Save Money and Treat Your Baby's Bottom to Superior Wipes By Making Your Own
Many compelling reasons exist for making your own baby wipes, either in addition to or instead of using the store-bought variety. Perhaps your baby has sensitive skin and you’re seeking a gentler way to clean him up during diaper changes, or maybe you’re wary of the chemical ingredients used in commercial wipes. Some parents prefer the DIY approach because it saves money or it’s better for the environment. Others are looking for a solution after accidentally running out of wipes or discovering their last package has dried out and become useless. Whatever your motivation, there are several different approaches to making your own baby wipes. They’re all fairly quick and easy to achieve, and making additional batches can become a welcome addition to your baby care routine.
Homemade Wipe Solution
Making your own wipe solution is easy and inexpensive, and you can customize the formula to suit your needs. You can either keep the solution in a spray bottle to dampen dry wipes immediately before use, or use it to saturate wipes kept in a watertight container. Homemade wipe solution doesn’t keep as well as commercial wipes do, so only prepare enough at a time to make one batch of wipes.
The main ingredient is distilled water or boiled water, which will help the wipes stay fresh longer than plain tap water. For moisturizing, add coconut oil, olive oil or baby oil, and for cleansing, a gentle, liquid baby soap. Add a fresh scent with one or more essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint oil, or, for antimicrobial properties, use tea tree oil. Some recipes include aloe vera gel for skin healing. For every 2 cups of water, add approximately 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of liquid soap, five to 10 drops of essential oils, and, if you’re using it, about 1/4 cup aloe vera gel. If you’re using coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, warm the water to help it blend with the oil.
How to Make Reusable Wipes
Reusable wipes made from soft, machine-washable fabrics are very gentle on babies’ bottoms and very economical. They’re often preferred by parents who use cloth diapers, as the wipes are easily added to the regular cloth diaper laundry routine. Suitable fabrics include flannel, terry cloth and cotton knit. You can purchase new fabric from a store (look for great deals on remnants) or up-cycle old T-shirts, flannel bedding, washcloths and towels.
The easiest way to make reusable fabric wipes is to simply cut the fabric into square or rectangular shapes in a size similar to store-bought disposable wipes. Use pinking shears to cut out the wipes to prevent frayed edges, or use a sewing machine to hem them. If you have a serger, use it to finish the edges in seconds. You might also like to make thicker, double-sided wipes by sewing two pieces of fabric together, right-sides facing; then turning them out.
Set up a stack of dry cloth wipes at your changing station, along with a spray bottle of water or wipe solution. If it’s convenient, you could also wet the wipes under running water immediately before use. To use cloth wipes as wet wipes, stack or roll them up inside a hard plastic store-bought wipes container or similar container and pour wipe solution over them to saturate them thoroughly. Keep the container sealed to prevent the wipes from drying out. If you’re using cloth wipes, be sure to keep a wet bag at your changing station to contain used, rinsed wipes until you can properly launder them.
How to Make Disposable Wipes
Paper towels, especially quality name-brand ones, are ideal for homemade disposable wipes. Cut a roll in half using a sharp kitchen knife, remove the cardboard core, and place the half-roll inside a used, clean wipes container or similar container. Arrange the roll with the hole face-up, so you can pull up the wipes from the center. Pour wipe solution evenly over the paper towels and let it soak in before using them. Half a paper towel roll will absorb approximately 2 cups of solution.
How to Revive Store-Bought Wipes
If you have store-bought disposable wipes that have dried out, you can revive them with plain water or homemade wipe solution. Either spray the dried wipes before using them, or pour water or wipe solution over the wipes in their container.
If you'd like to use your homemade wipes in an electric wipe warmer, be sure to read the instructions that came with the machine and heed any safety warnings. Some warmers are designed for use with cloth wipes. If you choose to put homemade disposable wipes in a warmer, be sure that they are thoroughly saturated and check them often to make sure they don't dry out.