View Full Version : Cloth Baby Wipes

6-2-11, 9:03am
I'm thinking about making some cloth baby wipes. Has anyone done this? I'm wondering how big to make them and if I need to sew two layers of fabric (flannel) together or if one would be absorbent enough.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice. :-)

6-2-11, 9:12am
I would use face towels. The right size, very easy to wash, and already made for you! You may even be able to find them at thrift stores (not sure, as I've never looked). However, if you have spare flannel to use/sew, then go for it.

6-2-11, 9:17am
I used plain washcloths and cut them into smaller pieces - quarters or halves, depending on how large they were to begin with. Then I just zigzag stitched around the edges.

6-3-11, 2:05pm
If there's one thing I learned wiping the bottoms of my six, bigger is better! Piddly little wipes..., PITA! I had a dozen or more already-made store bought washcloths (terry cloth) I used and they got the job done (albeit they were a bit small), but hands down, when push came to shove, the best bottoms wipers I used happened when I reached for a plain flannelette diaper! Much softer than the terry towel washcloths- AND BIGGER. I actually had something to hang onto when I was cleaning/wiping! And, you have a large cleaning surface to work with.

I just pulled out an old GVS catalogue I had sitting around from when my last two were babies, and they have everything old-fashioned for baby. If interested Kat, here is the name and address and telephone of the store.

"A Mail Order Tradition".
P.O. Box 310
Versailles, MO.
Toll Free US/Canada 1-800-398-2494

Maybe I'm out of touch with the times, but gee, the price of flannelette!!! I used to wait until the department store where I bought flannelette diapers had a sale on at which time I could buy a 12 pack of regular cotton diapers for $13.99! That's just over a buck a diaper! Now that's economical!

Anyhow, sorry for the ramble. Let's talk size. If I were making baby bottom wipers I absolutely would not consider making them anything less than 12"x12" (square), and I'd double the flannel to form a double layer. I'm thinking a visit to your local thrift store for some used flannelette is in order. Tip: If you can, stay away from smooth double napped flannelette. What you are after is something well worn (like an old flannelette crib sheet) with life still left in it, but something where the surface of the material is well worn and washed with slight pilling. Flannelette is so soft you need not concern yourself over baby's comfort.

6-3-11, 5:03pm
Interesting, Mrs. M. I actually preferred smaller wipes because they got dirty so quickly - I used it once, threw it in the pail, and grabbed another. So I found the idea size to be something like 4" x 6".

6-4-11, 5:26am
I always just used regular old everyday washcloths I already had on hand and they worked just fine! ;) Threw them in to soak in the diaper pail with the dirty diapers and washed all together.

6-4-11, 2:06pm
Rosemary. Please accept my apologies. After rereading my entry it sounds as though I was putting you down for your choice, but that wasn't my intent. I appreciate all moms choices and decisions, yours included! In fact I have utmost respect for you and your motherly skills and experience! :)

My problem is I've always suffered with the "ick factor". Puke and poop being at the top of my list. Using something bigger created a safety barrier (of sorts) for me. BIGGER meant I could fold up the mess as I wiped, helping to keep the mess hidden! TMI I know!

Anyhow, my SIL (like yourself) used smaller washcloth sized baby bottom wipers and she swore by them. Hers were just plain standard department store issue towelling washcloths. Sometimes she'd go through two cleaning a bottom. By the way, DSIL thought I was crazy for using a whole full diaper for cleaning a tiny bottom! She'd say to me, "it's such a waste"... Now I didn't do it all the time but when such an occasion would arise, out came a full!

6-4-11, 2:22pm
Herisf, Rosemary, Wildflower, did you line-dry your washcloths? I seldom did. I found it to be a royal PITA hanging such tiny little cloths on the line and sacrificing one whole clothespin for each. (Gosh, I'm starting to sound like my SIL)! :)

Seemed clothespins were always at such a premium when my kids were little. I had just enough clothespins to hang a wash-load of baby diapers (which I did every second day), and when I ran short (pre-wooden drying rack days) I'd pin the rubber pants (two pairs at a time) to the line using one pin to conserve!

6-4-11, 4:50pm
I didn't line-dry diapers or wipes. Since I was sleeping about 3 noncontinuous hours in each 24-hour period, I felt accomplished just getting the diapers washed and dried by machine and getting us all fed. Luckily I could doze while DD was nursing.

6-4-11, 4:53pm
Mrs-M, I hung my washcloths to dry along with the diapers. I would hang the washcloth with one of the same clothespins that was on the diaper, so they hung together. It never seemed to slow down the drying time and no wasting one clothespin for one little washcloth. ;)

I should add that I usually only had about 4 months of good outside line drying weather. The rest of the time I usually put diapers and washcloths in the dryer, and I must say they came out softer that way. I missed the great outdoor smell though!

6-5-11, 12:41am
I just used the cloth diaper itself that was already poopy, to wipe most of the poop off the baby's bottom. Then a damp washcloth finished the job and I was done. The diaper I rinsed out in the toilet before putting it to soak in the diaper pail, so all the poop most of the stains were rinsed away in the toilet. I always liked flushing the poop, and I always was grossed out thinking of the poop that people threw out with the trash. Even on the rare occasions when I used disposables, I still rinsed the poop into the toilet to flush it, for public safety reasons. It needs to be processed as sewage, not buried where rainwater can wash the germs back into our water supply .... or so my thinking goes. I know they line landfills with plastic, but still ...

6-5-11, 12:17pm
Thanks, everyone, for your input! :-) I can often find flannel with some life left in it at the thrift store, so that is what I was thinking of making them out of. I guess size really does come down to personal preference--maybe I will make a few different sizes and see what I like before making more. Using towels or washcloths is a good idea, too--hadn't though of that! :-)

I just thought since I will be washing cloth diapers, why not just use cloth wipes, too. I can't believe how expensive the disposable ones at the store are! I will probably use those sometimes for messy diapers or when I am away from home, but I'd like to use cloth wipes most of the time if I can.

6-5-11, 12:58pm
Rosemary. Gosh, your comment- "sleeping about 3 noncontinuous hours in each 24-hour period" sure brings back memories! :) I vividly remember padding and shuffling around the house in sleep-induced stupors many days. Up during the night to tend to a crying baby, up first thing in the morning (before everyone else) to put coffee and breakfast on and see DH and the older dear kids lovingly out the door for school/work, then sitting down just long enough once the house settled down to try and get my bearings and gather my composure so I could come up with a game plan for the day as to where to start with household duties and chores and things. Sleep deprivation was my twin back then.

Originally posted by Wildflower.
I would hang the washcloth with one of the same clothespins that was on the diaper, so they hung together.Reading this made me think to myself, "why didn't I think of that"! Even as simple as I am I tend to (at times) complicate things (processes). But you want to know the ironic part of all this? On really hot days I'd pin two diapers together (back to back) on the line to slow the drying time, which helped prevent the diapers from coming off the line with the consistency of cardboard, the result of drying too fast, yet not once did I ever think of tacking washcloths to diapers using the same pin! http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/170/b/0/Seeing_Stars___Smiley_by_Mirz123.gif

By the way Wildflower, one trick I did to soften line-dried diapers if they came off the line stiff, was toss them into the electric tumble dryer for a few minutes with a damp bath towel! Instant buttery soft diapers!

Originally posted by Tammy.
I just used the cloth diaper itself that was already poopy, to wipe most of the poop off the baby's bottom. Then a damp washcloth finished the job and I was done.Yes, exactly what I did. I remember mentioning to a neighbour of mine many years ago, "try THAT with a disposable diaper"! Speaking of rinsing out dirty disposables, I don't know of anyone else (aside from yourself and me) who practiced such. I did it when I babysat, on the rare occasion the kids wore plastic, and I did it with my last two who came with a supply of Pampers. Couldn't wait to use them up and get both babies into cloth!

6-5-11, 1:10pm
Hi Kat. Just seen your post. I've never used disposable baby wipes at any time with my kids, but I have heard they cause and often lead to diaper rash. When it came to cloth baby bottom wipers my thoughts were always, "if I'm going to be using cloth diapers I'll be using cotton baby washcloths too". I tend to think cotton baby washcloths would be way more comfy for baby than disposables.

I was thinking, if worse come to worse and you can't find any old flannelette, a yard/metre (or two) of flannelette purchased through a fabric store would be another option. It would go such a long way. By the way Kat, have you already purchased cloth diapers? If so, what will you be using? (Modern/old)?

6-5-11, 1:30pm
I talked about dumping the poop from disposables into the toilet, with my son and daughter in law when they became parents. I think they did it sometimes, and they liked it because their trash was less stinky until trash day. (it depends I guess on the consistency of the poop -- whether it dumps easily into the toilet ....)

6-6-11, 1:17pm
Dumping, rinsing, flushing, such an easy thing to do (process) that takes such little time. Good on you Tammy for taking your son and DIL under your wing and guiding them.

6-6-11, 1:48pm
One last suggestion - remember to be flexible. Your baby will be different from every other baby that ever was. Better to not stock up on too many things before you see what works for your family.

My baby decided that she would never, ever use a bottle even with pumped milk; that she would only dabble in solid foods until about 14 months of age; and, as far as diapers, we determined that we needed to use a disposable at night or we would all be awake even more. We used cloth during the days until she potty trained at 3, but nighttime wetness was a real problem for us.

6-8-11, 1:41am
Originally posted by Rosemary.
nighttime wetness was a real problem for us.Our house too.

6-8-11, 2:08am
i cut up old t-shirts. worked great. they were not very large -- about half the size of a disposable wipe, I would guess.

Of course, I hardly used the things, since we were ECing and it worked so well for us. But, I did have them just in case.

6-8-11, 12:52pm
Believe it or not Zoebird, I have yet to stop thinking about EC. :) One of the only times I can honestly say- "I wish I still had a toilet training child in the house"! Well, that might be pushing it a little, but...