I personally used disposable wipes with my first daughter, almost 7 years ago, when we started using cloth diapers. I was just getting the hang of the diapers (ancient gerber prefolds from my brother, proraps and pins), and the idea of wipes was just overwhelming. I shot myself in the foot though, because disposable wipes were really more work for me to use than cloth wipes. When they were dirty, I either had to wash them with the diapers (meaning I had an extra 20 minutes after the dry cycle of picking them out of the diapers and aplix tabs), or throw them in the trash and then remember to take stinky/poopy trash bags out quickly. We discovered cloth wipes within a few months of this, and I am going to go over my system, and what we see working with our customers.
For the first several months, when you are using a few wipes with every diaper change, there are two ways you can work the wipe system. One is to prewet them at the beginning of each day, and store them in a plastic or metal container. I used to use an empty Huggies wipes container for this, but you can use anything that won’t leak. Use them throughout the day, and whatever was unused at wash time got thrown in to wash anyway, so they didn’t get mildewy.
When the babies are older (and now with number four baby), the system I used was to keep them dry in a little wicker basket in the bathroom, and run a few under the sink when I knew I had a poopy diaper.
On the go, you can either store them damp in a wet bag, or ziplock bag if you don’t have a wet bag, and use them damp. This never worked for me personally, but it does for many of our customers. I would always forget I had damp ones in there, or forget to wet them and put them in, so I was either caught without wipes or had really stinky, mildewy ones in the wet bag. What I did, is kept the wipes dry, and always had a bunch in my diaper bag. Since I always had a water bottle with me, or my older kids did, when I needed to change a diaper, I would just dribble a little water on the wipes as I needed to use them. Then, toss them in with the diaper, wash, dry and pick them out.
We sell a fantastic selection of wipes, but truly to save money or in a pinch, baby washcloths are perfect for newborns. Cheap and plentiful in any baby aisle, you can usually find 4 or 5 for a buck, and they will work fine. As your baby gets older/toddler, you will probably find you want a bigger/sturdier fabric, but the washcloths will work if they have to. We were very penny-strapped for my first daughter’s diapers (really, we used gerber prefolds that were over 20 years old by the time I started using them), and those baby washcloths worked until she potty trained. Pregnant moms. don’t buy any wipes until after your shower, people love to throw in a pack or two with their gifts do you may have several dozen without even asking for them 🙂
Now, the controversy comes in with what to put on the wipes 😉
I am a fan of water, plain and simple. If you have a wipe recipe you like, that is fine too, some moms like essential oils, baby bath solutions or other ingredients. My personal take is, the more ingredients, the more potential you have to throw off a wash routine, or irritate baby’s skin. Also, I am very lazy with my wash and prep routines, any extra steps are taken out. But, I know many of you love your wipes to smell as fresh as your baby’s bum, so I will tread lightly here and say keep doing it if it is your preference 🙂