Cloth Baby Wipes
I have learned so much over the past seven months of cloth diapering. Some techniques worked great, and some not so great. Nothing has gone terribly wrong, but I am determined to make this way of life so easy that there is no excuse to not cloth diaper. Therefore, the next hurtle to tackle is the baby wipe. I didn’t think about them very much when I started. Along with a large supply of disposable diapers, I was highly supplied with wipes from my baby shower. This was great in the beginning while I was using up the disposable diapers, but once I started using cloth exclusively, they became quite annoying.
I ended up fishing wipes out of the washer or dryer. In a rush or while out and about I would fold the wipe up in the diaper like you would while using a regular disposable diaper. Of course I would forget to take them out while dumping them into the washer. Well, I was washing them anyways, so I might as well make the leap into cloth wipes.
Another item I received at my shower was a bunch of little thin cloths. I actually didn’t know what they were for. They weren’t so great for anything and made out of polyester. I packed them away after trying to use them for wash cloths, but they weren’t absorbent. When I first decided to try cloth wipes, after being annoyed by the disposable ones, I dug those out. I decided that before I invest in nice cloth wipes, I would try using these. I looked up different concoctions for wipes online. There are many different ways to make the liquid on the wipes. Some involved baby soap, but I didn’t think leaving soap residue would be a good idea.
My recipe consists of old plastic wipe container (one with a good opening that you can easily get your hand in), my wipes, warm water, lavender oil, tea tree oil, and Mother’s Special Blend. Mother’s SB is an oil I used while pregnant to rub on my belly that consists of almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. I do have to say that I love this stuff, never got any stretch marks, and will continue to use it as a moisturizer after my shower. I also purchased a cheap 2 cup measuring cup to use only for wipes.
Now that you have your tools, you are just a few minutes away from your own wipes. Depending on what your cloths are made of effects how much water you use. With my old wipes, I used 1 cup of water. I made new wipes out of flannel and use almost 2 cups now. So let’s say we are going to measure out 1 1/2 cups of warm or hot water. Then I put a few drops of each oil in the water. Pour the water over your wipes in the plastic wipe container. Flip the wipes around a little so that all of the wipes are damp. Add a little water if you need more, also on the other hand, if the wipes are too wet, squeeze out the extra water. That’s it!
When you are out of the house you can just get a little spritzer bottle and fill it with the same concoction of water and oils. Pack it in the diaper bag with a few dry wipes. When it comes time to clean up, you can either spray the wipe, or directly on the baby’s bottom. Throw the wipe in the diaper then into the wet bag, just like you have been wanting to do all along.
I guess the last thing, which actually should have been the first thing to decide, is what you want to use for wipes. I initially used the polyester wipes. Then I made some out of cotton wash cloths. I cut them in half and hemmed one side. Neither were making it really easy for me or nice for my baby. The polyester wipes I had to fold after each wash, seems easy, but the fibers kind of stuck together and my hair would always be stuck to them. The cotton towel ones were a little better, but just a little too thick and too rough for a nice wipe. This of course got the old wheels a turnin’ again. I went online again to see what was on the market for cloth baby wipes. Cotton, bamboo, hemp, all a viable choice for a good wipe. Again, all of the ones I found were 8”x8” which means I would be folding wipes again.
My final decision for the perfect wipe was flannel made to the size of the wipe container. I cut my flannel into 8”x8” squares. Then folded them in half and sewed the edges leaving a space to turn right side out. Once turned, I hemmed all the way around to keep them laying flat through washing and drying. The finished wipe turned out to be 3 1/2”x7 1/4”. A stack of 20 perfectly fills the container and takes a yard of 45” fabric. The flannel holds a good amount of liquid and is nice and soft. I love the fact that I can just toss them in the box without folding and messing around with them. They are very simple to make with some time and basic sewing skills, but if you are lacking with either or both, I will be selling them at etsy.com/shop/MandJ34.
Just another step to eliminating all these extra, unneeded, and disposable products. Oh yeah, and expensive. This just gets easier and easier! Off to solve my next money, time, and effort saving endeavor.
Come Visit my Etsy Page if you are interested in purchasing Flannel Baby Wipes. Click the picture below.
One year update.
A year of cloth wipes and diapering brings a few more adjustments.
I added larger baby wipes to my wipe box. I guess sometimes you do need a larger wipe. I mix them in with the small ones so I can grab out the big ones when I really need it. I still mostly use the small ones.
In a snap, if I forget to make some wipes, I can just run a cloth under some warm water and it still does the job.
I bring a small spray bottle with his diaper bag to spray the wipes, but if I forget the bottle just use water. In the bottle is probably two tablespoons of water, three drops each of lavender and tea tree, five drops Mother’s SB. I don’t keep the bottle very full in case it leaks or breaks. The bottle is a little blue essential oil bottle from my local health food store. It was only two dollars so if it breaks it won’t be the end of the world. I haven’t broken it yet or had it leak.
Note to readers: Always test your baby’s possible allergies to ingredient with a small spot test. I have been reading other peoples blogs and wipe recipes. Lavender and tea tree are the only essential oils that are safe to put directly on your skin. Even then I have seen people write about having a lavender allergy. Make an educated decision about each ingredient. All these natural recipes and concoctions can still do harm if done wrong.
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