11 Reasons Why You Want To Use Alpaca For Your Baby
Updated: Mar 7
Are you scared that your baby is uncomfortable when he or she is sleeping? That their blanket doesn’t breathe, or let a baby move freely? As a parent, you only want the best for your children and you might wonder... Are alpaca woolen products good for your baby?
Alpaca wool is perfect to use for babies and young children. It is soft and hypoallergenic on their sensitive skin, and breathable, stretchy and light. Alpaca wool is versatile and can be used indoors and outdoors. Another great benefit is that alpaca doesn’t absorb smells or stains.
Here are some reasons why you might want to consider using alpaca woolen products for your newborn:
Babies feel comfortable with alpaca wool
Babies are unlikely to get an allergic reaction from alpaca wool
Babies will not overheat with alpaca wool
Babies can move freely with alpaca wool because it is stretchy
Babies can move freely with alpaca wool because it is light
Prevent your baby from losing heat with alpaca wool
Save time NOT washing alpaca wool (often)
Your baby can nap anytime with an alpaca woolen blanket
You don’t have to worry about the quality of an alpaca woolen garment
You contribute to a green and sustainable future for your baby
Investing in alpaca wool will bring you pleasure for multiple generations
Natural materials in general, and alpaca wool specifically, are known for their comforting features. They are soft on the skin, breathable and elastic. Babies can move freely using alpaca woolen items, such as sweaters, socks, hats, or blankets.
A Note About Blanket Safety
This article talks about alpaca woolen clothing and small blankets used for wrapping. Babies shouldn’t use blankets in their crib until they are at least 1 year old. You should always be careful when using blankets, pillows or other objects in a baby’s crib. Read more about crib safety and sleeping and potential causes of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
1. Babies Feel Comfortable With Alpaca Wool
Natural materials in general, and alpaca wool specifically, are known for their comforting features. They are soft on the skin, breathable and elastic. Babies can move safely using alpaca woolen items, such as sweaters, socks, hats, or blankets.
Newborns, infants and toddlers are especially sensitive to external stimulants. Itchy, rough or clammy fabrics are a great cause of trouble for our young ones - and thus for you, as they might steal away too many hours of sleep.
Babies’ skin is incredibly sensitive, and something that might feel natural or comfortable on our roughened skin doesn’t necessarily mean it feels the same way for a baby, too. A baby’s skin is very vulnerable to itchy fabrics and irritable contents.
Generally, natural fabrics are better for babies, but even natural fabrics like cotton can still be rough on a baby’s skin. If such fibers, that are naturally rough, do feel soft, they have been treated with chemicals that make them softer. These chemicals in turn, can irritate your baby’s skin.
To protect your child and give it the best protection you can, opt for natural fibers that are untreated. And with untreated, it might even be worth looking into fabrics that are even undyed! (As most dyes are also chemical!) A great example is wool, although regular wool can be itchy.
Instead of regular sheep’s wool, consider using merino wool, alpaca wool or even baby alpaca wool. These fibers are known for their softness, itch-free touch and irritable-free qualities. You can use these types of wool without worrying. Feel secure knowing that your baby will sleep comfortably, and so will you.
2. Babies Are Unlikely To Get An Allergic Reaction from Alpaca Wool
Your baby’s skin is safe from allergic reactions and is very unlikely to get rashes or irritations caused by (baby) alpaca wool because it is hypoallergenic.
Even though merino wool is a great material to use for your baby when it comes to softness, it is not hypoallergenic, as it does contain lanolin. Alpaca wool however, does not contain lanolin and is therefore naturally hypoallergenic.
When something is hypoallergenic, no allergy-producing substances or materials are in the product. One of the most important things found in wool that people can react to, is lanolin, a greasy substance found on wool-bearing animals.
Alpacas naturally don’t have lanolin in their fleece, and the wool, therefore is lanolin-free.
There are fabrics that can be made hypoallergenic, but this is a chemical process that is possible to harm the environment. There is also no guarantee that something that is made lanolin free is actually 100% hypoallergenic.
3. Babies Will Not Overheat With Alpaca Wool
One of a parent’s greatest fears is that a baby is cold overnight. As a reaction, parents might happily tug their babies in with too many warm, or clammy blankets or layers of clothes. When this happens, a baby can actually overheat and get too hot instead. This, in turn, can result again in sleepless nights.
The parent’s fear of wanting to make sure that the baby doesn’t get cold is totally understandable, as babies up to 18 months don’t have the capability to regulate their own body temperature yet. They also don’t have as many glands as we have as adults, so their natural ability to cool down when they are feeling hot is limited, too.
To prevent a baby from overheating, not only at night, but at all times, it is important that breathable materials are used. When a fabric is breathable it can maintain a consistent temperature without becoming clammy or sweaty. Breathable also means that moisture can be redirected into the environment (instead of sticking on the inside).
Both merino and alpaca wool are highly breathable. You’ll find other breathable materials too (like cotton, silk, and linen), but they won’t be as warm as merino and alpaca wool, or nylon and polyester, but they are synthetic fibers.
4. Babies Can Move Freely With Alpaca Wool Because It Is Stretchy
Babies move a lot in their sleep and they obviously need the space to develop their motorics. However, when a baby moves a lot in their sleep, they can easily hurt themselves when they bump into the frame of the crib, which can result in the baby starting to cry. This can be avoided by wrapping a baby in a sleeping bag or special swaddle blankets.
When a baby is swaddled up, he or she feels as if she is in the womb: safe and comfortable. Of course, you don’t want to have your baby wrapped up too tightly, and it is important that there is enough leeway for the baby to move, just enough - not too much.
Fibers can be elastic and flexible on the one hand, and on the other hand they can be resilient or springy. These features can be important for different purposes, as elasticity and flexibility help a garment to be comfortable, especially when swaddling is the purpose. Resilience and springiness means a fabric easily goes back to its original shape.
Imagine your baby moving up and about, and the fabric doesn’t go back to its original shape… That would take away from the baby’s comfortable womb-imitating space. To assure the babies feeling of security, resilience is actually important.
These terms can be measured by the natural crimp that is present in a fabric. Fibers like alpaca wool have the perfect crimp that prevents a piece from losing its shape, but just elastic enough that there is enough stretch present. Alpaca wool has the natural ability to put itself back into shape, without deforming a piece.
5. Babies Can Move Freely With Alpaca Wool Because It Is Light
Since alpaca woolen blankets have the perfect elasticity for a baby to be protected and comfortable at the same time, your next question might be whether it is not too heavy. Some blankets, and especially woolen blankets, can be pretty heavy.
The weight of a blanket on a baby can prevent him or her from moving freely, which may result in sleepless nights for both of you.
Alpaca wool is naturally much lighter than sheep’s wool, because of its hollow fiber. The fiber of sheep’s wool is not entirely hollow, and therefore much heavier. Lighter options, like synthetic or plant based fibers will not have the elasticity and/or breathability like alpaca wool has, while they might be lighter.
6. Prevent Your Baby From Losing Heat With Alpaca Wool
The fear of a parent that their baby might be cold is not misplaced. Babies have not yet developed the capability of regulating their own temperature, and it is likely that babies lose heat through their heads.
According to Romper, babies need hats because their heads are proportionally bigger compared to their bodies. This leads to proportionally more heat loss through the head, which can be prevented by using hats.
On the other hand, parents might struggle to keep their babies warm without using blankets that could potentially cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). One way to avoid using blankets is by using sleeping bags or socks that keep the baby warm.
Merino and alpaca woolen socks and hats are a great way of keeping your baby warm without the risk of overheating. Especially hats need to be soft and comfortable, because the hat can be extra sensitive to itching and irritation.
7. Save Time NOT Washing Alpaca Wool (Often)
Diapers, clothes, towels, burp cloths, you name it. As a parent, you are probably overwhelmed with the number of tasks, items and details that need to be taken care of. Alpaca wool has great wicking capabilities which means that water or moisture do not get absorbed easily (of course, they will eventually as long as there is enough moisture for a long enough time).
Generally speaking, you barely need to wash alpaca woolen products as you can sweep away moisture before they can cause stains, and smells don’t get absorbed easily. So while your baby is doing its poopy business, you don’t need to worry that his or her blanket or clothes get smelly or dirty.
It must be a great relief knowing that you don’t need to add another item to your laundry basket when you use alpaca woolen products. And if any smells do get into the fabric, airing your piece will suffice.
Just don’t use one as a diaper and expect it to stay clean for long. ;)
8. Your Baby Can Nap Anytime With An Alpaca Woolen Blanket
Not sure where life takes you with your baby? Is life full of surprises while you try to bring order and regularity into your babies life? With an alpaca woolen item you don’t need to worry about your baby's temperature wherever you go.
Alpaca wool works as an insulating and isolating layer for your baby’s body. This means that the temperature that is outside will be blocked from penetrating the fabric to cool your baby down, or warm him or her up.
On the other hand, that same layer works to insulate the baby: keeping the temperature inside, inside, without major changes in temperature. The air on the inside layer of an alpaca woolen item will maintain the body temperature constant.
This means that a baby with an alpaca woolen blanket or sweater can use it inside and outside without major fluctuations in temperature.
Since alpaca wool is also wind-resistant, water-resistant, and offers protection from UV radiation, there is no weather environment that you will not be prepared for. On top of that, you can even use alpaca wool in warm weather, because the insulation also works to protect the body from heating up.
So, whether you are inside, outside and whether those environments are hot or cold, it doesn't matter when you use alpaca wool.
9. You Don’t Have to Worry About the Quality of an Alpaca Woolen Garment
There’s this magical moment where a baby grabs your fingers and squeeeeezes the * out of them. It is the moment a proud parent realizes how strong their little one actually is. You don’t want your bebe to grab an expensive woolen blanket and teeeeeeeear it apart, right?
Thou shalt not worry: alpaca wool is strong!
Alpaca wool is one of the strongest mammal fibers in the world. It is stronger than sheep’s wool and even stronger than merino wool. Alpaca wool has great tensile strength, which means that when you pull it, it will resist breaking longer than other types of fibers.
There are only a few more natural fibers that have better tensile strength than alpaca wool has, like silk and hemp, but they are far from being as warm and soft as alpaca.
Another way to look at strength is to look at the bending strength. As you might guess from its name, bending strength indicates how often a fiber bends before it breaks. This is important when it comes to fit and comfort, as the bending strength is related to the flexibility of a fiber.
Comparing alpaca wool to merino wool: the bending strength of merino wool is actually higher than that of alpaca wool, but the tensile strength is much lower, making merino wool a generally weaker fiber than alpaca. So, if you’re interested in quality and durability, alpaca is your way to go.
10. You Contribute to a Green and Sustainable Future for Your Baby
Alpaca wool is durable, sustainable, and has a pretty “green” production process. The alpaca animal is incredibly environmentally friendly, has a low footprint and is self-sufficient. Alpaca wool is a fiber that does not harm the environment like synthetic fibers do, and lasts long enough to bring generations of families pleasure in its usage.
In today’s world, the debate on synthetic fibers, fast fashion and unsustainable and inhumane practices is extremely important. Not only do we harm our planet and its animals in the present, we also put our future in danger with landfills, plastic waste and exhaustion of natural resources.
I can only imagine that you want to change your footprint in any way possible as a parent, and cause no further damage for your child and its future. Using alpaca wool is a great way to contribute to a green, sustainable supply chain.
Alpaca wool is also biodegradable, which means that when its usage comes to an end (which will take a very long time!), Earth will be able to decompose a garment without absorbing any chemicals - as there are none of those used for the alpaca wool process.
11. Investing in Alpaca Wool Will Bring You Pleasure for Multiple Generations
I often participate in local markets and fairs to sell my alpaca woolen products. Every time I am at one such event, someone comes up to me with a story about a sweater (and other items) that has been in their family for generations.
Alpaca wool doesn’t pill, it doesn’t felt, it doesn’t lose its shape. That is, if taken care of properly, of course. Alpaca wool can last for generations and can bring pleasure to entire families for years and years of intense use.