If cloth wipes are the solution, what’s the problem? Sorting disposable wipes from the laundry, trying to speed through a diaper change without confusing a trash can and a wet bag, and peeling wipes off aplix were all giving me a headache! There are the environmental impacts, not to mention the cost of those little tossable papers, that all led me to switch to cloth wipes. I was nervous about it at first. Would baby’s bottom actually get clean enough? What if the wipes get moldy? Do I really have to spend that much on baby washcloths??
Turns out, it’s much easier than I thought. My cloth solution includes wipes, a warmer, and plain old h2o. My initial investment was $26 for a Prince Lionheart Warmer, and $4 for a set of receiving blankets on clearance. I cut the blankets into 70+ squares and used a serger to sew around the edges. Since my baby is an infant, she goes through at least 16 wipes a day, which is all the warmer can hold. I keep a spray bottle handy to wet a dry wipe in a pinch if I run out of them. At first, I tried mixing baby oils and mild soaps with the water but I was always nervous about how her skin would react. Now I just run a bundle under the sink, wring them out, and fold them while I wait in her room for her to get to sleep.
There is an elaborate set of directions for how to fold the wipes to avoid mold or bacteria growth. Plus, you use a special pillow at the bottom of the warmer. They cost about $7 and need to be replaced every three months. I start by folding all the moistened wipes into quarters on top of the warmer. Then I open the warmer and balance them on the side while I roll and stack them. Air circulation is important, so you don’t want to fill the whole warmer. You leave space between the walls and the bottom row and then stack in a loose pyramid. If you have any wipes in the warmer at the beginning, put them on the top of the pile. The warmer has a nightlight so you can even do this in the dark.
We also use cloth wipes on the go. For now, I keep them dry in a Planetwise Wet Bag. It’s nice to have the option to moisten them in advance for an outing. I can spritz them with a spray bottle or wet them in a bathroom sink, then they go right in the wetbag with the diapers. Some day soon I’ll start experimenting with natural additives in the solution such as castille soap or tea tree oil, but I’m enjoying the simplicity and ease of plain water.
BIO: Jeannette is a budget-conscious mama with a degree in Design and Merchandising from Drexel University. She’s transitioning to stay-at-home Mommyhood and loving it! Catch her daily at 5weeksearly.blogspot.com.