Friday, May 25, 2012

Fleece is Under-rated

Diaper covers can consist of PUL (plastic laminated fabric), wool, or polyester fleece. My daughter is sensitive wool and lanolin, so we had to stop using those covers <insert sad face here>. PUL is great for the car when there could be compression wicking, but it makes her hot and sweaty. I decided to try fleece as a cover. Man, oh man, it's my absolute favorite! I think that cloth diapering parents are resistant to trying fleece, but I think it's under rated and people don't know the true value of it. I'll help debunk some myths about fleece diaper covers.

First, let's talk about the kinds of fleece covers available. Longies are pants. Shorties are pants with a shorter inseam. Soakers are like pull on underwear. Skirties are soakers with a skirt attached. Snap wraps are like PUL snap covers but made with fleece.

Myth #1: Fleece is too hot in the summer. In fact, fleece soakers are perfect for hot weather. While PUL traps moisture completely, fleece is a breathable fabric. When used over prefolds, flats, or fitteds, the fleece soakers only touch the child's skin around the waist and thighs. Fleece longies are my absolute favorite for cool weather.

Myth #2: Fleece is not as effective as wool. In my own personal experience, both materials are equally as effective at repelling liquid. Both of them will wick when under compression, like in a car seat. Both are equally breathable. Some wool lovers claim that while you can keep the child in a wool cover all day, that fleece can get stinky. Occasionally, I will have to change my daughter out of a fleece cover mid-day but usually I can keep her in the same one all day long.

Myth #3: Fleece is more work to wash than wool. While wool doesn't need to be washed as often, it requires special care and hand washing. Fleece can be machine washed and tumble dried with the other diapers, or even with regular clothes. Fabric softener, while usually a no-no in the cloth diapering world, actually helps the fleece's ability to repel. Wool and fleece both have their advantages when it comes to washing, but I personally like being able to machine wash the fleece. It just seems easier.

Myth #4: Fleece is not as durable as wool and not worth investing in. I will admit that fleece covers will probably not last for 4 children in a row like wool can, but it is still durable and cost effective. I have been using fleece soakers for my daughter for over 6 months with no signs of wear other than the usual mild pilling of the fleece. I only need to replace them when she outgrows them, which would be the same with wool. While a wool cover can cost up to $80 or $90, fleece covers range from $5 to $14. So while you may have to buy a new fleece cover after a year or two of use, you could get 8 to 10 new fleece covers before reaching the cost of one wool cover. Fleece covers are an inexpensive way to get a good stash of covers.

Not only are fleece covers effective and inexpensive, they are super cute too. Any fleece print available can be turned into a cover. Wool is cute for sure, but there aren't nursery themed prints available. I do think that a baby wearing a sweater on their butt is adorable, but so are the cute fleece prints.

I personally love love love our fleece covers. I hope after reading this article that you consider trying fleece covers too.

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