Now that bub’s sleep mostly back on track, I’ve got a little more time back to get things done. But as is always the way with bubs, once one thing is sorted, something else crops up.
A while ago, when bub was in her first round of wetting heavily and an awkward nappy fit phase, I sought several solutions for handling nappy leaks. A friend told us about this material called Zorb, which is trim and highly absorbent. It’s great for inserts and boosters, but not very easy to obtain at sensible prices in Australia. We split shipping for an order from the manufacturer in the US and picked up a couple yards each of Zorb 3D for only a little more than the cost of Zorb gen 1 from our geographically closest seller. Not knowing when I’d have a chance to do something with it, our stopgap was using some PUL covers to put over her existing nappy to prevent accidents. The wetting situation stabilised, we stopped needing the extra cover as insurance, and I stashed the Zorb for when I had a little more time to work with.
Six months on, bub is wetting heavily again at night, absolutely soaking through her dedicated night nappies, and waking multiple times in the night unable to self-settle without a feed. She’s also drooling again, so we could be teething, it could be another developmental leap and she’s trying to process all this new information, or she could be waking up uncomfortable because she’s wet. And we have no idea what could be a symptom or a side-effect.
So back to the old flowchart of checking for hunger, comfort and tiredness we go. It’s the middle of the night, so she needs to sleep. We’ve fed her so it can’t be hunger, and we change her so that she is comfortable. But she’s still soaked through with most of the changes. The cover helps, but she could still be cold and damp, even if it’s not soaking her clothes and linen.
Option 1: Wool Soaker
I’ve knit up a wool soaker to use instead of a PUL cover. As I learned on school camp many moons ago, wet wool can still keep you warm. And wool soakers are pretty popular and common for cloth nappying. With plenty of spare yarn (Bare Wool of the Andes) from the blanket project, I made a soaker from the popular Vanilla soaker pattern. It’s a quick knit, and can quite easily be done as a weekend project.
Using bulky yarn, and based on the measurements provided, the medium seemed the way to go for bub’s measurements at 9 months. It knit to the size described in the pattern, but it seems a little big with the waist coming up to her armpits. It still does the job, but a size small may be in order.
The Vanilla pattern isn’t free, so if you’re new to knitting and aren’t sure if this is within your capabilities, look up the following techniques:
- provisional cast on with waste yarn (and picking the stitches back up)
- picking up stitches
- knitting in the round with double pointed needles OR magic loop
There are a few other techniques and stitches used in the pattern, but these are quite well described, or can be YouTube’d if you need a visual.
Option 2: Zorb
The Zorb was going to get trot out as replacement inserts for the Bambooty bamboo inserts I have been darning in any case, but the best shape to use was still up for debate. For versatility, I’ve settled on a few trifolds, and some hourglass or rectangular inserts modelled on some of our current nappies to boost our night nappies and replace or augment the darned inserts.
Zorb 3D apparently has 10-15% shrinkage, and the recommendation for Zorb in general is that it’s best to sew before washing as it fluffs up a bit after a wash. My trifolds are 12”x15” before washing and 11″x16″ after(?!). It was a little narrower and longer off the line, but stretched/flattened to 11.5″x15″. There doesn’t appear to be much fluffing with the 3D, so it may be possible to pre-wash the fabric before cutting if you prefer. It’s still nice and soft after washing, and takes a little less time to dry than my Bambooty inserts.
For reference, I did an absorbency test, and the Bambooty bamboo inserts absorb the same amount as these trifolds, but are much more trim, so they’ll be great for boosting night nappies without adding too much bulk.
Bonus: Bibs and Headbands
And just in case of teething, I also made up a set of bibs with matching headbands for funsies. Okay, not quite funsies. The bibs are 100% practical, and I don’t know how much of a problem this is for others, but an inordinate number of strangers like to approach us and engage or chat to bub when we’re out. And pretty much all of them refer to her as a ‘he’. Could be because she has rubbed her fine hair into this very stylish punk faux-hawk. It’s not a big deal, but it does get a bit tiresome answering the question “Is it a boy?” several times a day.
 Weighed dry, soaked in water and hand wrung to a saturation level I comfortably feel would not cause leakage while on the bum, weighed again, difference calculated.