make sure there was no leakage onto the sheets overnight.

I really love my fleece covers, but the wicking issue bugs me.  I was hesitant to switch to wool because I know wool takes special care, but after doing a bit of research I was surprised to find wool covers are actually not that much of a hassle at all!

The second reason why I decided not to switch to wool was the cost. Excuse the Texanese, but them things are 'spensive!  Then several friends recommended I head to the thrift store and pick out wool sweaters to sew into longies, shorties, or "fluffy bums".

So, guess what I did yesterday!  Now I just need to felt them (wash the sweaters on hot/cold cycle, and dry them on hot- this is the only time they will ever get to hang out in my washer or dryer) and buy some polyester thread (cotton thread will soak up urine), and then I can get to sewing!  (Well, after I replace the needle I bent!)

I'll keep you updated with how it goes. I purchased three sweaters (one striped, one pink, and one orange) for $5.99 each (I know, I should have waited for a Goodwill sale, but... that's still a great price considering woolies are selling for about $30-50 when made from "upcycled" wool, even more when crocheted or knitted.)

I wanted to post this recipe for wool wash from Zany Zebra. I was surprised to find that I have all these ingredients already, and you may too, especially if you are a breastfeeding mama! (I actually use Lansinoh as lip balm- my husband likes to make fun of me because... um, it's actually sheep sweat. BUT, it's the best lip balm out there! Thanks Zany!

To make your own wool wash you need these supplies:
  • Lanolin: We use Lansinoh, which is designed for breastfeeding, but any other solid lanolin will work. There are also liquid lanolins available online, just be sure to get the highest quality lanolin you can.
  • Baby wash or shampoo: Any brand works here, choose your favorite scent for a special treat. You don't need much so it'll last a long time if it's only used for wool.
  • Essential oil: EOs are optional, but can be added if you wish. Lavender is often used for babies because of its relaxing qualities. It also keeps moths away, as do Eucalyptus and Cedar.
  • Cup or mug: You'll need one that holds at least a cup of liquid, and is microwave safe.
To make your homemade wool wash:
  • Heat about a cup of water in the mug and microwave until it's hot, or use a Hot Shot to heat your water and skip the microwave like we do.
  • Drop a pea-sized amount of lanolin into the hot water. Use more for additional items.
  • Adda drop or two of baby wash or shampoo.
  • Add a couple of drops of essential oil, if used
  • Stir briskly until the lanolin has melted and is suspended in little drops throughout the water.
  • Mix your wool wash into the sink water and swish with your hand to blend it in. You don't need to make bubbles.
  • Turn your diaper cover inside out, submerge it in the sink and gently squeeze it a few times, then STOP!
(To learn more about washing wool diaper covers, read the rest of their post here.)

    Side note: Here's a tip when making fleece longies.

    1. You don't need elastic.  Fleece is naturally stretchy, you just have to make sure you put the stretch in the right direction when sewing the waist band.

    2. Make the waist band higher (see first photo of Evangeline).  You can fold it over if you'd like (see second photo of Evangeline).  I'm so glad I did this. I call them "high rise" longies.  I really think they are more cozy this way.

    3. Make the booty fluffy.  I made the booty of these longies quite generous, and then added in pleats or gathers around the waist.  This way, a super stuffed diaper has plenty of room without busting the seams!


    Beautifully Veiled said...

    I LOVED the wool!! We used them for the last baby around here. I also crocheted (i don't knit) some! The Lansinoh works great. You should be happy. (although I did love making all those little cute fleece covers, you are right, they didn't quite cut it!)

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