Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cloth Wipes for the Win!!!

I always find it amusing when people come into the store, and tell me that while they are on board with cloth diapering, there is NO WAY they will use cloth wipes. For some unknown reason, they feel that is going too far. Why use cloth wipes? Well, if you were using disposable diapers and wipes, you would wipe your baby, place the wipe in the diaper and throw it away. With cloth diapers and cloth wipes, you do pretty much the same thing- put the dirty wipe in the diaper, and chuck it into your wet bag; it all gets washed together. But if you are using disposable wipes, with cloth diapers, you just made an extra step for yourself- you wipe, have to find a place to set the poopie wipe while you finish your diaper change, then throw the wipe into the trash can, and put your diaper in your wet bag. Inevitably, you will end up washing some disposable wipes. It’s not a huge issue, but why create extra work and expense? Another reason to use cloth wipes is because they actually work better than disposables! They really do! With a really messy diaper, you can use around five, six, maybe more disposable wipes. I have NEVER needed more than two cloth wipes. Seriously! Plus, with cloth, you know what you are putting against your baby’s butt. Those disposables? They contain preservatives and parabens (to keep the liquid solution from going rancid), humectants (to make sure they don’t dry out), surfactants (to clean and lubricate), and artificial fragrance (so your baby can smell like an artificial baby). The wipes themselves are made of a variety of textiles, including strands made of melted plastic. Yuck! I decided to make my own cloth wipes while nesting before my last baby was born. I hunted out the cutest, softest flannels, cut and stitched simple squares. It was that easy. Then my older kids accidentally ripped a nice fitted sheet, and rather than trash it, I cut that sucker up as well. Repurposed! I felt great about not throwing that soft, patterned flannel away! Here I am a year and a half later, and I’ve noticed those cute flannels have faded under constant washing, and some have thinned. I figured it’s about time to make some more. Unfortunately, being a homeschooling, part-time working mom of three kids has left me NO time to make more. I decided to go ahead and purchase some to supplement my stack and save myself the stress of trying to do it all. I found there are so many options! There are standard flannel- both patterned, and plain unbleached natural, and there are Kissaluvs Premium organic cotton, and Lucky Green Baby wipes. I’ve already used the standard wipes; I was ready to try something different. So I grabbed a few of the Kissaluvs- they run 2 bucks a piece, but oh, the luxury! They have a cute flannel pattern on one side, and super soft organic cotton velour on the other! I’d heard these wipes are wonderful used dry for snotty baby noses and since we had some snotty noses at home, that was my first experience with them! They worked great! Super soft on sore little noses, no redness, no screaming when we needed to wipe. I went ahead and washed them with my diapers, but felt almost resistant to trying something so nice on a poopie butt. But I did. The flannel side worked like my normal wipes, and the longer nap on the velour side was prefect for creases, and gave a smooth wipe. I will say, the two sides shrink up once washed, and never make a perfect square again, but…who cares? Next I tried Lucky Green Baby wipes! These wipes, made by a local stay at home mom, are also two-sided- one side with flannel, the other with soft cotton terry. These have become my go-to wipe for poop messes! The terry side cleans the stuck on poo; fold, flip, and the flannel side just wipes the whole area clean. Smooth and easy! And since all the fabrics had been pre-washed, they stay perfect squares that don’t get lumpy when you fold them. And either of these wipes would make great baby wash cloths as well! Lastly, people always ask how to use cloth wipes. Do you presoak them so they are already moist? Use them dry? What do you use as a wipes solution? The answers vary from person to person. Everyone seems to have their own preference. For the longest time, I kept mine pre moistened, in a wipes warmer, and in a normal wipes case in my diaper bag. Then, I had some wipes in the diaper bag for too long, and when I opened it, they smelled a little funky from sitting so long with no chemicals keeping them “fresh”. So I decided to try another method many of my CD friends recommend- I keep my wipes dry, and keep a peri bottle (you know, the kind they give you at the hospital after having a baby) with my wipes solution in it. I squirt what I need right onto the wipe (and okay, sometimes straight on my baby’s bum), and wipe! I really like this method because I can keep a corner dry to dry off the creases before putting a new diaper on. I close up the bottle top, and it easily tucks into my diaper bag- and now I have dry wipes handy for snotty noses too. As far as solutions go- again, you have lots of options! You can buy a concentrated solution you mix with water, a handy foaming pump or spray for your diaper bag, check out some options here: Or, make your own solution. There are a variety of recipes out there. I use about 2 cups of water, 1-2 Tbs of whatever baby wash we have handy, a few drops of tea tree oil (it’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial, so it keeps your wipes fresh!), lavender oil (it an antiseptic and antifungal…but I just like the smell), and a ½ tsp of olive or coconut oil to give a smooth wipe, and protect baby’s bum. And some people…just use plain old fashioned water. 

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