2 weeks ago, we began switching to cloth diapers (see post: We are going cloth!). The first day, we recognized the need for cloth wipes as well. When using a disposable diaper, you can just wrap the dirty, disposable wipe up in the diaper and throw the whole thing away. With the cloth diapers, not so much. It seemed really silly to have to carry the dirty wipe to the trash can and when you have poop explosions, it can get just plain gross. We had about 5 yards of moss-green, jersey knit fabric (more on that later) just lying around so we cut it up into 8 x 8 inch squares, made a wipe spray, and voila! Homemade wipes. They work better than disposables, are softer on the babies bums, smell great, and don’t have all of the crazy ingredients that are used in disposable wipes (what is Ethylhexylglycerin*?). Oh yeah, and they are inexpensive and reuseable!
DIY – Moby Wrap
What does a homemade Moby Wrap have to do with cloth wipes? Well, it’s why I had 5 yards of moss-green, jersey knit fabric. Before the babies were born, I had found an excellent tutorial on Pinterest for making a homemade Moby baby carrier. I followed the very easy instructions, opting for the no-hem method. Essentially, I went to Joann Fabric Store, bought 5 yards of the fabric, and cut it down the middle (into 2 baby carriers). Knit fabric does not fray so I did not need to hem the edges. I then looked up the instructions on how to use it on the Moby website. I don’t remember how much the fabric was but I know I used a 50% off coupon and got 2 homemade baby carriers for way less than I would have paid for 1 at the store.
These wraps worked well for us when the babies were first-born. They enabled us to actually get out of the house with newborn twins. They are, however, cumbersome and somewhat difficult to use. 5 yards was almost too short for my husband to use. I could barely get it tied on him. Also, the fabric was a little heavy for the hot summers we have. When the babies were a few months old, we found 2 BabyBjorn carriers at a consignment sale and have used those since.
Jersey Knit Cloth Wipes
The jersey knit (t-shirt material) fabric that we used is working great as wipes. Other cloth wipes that I have seen use thicker fabric (terry, velour, etc) but I am really happy with this. It is soft and works well. It is a pretty even match to thick disposable wipes. We have been throwing them into the wet bag with the cloth diapers when they are dirty and washing them with the diapers. They wash well and seem to be holding up beautifully. Again, because of the nature of jersey knit fabric, we did not need to hem or serge the edges.
I also ordered some bamboo rayon / cotton jersey from Fabric.com for $3.98/yard. It just showed up in the mail and is really soft and lovely. I think I might cut some of it up and use it for the baby wipes and use the moss-green wipes in the kitchen in place of paper towels.
Homemade Baby Wipe Spray
In order to avoid moldy wipes, I decided that we would keep the wipes dry and use a spray-on solution. J likes to spray the wipe and then wipe the babies, I on the other hand like to just spray their bum and wipe up. I used a solution recipe that I found on Homemade Mamas (skipping the disposable paper towel part and just putting the solution in a spray bottle) and modified it a bit.
- 2 cups water that has been boiled (about 5 minutes), covered, and cooled to room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. baby shampoo or baby wash
- 1 Tbsp. baby oil (or olive/coconut/etc. oil)
- A few drops of essential oil (I used lavender)
This recipe works well and so far I have been pretty happy with it but I just found a recipe on Cheeky Bums Blog that I am going to try next time.
*Ethylhexylglycerin is an ingredient in Pampers® “Natural Clean™” Baby Wipes. According to Chemical of the Day, Ethylhexylglycerin is a conditioning agent and preservative and two studies have found it to be a skin irritant, even at low concentrations.
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