Lanolin is a natural oil produced by sheep. The purpose of lanolin (when on the sheep) is to weatherproof their coat (ie waterproof!! Very nice for a diaper cover!), condition their wool (man, I wish my head made its own conditioner!), and keep their coats clean (lanolin plus wool plus moisture=natural soap). When applied to your diaper cover wool, this means that lanolin will help your wool to absorb more water before feeling damp (wool will absorb moisture regardless of whether it is lanolized-but it absorbs a LOT more if it is lanolized!), keep your wool feeling soft and luscious against your baby's skin, and it is the reason that you should only have to wash your wool every few weeks to months (depending on how many times it gets wet).
Lanolizing needs to be done before you use your wool for the first time, and again every time you wash your wool (not necessarily talking about spot cleaning for a little bit of poop here, but if you wash the whole cover, you will need to relanolize). Assuming you don't have a major poop blowout at some point and your cover is just getting a little urine on it, you will know it's time to relanolize when your cover starts to retain a bit of a urine/nitrogen smell or if you notice that you are starting to get some leaking or a lot of dampness on the cover but the diaper underneath it is not thoroughly soaked.
There are a LOT of lanolin products out there and at some point, I will probably do a blog post that talks about those options more specifically. However, for today I'm going to show you how to easily lanolize a cover using products that you probably already have around your home (and if not, you can get these easily and cheaply at any drug store or online). I apologize for the less than ideal picture quality-these were taken using a camera phone but hopefully you can get the idea!
|First, you need to gather your "ingredients": a sink or bucket, a container with a lid that can hold at least a cup of water, lanolin, baby soap, a towel, and of course, your cover!|
|Just to verify-yep, this is Medela lanolin-the type that you used at the very beginning of breastfeeding (and hopefully don't need anymore!!! Any pure lanolin will work, though.|
|Okay, on to the lanolizing! Fill your sink (or bucket, etc.) with room temperature water.|
|Add a pea sized amount of lanolin to your container|