Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cloth Intro 2: Diaper Covers

All prefold and fitted diapers need a waterproof cover of some kind. There are three basic kinds.

Polyurethane Laminate covers are kind of like Gortex. They are waterproof but fairly breathable. The most common PUL covers are wraps. They wrap around the diaper and velcro or snap closed. You can also get pull-up PUL covers. PUL covers come in all kinds of fun prints and colors depending on the brand you use. They are a very economical cover. You can wash them with your diapers if you need to, but they will last longer if you wash them in cooler water.

Wool covers are great b/c they are natural fibers so they are completely breathable and naturally antibacterial and odor resistant. Wool is just amazing stuff. One of the drawbacks of wool covers is that they are usually pretty expensive to buy. However, you can sew your own out of old sweaters or knit or crochet your own for a much lower cost. Another possible drawback is that they do take a little bit of special care. They need to be washed by hand and lanolized (lanolin is what makes them waterproof). However, you only have to do this once a month at most (I do it much less often). You do have to make sure that you have an absorbant diaper under the wool because if your diaper isn't absorbant enough and you are carrying your baby on your hip when he pees you could get wet because of the compression of the wool against your hip. If your baby is just haning out and the wool isn't compressed it won't leak. You can get wool covers that are soakers (pull-on style) or wraps.

Here's a good site with info about wool:

Other posts in my blog have links to sites for making your own wool covers.

Fleece covers are also very breathable, and they are easy to care for because you can wash them with your diapers. They are usually a little more expensive than PUL but less expensive than wool. You can have the same problem with compression causing leaking that wool covers have. If they seem to loose their waterproofness you can dry them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet to restore their waterproofness. You can also get fleece covers as soakers or wraps.

A benefit of both wool and fleece covers is that you can get them or make them as shorts or pants (longies) so they can work as both a diaper cover and as pants and you don't need to put pants over them.

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