Even the most natural-minded, earth-loving, cloth-diaper-obsessed mamas can be a bit nervous about adding cloth diaper wipes to their diapering regimen. We'll admit, there is something nice about grabbing some disposable wipes, wiping away, then tossing them in the trash afterwards - no fuss, no muss. But, if you've ever stopped to tally the amount of money you're spending on disposable wipes, or tallied the number of wipes you use in a week (big environmental impact!), you may start to reconsider incorporating cloth wipes into your diapering routine. On top of all that, most conventional disposable wipes contain harsh chemicals that can be difficult for a baby's sensitive skin to handle. Cloth wipes are a great choice for all babies, and especially those who are prone to diaper rashes.
All you need are cloth wipes (we love these Oso Cozy wipes, or, you can make your own from scraps of fabric), a wipe container, and some homemade diaper wipe solution. When thinking about how many cloth wipes you need, consider how many wipes you use per diaper change, and how many diapers your baby goes through in one day. You'll want to wash the wipes every 2-3 days, so multiply the daily tally times 2 or 3, and you will determine how many wipes you should purchase or make. You'll start saving money in no time - and, your baby's bottom will benefit from the natural ingredients!
Our homemade diaper wipe solution contains several key ingredients that will benefit your baby and make diaper changes a bit easier.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which is great for your baby's skin, and has the added benefit of preventing your wipes from developing mildew in a short time. It also helps to reduce allergic skin reactions.
Adding aloe vera to your cloth wipe solution primarily serves to help moisturize and calm your baby's skin. Aloe is really a plant powerhouse, containing over 22 amino acids, vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3, & B6, as well as minerals such as calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. It is also known to help heal wounds, so if your baby already has a diaper rash, aloe vera is nature's remedy.
Olive oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and it is incredibly moisturizing. It also provides the added benefit of making it easier to clean up a poopy diaper - the oil makes everything less sticky, and easier to wipe up.
The vinegar in our cloth wipe solution acts as an anti-fungal agent, and it also can relieve itching. Vinegar prevents the buildup of dead skin cells, so it's a great addition to help cleanse your baby's diaper area. It also helps discourage yeast buildup.
Homemade Diaper Wipe Solution
2 cups of distilled water (using distilled water, vs. tap water, will help the solution last longer and not develop mildew as quickly)
1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
2-5 drops of tea tree oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
(Note: if your baby already has a diaper rash, omit the vinegar, as it will cause a burning sensation.)
Mix all of the ingredients in a glass jar. Tightly secure the jar's lid, and shake vigorously until well-mixed. Lay your cloth wipes in the bottom of your wipe container, and pour the solution over the wipes, using just enough to moisten them. Store any remaining solution in the refrigerator for later use.
Photo credit: Cookies For Breakfast