Covers / Wraps for Cloth Nappies
A PUL cover, in my opinion, is the best all-round cover available. A PUL cover is normally made of polyester with the inside of the cover having a polyurethane layer sprayed on to laminate the fabric. This makes it waterproof but still very soft any pliable. By laminating the fabric, it gives the wrap a high degree of water resistance without compromising the breathable quality needed for the comfort of your baby.
When cared for properly they will last. Most PUL covers can be washed with the nappies and dry in minutes. They are my favorite for day and night time use.
Fleece and Wool CoversFleece and wool covers both work quite differently from PUL. With PUL, the cover is used contain the moisture, while still allowing a little air to pass through. Fleece and wool covers tend to allow much more air in and out of the nappy and this air-flow can allow some evaporation of moisture from the nappy. So while they contain the moisture in the nappy they can actually help get rid of some of it as well. Contrary to what most people think, this actually makes them the coolest cover option. The cooling effect of the evaporation makes the cover a personal, bottom-sized air conditioner.
Fleece and wool both also act as a barrier to prevent leaks because they do not hold water and are generally a fitted wrap with elasticized legs. One issue with wool is it is only made water resistant by the presence of lanolin so wool covers need to be re-lanolised every now and again. This is done by soaking the cover in a diluted lanolin solution.
The only times I would avoid using fleece or wool covers is when a synthetic fitted nappy is being used or if a baby is sitting in the car or pram for extended periods because of the lack of airflow. This will restrict evaporation and could potentially cause leaks as the wool and fleece covers are not technically water proof, they are highly water resistant.
How many covers will I need?Unless a cover is attached to the nappy like a pocket or an all in one, it will not need to be changed at every nappy change. Some parents can use a clean cover at the start of the day and use another clean one for overnight. Or sometimes it is possible to use the same cover for 24 hours. However, once poo makes contact with the cover it needs to be washed. I generally suggest that customers have 4 covers so they have one on baby, one in the wash, one drying and one ready to be used.
The same cannot be said for wool covers as they cannot be used for two consecutive nappies because the fibers need to 'air'. Most parents tend to alternate between two wool covers throughout the day or just have one wool cover for night time use only.