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This Adventure, Our Life: Cloth Diaper "Guilt"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cloth Diaper "Guilt"

Okay so I exclusively cloth diaper, and I have been feeling rather "guilty" lately (well not really, just really wanting to change!).  One of the main reasons I decided to cloth diaper Bailey was not solely for the money, not only because cloth diapers are so cute, and only partly for the environment, the real reason I choose cloth diapers was because of the many chemicals in disposables to make them absorbent!!  Click here to read about our reasoning for cloth diapering.

Here are some other great links about disposables: here and here 
Before we had Bailey I researched cloth diapering and along with it cloth wipes.  When we started cloth diapering we were going good on the cloth wipes at home...then I stopped.  I do not know, do not ask why.  

So I am back on the train.  Cloth wipes are going strong again!!  I am even using them while out and about, my goal, no buying diapers, no buying wipes.  I mean, of course I will have a spare pack, just in case.  I feel better now, I was asking myself: I am cloth diapering to avoid chemicals, save money, help the environment yet I am using wipes also that have chemicals (even though I buy the ones without chlorine, etc.), cost money, and go in the trash.  

I try to remind myself why I love using cloth wipes, they are easy, they are not only great for wiping the bum, but also for wiping up messes, noses, hands, and spit up!  I guess I figure that I am washing diapers every 2 days (by themselves) why not throw some wipes in also!

Basically for those who want to try it out, here is how I do it (there are several ways to do cloth wipes, several types, several brands, homemade solutions, bits you can buy for a pre-made homemade solution and on and on.  Opinions vary as widely as cloth diapers, well maybe not as widely!!)

The supplies:  The cloth wipes, something to heat up and mix solution in, the solution (in my case I buy handmade bits), and a container (I use the wipe warmer- great for holding the wipes).  Remember, change wipes every couple of days (this one is easy, you will run out!)

I have about 25 wipes, and just about all but one fit in my container, so I make about 4 cups of water with 1 bit per cup.  I first start out with like a 1/2 cup of water heated hot (I just do less to make it quicker to heat up), then I put the 4 bits in the water, mixing it around they will dissolve in the hot water and look like this:

Then I fill the measuring cup up the the 4 cup mark total with water.  After the bits are dissolved it does not matter if the water is hot or cold.  Before I start I pour some of the solution into the bottom of the container. 

I then take all the wipes and dip them into the solution, ring them out and roll them up (to save space and pack them in like this:

Fabulous!  We have nice smelling wipes all ready!  Many people use their old wipes container to hold the cloth wipes, what a great idea.  While in the diaper bag you can utilize a wet bag or use a ziplock bag (re-using it of course!) to hold your wipes. You can leave your wipe warmer on or off, just like with wipes.    Did I say they smell so fresh!  Mine smell of lavender and tea tree oil (for the antibacterial properties)!! This whole process really only takes me 5-10 minutes!

Many people carry the dry wipes in their diaper bags and a little bit of the liquid (in a container or squirt bottle) and make them wet when they go to use them.  Also, you can certainly make your own solution and your own cloth wipes (if you are a DIYer!)  I also like to use the rest of my leftover solution in a squirt bottle to clean up messes, and to spray on a rag to clean up Bailey when she spits up or drools all day long.  Of course there are really so many ways to do this, but the bottom line is all the added benefits!

Happy Wiping!!

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At March 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Diana said...

A few weeks back, Bella had diaper rash so bad. I didn't know what to do - it seemed like no matter waht I put on her bottom would stain the cloth diapers. And I wondered if the cloth was making it so that the rash wouldn't go away. So I switched to disposables for a week. And after dealing with blowouts, smelly pants, and no change with the rash, I switched back. I felt guilty the whole time even using them, I watched the garbage fill up and thought, "Omg, how do people do this on a regular basis?" Our house smelled awful.
I's so glad you posted this. I use a Thermos pump from Target that keeps the water hot for 24-36 hours, and wet my wipes with it. I put a vinyl cover under it, and the wipes are in a bin. I use the Thirsties Booty Luster for spray. I like your ideas - I have always wondered about putting the wipes in a container ready to go.

At March 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM , Blogger My Life As Mom said...

I use disposable. Only because I have enough of a time trying to keep up with laundry without added diapers. I also don't have the patience for disposables. I know it's completely CRAPPY for the environment but my husband (up until lately) does laundry and he was an absolute NO about not doing cloth diapers, too. It's just what works for us.

Hurry on being brave and going the whole cloth, route.

At March 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks for sharing with us how you make & store the cloth wipes. I use disposable wipes because I never thought to use my wipes warmer to keep them warm. It sounds silly, but I never thought of rolling the cloths and storing them in there! I am definitely going to make my own solution and follow your instructions for storing them when I use up the disposables I currently have in the wipes warmer. THANK YOU!

At March 14, 2010 at 10:47 PM , Blogger Suzanne Jeanette said...

I was just going to start researching this so THANKS for the help! I'd love more info on what you use to carry in the diaper bag, where you buy the solution bits, and any time saving tips you know of. I don't have the time to roll each wipe and put in a warmer... thinking of just using a bigger container I can toss them all in.

At March 14, 2010 at 11:40 PM , Blogger Cindy said...

Suzanne, great is what I would think would work for you...
1. for home...keep the cloth wipes dry (in a pile-no folding or rolling required), then make your solution (not too much at a time because you do not want it sitting around forever I have heard) and put it in a spray bottle. Spray wipes wet before wiping. You could dip them in solution also (using an old wipes container or something similar), but the spray bottle will be clean and work the best (and dipping and dunking seems to make the wipes too wet for my liking!! The solution is quick and easy to make, I do not know how long it technically lasts, I am paranoid and make mine every couple days (when I run out of wipes.)

2. In the diaper bag I use the above method...keep wipes dry and spray when needed. It is like a little extra step from disposables, but this is far cheaper. you can also pack them wet in a small wetbag (like what you use for your diapers, I like planet wise, it has a waterproof liner and is washable-plus has really cute designs, cause you have to be in style, right?) but be careful keeping them there too long if using wet ones.

When I am in a hurry I pack them wet (because I store them at home wet), otherwise I pack them dry with a mini squirt bottle (target has them cheap and travel size).

About what I use... I use baby bits, they work well and are fast-as you saw in the post...easy! You can also make your own solution (but I needed something faster so that is why these work great). I am looking into trying out some solution recipes, I will keep you posted if I find a cheap and working one. With the baby bits you only use one small bit per cup of water, the box lasts a while. They sell them many places, Kellys Closet has them.

For wipes, it is all preference...I have some Under the Nile ones (I do not know where I found them-I got them before Bailey was born!) and some Thirsties ones. It is all about material preference- mine are all cotton thus far but other like different materials. You can also make your own...

Hope this all helps!! Like anything, once you try it out, you will find a way that works for you and your routine!! Let me know how it goes!!

At March 15, 2010 at 2:27 PM , Blogger Suzanne Jeanette said...

Thanks Cindy! Great info, I can't wait to try, and I will let you know how it goes. I think I'm ordering from Kellys Closet today so I'll get some of those as well. :)

At March 17, 2010 at 5:40 AM , Blogger Cynthia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At March 17, 2010 at 5:43 AM , Blogger Cynthia said...

Oh man... I wish I ordered some cloth wipes!

I have a few questions... Can you use normal baby washcloths as wipes or should they be thicker? Your's look like an 'adult' washcloth. Where do you buy your solution?

I removed my earlier comment because I wanted to add this: I was wondering what we were going to do with the disposable wipes once we made the switch because we plop the wipe in the diaper, wrap it up and toss it out. Obviously, I don't want to have to sort through the dirty diapers to collect disposable wipes... so I assumed I would just flush it. But this is a great alternative!

At March 17, 2010 at 7:36 AM , Blogger Cindy said...

Cynthia- Good Questions!
I buy a product called "baby bits" ( they sell it at Jillian's Drawers, Kelly's Closet or a lot of other places-the links are in my Cloth Diapering tab).

If you still have disposable wipes they are great for on the go, and to keep on hand for when life gets too busy to make the solution or simply when you run out of solution. When I do use disposable wipes I usually toss them. I am not quite sure they can be flushed. Even in tossing them know that their lifetime in the landfill is far far far less than the diaper!

When I am cloth diapering and using a disposable wipe, I just stick the disposable wipes in with the rolled up cloth diaper and deal with it when I unpack my diaper bag at home. I do the same with cloth, in the same bag and separated at home into the main wet bag.

Now about the cloth wipes: they are just an organic cotton and some are a cotton velour for mine (they are like 3 inched by 4 inches or so (I have some also that are 8x8!) I think the difference is that they are not as bulky and thick as a adult washcloth, but not as thin as the flannel ones. I am sure you can use anything that you would touch your babies skin with for this. You can also make your own, there are many tutorials on this!

I hope I answered your question, if not than write again :)

At March 17, 2010 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Cynthia said...

Thank you SO much for that information... I'm going to do some research and possibly make them myself... I like to think I'm crafty.

By the way, I'm the same person who Facebook messaged you earlier today... Just so you know.

At March 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM , Blogger Cindy said...

Cynthia- That is great- I have heard they are easy to make! Then you can size them to your needs. I got your facebook message and I think I friend requested you on there :)


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