Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baby Cloth Wipes

"Why in the world haven't I always done it this way?!" I've asked myself this question countless times  ever since I've embraced a cleaner lifestyle. Perfect example is cloth baby wipes for my two year old daughter, Olivia. We love her cloth diapers (read my post all about cloth diapering here), but I really hesitated to change to reusable cloth wipes. Just like with the cloth diapers, it seemed kinda gross and my Huggies "Naturals" fit nicely inside my comfort zone. Now that we've switched I'll never go back.

I have always known that Huggies "Naturals", were green washers. While they're a little better than straight up Huggies wipes they still have cocamidopropyl betaine and phenoxyethanol which are just too long of words for my comfort. Read this article to learn more about their 2014 reformulation and why they're still far from "natural." I had tried better options like Seventh Generation, but they were either too thick, too thin, or stuck together funny. Couldn't find my perfect product, so I kept going back to the Huggie's Naturals, which I would buy at Costco for a steal. Then I read this article about hidden ingredients in baby wipes and knew it was time to get over my little hangup- everything from propylene glycol and parabens to artificial fragrance (phthalates) are put on precious tushes. 

It's been a smooth and easy transition. If you cloth diaper already (if you don't I highly recommend you try it), adding cloth wipes is a no-brainer. I just throw the used wipes in with her dirty diaper bag and wash along with the diapers every other day. If you use disposables I've read that Viva paper towels with the diaper spray work also.

My favorite source for discovering amazing homemade products is Etsy - I love it. In my search I luckily found Melissa at The Clementine Bee and bought 40 of her ultra soft organic cotton bamboo wipes. One side is bamboo/organic cotton terry cloth that is super soft yet a little grippy to help gently clean and the other side is a uber soft unbleached flannel to carefully finish the job. They are so soft, extremely well made and work so well. I love the different colored serged edges which have actually helped me teach Olivia her colors - she'll sort them by color and fold them when I do laundry. Melissa also provided me with a spray solution recipe, which works beautifully. I usually only need one wipe to clean (there have been several two or even three wipe diapers, but one typically does the job). Since I've started using this gentle and completely natural option Olivia has had ZERO problem with diaper rash - we're going on six months now.

Cloth Wipe Solution Recipe:
In a 16 ounce bottle combine:
• 1 oz Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Soap (or the lavender would work great as well)
• 1 oz of witch hazel (optional)
• 1/2 oz of olive oil or grapeseed oil (optional, but a great moisturizer)
• 5 drops Thieves oil (Thieves oil can be purchased, however it is a blend of 5 essential oils and you can also make your own.) Tea Tree oil would also work.

It's easy - you spray (make sure the sprayer is on spray and not stream), wipe, toss in your dirty bag and then you're done!

I use this glass 8oz spray bottle from Abundant Health and half the recipe - plastic and oils don't mesh (plus I hate plastic!). I'm a sucker for cobalt blue and you can't beat the $1.55 price tag. 
Like cloth diapering there is an initial small investment involved, but after that no more buying wipes. We do still keep a small stash of disposibles on hand for when we travel or Olivia visits my parents. I recently discovered Water Wipes and really like them - they score a zero on EWG and can be bought on Amazon but are more expensive than typical wipes.

Give it a try!!!