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Why spend money on disposable baby wipes when you can make reusable cloth baby wipes for next to nothing? You'll be doing the environment and your wallet a favor. Using cloth wipes is not much extra work, especially when you can wash the wipes along with your child's cloth diapers.
If you want to skip sewing your own cloth wipes, you can buy ready-made cloth baby wipes online at most cloth diaper retail stores.
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How to Make Cloth Baby Wipes
To make your own supply of reusable cloth baby wipes, you need an absorbent fabric (100% cotton or a bamboo/cotton blend work best) and some thread. Your sewing machine should be capable of making a zig-zag stitch, or use a serger. You can purchase the fabric new at a fabric store, or use an old flannel sheet or fabric found at a thrift store.
Each wipe will take two squares of fabric. Cut squares to whatever size you'd like, or around 8 inches on all sides. You can use the same fabric for each side of the wipe or mix and match fabrics, such as cotton terry on one side and a cute cotton flannel print on the other.
Place two squares of fabric right sides facing out (wrong side together) and sew around the perimeter of the wipe, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Next, go around the perimeter again using a zig-zag stitch or a serger. Trim excess fabric from the edges, making sure not to cut your thread. If desired, sew an X with a zig-zag stitch through the wipe to keep the fabric together. Repeat for remaining fabric squares.
Alternatively, you can make your baby wipes in a "turned and topstitched" fashion. Begin by placing the fabric squares right sides together. Using a straight stitch, sew around three sides of the square leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn the baby wipe inside out (so right sides are facing you), and sew the remaining side closed, tucking in the raw edge. Finish the wipe by using a zig-zag stitch to sew around the square 1/4 inch from the edges.
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How to Use Cloth Baby Wipes
You'll need to make a wetting solution to use with your cloth baby wipes. When it's time to change a diaper, grab your spray bottle of wetting solution and spray the wipe until moist (you can also spray baby's bottom if necessary).
You can simply wet your wipes with water, but for easier cleaning try out one of the following recipes for wipes solution. Make and store the solution in a small spray bottle. You can find these bottles in the hair care section of most markets or at dollar stores.
Basic Wetting Solution
For each cup of water your spray bottle will hold, add one Tablespoon olive oil and one Tablespoon mild liquid soap (such as baby shampoo or castile soap). Cap the spray bottle and shake contents to mix. Shake the bottle prior to each use. You can vary the amounts of oil and soap to find your preference. Also try substituting skin-friendly oils such as jojoba, almond, or avocado oil.
Wetting Solution with Essential Oils
You can lightly scent the wetting solution above while adding the benefits of essential oils. Essential oils you can add to your solution include Tea Tree and Lavender. Add just one drop of essential oil to your solution, as the oils are extremely concentrated and can cause skin irritation if used too strongly.
Don't stop at homemade baby wipes, find other tips for organic infant skin care.
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Image courtesy flickr.com creative commons license