DIY: cloth wipes

I get lots of compliments from people about 80’s skin, including from her pediatrician.

“What do you do so she has such great skin?”, they ask.

“Neglect.”, I answer. 80 has never been bathed more than once a week. Her critical areas are cleaned multiple times a day, with each diaper change. Once she started eating solids, and she’d end up with avocado in her hair, parsnips ground into her sleeves and tiny bits of everything between her fingers, we’d just do a sponge bath of the necessary bits, or hold her hands under running water.

I’m pretty sure this is the way babies are supposed to be. Giving too many baths (and using too much soap) dries out a baby’s skin. Using disposable wipes with fragrance and cleaners on them (including alcohol) seem to do more to irritate than to help. I’m sure bouts of diaper rash are common, and 80 just happens to have resilient skin. She’s had diaper rash, but not much, and not for long. I attribute this to cloth wipes.


Basically, I cut up a cotton flannel receiving blanket into 7×7″ squares, put two together, and zig-zag stitched along the sides to keep them from unraveling. I have a spray bottle with water in it, which I spray onto a dry wipe before using. 80 likes to watch me spray the water on the cloth. There’s the cool “chhh chhh” sound, and water droplets. It’s an infant’s equivalent of going to a water park.

If there’s a large mess, or mild diaper rash, I add a spray or two of California Baby Non-Burning & Calming Diaper Area Wash to the cloth with the water. If the diaper rash is more than mild, I don’t use any, because despite the name, it does seem to sting.

What I’d do differently if I were to make wipes again is to only use light-colored fabric, because I can see how much poo has come off onto the wipe, which helps me figure out if there’s any left. (Clean wipe after a swipe, clean baby.) I also wouldn’t double the fabric. I’m sure it’d be harder to stitch the edges, but the fabric is thick enough that doubling is not necessary. Instead, there would be thinner folds of fabric to use to get into the little baby crevices.

  1. We do similar. Except that I used flannel from a fabric store (no receiving blankets here. oops). So i did use two layers. They lasted just over a year before they started falling apart due to my crappy sewing. So I have plans to make new ones (hey, two kids in diapers is quite a workout for two dozen diaper wipes).

  2. I only bathe Kirsten once a week too, and she has great skin. She has never had a diaper rash. I must confess I’m lazy and buy wipes, but they are the unscented, alcohol and chlorine free Costco brand.

    Now that she is older she really loves bathing, so I’ll probably start bathing her more frequently for the fun factor:)

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