Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.
I‘m here to let you in on a little parenting secret I’ve discovered. Do you want to get rid of those really disgusting diaper changes? The ones that seem to use half a box of wipes to clean up because – well, I won’t go into that, because if you’re a parent then you definitely know what I’m talking about.
While I can’t change what shows up in your little one’s diaper, I can help to make the clean up much, much easier. Here’s my secret: use cloth wipes instead of disposable. Not only are cloth wipes reusable and eco-friendly, they’re also free of all of the dangerous chemicals found in disposable wipes.
And they are so much better at cleaning your baby’s bum! A typical dirty diaper change requires just one wipe, and I think the most cloth wipes I’ve used for the worst diaper change was only three! Whereas with disposable wipes, using three or four is typical for a regular diaper change, and I could easily go through ten, or more, on the worst of the worst diapers.
Getting started with cloth wipes
First you’ll need to decide what you’ll use for your cloth wipes, and fortunately, you have lots of options to choose from.
· You can buy flannel, velour, or even bamboo wipes from either an online store that sells cloth diapers, or do a search on Etsy for one-of-a-kind wipes. This is probably the most expensive option, but your wipes will be very high quality.
· Homemade wipes are simple to make, either with fabric you’ve purchased, or by using fabric you already have, such as scraps from other projects or flannel receiving blankets you’re not using. You can sew the fabric into wipes yourself, based on your preferences, or you could use pinking shears and cut squares of fabric to use.
Here are a few tutorials to help you in making homemade wipes:
· Consider using baby washcloths as wipes. This is what I use, and have found works best for me. I buy packs of the little, thin baby wash cloths that you can get at any big box store like Target or Meijer. They cost about six dollars for a package of 12 washcloth, and I think 50 cents a wipe is a pretty reasonable price.
Photo from Little Lily Bamboo on Etsy
Using Your Cloth Wipes
Once you have made or purchased your cloth wipes, you’ll have to decide on a system for using them during diaper changes.
I like to keep my cloth wipes in a reused disposable wipes container. I used to fold them into a nice little pile to fit in the container, but I’ve found I really don’t need to fold little squares of cotton that are just going to be used to wipe my baby’s bum, so now I just throw a bunch of wipes into the container together.
You can use just plain water on your wipes, and many mamas will recommend this especially if your little one has sensitive skin. At times that I’m feeling too busy, or really just too lazy to make wipes solution, I will just use water, and it works great.
But, most of the time I like to make an easy wipe solution that I think helps to give my wipes a little extra cleaning power.
Homemade Cloth Wipes Solution
- 1 Tsp.* of Baby-mild Castile Soap
- 5-7 drops Tea Tree Oil and/or Lavender Oil
- 1 cup water
Combine the ingredients, either in a small bowl or a spray bottle. (*Measurements are approximate, I usually just squirt some castile soap in and add several drops of TTO.)
Some people like to keep their solution in a spray bottle and just wet their wipes before using them. I actually pour the solution over the wipes in the wipes container and use them that way. Then they are always ready to go, whether I’m changing a diaper on the couch, the bed, or the changing table, and I’ve found that the tea tree oil keeps them from getting musty or moldy.
Cleaning your cloth wipes is easy if you already use cloth diapers, you can simply through them in your diaper pail and wash them along with your diapers. If you use disposable diapers you can still use cloth wipes, just wash them along with your other household wipes and rags.
You could also keep a container of cloth wipes on the back of the toilet to use for your potty training toddler, older children, or even family cloth, if you’re so inclined (they really work so much better than toilet paper). They’re also great for keeping in the diaper bag, for diaper changes of course, but also for cleaning little hands and faces, and all the other messes that kids somehow seem to make.
Using cloth wipes for diaper changes with your little ones might seem like a hassle at first, but once you’ve tried them and see how much better they work than disposable wipes, I bet you’ll make the change a permanent one at your home.
Would you consider using cloth wipes on your little one’s bum? If you already use cloth wipes, what’s your favorite homemade wipes solution?