Alternative To Baby Wipes

@d_hapke (165)
United States
July 25, 2007 8:38am CST
Do you have an alternative to using baby wipes. In the US (for our international friends) parents typically use baby wipes at nearly every diaper change, especially the younger babies. Lately, I have felt very guilty for all the wipes I go through. Not to mention the cost of nearly $3 a single pack or $12 dollars for a box of 5 packs. I just can't justify the cost or waste anymore. I do use disposable diapers which still weighs on me and might make a switch soon. So, do you have an alternative to using baby wipes? What do you do?
4 people like this
19 responses
@ang_2906 (76)
25 Jul 07
In the UK, we are advised to use cotton wool and water when the babies are newborn. This it to protect their skin more than anything else. Personally I use both the cotton wool and baby wipes. They can become expensive along with the disposable nappies I agree, and I would imagine cotton wool is a chepaer alternative, however you would have to use quite a bit and it could get messy whereas a wipe is so easy.
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
25 Jul 07
Same here. We're told to use water and gauze to wipe newborns. But, now they make a 'sensitive' wipe that makes you think it's safe to use that. Don't know though... Lately, I've been sticking her but in the sink and using a washcloth with some baby soap on it. Then I rinse and dry the washcloth. But, I can't do that when we go out.
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
you certainly can use cloth wipes when you go out. cloth diapering mommas don't generally use disposable wipes. we just use washcloths or cloth baby wipes made specifically for diaper changes. some store them in a container that was previously used to hold disposable wipes and wet them with a wipes solution (made in a variety of ways) and some carry them dry and carry a spray bottle with a wipe solution to wet the cloth as needed. then you just store the wet cloth in a ziploc bag or a wetbag. a wetbag is just a cloth waterproof bag that is made specifically for holding dirty cloth diapers and/or wipes.
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
25 Jul 07
Hey. When my children were babies, one being born in 1993 and the other being born in 1996, I never ever used the baby wipes, I always used a soft soapy flannel and warm water, and when I have my baby nieces or nephews around, I still use this method, I find baby wipes to be cold on the baby and causes them discomfort...
2 people like this
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
25 Jul 07
Yes, I agree, but what do you do when you go out or when someone else watches the kids. Sometimes, my family may not want to get that intimate with my baby's poop!!!
2 people like this
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
26 Jul 07
Hey. When we would go out on day trips or visits, I would take a couple of soft cloth flannels, a plastic bag, for soiled clothes and flannel and a flask of hot water, this I would use to make a bottle if needed and the rest of the water I would use to soap up a flannel or simply use water thats already there for changing times... If I had to leave my baby with family, I had no worries anyway as my family all use the same method, as well as our friends... When it comes to a wee baby needing a change in my family, there is no time to worry about who wants to be intimate with poop or not, that way of thinking does not exist, the babies cares, needs and hygiene come first always... But then thats my family...
2 people like this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
well i find that the cloth wipes i use are less intimate with the poop than the disposable wipes. when disposables are used we need more than one because they are so thin and won't hold as much of a mess. and on another note, i want to be sure that the people caring for my child has no issues with their poop so the child is cleaned thoroughly.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
25 Jul 07
I had a friend whose son was allergic to baby wipes. So she took a container and filled it with cut up paper towels the size of a baby wipe and added water with a few drops of soap. Don't know if it is economical, but it is different.
• Australia
25 Jul 07
That's a good idea - except that they recommend you NOT use soap on babies skin - that's why they make those bath washes etc 'soap free'!
2 people like this
• United States
26 Jul 07
Oh sorry, I guess I didn't make that clear, it was baby wash, not soap that she used.
1 person likes this
@LadyDulce (830)
• United States
25 Jul 07
If you're worried about the price, try off-brand wipes. They work just as well and the Target (I think) also tends to be a lot softer and gentler on my baby's butt. Walgreens has a sale on wipes every other week and Dollar General has seriously cheap wipes all the time. Sometimes, for the heavy duty messes, I use a damp paper towel to get most of the sticky crap off. Cotton balls dipped in warm water work for itty bitty ones; they also work so much better for applying diaper rash cream. It controls the amount you put on and prevents your fingers from getting gunked up. If you want to go uber eco-conscious, try reusable organic cotton pads or cloths. They're soft, non-irritating, and earth-friendly, though a little on the pricy side. Blessed Be
2 people like this
@leechamp (186)
• Philippines
26 Jul 07
there is no better way and the most inexpensive than water and a mild soap, and a hand dry, clean cotton cloth diaper for ur wipe. that makes her even smell cleaner, than the commercial baby wipes, which often times are laced with some harsh chemicals that would be harmful for ur baby's delicate skin.
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
26 Jul 07
I think you're right. But that means I rarely have wipes in the house. So, when I go out, ie. relatives house, restaurant, etc., I find myself scrambling for a wipe. Maybe I should just buy some and leave them in the car??? Wouldn't it be funny to wash your baby's bum and use the automatic hand dryer to blow dry her rear.... LOL What would be a site at the Walmart bathroom! I also like soap and water because I can put lotion on her and feel like my hand is clean as well. You can't do that after using a wipe. But, what do people in other countries do? The US is known for wastefullness (sorry guys... it's true). I wonder what they did 150 years ago?
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
26 Jul 07
I think you're right. But that means I rarely have wipes in the house. So, when I go out, ie. relatives house, restaurant, etc., I find myself scrambling for a wipe. Maybe I should just buy some and leave them in the car??? Wouldn't it be funny to wash your baby's bum and use the automatic hand dryer to blow dry her rear.... LOL What would be a site at the Walmart bathroom! I also like soap and water because I can put lotion on her and feel like my hand is clean as well. You can't do that after using a wipe. But, what do people in other countries do? The US is known for wastefullness (sorry guys... it's true). I wonder what they did 150 years ago?
2 people like this
@leechamp (186)
• Philippines
27 Jul 07
Yes, that's actually very sensible. Going out, these commercial wipes would really mean handy but when you're at home, the best would be to just wash your baby's bump and dry her up with her cotton diapers.
1 person likes this
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
25 Jul 07
Unfortunately, i haven't got an alternative. My daughter has sensitive skin so i have to use the extra sensitive ones for her but still, i didn't think they were all that dear - you just have to keep folding the 1 wipe to get as much use out of it as you can. Here in Australia, i usually pay about $10 AUD for 160 wipes, that works out to only about 6 cents a wipe - it's not really all that expensive, more so if you can get away with using just the 1 wipe per nappy change. Those are for the Huggies ones, there are other brands you can use that are cheaper & work just as well - i just don't recommend using the real cheap ones (cheap/dollar shop ones) coz i was given a pack of them - they were rough & the top ones were dry coz all the juicy stuff sank to the bottom of the pack :( I didn't even try using those ones coz they smelt funny too! I dunno what else you could do to be honest - but honestly, usless you're using heaps at a time, they're really not that bad cost wise, the disposables are more expensive no matter which way you look at it! Oh & just so you know, they did some research on disposable & cloth nappies/diapers & the only difference is that the disposables are not environmentally friendly - they do end up costing the same in the long run coz the cloth ones need to be soaked, washed & then there's the water usage - so yeah! Just do whatever you think is right but for me, 6 cents a wipe really isn't breaking the budget - the pack of 160 will last about 4 weeks - give or take so it is only about 36 cents a day, about $2.50 a week - it's really not a huge expense!
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
Ooh, and just on the cloth vs. disposables debate (lol that sounds ridiculous lol)... Disposables have procven to be more effective in preventing and effectively treating nappy rash. ;) Because they absorb any moisture better and don't allow it to sit on the skin, mix with the bacteria on bubby's skin and create ammonia which is what causes nappy rash... (the ammonia burns the skin and the blisters occur when that burnt skin is chafed by nappies or clothing or whatever). Cloth nappies covered by a waterproof pant/ plastic pant are especially bad for nappy rash. Sorry if thats beside the point lol, I just found it interesting (I just wrote an article on nappy rash lol, and felt the need to share lmao... im a loser :P )
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
megs, tho disposable diapers are made for baby to be able to sit in pee for a longer period of time, i personally wouldn't say they are proven better. yes cloth diapers need to be changed more frequently, with the disposables they make today the cloth has to be changed alot more frequently. but when you factor in the water, chemicals, and landfill usage for dispsable diapers then you see that cloth is actually more baby and environmentally friendly. even factoring in the water used to wash the diapers. when researching you must research from every angle to get a full view of your subject. though i'm sure you researched thoroughly, i can site just as much research that disproves what you have found proven. diapers is a choice, and people often don't see the benefits of what they don't choose to use. gemmygirl...cloth diapers (nappies) do not need to be soaked, and they use probably about the same amount of water as their counterpart disposables use to be made so water usage isn't even an issue.
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
29 Jul 07
syndibee :) I wasn't discrediting cloth nappies, I see benefits for both styles, and I think that in the end, it's a parents individual choice as to what they prefer, and choose to use. Personally, if my child had nappy rash I wouldn't recommend them sitting in anything for too long (cloth or disposable). When he had it (and he had it badly though most of it had to do with teething raising the acidity of his urine blah blah)... my son that is lol, I left his nappy off for hours at a time. When he went to sleep during the day, I put one on, and changed it just before I put him down, and just after he woke up. I tried to only keep a naooy on him for an hour or so at a time, excluding night sleeps- but even then I changed his nappy during th enight when he woke. Personally I believe both can be useful, though certain brands of disposables are considered by most experts as more effective whilst a child has nappy rash. Using cloth nappies without one of those plastic pants things- I'm sure would be perfectly fine. I did do research on both, and tried to check my research against Aussie sites, as well as US and UK to ensure that it was consistent throughout. Thanks for your opinion :) I like hearing other viewpoints, that differ from my own- that's what makes myLot interesting
1 person likes this
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
I noticed yo uhad mentioned using a washcloth/ facewasher when you were at home, but were concerned because you felt like it wasn't practical when you go out. An option would be to obtain an old plastic baby wipe container (Huggies has them here in Australia) or find a suitable alternative plastic container (tupperware, or something) that you fill with soapy water before going out and pop a washcloth in. It can be rinsed out, and you could take a spare container to pop the washcloth in after its been used. Thats one option. Alternatively yo ucould use baby wipes only when you go out. Cotton wool balls has already been suggested, and I'm not sure if someone suggested using tissues or paper toweling (wet of course lol) as well. Even wet toilet paper works well if you get desperate (I've done this before LOL) Wow, three bucks for a packet? I'm moving over to the states. A single packet here is almost six dollars, and a box of 5 packets is $25 or there abouts.
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
26 Jul 07
3 bucks wouldn't be sooo bad, but, I've got two in diapers aka nappys ( i like that ) and we're on just on income right now. I've been interviewing for weeks and this area sucks! anyway, good luck to ya!
1 person likes this
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
Well there are definitely a few options you can try- Ive been reading all the responses to this discussion in the hopes of getting some good ideas myself- second bubby is due in January so cheapskate lifestyle here I come, anyway I can save abuck soon will be very welcome :)
1 person likes this
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
25 Jul 07
When I had my first child I used wipes. Ended up giving her the worst case of diaper rash in history. She has very sensitive skin even now almost 12 years later. I would use toilet paper to wipe up as much as possible and use wet toilet paper for the rest. If available I would rinse their bottoms right under the sink. I did that with my other two children too though there skin is not sensitive. I look at it as a waste of money and not really needed. Once I stopped using baby wipes my children never ever got another diaper rash.
1 person likes this
• Australia
25 Jul 07
I was just wondering if you realised that wipes aren't usually the cause of diaper/nappy rash? It's bacteria/acid in the pee & poop that irritates the genital's sensitive skin :) They also make wipes for kids with extra sensitive skin :) Just incase you have more kids ^_^
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
the sensitivity could very well have been the chemicals used in the wipes, and the wipes for sensitive skin also have chemicals that many parents do not want against their babies skin.
@surveygrrl (1271)
• United States
28 Jul 07
I use disposable baby wipes and just made the switch to cloth diapers. They really aren't as hard to do as you would think. Though we do putone disposable on her a day because she won't poop in a cloth. The only thing is washing them separate from the clothes. My husband even said that cloth was easier for him. I was shocked. I am pretty good with a sewing machine so I am thinking of making some cloth wipes myself. I just wonder if everyone just wets them? Use a tiny bit of soap?
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
there are alot of cloth wipe solutions out there. one basic one is 2 cups boiled water (or distilled water) 1 teaspoon baby wash or baby shampoo, 1 teaspoon baby oil. shake and there u have baby wipe solution. this can be used on either paper towels or cloth wipes. you can add a drop of tea tree oil (TTO) which is antibacterial. but be sure to watch for changes as alot of people have sensitivities to TTO and if your child breaks out in a rash then discontinue it's use. you can also make a wipe solution using grapeseed extract (GSE) which is also supposed to be natural healing so helps prevent diaper rash. you can cut out the baby oil as alot of people don't like using baby oil on their childs skin. you can substitute olive oil in place of the baby oil and scent with lavender oil or use lavender baby wash to add a pleasant scent. for cloth baby wipes i have some that are free for shipping on lottery at my store http://www.hyenacart.com/treasuretots these cost absolutely nothing except shipping charges just for you to try out. they are wonderful and i actually use them instead of washchoths in my sons bath.
@mybizla (136)
• Malaysia
25 Jul 07
that the only way... nothing else to use......
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
sorry to disagree but you are very wrong, there are paper towels if you want to use disposable, and there are cloth wipes as well. you do have choices and options.
• Philippines
26 Jul 07
yeah same with them the only alternative i know is the use of cotton and slightly wet them with water.
1 person likes this
@mrbranan (1012)
• United States
25 Jul 07
I know that I have always bought wipes. My youngest one is 5 and still uses them so that she can get clean.
1 person likes this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
25 Jul 07
No, I dont think that there is any, unless you go back to the old times and use a damp cloth. I had done that in an emergency, but I used the wipes for no2 and the damp cloth just for the urine..
1 person likes this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
25 Jul 07
You know, it does make one wonder how women cleaned babies before the wipes and disposable diapers came about! My children are grown now, so it has been a while since I did diaper duty...but they all had the disposable diapers and the wipes. Looking back, it is frightning how many dollars I likely spent on those products for 4 children! I had a friend who swore by this product, but I can't say myself because I have not used it! http://www.mominventors.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=153&osCsid=3d53ef11ffd7adc10
1 person likes this
• Philippines
25 Jul 07
I use baby wipes too but sometimes when I do run out, I use Bounty and water. You do have to pre-tear them before changing so that it's easier. They don't tear easily when wet too. I buy the type where you can choose to use 1 square sheet or half of it. But if you want to save more, you can just choose the regular one (where the sheets are all square) and just use scissors to pre-cut the sheets into halves or quarters.
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
25 Jul 07
I've done that too. I've even pre ripped them and put them in a ziploc bag with some water and baby shampoo. That way they were ready to go. But, I think they are just a little too rough for my 5 mo. old. She's one of those sensitive ones. And my daughter always seemed to cry when I used them so I stopped that. thanks.
1 person likes this
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
Try the zip lock bag with soapy water and a facewasher for when you go out. Just a thought ;)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
I used to use cotton balls with water. didnt use wipes cause it cause irritation/rashes. but always have wipes in my bag when we go out (just in case). Now thatt he's older. I wash his bum in the sink. :)
@anam149 (11)
• United States
31 Jul 07
It has been a little time since I really had to worry about baby wipes and a baby's bum, 5 years now. However, I am also into trying to keep things from landing in our landfills yet still be practical with the products we use. I think a soft washcloth or cotton flannel as mentioned would be great. However, I would use witch hazel for the liquid. My face is very sensitive to chemicals and I have found that witch hazel is the gentlest cleanser for my face. The redness is finally starting to subside. Plus, it is an astringent so it would be good to soothe those red areas of the bum. For out of the home usage, you can be as eco-safe as you want. Plastic baggies for disposal and a plastic squirt bottle for the liquid. Wax paper for the disposal or wax paper bags. You can use pre-cut cotton cloths so if you really wanted or needed to, you can toss them in the trash and know they will degrade. Viva brand paper towels seem the softest to me, Bounty is too harsh. Even plain kleenex would work. Gauze sheets. Old socks! Old bed sheets cut up and if you really want, sew the edges. Really, there are lots of alternatives. Like another said, disposable wipes and diapers have only been around for a few decades. Think about the prim and proper Victorian women who had to use cloth for everything. Everyone got intimate with someone else's baby bottom and poo. We can surely find a way to be green and convenient.
@syndibee (799)
• United States
29 Jul 07
ok i have responded a lot in this discussion to everyone elses suggestions. i really don't have much else to add. i love using my cloth wipes. i make them out of a soft flannel and a soft yet textured sherpa on the other side. these wipes will clean up any messes very thoroughly without roughing up the little ones skin. when going out i use a zip lock bag and put a couple of wet cloth wipes in it. i do know people who keep the wipes dry and carry a spray bottle and spritz the water onto the wipes when they use them. for urine changes i will rinse the wipe with hot water and baby soap and use it several times in one day. for soiled diaper changes i will only use the wipe the one time.
@sweetee (423)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
When my son was born 5 years ago I used cotton balls in hospital and then started using baby wipes when we got home. When my daughter was born 3 years ago we used face cloths in hospital and then used the baby wipes when we got home. Whenever the kids got a little bit of nappy rash I would stop using the baby wipes and just use a warm face cloth to clean them.