Cloth Wipes for Babies
When you have a baby, one of the things you almost instinctively want to invest in is baby wipes. I mean they are useful for so much more than just wiping a poopy butt. Even then, you have enough of those stinky diapers with a baby around to still make it worth it.
Most people intuitively think about the packages of disposables, but I had never thought about the idea of reusable wipes. Let me share with you what I have learned and why I made the switch.
Why Did I Choose Cloth Wipes?
For me, the choice to go cloth was not an easy one. I mean when you have three little angels running around, that is a lot of extra work while swamped with cooking and laundry. However, I started crunching some numbers and really investigating and it seemed to make sense.
First, cloth is so much less expensive. Sure, getting all of the supplies you need to begin with is an investment, but then it starts paying off. Second, you can choose what encounters your little one’s precious and delicate skin. For me, that was a huge factor. Of course, there is the environmental factor to consider as well. Cloth creates less waste and helps preserve the planet for my little ones. When I made the switch, I also realized how much better they are at actually cleaning up the messy behinds. That means using fewer wipes per change and keeping me cleaner in the process.
What You Need to Make the Switch
If you are considering switching to cloth, you are going to need a few things to help make the transition smooth.
You want to make sure you have enough wipes so you do not run out while trying to do laundry. There is nothing worse than sticking a load in to find out your little angel has loaded their pants again, and you are out of supplies. There is nothing like making more wipes on the fly when this happens.
How many reusable wipes do you need? As many as you can get! Some recommendations I have seen say around 50, especially for newborns. If you have an older one in diapers still, you can probably get by with half of that.
If you do not already have one because of using cloth diapers, you will want a wet bag. Actually, you will want two, a larger one for home and a smaller one for on the go. This helps keep the moisture and smell locked in to keep the mess contained.
Finally, you will certainly need something to wet the wipe. Some people just run it under the tap and ring it out. I personally like a spray bottle with a homemade solution. This helps moisturize and clean while I am wiping a bum. I love doubling the impact for half the work!
What I Have Tried and Liked
So now that you know what you are going to need, what about the different cloth wipes on the market. Here are five I have tried and my experience with each.
Sometimes using a soft baby washcloth can be better than the products marketed as reusable wipes. That is why I tried these organic muslin cotton washcloths. Fortunately, they were as marketed, organic cotton washcloths, no surprises there.
I was a little concerned when I placed the order because some of the other muslin cotton products I have used were very thin. My concern was they would not hold up well after repeated uses and washes. Thankfully, I was surprised they were not as delicate as I feared. They are made of a 6-layer construction, which makes them durable as well as absorbent.
The one thing that is a challenge is their size. Designed for washcloth use, they measure a large 10 inches by 10 inches. However, if you are at all a DIYer, you could easily cut these in two and hem up the cut edge, doubling the number of wipes you have, and creating the perfect size for taking on the go.
- Made of 100% organic muslin cotton, no hidden synthetic material
- Free of formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals
- 6-layer muslin cotton construction, so it is durable and absorbent
- On the larger side for wipes, measuring 10 inches by 10 inches
- Most expensive option if you do not cut them down
Forget the plaid hunting shirts when you think of flannel because these wipes certainly are not what you expect. Rather, think of the comfy feeling you get while wearing clothes made from this amazing fabric. Can you tell I like flannel?
Ok, so the OsoCozy wipes are made with soft cotton flannel fabric, so they are gentle on your little one’s tush. They are also a bit bigger than typical disposable baby wipes, each measuring 8 inches by 8 inches. That extra space is great for trying to get between the cracks and crevices.
- Very soft and gentle for little ones.
- A little larger, so great for extra messy diapers
- Absorbs pretty well
- One of the more affordable options I tried
- They do tend to shrink in the dryer, so it is better to air dry
I was originally attracted to these because of the organic cotton material. Yes, how the natural fibres are grown is extremely important for people with chemical sensitivities. However, that is a topic for another post.
These were expensive, so I thought they should be of high quality. Unfortunately, I was not as pleased as I thought I would be. First, they are not completely made of organic cotton. One side is made of polyester fleece. Second, they were pretty thin, and not as absorbent as other wipes. Further, when you wet them for use, the material tends to stick to itself, needing a lot of work to open it up to do its job. Then, when you put it on your baby’s soft and wet or dirty skin, it sticks there too.
Ultimately, I was not impressed with these wipes. Here’s a quick snapshot, both good and what’s lacking:
- 100% organic cotton
- Chemical free manufacturing, including fragrances and chlorine
- The material tends to stick together when wet
- One side of the wipe is polyester fleece
- Most expensive option for actual wipes
We came back for one more try at flannel wipes. Did I mention I like flannel?
Bumkins is a well-respected name for baby products, so I thought I would try this one too, especially since the price was so much less than the organic options. Again, happy these had no synthetic materials used in their construction.
Unfortunately, they did not work the best for me. The absorbency of the material is not good at right out of the package. It did seem to improve over time, after many washes. However, for someone who uses a spray bottle instead of keeping them wet and ready to use, these did not take the water well. That made the whole diaper changing process more difficult.
- 100% cotton
- Initially very soft on the skin
- A little larger than most, measuring 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches
- Very affordable option
- Not as absorbent as other options at first. Seems to become more absorbent after many rounds of washes
- Material tends to pill quickly, making it a bit rough on the bum
- The material tends to repel water if you try a spray bottle solution as I do
GroVia is a well-respected brand for all the things you need for cloth diapering. One of the expectations that many parents have when they choose a company like this is the use of natural materials or predominantly natural materials. That is why I was a bit surprised these wipes were actually 88% polyester.
They are super soft, which is probably due to the polyester. Just like the OsoCozy wipes, they measure in at 8 inches by 8 inches, so they are pretty big and helpful for cleaning up messy bums. However, they are also a bit thicker than I expected, which can be a little more difficult to clean and dry. It also means they are a bit more difficult to fold and store. Overall, not a bad option for reusable wipes.
- Pleasantly soft construction
- Several color options
- Moderately priced option
- Not 100% cotton, actually 88% polyester
- Thick wipe construction. May actually be too thick
So Who Takes The Poop?
When I think about what option I prefer, I weigh what is good for my little one’s skin, how well it does the job, and of course price. Out of all the wipes I tried, the NTBAY wash clothes were my favorite. They are the most expensive, but that cost comes down considerably when you cut them down, which is what I did.
For me, I appreciated the fact they were what they claimed to be, organic muslin cotton. They were soft, absorbent, and could take care of a messy butt right out of the package. They took my solution without a problem too, and I did not have to spend a lot of time soaking them. Therefore, they win in my book.
Even if you do not cut them, they still perform the best, in my opinion, but the cost can be prohibitive to have enough to make them your primary wipe for all the time.