Thursday, April 07, 2011

F is for Flannel Wipes

My wonderful cousin, who introduces me to so many cool things, has been telling me for almost a year now to use cloth wipes. She said it's super easy and so worth it. I've finally, finally made the switch!

Why I'm switching: We use cloth diapers (<-- real blog post by yours truly) for environmental, cleanliness, natural, and economical reasons. We're using cloth wipes for the same reasons too.

How I made the switch: I could have bought them for a nice, high price on Etsy, eBay, or any other online store. But I knew I could easily make them myself for less - and not pay for shipping! I went to the fabric store and bought 3.5 yards of different designs of flannel. Flannel is great because it's so soft for the babies' little bottoms. The material was on clearance, so I ended up spending about $9. (When I got home, naturally, I learned all clearance fabric would be an additional 50% off this weekend. So it could have been about $4.50!)

I sat on my living room floor and cut out squares. I went a little bigger than your average wipe so that I will hopefully use less during a diaper change. My squares are about 8x8 inches. Even going big, I was able to get nearly 60 squares out of my fabric!

Because flannel will fray, I had to finish the edges. This is where those Etsy cloth wipes are nice - people use their sergers and make them look so professional. Well, I don't have a serger. So instead, I hugged the edges of each cloth wipe with a tight zig-zag stitch on my regular sewing machine. I'm about half-way through the pile now, and I just wanted to share a picture of the three finished wipes.

I know people use different things to make the wipes moist. Some simply use warm water. Others use a mixture of water, oil, and scents. I'm looking for suggestions! :) Feel free to share yours below!

*Update from the next day: 
As it turns out, my stitch was not the perfect solution. After half of the wipes went through the washer and dryer, I was left with a mess of jumbles and frayed edges - because I didn't go to the very edge of the material. I went close, but not overlapping. This left about 1/8 of an inch of open material. I had no idea such a tiny amount would go so crazy in the machines! For the second half of the wipes, I'm going to do a regular, folded hem. It will take more time while I'm sewing, but it's okay. I'm spending just as much time untangling the wipes fresh out of the dryer anyway. :) 


Amelia said...

With Zander's overly sensitive skin I used warm water most of the time. But all the meds, and the weird diet, gave him what my mom lovingly refers to as "tar poop." So I started mixing 1 drop of plain old glycerin into the water (I was not very energy conscious with everything going on, and kept the water in one of those plug in baby wipe warmers,) for those super, shall we say, sticky poops. I never made wipes though, I just used an old stack if baby wash cloths. What a fabulous idea!

Natalie said...

Very cool! Those look so soft! I often use wet baby wash cloths (or regular ones, now, since all our baby ones seem to have disappeared...) But the flannel idea is great! If I get a sewing machine someday, I would love to do that. :)
For disposable wipes, I've used thick paper towels (cut the roll in half width-wise)that I let sit in a mixture of water, a few tbsp of baby shampoo (helps clean baby and preserve the wipes), and a little dribble of almond or other mild oil... they work well, too, and are a lot cheaper than regular wipes. When traveling, though, I usually resort to store-bought wipes... it's easier for me.

Created2bholy said...

We use thin baby wash cloths that I find on clearance. I don't use them for poop though...really not in the mood to rinse out one more poopy thing while chasing two little kiddos ;) Using them for just pee, we tend to save a lot of money on wipes and don't go through them too often!

N. R. Williams said...

My children are grown, but when they were babies I used to make my own wipes out of paper towels, I don't remember which brand, and baby soap. A little goes a long way.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Mountain Mama said...

That is such a wonderful idea and they look so soft! I wish I'd been blogging and aware of all these great ideas when my son was younger. Now, we're potty training and WOW! I just can't believe he's growing up so fast. I've heard that a mixture of natural baby shampoo/baby massage oil/water works well. Keep us posted on how your wipes work out. Love your blog! :)

Kiera said...

I think I actually might want to do this. I used to make wipes with paper towels, water and baby oil (lavender scented :))

Maggie if I pay you will you make me some?!?!?!?!?!?! i suck at sewing.

i.ikeda said...

If I ever have another baby, I'm so making my own diapers...

Created2bholy said...

FYI: my mom has a surger. I'm sure you and I could go over there for a day next week and you could fix them in no time!

Cindy said...

I made turned-and-topstitched flannel wipes when my first was born. Then I made some that were flannel on one side and old terry cloth on the other (from old baby towels my mom had saved).. and really liked those.

The nice thing about the two layers is, while it's a bit more work I think it's easier to keep clean hands. Yes, I wash my hands, but I still don't want to touch poo on purpose ;)

Now, for toddler poos while using cloth diapers, I just have been using some old wash cloths I used to use to wipe up spit up.

Jessica said...

Love those, they're so cute! I use old thin baby wash cloths and warm water. I use wipes at night when I'm a zombie.