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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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First-Time Mom's Journey with Cloth Wipes and Solutions

My cloth diapering journey began last year at this time.  Black Friday at Kelly's Closet.  I ordered some fitteds, covers, and some going-out-of-stock GroBaby diapers for some amazing prices.  At the time, I wasn't even pregnant yet.  (My husband didn't find out about my purchases until we discovered we were pregnant with our first child in December....)  Since then, I have bought newborn fitteds, BumGenius All-in-Ones, Mother-ease fitteds, and a couple of pocket one-sizes.  I am, as many cloth diapering mothers have said before me, a cloth addict. 

I knew I wanted to cloth diaper since I babysat for a Fuzzi-Bunz cloth diapering family before I was married.  Less smells, less cost, less waste, less rash.  My baby boy, Ezra, was born in August.  We used disposable diapers and wipes for the first two weeks, but then I was looking forward to getting started with my newborn fitteds and covers.  We continued to use disposable wipes until our son was one month old.  Then I brought out the cheap 'baby washcloths' I had bought at a Dollar Store.  I spent $10 and got over 50 wipes.  They work perfectly.  

My wipe solution journey was just beginning.  I began with two plastic tubs: one for my wipe solution of a mix of our natural liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild) and water, and the other for just water.  This system worked nicely until, after a couple weeks, our little boy had a tiny red rash on his bottom.  We used some cloth-friendly rash cream, but it still was a persistent rash.  I investigated further, and since Ezra and I were dealing with breastfeeding thrush, I discovered that white distilled vinegar was a good cure-all for mother's nipples and baby's butt.  I changed my wipe solution system to just one tub of two tablespoons vinegar to a couple cups of water.  This worked fine for a month or so, with no rash. 

However, one morning, after sleeping in his diaper all night, he woke up with an awful blistery rash.  I didn't want to use vinegar on it, so we used water and diaper rash cream (we used California Baby, but I want to buy a tube of Grandma El's) until it went away, two or three days later.  This sad rash made me investigate wipe solutions even further.  Now, I use one tablespoon vinegar, four drops tea tree oil (a natural anti-microbial essential oil, easy to find at a health food store) and the rest water.  It smells nice and he has now been diaper rash free!

This is the system we use at home, but in the meantime, I was still using disposable wipes on the go.  Two weeks ago I realized that his sweet bottom was getting very red from these disposable wipes, even though I bought the so-called 'sensitive' kind.  Since changing to the tea tree oil solution, I have decided to use cloth wipes on the go as well.  Not only is it better for him (no redness!), but it also saves me from picking though his wet bag to throw away the gross disposables.  Now, I fill a small plastic disposable wipes travel case with soaked cloth wipes and go!  I only need one wipe per diaper change, maybe two for a blowout, as compared to six+ disposable wipes. 

I am so excited that I have made the change to all cloth, all the time.  My baby is happier and it is always fun to show others how easy and fun cloth diapering can be.  What trial and error wipes solutions have you tried?  What is your on-the-go cloth wipes routine?

Amy S. is the breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, home-birth mom of three month old Ezra.


Sarah said...

Great suggestion about soaking the wipes and taking them on the go. Our family has just made the switch to cloth wipes. I make up a solution of Dr Bronners, almond oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and water. I keep it in a spray bottle at home and just spray baby's bottom and wipe. I was thinking about taking the spray bottle with me on outings, but your solution (pun intended) makes a lot of sense.

meason98 said...

I recently got brave enough to use all cloth too! My solution is 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp baby wash (I use california baby usually), and 2 drops tea tree oil. I was using dry wipes with a spray bottle but switched to storing a few wipes at a time wet for my little one (7 months old), and using the spray bottle for my oldest (27 months).

on the go i just grab a few wet wipes, stick them in a travel wipes container or ziploc bag & off we go!!

akathemom said...

OK I have been cloth diapering for years but have never used cloth wipes. Dunb, I know. But I can't figure out what you do with all the poop you wipe off??? Do you have to rinse the wipes? I use disposable liners so that I don't have to rinse my diapers...

Nicole Everitt said...

We recently made the switch to disposable wipes - it was a tablespoon of baby wash, a 1/4 cup olive oil, a few drops of TTO, and the rest water (in a 32 ounce container). I use it with baby washcloths and call it good. I haven't switched to using them out and about yet, but only because I like to use my disposable things till we're out... So once I run out of disposable wipes, I'll switch to cloth for out of the house too!

Momma K9 said...

Ok, question. Do you wash your wipes with your diapers even though you use soap and oils on them? I use cloth wipes but just with water because I was so concerned about the oils transferring. If he pooped I do have a soapy solution, but I keep those wipes separate. Thanks!

Amy S said...

akathemom: Right now, I am just dealing with breastmilk poop, so I don't have to worry about the wipes getting dirty, when he switches at 6 mths or so, I imagine I'll just try to wipe him with the diaper as much as possible, use the diaper sprayer, then let the wipes go in my pail (that's what the first cold rinse if for right?!)
Yeah Nicole!
Mommy K9: I do wash my wipes with the dipes :) I haven't found a problem with repelling -- I only use very few drops in my solution because tea tree oil is very potent and powerful, a few drops will do. But I may have a problem in the future, has anyone had a problem with it??

Piccola Banana Mama said...

I'm glad you wrote this post - I find cloth wipes to be one of the most satisfying and easy parts of cloth diapering! We use Imse Vimse flannel wipes, which are a cinch to wash with our regular diaper laundry. My solution is: 1 cup distilled H20 mixed with 1 TBSP Dr. Bronner's (we have peppermint but any kind would do) + 1 TBSP pure Jojoba Oil + 2 drops of Tea Tree oil. This gets split over two small spray bottles I bought at CVS for a buck each. One goes on the changing table, one in the fridge (to stay fresh!) When I go out, I simply pre-moisten a few wipes with water and spray them before putting them in my travel wipes case. Any not used while out I use later at home at the changing table, and air out the case. We've been doing this since we brought our daughter home from the hospital, and it's the only way to go! I've never had a problem with repelling, but I use Rockin' Green detergent so that may help.