Thursday, August 2, 2012

Using Cloth Baby Wipes - Breaking it Down

One annoying thing that I found about using cloth diapers was the wipes. The main issue being: what do you do with regular, disposable wipes if you are cloth diapering? If you were using a disposable diaper, you would just wrap up the dirty diaper with the wipes inside and throw it away. If you are using cloth, you have to separate them from the diaper and then throw them away, which is annoying. I didn't really like having another trash can sitting next to the changing table for the wipes along with the diaper pail. And isn't that part of the whole point of cloth diapers, to minimize your (stinky) trash? You are already washing the diapers, it didn't seem like a big deal to throw in the wipes too.

So from early on, I decided to try cloth wipes out. Before I talk about my experiences, let me break it down for you.

How Does It Work
In doing some research, there seemed to be two methods:
1. Keep the wipes dry and use a spray bottle of solution. You then can either spray the wipe when you need one or spray the dirty bum directly.
2. Keep the wipes in a container already wet and ready to go. For this option, popular container options include either a wipe warmer, a plastic container that normal wipes come in, or some other Tupperware-ish thing.

Solution Options
For either method, you need a solution to wet the wipes. Here, you can:
1. Buy a product that is ready to use; these often come in a spray bottle and are generally the most expensive option.
2. Buy a product that is concentrated and needs to have water and/or witch hazel added.
3. Make your own solution with one of the many recipes floating around on the web.

Wipes OptionsFor this, some options I've seen include:
1. Purchasing cloth wipes, usually flannel.
2. Using baby washcloths.
3. Making your own out of fabric or a receiving blanket.

I decided to buy Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion, which is a concentrate, and using a spray bottle with a stack of dry BumGenius Flannel baby wipes. When Addy was smaller and exclusively breastfeeding, it worked great. I would either spray the wipe or her actual bottom, and I liked the fact that I could make the wipe as wet as I wanted. Sometimes I felt like the commercial wipes were way too wet, and I just wanted her to be dry after this process was done. I found a small spray bottle that I carried around in my diaper bag, which worked out great too.

It surprised me how long a bottle of the spray would last, and I also found that I didn't need to use much of the Kissaluvs concentrate to make the solution work well. I used filtered water from our Brita pitcher, one long squirt of witch hazel, and maybe 10 drops or so of the concentrate. I do think that the concentrate was a decent investment, and that you couldn't buy all of those oils separately for less money. The bad news is that finding good spray bottles is strangely difficult (I've found this with making my own cleaning solutions for the house too); I've had like 3 die out on me and stop working.

But when Addy started eating solid food and her poop changed, I found that I was back to wanting those super wet commercial wipes! The spray was just not enough, and I didn't think they were getting her clean enough. I went back to using the disposable wipes for a while and basically got lazy, but I've been wanting to get back to using cloth. So here is my plan to try to get back into using them:

1. Make more wipes out of some receiving blankets. I want enough wipes to last two days, which is how often I wash diapers.
2. Try pouring the solution on the them in an old wipe container, which should make them more wet.
3. Try using some washcloths as wipes, because I think they will wipe cleaner and smoother.
4. Get a at least two, maybe three squeeze bottles to fill with solution. That should mean I am making solution no more than once a week, and I can just squeeze it on the wipes whenever I need to refill.

I am hopeful that this will work, but I will keep you updated on my progress. All I know is that I'm tired of picking dirty, commercial wipes out of poopy diapers and putting them in my bathroom trashcan. :-P

Here are some of the links that I found during my research as well as links to products that I have used:

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