SO WHY DO WE LOVE CLOTH WIPES?
When we were using disposable wipes, we were shocked at the rate we were pumping through them. I was disgusted by the amount of money being spent on cloth wipes. It seemed odd since we had switched to cloth diapers in an effort to save money. We found that we were changing the diapers and making a "go in the diaper pail" pile and a "go in the trash" pile. We'd lay a wipe on the changing table just to pile the soiled wipes on top of. Then we'd top the pile off with another wipe, wrap it all up, and throw it in the trash. Then we'd grab the diaper and get the inserts out of the pocket and put that in the wash pail. It was a lot of piles, plus wiggly baby or toddler on the table at one time. Cloth wipes are easy because once you wipe the baby, you just put the soiled wipe in your cloth diaper and everything goes in the wash pail just as used disposable wipes are placed in disposable diapers and all goes in the trash. Its convenient. I personally think the cloth wipes do a better job too.
POOP AND THE CLOTH WIPE
The one exception where I DO use disposable wipes is with the poop of an older baby/toddler. Infant poop can go straight into the wash and it all comes out. So before Kian started on solids, I'd use cloth wipes and wipe all the poop off his tush and throw it right in the wash pail. After he started solids though and had gobs of solid poop, well.....I don't like to put that in my washer. So I use a disposable wipe for that. Every other change though, I use only cloth wipes.
HOW TO USE CLOTH WIPES
I think it confuses people because cloth wipes are dry. I took the advice of my cloth diapering mentor friend (shout out to Sherri!) and saved the perinatal bottles from the hospital after Kian was born. These have become my wipe solution bottles. One at the changing table and one in the diaper bag. I squirt a bit of solution on the wipe and then use just like a disposable wipe. That's it. Can't get much easier. If you do not have a perinatal bottle, any small spray bottle or sports top bottle will work. You can use straight water as your solution but I like to put a bit of soap in mine as well. I just use whatever liquid infant bath soap we have on hand. I put a few drops in the bottom of the bottle and then fill the bottle with water and shake. Right now my soap is lavender scented but when its not, I like to add a few drops of lavender oil to it too. You do not have to do that at all. I'm just a sucker for lavender and would make everything smell like it if I could, including my baby's booty.
Below is a picture of my wipe box at my changing station. The cloth wipes are stacked in a pile. The clear squirt bottle is the solution bottle. I also keep hand sanitizer in this box. The spice jar is full of corn starch, which is my choice of cloth friendly diaper rash treatment, which I'll cover in a later post. After this picture was taken, I started using a baby powder bottle for my corn starch. I just dumped out the baby powder and put corn starch in it. This works much better since I can shake it on. This box sits on a shelf under the changing pad so everything is right there and handy. I also have disposable wipes at the back of the box for when needed. Pretty simple.
CLOTH WIPES OUT AND ABOUT
Some people don't like to use cloth wipes out and about but I prefer it. I have a wetbag (a bag made of PUL used to transport dirty diapers home in) that I carry my wipes and solution in. I also have a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the wet bag so its almost identical to the pictured system above that I have at home. The wetbag holds everything together perfectly and on the off chance my solution leaks its no problem because its in a waterproof bag. But that's only happened once.
Cloth wipes save us money, especially considering all that we have were free. How? I just made them. Its really simple. Online, you can buy ones made with all sorts of fancy material (bamboo, terry, fleece) but unless your little one has sensitivities towards certain fabric, just use flannel. Its cheap and super easy to come by. My mom and I both sew, so when it came time to make our wipes, I raided both our material scrap boxes. I also turned old flannel receiving blankets into wipes. I had a few I didn't like and my friend handed down a few girly ones when she found out she was having a boy. That's it. That was enough to give me TONS of wipes. Its enough to keep a stash on the changing table, in the diaper bag, and in the kids' bathroom next to the toilet sprayer. I'll add a tutorial soon for those of you who want to make your own.