September 9, 2013 8:00:00 AM EDT
I am always surprised whenever I see a cloth diapering mama using disposable wipes. Not that I think she is doing anything wrong… I’m not thinking, “How dare her!” I am thinking, “Why doesn’t she make it easier on herself and use cloth wipes instead??"
When I first started cloth diapering, I used disposable wipes. After changing my baby, I would pick out the dirty wipes and throw them in the trash before tossing the diaper in the wet bag. When I saw that The Green Nursery also sold cloth wipes, I decided to look into them. Disposable wipes were getting expensive for our tight budget. When I would go to the store, I would buy a big box of disposable wipes for $11 or $12 bucks a pop! I felt like I was throwing money away with every wipe, and we went through them FAST! I would use several during a single diaper change! I even tried a brand that claims you only have to use one wipe to get the job done, and still used more than one!
I asked my mom what she used for wipes when she cloth diapered my oldest sister. She told me she used dish cloths and washed them with the diapers. That seemed so much easier! Since money was tight, and I was sick of separating the dirty wipes from the diapers before washing them, I decided to give cloth wipes a try.
First I did a little researchin’ on the internet to find out how to make my own cloth wipes. Since I didn’t have a sewing machine (or sewing skills for that matter), I decided to look for a no-sew option. I was excited when I found out you could cut up a fleece blanket to use for cloth wipes and the edges would not fray. At first, I was quite pleased with my unintentionally irregularly-cut wipes of all different sizes…that was until they started repelling water like crazy! I even tried wetting them under the sink…no dice. The water just beaded off of them. So back on the internet I went…
Next I tried flannel receiving blankets. I read that they may fray a little bit, but not too badly. I picked out a cute blanket with baseballs and puppy dogs on it, and cut it up…I basically ruined a perfectly good blankie. Again, all the wipes were different sizes, irregular, and somehow shrunk down to being WAAAAY too small.
For a few weeks, I made do with what I had. Knowing that I was trying and failing to make cloth wipes and was interested in learning how to sew, my husband surprised me with a sewing machine for my birthday! Naturally, my first project was to make me some cloth wipes! I got a couple of old t-zshirts and tank tops and cut them up. I still made them way too small, but they were an improvement….
The problem was I realized I really didn’t have time to sew! I have a lot of kids running around the house and a baby who ALWAYS wants to be in my arms. I decided I would try to sew when they all went to bed, but by the time I got them all to sleep, I wanted to go to sleep too! I continued to use my menagerie of cloth wipes, although I didn’t really like any of them.
Then May rolled around, and a friend and I decided to go to The Great Cloth Diaper Change at TGN. We were lucky enough to get an awesome gift bag with wipes samples! I loved them! They were the perfect size and shape, no fraying! I was sold! Well, almost…I decided it may be cheaper to pick up some baby wash cloths from the grocery store…. another mistake. They were very thin and flimsy! The reason they were so cheap was because they weren’t well-made. The edges rolled up and frayed on most of them after one wash.
I decided to bite the bullet and just buy some darn cloth wipes. After reading the reviews, I decided to go with Grovia Cloth Wipes. I totally fell in love with them! They are soft, thick, and very well-made! The size is perfect for a wipes box! Unlike the disposables that claim it takes only one to get the job done, that is true with these wipes nearly every time! I was so pleased with them that I bought more and these are the wipes I use exclusively for my baby!
When I think about all the trial and error and time I spent trying to make cloth wipes, I realize it would have been sooo much easier for me if I would’ve just bought cloth wipes in the first place. I ruined two perfectly good blankets, a couple t shirts and tank tops, and got a sewing machine that is now collecting dust in my bedroom. When I add that all up, I would have actually saved money had I bought instead of trying to making my own! I’m glad I tried though, and hope one day I find the time to learn how to use my sewing machine. If you have sewing skills and the time, I say go for it! But if you’re like me, save yourself the time and trouble and just go buy yourself some cloth wipes!
*Besides a couple of wipes samples I received at TGN’s Great Cloth Diaper Change, I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is the mother of a dinosaur expert, a set of twins somehow born 13 months apart, and a wild baby boy. After losing her job as a doctor’s nurse (while on maternity leave) for standing up for her rights to pump at work, she went back to her previous job as a Labor and Delivery nurse. While she was so happy to be back in a job she loved, the newest member of her family could not tolerate being separated from her. He refused to take a bottle no matter what she and her husband tried, and screamed the entire time she was away. She realized as much as her family needed that extra money, her baby needed her more. Now Stephanie is learning to adjust to being a one income household and blogs about her adventures in attachment parenting at apronstringsattached.com. She is very excited to be blogging for TGN!