As you’ve been changing diaper after diaper (after diaper!), you may have realized that you burn through a LOT of wipes during the diapering years. If you average 2 disposable wipes per diaper change, and change baby 8 times a day, you spend at least $175 on wipes each year! That doesn’t even take into account the extras used! Or cleaning more than one child. After switching to homemade baby wipes, I have experienced the benefits of saving money, avoiding possible questionable ingredients (some babies have extra sensitive skin) and decreasing our environmental impact. I love all those benefits!
Why Make Homemade Baby Wipes?
There are many brands of baby wipes and they all have different ingredients. Babies have such sensitive skin and the things we put on their skin can impact their bodies and overall health in their lifetime. You can look up the ingredients in popular baby wipe brands on ewg.org/skindeep for a safety rating. The most popular wipe brands that you’d find at grocery stores have ratings between 2-7 (0 is pure and healthy, 10 is high risk) with specific ingredients like fragrance scoring an 8 or worse. Making your own baby wipes gives you control over the ingredients, which is comforting.
As I mentioned, wipes aren’t cheap! If you buy fabric to make your own cloth wipes and ingredients to mix your own wipe solution, you’re still only spending a fraction of that $175 you’d spend on disposable wipes in one year.
It’s impossible for us all to avoid the creation of trash, no matter our desire to be eco conscious. But if we all make small changes to our lifestyle, it can add up to a huge impact! Simple math tells me that by using cloth wipes for the past 3 years on my daughter, I have avoided throwing at least…17,500 disposable wipes into landfills! That is mind-blowing!
Making The Wipes
Reusable Cloth Wipes
My favorite reusable wipes are double layered cotton flannel that I purchased on Etsy. They have held up through over three years of diapering so far – so they were well worth the cost! It is a no-brainer to use cloth wipes when you use cloth diapers because you can wash everything together. To make your own washable wipes, use a soft cotton flannel and cut them into wipe sized squares or rectangles (the ones we have are about the size of a square paper napkin). Using a serger sewing machine, serge two layers together. This makes for a nice absorbent and durable wipe! If you don’t have a serger, use a zig-zag stitch with a regular sewing machine. Doing this helps prevent fraying.
There are many recipes for making your own diaper wipe solution to use with your wipes, but it’s really best to keep it simple! Finding a small spray bottle that mists gently is ideal for this purpose – so that baby doesn’t get a squirt of cold water, just a fine mist. Your mixture should be mostly water, and just a few drops of any of the following ingredients:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Mild Baby Soap
- Witch Hazel
- Olive Oil
Fill your spray bottle up with water and add a few drops of essential oil, and a drop or two of all other ingredients. Give the bottle a gentle shake before each use to blend the mixture.
Even if you don’t use cloth diapers, this is a very healing and gentle way to clean baby’s bottom. You can use the spray to dampen a paper towel to clean baby if you want to use something more natural and also more biodegradable than traditional baby wipes, but don’t yet have cloth wipes. Making your own baby wipes is just one of many ways for how to save money.