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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently working on making wool soakers for cloth diapering. I was wondering if any moms out there have used them in the past - and how many did you have for each stage? The diapers I have are small (for 11-20lbs) and medium (20-30lbs I think) and large (for more toddler size). I have 3 made for size small already and was wondering if that should be enough - should I start making for the larger sizes? Also, how often did you wash them? I heard that you don't have to wash them after every change, unless of course they get poopy. I bought Eucalan to clean them - but do you recommend anything else? (I just liked the idea of not having to rinse the soakers after washing them with this stuff). Thanks!!
 

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I washed mine every 3-5 wears I think? DS wasn't in them until 6 months, so I don't know how that translates to newborns.<br>
I am making 4 smalls, I think. I'm not sure how much we'll be in wool in the summer, so I'm not going too crazy with the small size. I'm making at least 6 of the next size up.<br>
Washing - I just used whatever wool detergent I had (some hippy crunchy crap I have that I can't remember the name of <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) but I always did a lanolin rinse afterwards anyway.
 

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Wool soakers! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> I'm so enjoying knitting itty bitty tiny things, instead of great endless toddler longies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
We used wool full time, after the meconium passed. The frequency of your poo-splosions will be the driving factor in determining how many woolies you need for a very young baby. The younger the baby is, the more dilute their urine is, and the longer the lanolin treatment lasts. If you can keep from getting poo on them, we typically went 3 weeks or so in very very heavy rotation before needing a wash in those days before solid foods.<br><br>
So make sure you have diapers that fit well! We used all prefolds and snappis, but I know lots of people love fitteds.<br><br>
I didn't start learning about wool soakers until my midtrimester, and didn't have all that much spare time to knit. We did fine with one pair of longies, one sleep sack, and 2 soakers. We also had one PUL cover just in case. Of course, the more you have, the less anxious you will be about poo-namis. I was just barely able to knit fast enough to stay ahead of her, and we often only had 3 or 4 that fit her at any one time for the first 5 months. That typically meant one drying from being poo'd on, and two being alternated.<br><br>
One thing I wish I had known then: one can cut drying time more than half off by spinning your woolie out in the washer to extract most of the water. I used to wash and lanolize, then press the water out in a rolled up towel and they'd still take 2 days to dry. Now it's just overnight.<br><br>
This time around, with all the luxury of time and experience and a functional hand-me-down stash, I hope to amass a total of:<br><br>
Newborn: 2 or 3 CurlyPurly soakers (these stretch well between sizes), 1 set of longies, 2 sleep sacks<br>
Small: 2 longies, 2 or 3 soakers, still fitting into the sleep sacks<br><br>
and wing it from there.<br><br>
Eucalan is fabulous, and a proper wool wash is helpful as it aids your cause because it has some lanolin in it. You can wash with baby shampoo but it will strip your soaker and you will need to lanolize very heavily afterward.
 

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wobit, how do those sleep sacks work for you? I've never used one before, I always felt like the pee would just run down his legs, but I'm intrigued. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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Sacks are fabulous for newborns overnight. When they need a zillion changes and their legs are like wiggly little noodles and you're exhausted, being able to just scrunch it up around the waist and get to it was great. You're completely right, there is a concern for pee running down the legs, but we didn't have that issue until 7 weeks or so. What was really happening was we were outgrowing the absorbent capacity of the newborn prefold before outgrowing the size of prefold or of the sleep sack. So for a few days we only used the sack for lying down time (at night) and then we sized up the diaper, which fixed the problem but since we sized up into Regular prefolds (a huge jump) the sack didn't fit all that well anymore. This time around I am less of a total noob and I have heard of "doublers" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> and plan to add absorbent capacity that way, hopefully extending my use of the newborn prefold. I've heard of people using folded up washcloths or other tiny doublers for tiny babies. The issue absolutely revealed itself earlier in the sack than in any of her other woolies.<br><br>
The wool is only as good as the diaper underneath, and especially so for sleep sacks on babies held upright in burping posture.
 

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We did wool right from the very beginning with our son who is now 13 months old.<br>
They suggest to have 4-6 wool covers to start and so we had 6 to make sure we were covered.<br>
That was the number I would suggest to have b/c in the beginning newborns do poop so much more frequently, we really needed all 6 in rotation.<br>
We use the Eucalyptus Eucalan and then occasionally do some relanolizing with a dab of Lanolin mixed into hot water with a touch of Weleda baby wash added into a tepid bowl of Eucalan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies! This has been very helpful! I think I will make a few more of the small before moving onto the larger sizes!! The diapers I got are fitted (I bought them secondhand). Apparently the lady I bought them from loved them (although they need to be changed after each wetting, unlike some of the 'all-in-ones' - which is fine with me since I think it'll cut down on diaper rash). Anyway, I don't have newborn size but am thinking I might get some prefolds for that period. I might also get some hemp doublers for the fitted diapers, should I feel a need. I think we'll just wait and see what happens though.<br><br>
I was thinking of making some longies for the winter months (6mts+) since it can get pretty darn cold here. I have to find myself a good pattern for them though. Any recommendations?<br><br>
I am not sure what you mean by sleep sacks. Did you knit/crochet them? I was thinking of sewing some fleece sleepers that are basically sleeveless sacks (like these here: <a href="http://www.kohlrbaby.com/organicbabysleepsack.php" target="_blank">http://www.kohlrbaby.com/organicbabysleepsack.php</a>). Are these similar to what you are talking about? if they are, do you reckon wool is better? I take it you didn't put on a wool soaker at night when you used these sleep sacks?<br><br>
Haha.. I have so many questions! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> This is all new to me! My mom used flat cloth diapers when my siblings and I were babies. She laughs at me when I bring up all these different possibilities for diapering! During her cloth diapering time it was either disposables or flat cloth diapers and safety pins... no other choice. Now, there are so many choices! It's mind boggling (and can get very $$, hence buying my diapers used <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> and making my own wool covers!!!).
 

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I love chatting about cloth diapering. Part of what makes it so endlessly fascinating is that there are a nearly infinite variety of options, and everyone has their own story on what works best for them and why. I mean, how long can you talk about Pampers vs Huggies? LOL<br><br>
I'm all about secondhand diapers. Seriously. Have you been introduced to <a href="http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/" target="_blank">DiaperSwappers.com</a>? It's like craigslist for cloth diapering, and you can get every diaper imaginable, from new in package, to practically free for shipping they are so worn out, and every condition in between. It's a little overwhelming but they have everything. If you want to try just one or two of a particular style it's a good place to pick one up for cheap. This is nice because every brand fits a little differently, and all babies are slightly different shapes.<br><br>
I like hanging around <a href="http://www.ravelry.com/" target="_blank">Ravelry.com</a> for soaker knitting advice and patterns. They have a forum just on Soakers and Longies. There are many excellent longies patterns available for $5-10, which is a great deal as the instructions typically include all sizes from newborn to toddlers. My favorite Longies pattern happens to be free, the <a href="http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/itchy-fingers-longies-pattern" target="_blank">Itchy Fingers Longies</a> pattern. It's a little complicated because they have you measure the baby and do some math for a custom fit, but it's well written and explains it all clearly.<br><br>
The soaker sack that I made was knit, and is worn under the shirt, over a diaper. It goes from the ribcage down past the feet. I didn't make it with a drawstring or other tie at the bottom, just some ribs to make it gather. It was long enough that her feet didn't poke out without help from me, and I always found her to be warm when I stuck my hand up there to check for dampness. That soaker sack was indeed meant to replace any other woolie or diaper cover. If you made a sleep sack that was worn over the shirt, the shirt would be in contact with the diaper and would wick urine and need to be changed, too. Sleepers like in that picture are great, but probably best used with a separate diaper cover. It can be difficult to envision those kinds of details until you see it all in real life. The soaker sack pattern I used was the <a href="http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sheepy-sack" target="_blank">Sheepy Sack</a>, also at Ravelry.<br><br>
I'm thinking of hunting through the local thrift for some great big sweaters to cut up, a sleeve might make a great newborn sized soaker sack, if I find a nice big one and don't felt it down before sewing. Hmmm.
 

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I use longies and fitteds daily from like nov to may, but never in warm months. Maybe a soaker and fitted on cooler warm days. I wash my wool like every 10 wears lol. b/c longies take 3 days to dry lol. I use face of the wave liquid wool wash that i buy at abbyslane.com.<br><br>
I think fitteds/wool is the easiest diapering system!! but in summer I do pfs and covers with tshirts all day mostly.
 
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