Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cloth Wipes

When I first started using cloth diapers I was a little overwhelmed.  Am I doing this right?  Did I pick the best type of diaper?  Is is going to leak?  I was all for cloth diapers, but when someone asked if I was going to use cloth wipes my reply was, “I’m not that crazy!”

Well, now I am.  It didn’t take very long to whip through the stack of disposable wipe packages that I had received as baby shower gifts.  Then I realized that I was spending about $3 a week on wipes.  So I did some research & investigation and decided to take the plunge. 

What Kind of Cloth Wipes to Buy:

Initially I bought some wipes off Ebay for about $1 a wipe.  I didn’t want to invest too much money until I knew if I would stick with cloth wipes or not.  After discovering that I liked my cloth wipes, I delved into a do-it-yourself project and made a bunch of 8”x8” 2-ply flannel wipes.  I have also purchased wipes from the major manufacturer’s of cloth diapers.  Any of those options is a great choice.

Some people just use washcloths.  I personally think that the terry cloth is a little too rough for delicate skin, so I have chosen to stick with the flannel wipes.  I also like the Kissaluvs wipes because they are soft cotton flannel on one side, and more of a velour terry cloth on the other side.  They are super soft!

Some Notes About Wipe Solution Storage:

homemade wipesMany people choose to store their wipes dry and just spray-as-they-go.  For this method, you would fill a spray bottle with your wipe solution (you can buy it or make it yourself, see below).  When it is time for a diaper change you can either spray the wipe to moisten it, or spray the baby’s bum and wipe the solution off with your dry wipe.  You could store dry wipes in an old wipe box, or even a basket that would hold your wipes and spray bottle together.

I prefer to pre-moisten my wipes.  I saved a couple of disposable wipes boxes.  If you get the kind with the rubber sleeve at the top, it makes dispensing easy.  You can fold your wipes in half, and layer them together similar to tissues so that they “pop” out of the box as you go.  I have enough wipes to fill two wipe boxes, plus a stack to carry in my diaper bag.  I only moisten one box at a time, so that I don’t end up with any mold issues from the damp fabric.  I store my wipe solution in a water bottle with a squeeze top.  Any jar with a lid would also work.

homemade wipes
Place the 2nd wipe halfway over the 1st wipe

homemade wipes
Fold the top of the 1st wipe down over the 2nd wipe

homemade wipes
The 3rd wipe overlaps the 2nd wipe halfway, but going up instead of down.

homemade wipes
Fold the 2nd wipe up over the 3rd wipe.

homemade wipes
Repeat until your wipes are stacked like this

When I am ready to moisten a box of wipes, I just squirt a little solution between all of the layers of wipes.  I don’t drench them, but any excess moisture from the top of the stack will help to saturate the bottom of the stack.  Now my wipes are ready to use!


My Wipe Solution:

Here is the recipe for the wipe solution that I use.  Many people just use plain water.  You can customize it however you wish.

4 cups of hot (or boiling) water
3 Tablespoons baby wash or shampoo (I really like to use the nighttime bath that is fragranced with lavender)
2 Tablespoons baby oil (or olive oil)
A few drops of tea tree oil or essential fragranced oils (optional)

Just mix it all together and store it via your chosen method until ready for use.  One “batch” usually moistens several boxes of wipes for me, so I would say it lasts almost a week.  I started using cloth wipes when Elaine was 2 months old.  She is almost 9 months, and I am still on the same bottle of baby oil.  This is a very inexpensive way to do your wipes!

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