Cloth Diaper Series, part 4

Monday, March 30, 2009
Cloth Wipes and Diaper Pails

Thought I'd venture back to my posting about our experience with cloth diapering.  Having already talked about the types of diapers we are using, I figured I could branch out a bit to the accessories.  

Cloth Wipes. 
We started off using disposable wipes.  I had originally planned to make my own cloth wipes out of flannel, but didn't get around to it before Lincoln was born, so we just went with the pre-moistened, toss away kind.  I found, though, that I typically had to use at least 3 wipes to get Lincoln's bum effectively clean.  That led to a lot of wipes piling up in the trash can!  At the same time, Lincoln had been receiving many thoughtful gifts from friends and family that included packages of baby washcloths.  At last count, we have received about 40 of them in all.  Since I have no intention of bathing the buddy 40 times a week (ha!  as if I only have to do laundry once a week...), I commandeered those washcloths for a better purpose--cleaning my son's bum.  (I am aware that I have probably lost most, if not all, of the male readers of my blog at this point...perhaps I can persuade Lucas to come and write something manly sometime soon...).

Here is the way we work this reusable wipe business:
1.  Mix up the wipe solution.  I use water, olive oil (to help clean), and lavender essential oils (for scent and antimicrobial properties) for my solution, but whatever you choose to add beyond water, just make sure your little one doesn't have a skin sensitivity to it first.  I keep my solution in a wipe warmer so it is a little more pleasant for Lincoln.  If you don't have one, a thermos, jar with a lid, or even water bottle with the sport type cap would work just as well.

2.  Gather up your wipes.  As I mentioned, we just use all those baby washcloths we ended up receiving for Lincoln.  They are about the same size as a disposable wipe and fairly soft.  There is actually a big range of softness between different brands of washcloths.  You can also make your own--flannel works great, old bath towels, t-shirts, etc.  I know you can also buy them on the web if you aren't interested in sewing your own.  We just keep our wipes in a drawer and dip them into the solution as needed.  I found that if we kept the wipes in the warmer with the solution, there would inevitably be one that didn't get as wet, or they would start to smell musty before we got through them just works better for us to dip them as we go.

3.  Have a place to place used wipes and diapers.  We use a narrow, lidded trash can that fits between our changing table and the door.  Nothing fancy.

We have lined the trash can with a diaper pail liner from Planet Wise, which is made out of the same waterproof material (PUL) as that the cloth diapers use.  When I do laundry I just carry the bag to the washer, dump out the contents, and toss the bag in on top.  I find it helpful to have 2 bags so I have something to put dirty diapers in when one is in the wash.

See how easy?  Wipes, Diapers, inserts all in one place.  Bag and all into the washer.  No touching dirty diapers!  I'd love to hear any of your tips/suggestions for using cloth wipes!


  1. Hey Kelly! It's Lara from Mercy. :)

    I just wanted to let you know that when I have kids, I'm putting you on speed dial because you seem to be doing it exactly like I hope to - cloth diapers, home/midwife birth, etc. I love reading your stuff to prepare for when it's my turn...I just hope when I do have kids I remember all this great info!

  2. Great post, the pictures really show how easy it is. We LOVE using cloth. For those who really want the wipes sitting in the water, use distilled water and you won't get the musty smell:)

  3. Hey Lara! Glad to know the info is helpful. We are looking forward to seeing you in July!

    Sam--thanks for the tip about using distilled water. And for all the other tips you've given us in person! We are going to miss having you right next door =(


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