Sunday, January 2, 2011

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Cloth Wipes Take 2


When I first began cloth diapering I went all-in, full-tilt, sink or swim.  This included cloth wipes.  I purchased enough wipes to get me through 2 days of changes, a concentrated wipes solution and a wipe warmer.  I even got a special little bottle for premixing the wipes solution with water.  Each day I would add 4-6 wipes to the warmer and pour enough solution over them to saturate.  I truly preferred using the nice warm wipes for my daughter’s diaper changes and throwing the wipes right into the laundry with the diapers was simple and convenient.  Cloth diapers and cloth wipes seemed like a match made in heaven.  Then I ran into some minor snafus that threatened my love of the cloth wipes and made me (temporarily) switch back to disposable wipes.

The messy poop.  Blissfully chugging along with my diapers and wipes I didn’t realize the yuck that came with the messy poop and cloth wipes.  I’m not talking your everyday typical poop; I mean the once-a-week-oh-boy-this-is-a-big-one diaper!  Normally my diaper clean-up is perfect, neat and down to a science.  I have mastered the diaper sprayer so well that my hands never get messy or wet.  Everything changed with a messy cloth wipe.  They can’t be rinsed in the sink and trying to spray them with a diaper sprayer proved very challenging to this self-proclaimed sprayer master.  No problem, I decided to compromise and keep a container of disposable wipes for just such occasions.  My little changing station was getting a tad crowded, but it was worth the sacrifice.

Repelling.  My diapers started to repel and the only culprit that I could come up with was the wipes solution.  I was using a cloth diaper approved solution, yet it did contain several different oils and I believe these were the reason I was having build-up and repelling.  Even diluted I could see the oils floating around in the bottle.  My wipes were soaked in this solution and once laundered with my diapers, released it into the washing water and eventually onto my diapers.  Not good.

Other minor annoyances started to add up.  My wipes weren’t wearing well and were scratchy and stiff.  The changing table was crowded.  The leftover water in the wipes container started to create a bit of muck inside so it had to be emptied everyday, which meant unplugging the unit to dump and clean out.  After all of this and the repelling, I gave up (quite easily I’ll admit) and went back to disposable wipes again.

However, I really missed my cloth wipes for all of the reasons I love my cloth diapers: reusable, better for my daughter, better for the environment, etc.  And with baby number 3 on the way (and thus two in diapers) I decided I had to figure out a way to make this work for us.  This is my (so far) plan for round two with my cloth wipes.  I have gleaned some tips from other moms on this blog and through Diapershop’s Facebook page and think that I might have a routine that works for me, but I’m still open to helpful hints.

  1. I bought some Thirsties wipes.  They are so soft and luxurious, but they seem a little thick for me.  I like the idea of just one layer, so I also bought some cheap baby washcloths, hoping they will stay soft and hold up for a while.  Fingers crossed.
  2. On a whim I bought some California Baby Diaper Area Wash (the only oil ingredient being a very small amount of tea tree oil) at a local store.  I diluted it with distilled water to use as a spray.  I really want to try Baby Bum Drops or Chubby Cherubs Honey Bun Drops, but I’m a little wary of repelling.  Anyone want to sing the praises of either to convince me to try one or both?
  3. I found that spraying onto a dry wipe doesn’t really get the wipe wet enough and seems like a waste of product so each morning I wet about 4 wipes and put them in an old disposable wipes container. No, they don’t stay warm, but I also don’t have to plug anything in and it’s an easy container to clean out.  I then have the option of using them with just plain water, with a little spray of wipe solution on them or (my daughter’s favorite) with a little spray directly on her skin and then use the wipe. 
  4. I have my back-up of disposable wipes for the occasional overwhelmingly messy diaper, but 90% of my diaper changes have been with cloth wipes so far. 
I am hopeful that this system might work; it’s been pretty easy and convenient thus far.  I would love the option of having warm wipes (just a little luxury for my daughter, especially with winter approaching) but I really don’t want to go back to the wipe warmer and running to the bathroom before every diaper change just isn’t going to work.  Otherwise, I think I may have figured it out…until one of you gives me an even better way to go about it!

By Jennifer G.

32 comments:

Nisha said...

I use cloth wipes and keep toilet paper at the changing station for the messy poos. That way I can flush the TP with poo and use the cloth wipes to clean up after the real mess is gone. Works so well...

M said...

I didn't have luck with a wipe warmer. It would just dry out the wipes and didn't warm them up enough. Don't know if it was the brand or if this happens with all wipe warmers. Good luck with the baby washcloths.

Janine said...

Where did you get your wipe warmer, one that works for cloth?

I make a dozen wipes or so per day. I use a bit of baby soap (preferably Earth Mama Angel Baby) and either baby oil or coconut oil and it works great. Here is how I started: http://alternativehousewife.com/starting-cloth-diapers/

I can't imagine handling poo with disposable wipes!

Janel said...

We have a Prince Lionheart warmer with their microbial 'pillow' that goes in the bottom of the warmer. It keeps the wipes wet, and I have never had a problem with muck in the bottom of the warmer. The pillow or the fact that I water down my wipes solution quite a bit has kept our warmer clean.

newmami_rgv said...

I to have been wanting to switch completely to cloth wipes but right now it seems like too much work. My lil one is potty training so we keep wipes everywhere, just in case of accidents. I guess we'll try with our next baby (knock on wood).
CJR @ The Mommy Blog

Cabbage said...

I have two thoughts for you. One, I make my own wipe solution. I take a pitcher with a lid, put 1T of olive oil, 2t of castile soap, 4-6 drops of tea tree oil and fill it up with hot water. That lasts 1-2 weeks and I have only once in my 16-week old daughter's life had to clean it out. I just keep the wipes warmer filled with solution and a stack (maybe 10?) of wipes. When I use the last wipe I put another stack in. When the warmer needs more solution, I put a little in. When I cleaned it out, I just unplugged it, dumped the water and swiped the inside of it with a dry wipe. The other thing I had to mention is that I actually don't spray my wipes, I just throw them into the diaper pail. My daughter is on formula and poops once per day, so it's a fair amount of poop every time. When she poops I take her diaper and find a clean part and wipe off any large amounts that are still on her with it. Then that gets sprayed off into the toilet. Anything else that goes on wipes just goes into the pail. My wash routine is cold rinse and then hot wash with detergent (which has a cold rinse cycle as part of it). I've never had a problem with this system. In fact, one weekend I was at my mom's and just brought CDs and a pail liner and did the wash when I got home. We used disposable wipes and didn't rinse the diapers, we figured we'd wrap the two poopy diapers from the weekend up and rinse them when we got home. Well, we forgot and it went though the wash cycle and you never would have known there were two diapers full of poop in the load. I'm not saying you should make a habit of that, but I'm making the point that I don't think you need to spray your wipes! :)

Amber said...

I bought an aluminum spray bottle from the dollar store, my wipes solution is 2 or 3 drops of baby shampoo plus water. My wipes are fleece cut into rectangles all for about $8... I have over 30 wipes. I spray about 4-5 sprays onto the wipe before I use it.

Amanda said...

I've used cloth wipes for my baby since birth (11 months now) and they've worked great! We even send them to daycare. I have a prince lionheart warmer and it works great. We used to make a solution out of witch hazel and aloe juice and we had to mix a big batch and keep it in the fridge but after doing that for months we simplified and just do a squirt of Dr. Bonner's baby mild and a couple drops of EO and that's it. We always add enough wipes to soak up all the solution so there is nothing to drain (I don't know why the author doesn't do that). If we have a really messy diaper we will spray off the first wipe since it's the messiest but the rest just go in the pail (and before solids we never sprayed anything). Cloth wipes are really simple. I think the author has complicated them for herself.

We also keep a pile of dry wipes handy to dry off the bum too. That helps to prevent rashes.

Rune Ariala said...

We use cloth wipes and I have a solution of baby soap, tea tree oil, and baby lotion, and have no problem. I keep it in a spray bottle and spray directly on my son's bum. Everything cleans up nicely with wipes wet with water. I have no problem with build up.

The problem may be because you are using the drops, which I can only imagine are held together with parabin wax to keep shape.

Sky said...

I haven't tried it but I've heard of moms using a stainless steel thermos with a pump to keep the wipes solution in so it stays warm instead of a spray or peri bottle and eliminating the need for the wipes warmer. Target online has one for $15.99.

Carlie Madsen said...

I just use water lately. I used to mix up my own solution, but it seemed to irritate DS cute bum. Hope your new routine works.

Cyndi said...

I also have the prince lionheart warmer. I just saturate a bunch of cloth wipes with water (we don't use solution) and I haven't had any problems with drying out. They are also nice and warm for my little guy.

I do prep all the wipes (fold and roll) and put them into a disposable wipe container so when I want to refill the warmer I just have to get them wet and put them in. Very handy!

Ashley said...

When I started cloth wipes I would make a solution with tea tree oil and some other nice stuff.

I gave up after two months and now just use water-wet wipes; they sit in my diaper crate until I need them, lol.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I love cloth wipes. I have a basket of wipes that I keep next to the changing table. I keep a bottle of plain water (a peri bottle, like the one you get after childbirth works really well) and I just squirt the wipes with the water before changing. I've tried a wipe warmer, but it made the wipes grow bacteria too quickly.

srg said...

Funny that you hated cloth wipes. I find disposable wipes so annoying b/c I have nowhere to put the dang thing when I'm changing my little ones diaper. Then again, I just started CDing and haven't experienced any repelling yet...I guess only time will tell! Good luck to you! ;)

Missy!! said...

What is the benefit of a wipe solution instead of just water?

Lisa said...

I just leave my cloth wipes stacked up together in a drawer in the kitchen. On the way to her room to change a poopy I grab two wipes, run them under warm water and away we go :) No wipes container on the changing table, no messy container, no oily wipe spray wreaking havoc on my diapers!

Amy said...

We do exactly what you do. Wet washcloths in a disposable wipe container, CB spray and flushable toddler wipes for messy poop. I really like the flushable wipes but they don't cover very much surface area like a disposable wipe. I love Nisha's idea of toilet paper...duh :) It's always on hand.

dannyscotland said...

I gave up on cloth wipes the first time, too. Then I read about someone who used an old squirt-style water bottle to store the solution in, and it works like a charm. The wipes get nice and wet, and I don't have to soak them in anything. The bottle doesn't hold that much solution, so it doesn't get icky. I just use a squirt of baby oil, a squirt of baby soap, and a ton of water. I read about that, too, somewhere, and it seems to be working fine for me. I don't have any repelling and I've been using it for a long time now. I never used a wipe warmer, because my thought was, if baby gets used to warm wipes at home, what's she going to do when we're out? So I never warmed anything, other than in my hands, and she is fine with it.

Peyton said...

Best solution we've used is either plain 'ol water, or my favorite, water with a drop of California Baby Super Sensitive Baby Wash. I used to use a spray bottle, but now I use a little squirt bottle I got at Target (found it in the travel toiletries section). Gets wipes wetter, faster. Put the baby wash in after you fill up the bottle, otherwise you have a bottle full of suds and very little water--that, or you waste the soap coming out the top of the container when you fill it up :) The baby wash is expensive, but you just need a drop (will last forever!!) and then shake up the bottle and you're done.

Boise Wiebers said...

My baby got some cloth wipes for Christmas, so I am just now trying to figure out the best way to use them with our CDs. Thanks for a timely post. - Trisha

Vered said...

When my baby was born but before I started cloth diapering, I cleaned his tushy with cotton wool dipped in water. I kept a thermos with very hot water and a bottle with room temp water by the changing table, and a small plastic bowl - I mixed water from the thermos and the bottle to be nice and warm, dipped the cotton wool and cleaned. I see no reason it would not work with cloth wipes. The thermos kept the water warm for a long time, at least overnight.
When my son grew older and the weather grew warmer I started washing his tush in the sink instead of using wipes. We still use cloth wipes when outside the house.

Vered said...

Grrr I wrote a whole long post but it disappeared... ok to make it short: I used a thermos with hot water + a bottle with room temp water, mixed both in a small bowl and dipped the wipe in it. The thermos kept the water hot/warm for at least overnight.

Vered said...

ok I now see that the posts are moderated - so if you got two previous messages from me, keep the first one and delete the second one, and this :-). Sorry :-)

Mrs. Haid said...

I have been using both the wipes solutions from Kellys Closet that you mentioned! I don't notice repelling, but I do see what you mean. I also don't see any oils floating when I make my wipe solutions (one or two little cubes of glycerin like soaps and 2 cups of hot water). I really like the smell of these wipes. I also like that they are labeled antibacterial... it makes me feel like they are actually a cleaner, unlike plain water. Also unlike plain water, I think it keeps the wipes from mildewing.

I have been wanting to use a wipes warmer, but I haven't bought one yet. I make wipes two disposible containers at a time... probably 10 total, and they last for hand washing after lunch and diaper changes for about 2 days, maybe less. I am pretty liberal with their use!

I also like California Baby diaper spray. A LOT! I haven't saturated wipes with it yet... I use it mostly on skin directly for rashes. I also have found it lasts a long time! That is good because it is pricey and only available at our Target occasionally!

MommytoBB said...

I change in the bathroom floor and just use warm tap water on a baby washcloth.

Madeline said...

I've only had t deal with EBF poop, but I have found that plain water works just fine. I have the same warmer and "pillow" as Janel and have also never had a problem with muck.

jmomma1203 said...

I use a Prince Lionheart Warmer with a microbial pillow as well, and I've never had a problem with the warmer getting messy. I make my own wipes solution with 2c water, 1T baby oil, 1T baby shampoo, and 5 drops tea tree oil. I pour the solution over the wipes in the warmer and they're warm and ready to go for a couple days. I only keep 2 days with in the warmer and I've never had a problem with mildew either. I love cloth wipes! Oh, and for trips out and about, I wet some wipes with my solution and put them in a Planet Wise mini wet bag in my diaper bag. :)

Janel said...

I got mine secondhand, but I know that Amazon sells wipe warmers. Prince Lionheart sells one made for cloth, but mine is for disposable - I just open the lid when I want one instead of feeding it through the top.

Piccola Banana Mama said...

what I do is to put a bowl of warm water by the changing table. I soak one of our OG flannel wipes in that, then spray 2-3 times with a solution I make myself:
1C distilled H20
1T jojoba oil
1T Dr. Bronner's castile soap
2 drops Tea Tree oil

Because I only spray the wet wipe, not soak in solution, I never have had repelling or buildup issues. I also don't need the solution every time, only for the real messes. Otherwise, warm water does the trick!

When going out, I prewet and spray a few wipes and put them in my diaper bag wipes container. Hope this helps you and other moms who want to go all cloth! I find disposable wipes even more irritating to my DD than the disposable diapers, so anyone who can switch, more power to you!

The Cheap Chic Momma said...

Great post! I'm new to the CDing world and this week I have been pondering how the heck am I going to convert to cloth wipes...especially on those nasty explosive days.

Leslie said...

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