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?



  1. I have no idea what's in the ingredients, but I am definitely going to check now! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    How did you get your husband on board?

  2. Your comment is very timely because my husband was just complaining about how he was portrayed in this post -- he says he was not thrilled with cloth at first and found it a bit more difficult, but that now he's used to cloth and fine with it. It helps that I do the washing. As the full-time caregiver, and main diaper changer/laundry doer, I got to call the shots on this one. The fact that it's cheaper helps. My main motivation was baby's health. I'll post more on that eventually. Maybe I'll post specifically on how to convince your reluctant spouse to cloth diaper.

    Thanks for your comment! P.S. I like your home remedies -- will have to file that one about the ants for next rainy season here.

  3. I use cloth diapers and love them, but for some reason, I have been hesitant to switch to cloth wipes. You are inspiring me! Im going to bookmark this for sure.

  4. When my mom told me she used TISSUES plus lotion when she cloth diapered us, I was SHOCKED. Cloth wipes really are WAY better, and you just throw them in the wash with the diapers. So easy. Plus cheaper. PLUS, I forgot to put this in the post, you can use them as a doubler in a pinch. To try just one or two of my favorite wipes, go here ($1.25 each, free shipping):

  5. I think you're right about my wipes because mine are hand-me-down flannel squares and don't have the cleaning power of terry. Maybe I'll get my MIL to whip me up a few! Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to enter our giveaway for great wipe solution! http://wp.me/pL6xn-im

    The Scrivener

  6. We use both kinds of wipes (mainly my husband uses the disposables, but he also changes way less dipes than I do in a day) and when I use cloth I use Booty Luster spray. I usually spray his bum directly (unless he's already in meltdown mode, in which case I spray the wipe to keep it warmer) and it works much better than a disposable wipe, plus just seems gentler to me. With my breastfed infant, I don't even have to launder the wipes differently than a load of towels.

  7. Don't you just love breastmilk poop? Rinses right out in the laundry -- no removal/treatment necessary. I have a foaming wipe spray but never use it b/c water is just so easy and simple. I keep some in the car, but since my baby mostly poops on the potty (and not when we are out and about), I almost never have to use it.

  8. I use cloth wipes and warm water with my twins! I use a dry cloth after to pat dry as well. I used the disposable sensitive wipes when they first came home and they had rashes. I switched to cloth, no more rash, ever. We are going on 6 months now.


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