Cries in the Night – Cloth Diapers II

Long time, no see!  It has been ages since we last posted (and I’m actually feeling kind of nervous about this one).  I’m telling you now, babies are way way way more exhausting than anyone lets on.  Way more.  But in a good way.  However, now that she’s crawling around, teething and generally making mischief, she can kind of entertain herself for whole minutes at a time.  This means we have spare time here and there to get something accomplished other than just washing and folding dirty diapers and keeping everyone in the house fed.  I’m hoping this means new projects and new posts!

Workhorse Diaper Back

So I promised some of you an update to our Cloth Diapers post now that we’ve been at it for 8 whole months.  Our system is still working great, with a few minor and one major update.  This post is just tackling the major update which is night time diapering.  Imagine I said that in a spooky Halloween voice because that’s how I feel about it.  This significant portion of the day now has a system all its own.  Every baby is different, but our little girl can seriously drown a diaper at night and changing sheets and mattress covers at two in the morning is not my idea of a good time.

Harper with Woolie

So, I did some research and decided to try out what we’re calling the Woolie.  This giant wool diaper is a game changer.  Ok, yes it looks a little ridiculous, she looks like a turkey and she can barely roll over in it, but it works!  So, she’ll just have to deal with the snickers from the peanut gallery.  Under the Woolie is a workhorse diaper and a DIY fleece liner.

A little about the Woolie (which you can purchase here at Green Mountain Diaper).  This isn’t your army blanket wool in diaper form.  This is incredibly soft and correctly treated, this diaper is self cleaning.  That’s right friends. We’ve had ours for at least 4 months and I’ve washed it twice.  Once when I got it to make it water resistant and once when she got it really dirty in the middle of the night, if you know what I mean.  It has no smell and that doesn’t mean “well, it doesn’t smell horrible.” I really mean it has no smell except for a little bit of eucalyptus which is in the wash I used.  And did I mention how soft it is?

Diaper Insert and Workhorse

The Workhorse Diaper (we got them here from Green Mountain Diapers) are made by the same people who brought us the Cloth EEZ pre-folds that we use during the day.  These have elastic and snaps so they go on just like a regular diaper, plus they have a thick fabric piece for absorbing wetness.  The fleece liner is a critical piece of the night time wetness puzzle.  The fleece wicks away moisture from her little bum.  It doesn’t feel wet, so it keeps her from waking up. Sound like a winner?  Yes it is.

The fleece liners are incredibly easy to make and below are instructions on how I put them together, but Green Mountain also has a wide variety in different price ranges here if you value sleep over sitting at the sewing machine and I certainly don’t blame you.

Diaper Inserts Cutting


I picked up a half yard of some polar fleece at Hancock Fabrics on sale for a couple of bucks and made maybe 15 inserts, which is more than enough for the amount of laundry that we do.  It isn’t organic or anything, but I was a little desperate at that point and didn’t take the time to source some nicer fleece.  I tried several different styles, shapes and designs but they all functioned exactly the same, so here’s the easiest method.

Diaper Insert Sizing

The workhorse diapers have elastic in them so it is easier to use one of the pre-folds to find a length and width for your insert rectangles.  Fold your fleece in half so there are two pieces together, and cut out a whole row of them at a time.  Keep the two pieces together.

Diaper Insert Pinning

You are going to want to pin the pieces together, otherwise your sewing machine is going to stretch one side and you’ll end up with two totally different sized pieces.  Learn from my mistakes.

Diaper Insert Sewing

Then you just have to sew them together!  No need to turn them inside out to get rid of the raw edge, they aren’t going to fray and you won’t be able to tell if they have a raw edge or not after a few washes, so why not just make things a little easier on yourself.  Just make sure you sew relatively close to the edge, I ‘d say around 1/4 to an 1/8 of an inch.  And I did two rows of stitches, but it really isn’t necessary.

Diaper Inserts Designs

I also stitched in the middle so they wouldn’t puff up in the wash.  I went with all different designs because I was feeling spunky but a couple of lines should do it.  And that’s it!  Totally easy.  As for washing them, I just wash and dry them with the diapers.  I tried air drying them to keep them nice and soft but they pilled up anyway, so I gave up and started drying them.

Workhorse Diaper


Ok, so now that you have your inserts you just need a workhorse and your Woolie diaper.  Here’s the workhorse in size medium.  It says its for 14-24 lbs, but we think its a little small and Harper is 18 lbs at the moment so I recommend  sizing up.  For under the Woolie, its fine if its a little large, especially since you’re stuffing an extra layer in there.  We now have 6 and its barely enough to get through until the next laundry day.

Workhorse Diaper

Unfolded you can see the extra padding in there which is really nice.  It is also great that it is only attached at the back so that it dries much faster than it would otherwise.

Diaper Insert and Workhorse

Add your cute little fleece insert and wrap that baby up!

Haper in the Workhorse

Gotta love that soft cotton against her skin instead of paper and chemicals.

Harper with Woolie

Next on is the Woolie. It’s a little intimidating at first.  When it arrives, the wool is loosely woven and there are all these warnings about checking it before you take it out of the package and not to have rings or long fingernails that could pull on it and you have to be really careful when you wash it.  Don’t worry, just be gentle with it at first but you can’t really mess it up.  There are some really detailed instructions that come with it from Green Mountain for those of us who like that sort of thing.  It takes up to 2 days to dry, so just be warned that you’re not going to get to use it the night it comes in!

Harper Ready for Bed

We got the size Large because its expensive and we only wanted to buy one of them.  It was absolutely huge at first, but she’s not going to be running around in it, so it works just fine.   Now she’s starting to grow into it.

The only down side is that its huge.  She doesn’t fit in cute little footie pajamas anymore, but the trade-off is worth it.  She can still wear tee shirts and onesies that are one size larger than what she normally wears.

Diaper Storage Update

So we’ve had to update our diaper storage units.  On the right are the pre-folds, which we’ve had to fold in half to fit them.  On the left are the workhorse diapers.  The middle top are the disposables and the fleece liners and under that are the Thirsties Duo Wraps.  The wool diaper we just hang over the edge of the crib, inside out to dry during the day.

Harper Workhorse Diaper

There you have it.  What to do when your baby is a heavy wetter.  She was sleeping through the night for a couple of months after we switched.  Now, she gets hungry.  If you have any suggestions for how to feed a hungry baby without waking up, let me know!

P.S. We’ve updated Harper’s photos weekly/monthly photos here!

Author: Jamie Forbes

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