I switched from disposable diapers to cloth when my oldest child (now five) was ten months old. My primary reason for switching to cloth was to cut one more expense out of an already very tight budget.
Almost immediately, I fell in love with cloth diapers – the feel of soft cotton against my baby’s skin instead of plastic and tape just made my heart feel so good. It was such a nice bonus that they were cute, too!
As much as I loved our new cloth diapers, there was one aspect of switching to cloth that I hesitated to embrace – cloth wipes.
I knew it didn’t make sense to hang on to the disposable wipes. I had to deal with them separately from the cloth diapers, and after a while I could clearly see that logistically, cloth wipes would be so much easier. But somehow when I was so freshly new to using cloth diapers, it just seemed so overwhelming to change one more thing.
Finally, I gathered the courage to try cleaning up diaper changes with some baby washcloths that I repurposed as wipes, and from that day forward, I’ve been a cloth wipe convert.
Why switch to cloth wipes?
Photo by little lily bamboo on etsy
1. If you are cloth diapering, it is simply so much easier to switch to cloth wipes as well. The wipe can be tucked into the dirty diaper and goes through the diaper laundry.
2. Disposable wipes sold commercially contain ingredients that provide cause for concern. Recently I looked over a package of one popular brand’s “sensitive” baby wipes. Amongst the ingredients were potassium laureth sphosphate, malic acid, and tocopheryl acetate – all of which score as “moderate” hazards in the Skin Deep cosmetic safety database.
Even more alarming, however, was the inclusion of methylparaben – an ingredient which has been given a score of 10 by Skin Deep – the highest possible level of concern.
And bear in mind these are wipes we are using to clean the most sensitive and delicate skin on our children’s bodies.
Where can I buy cloth wipes?
How can I make cloth wipes?
Photo by WoolDins on etsy
It is extremely easy to make your own cloth wipes! You can certainly repurpose materials from around the house to make your wipes. Old flannel sheets or other 100% cotton flannel items (extra receiving blankets, for example) work nicely, as do old cotton t-shirts.
Once you’ve selected some materials, cut them into squares. Most of the wipes in our collection are either 6 x 6 or 8x 8 inch squares. You can sew around or serge the edges, or just use pinking shears to cut the squares to help with fraying.
How do I store cloth wipes?
Used cloth wipes can go right in with dirty cloth diapers. For those no longer cloth diapering but interested in using cloth wipes for the family, check out Crunchy Chicken’s suggestions on cloth wipes set-up.
For clean wipes, there are two different approaches – keep them in a wipes solution or store them dry and wet as you go.
If you like the convenience of pre-moistened wipes, you can re-use a disposable wipes container. Fold the wipes and soak them in a solution you’ve prepared. I preferred to keep stacks of dry wipes with the diapers and then used a squirt bottle filled with wipes solution to wet them as needed.
How can I create a wipes solution?
Some parents use only warm water with the wipes, but others like to use a homemade wipes solution. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Making a wipes solution is not at all complicated, and it can generally be mixed up from materials you already have on hand. Zany Zebra Designs provides a comprehensive list of wipes solution possibilities.
Besides being economical and safe for baby’s skin, cloth wipes are more effective and efficient than disposable wipes. Not only are they great for diapering, they are also handy to have on hand for a variety of circumstances that call for clean-up. In fact, I found them to be so practical that we have continued to use our cloth wipes as a family even though our cloth diapering days are over.
Have you had success switching from a disposable clean-up system in your home to a reusable one? Tell about your experience in making the switch, or share what concerns you have that prevent you from choosing cloth for cleaning-up.