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Wiping my Baby's Bottom

I love wiping my baby's bottom with cloth wipes!  When your child has a poopy blowout (or pooplosion), how many of those disposable baby wipes does it take you to clean off that bottom?  When I used disposables, it took me 3 or more to clean my infant's bottom, depending on the extent of the damage.  And I inevitably wound up with some yellow poop on my hands.  By the time my first child was a toddler and a major fruit lover, it took me as many as 5 wipes to get the pasty poop off every nook of his little bum. 

When I started worrying about chemicals, one of the first changes I made was my baby wipes.  After all, you are wiping your baby's genitals with those several times a day.  Have you ever wondered how they keep baby wipes wet, without them "going bad"?  I used Costco wipes (900 wipes for around $30 or 3 cents each, the cheapest you can find as far as I know) and here is the list of ingredients for those 2007 Costco wipes (the current Costco wipes have a new formulation):

  • Water
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • PEG-75 Lanolin
  • Disodium Cocamphodiacetate
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Citric Acid
  • Disodium Phosphate
  • Disodium EDTA
  • 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1
  • 3-Diol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate 

Environmental Working Group's Safety Guide to Children's Personal Care Products recommends avoiding these ingredients in baby wipes:

  • 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (or Bronopol) - Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants
  • DMDM Hydantoin - Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants
  • Fragrance - Allergens that may contain neurotoxic or hormone-disrupting chemicals 
That first one,  2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (or Bronopol), was in my Costco wipes.  So I switched to Seventh Generation wipes, which cost 30% more even when I bought a case at a time on Amazon (350 for $14, or 4 cents each).

When I eventually switched to cloth diapers about 2 years ago, I discovered that cloth wipes are FAR superior to disposable wipes.  They are one of the things I love about cloth diapers.  When I travel and use disposables, I miss my cloth wipes.  Even when my husband was not yet in love with cloth, he had to admit that cloth wipes are the bomb.

I use Kissaluvs Awesome Knit Terry Wipes (Unbleached), and, folks, they are awesome.  One side is thick terry loops and the other side is smooth -- perfect for cleaning up poopy messes.  I usually start with the loopy side and finish off with the smooth side.  They are 8" square and fit perfectly in your hand.  Folded in half, they fit in a standard wipes container.

We keep a small basket of dry wipes in the bathroom.  I get 7 or 8 wipes at a time, get the whole stack wet and wring them out all at once and then place the stack in a wipes container (leftover from my disposable diaper days) by my changing stand.  That takes about 30 seconds and I do it every 2-3 days.  (I used to keep dry wipes and a spray bottle of water by the changing stand.  This way is much easier.)  The wet wipes don't get completely dry (even though I don't use a lid) and they never smell bad.  You can buy natural stuff to add to your wipes solution to make them antifungal, antibacterital and nice-smelling, but I don't find that necessary.  Normal poops require one cloth wipe.  Extraordinary poops require 2.  They also work well to clean off my toddler when he poops in his underpants.  I may have even used a cloth wipe myself when I discovered that we were out of toilet paper after using the bathroom.

Wiping my baby's bottom with cloth wipes and water works for me.  I love cloth wipes!  (This post is part of the blog carnivals Works for Me Wednesday and Things I Love Thursdays).

What are the ingredients of your baby wipes?