Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wiping it up: An introduction to cloth baby wipes

Cloth rags, napkins and towels are common alternatives to their paper cousins. But one thing I don't see people clamouring over is the cloth baby wipes.

I stumbled across this at the Indy Winter Market just before the baby's first birthday. Ragamuffin Diapers sold cloth diapers, baby wipes and femimine items made from "recycled flannel." I needed something in the baby's gift bag. I had a moment of weakness (and honestly didn't have enough cash for the homemade diapers, seeing they required covers).

Yes, nothing says "Happy 1st Birthday" like flannel wipes for your tush.

And so they sat, through the holidays. And I finally became brave enough to experiment with them. Logistically, they were a challenge. Bathroom on one side of the house; changing table on another. But I had an eager runner who was all too happy to put water on wipes for me.

And then I found recipes for baby wipe solutions. You can find several variations at Diaper Jungle and But I settled on a makeshift simple three-part solution of baby oil, baby liquid soap and water, now bottled in a small plastic squirt bottle that once held blue Crayola bath soap for my daughter.

I even opted to make more wipes on my own, after finding a pair of my husband's flannel pants in his drawer - despite having a 4-inch rip in them. Well, I suppose they were clean. After a couple of hours of cutting and hand-sewing while catching up on a show, I had doubled my stash. (It's not difficult to do - double up your fabric, cut a large square, then whipstitch together. It would have likely been faster had I actually learned what to do with my sewing machine instead of letting it collect dust!)

Using cloth wipes has settled into a fairly easy routine. Have I given up "regular" wipes in favor of cloth completely? Not yet. There are times when it's just easier to use traditional wipes, such as when cleaning up after one injests blueberries. ('nuff said.) But at least I'm getting braver about it.


Jenna said...

If you're lazy (like me) you can just cut up flannel and not bother sewing. It sheds, but it works like a charm and is cheap and easy...

FWIW, it took me ages of cloth diapering and using disposable wipes before I made the switch, but was quite happy when I did. Baby was, maybe 16 months when I switched? about 9 months when I switched from disposable diapers to cloth.

Anonymous said...

I think using cloth wipes is the same as any other alternative to disposable...Initially you have to think about it but after a while it just becomes routine/normal. I have always used cloth wipes (I was put off by the long ingredients list on the commercial ones!). When bub was younger and nappy changes were more frequent I simply put a squirt of soap-free moisturiser into a contaner with some boiling water and threw in the days worth of wipes (waited until water cooled before use of course!). Now that nappy changes are less frequent i simply run the wipe under the tap and use just water.

I use my Flannel Fings wipes - recycled flannel on one side and recycled towelling on the other.