When my hubby and I decided to cloth diaper, we did not at all consider cloth wipes. It wasn’t something we had heard much about and cloth diapers seemed like a big enough change anyway.
We got our first diapers from a nice woman on raigslist and they were pretty much brand new. She also hooked us up by including two diaper bags, three travel bags, and a dozen cloth wipes and wipe soap. She hadn’t been a user of cloth wipes, but had exchanged the diapers she had because they were faulty. The diaper company sent her cloth wipes along with the replacement diapers as an apology. She then told me she wished she had known about them sooner because she loved using them.
Now, I had nothing against disposable wipes. Really, when my husband started using them he lamented not knowing about these miracles wipes when he was a bachelor. We used them for everything from bottoms to dirty hands and faces to table wiping to dusting. Any surprise mess was a job for the wipes. They were convenient, easy to use, have-on-hand tools. But I made a point of trying the cloth wipes because of this kind woman’s passion and I had to say goodbye to the disposable miracle wipes.
In a previous post, I talked a bit about cloth wipes. Most people would recommend that if you decide to cloth diaper, you also use cloth wipes, because of similar benefits—they are reusable, they are gentle, no chemicals, etc. They do seem to go hand in hand, but for various, complicated, insurmountable reasons such as “I forgot to use them,” I ended up using disposable wipes with my first child. And I was okay with that.
Then appeared my newborn boy (okay, “appeared” is severely simplifying things, but you know what I mean). Suddenly, I had two children in diapers full time. I knew adding a newborn would up my diaper laundry load quite a bit, but I was not at all prepared for the amount of disposable wipes piling into our trash can. It was crazy how many were being used, but my kids have always been mega poopers as newborns. Whatever science articles exist that claim some newborns can go days without pooping absolutely do not apply to my kids. It seemed like I was replacing the disposable wipes container every time I changed a diaper. Like many families, we’re on a tight budget and every time I pulled out a couple of wipes to use I imagined pennies clattering into the trash can.
I never knew you could go through so many baby wipes so darn fast.
For as much as I’m an advocate of cloth diapers, cloth wipes turned me off for a long time.
That is weird, you are probably thinking. Cloth wipes have the same advantages as cloth diapers. They are better for the environment because they aren’t taking up landfill space. They are not clogging sewage systems and pissing off your local department of public utilities. They are gentle on baby’s butt and aren’t full of weird chemicals and fragrances. You don’t have to separate them from your cloth diapers to throw away later; you can just toss them in the diaper pail with the dirty diapers.
I KNOW this. I don’t know why it took me so long to try them. Perhaps it was laziness; we were gifted tons of disposable baby wipes before our daughter was born. But finally after a few months of seeing people talk about cloth wipes all over the place I was all, FINE. I will try them. We shall see.
I ended up with a mish mash of wipe materials and fabrics. Flannel is fairly soft and durable. Sherpa is even softer. Minky is okay as long as the other side is something more…grippy. Bamboo terry is amazing except I hate bamboo for other reasons. Fleece is idiotic and smears everything around. And so on. I could go on all day about fabrics and how good or bad they are at wiping up poop, but that’s heading into Crazy Cloth Lady territory which I try to avoid when I can.
Cloth wipes: As cute and collectable as cloth diapers, if you want them to be!