Saturday, September 25, 2010

You put WHAT on her butt? - Cloth Diapering and Wool

OK, I confess. I didn't decide to use cloth diaper to save the planet, reduce landfill space, or any other earth saving reason. Don't get me wrong, these are GREAT reasons to use cloth diapers, but what pushed me into the land of cloth were the chemicals and particulates that disposable diapers are made with. Without BORING you with all the details, you can learn more by reading a brief overview at The Diaper Debate at Healthy Child Healthy World.

You should see looks on the faces of those who discover my child wears cloth diapers. Some seem horrified, others just pass me off as crazy. Cloth diapers of today are NOT what your mother or grandmother had to use. They are cute, stylish, and above all else, functional! Even skeptical "I'd never use cloth" parents are surprised by how easy cloth diapering can be!

The look I get from confirming that I don't throw my diapers away is nothing compared to when I tell them this: "Oh you like our hand knit skirts, shorts, and pants? They are wool diaper covers."

You'd think I said something more to the effect of "I beat my kids.

It's true, I live in the VERY warm southwest. Not only is it warm, the wonderful monsoon rain storms leave the air feeling like I've stepped into a steam room. With this climate, wool is not the textile of choice here. The word "wool" conjures up images of snow, hot chocolate, and ice fishing in Minnesota. Wool in the desert? Really? But in the sweltering heat - it seams a waterproof diaper would be akin to working out wrapped up in plastic wrap. A breathable wool cover seams like the more logical solution.

Wool has a bad reputation for being difficult to care for - as if cloth diapering isn't scary enough already, right? I confess, I was scared too! Then a very nice mama on a community forum called Diaper Swappers sent me some wool pants, often called longies or woolies, for free. I was instantly hooked! Not only were these little pants the cutest thing I had ever seen, they were so easy!

This is how you use woolies: Wear them again and again until they get stinky, soak them in the sink, repeat.

You don't' believe me??? You should try! The secret is in the lanolin. When you wash the wool (technically just soaking it) you can use wool wash that contains lanolin - or you can use a spray to apply the lanolin after they are washed. The lanolin neutralizes the ammonia (the stinky part of urine) and it helps keep the wool water resistant!

Before you try wool, I do need to warn you... Wool is addicting!!! With so many cute options like hats, and handmade clothing to match, too you won't be able to say "No." And why should you?