Sunday, November 11, 2012
Granola Mom: Cloth Wipes
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Today I'm going to jump right in to this series in a post that talks about poop, diaper rash, and wipes. Motherhood is so glamorous, y'all.
I knew even when I was pregnant that I wanted to try my hand at cloth diapering. (I'm going to dedicate a few posts to that sometime in the next few days.) I didn't think about using cloth wipes as well. I didn't even know such a thing was possible.
Granted, I never gave it much thought or I would have known it was absolutely possible. I suppose I just thought it a little outdated.
In the hospital, Little Man was in disposable diapers and we used disposable wipes. By the end of his first short day of life, he already had diaper rash. As if his pathetic little IV'd hand and sensors all over his body weren't enough, he had a red, sore bum. Poor guy.
I figured the rash was from a combination of diapers and being genetically tied to me, the woman with abnormally sensitive skin. I figured cloth diapers would make the rash go away more quickly than the tube of goo the nurses gave us. (And by "gave" I mean charged our insurance company an obscene amount of money for...)
We kept Little Man in disposables at home until I felt comfortable switching over. (Meconium gone, his scrawny little chicken legs fattened up a bit, the gross umbilical stump fell off, etc.) I used Seventh Generation diapers and those seemed to help a little bit. I figured as soon as he was in cloth everything would be cleared up.
I was wrong.
I couldn't figure it out. A huge reason I wanted to do cloth was because of how much better for skin it is. Diaper creams and cloth don't really get along (special cloth-friendly creams do exist, though) and I was at a loss. Then, purely because I ran out of one small package of wipes, I used sensitive wipes. Little Man got a little better. That got me thinking that there might be something more gentle than the sensitive wipes.
A quick search and some questions on the new mom forums lead me to flannel wipes. Being an Amazon junkie, I went there and after reading reviews, I opted to purchase the OsoCozy Flannel Baby Wipes. I ended up going back to Amazon last week to buy another pack of 15 wipes because they impressed me as being durable, soft, and inexpensive. I wanted more.
For my wipe solution, I simply use a squirt of organic baby wash (purchased on the cheap from a company called Organically Grown using a Living Social Deal), a few drops of lavender essential oil (from Amazon), and warm water in an old disposable wipe container.
I swirl it around so everything mixes and then plop the wipes in so they are ready for whatever surprise is waiting for me at each diaper change.
The only "extra" work I have to do when it is time to change a diaper is wring any excess solution out of the wipe before use. They work just like any wash cloth or wipe, so that's pertty self explanatory.
Guess what? The diaper rash was gone in two diaper changes. It comes back (very mildly) when we travel and I use disposable diapers and wipes, but is gone almost instantly when we go back to using cloth.
I read somewhere (probably on Amazon before I bought these) that parents will spend approximately $500 on wipes while a child is in diapers. That seems like a lot of money. Right now I've got about $40 tied up in this adventure. Obviously I'll need to buy soap and lavender when I run out, but that'll take a long while since I'm using maybe four drops of oil and a dime to nickle sized squirt of soap. Ok, someimes a quarter if I'm not paying attention.
So, lets recap: The diaper rash is gone. I'm using unbleached cotton on my baby's bum. I know exactly what ingredients are in the solution. I'm saving a ton of money. I'm not creating any additional waste since the cloths are thrown in with diapers that I'd be washing anyway. (And I don't techincally have to dry them since they'll just be getting wet for use.)
I also get the awesome added bonus of having a nursery that smells of lavender essential oil. (And the diaper pail gets a dose of it with every wipe, so that's double plus good.)
The planet thanks me. Little Man would too, on behalf of his bottom, if he could.
So, dear readers, what do you do that is green (and maybe crunchy) that has a gazillion other benefits?