Cloth wipes are today’s topic, which is great for those starting with a newborn, or at any age. We did address this topic briefly a few weeks ago, but we received several emails asking for more details.
If you have been using disposable wipes, consider some of the advantages to cloth ones! With my first daughter I used only disposable wipes with her. I hadn’t really considered cloth wipes, and was getting the “hang” of this diapering idea, I was overwhelmed with another change to my routine. However, having done both, I realize I was creating more work for myself with disposable wipes, in addition to the added expense.
When you use disposable wipes, you have two options:
1) throw the soiled wipes in with the cloth diapers to wash/dry
2) dispose of the wipes on the trash can
If you go with option 1, you run the risk of the wipes completely disintegrating. Brands will vary, and depending on the agitator in your washing machine they may not come out intact. If they don’t, you have a snarled mess of fabric intertwined with the diapers on your hands. Especially if you use aplix closure cloth diapers, if your wipes fall apart they can take a lot of time to unwind from the diapers. If they don’t fall apart, you then have to find them stuck to the diapers (which is hard to see if you have white inners on your diapers), and it becomes one extra step to do at laundry time.
If you dispose of them, you run into two problems. One, finding a bag to put them in, knot it up, put in the trash can, or, if you are just putting them straight in the trash, remembering to take the trash bag out before it starts to stink.
Some of the benefits to cloth wipes:
1) save $$
2) save time
3) less chemicals/irritants on your baby
4) less trash in the dump
The best cloth wipes for newborns are baby washcloths. They are cheap (many baby stores sell 4-6 for $1.00 or just over), and perfectly tiny for newborn’s little bottoms. You will usually get a few dozen at your shower, and since you only need 2-4 to bathe your baby, save the rest for cloth wipes. As babies get older, I love bigger wipes, they get the job done in one swoop as opposed to 2/3 baby washcloths or disposable wipes, and they protect your hand MUCH better than a disposable wipe.
Wipes only need water to clean your baby. While you can google the web for “wipe recipes” that involve essential oils and mild cleansers. While you can certainly experiment with them, we recommend plain water. If you store your wipes in a dry basket or container, just run them under the sink when you have a diaper that needs to be changed. Free, easy, nothing to mix or buy ingredients for. On the go, just store dry wipes in your diaper bag, as long as you have a water bottle handy (or you can swipe a sippy cup from your toddler), you can change diapers on the go. If you do use a wipe recipe, watch for any irritation on the skin. If you have a good wash routine the tiny amount of oils you use shouldn’t affect anything, we tend to see more irritation on babies than in the wash routine.
With regards to wipe warmers, our stance is they just aren’t needed. If you do use one, make sure those wipes stay always damp (fire warning), and you change out the old ones daily to prevent mildew.
Have a great weekend!