Making your own baby wipes is a simple process that can save money and be profound for the health of your baby’s skin. The skin on a baby’s bottom is very sensitive and you want to be careful about what you use to clean it. Wipes that you buy in the store tend to be filled with fragrances and preservatives that are harsh on the skin and contribute to irritation and rashes. Even the “natural”brands still have a significant amount of preservatives in them (understandably so since a wet wipe does not have a very long shelf life and can easily grow bacteria or mold). When you make wipes at home you can use healing oils that protect and heal the diaper area. You can also eliminate the need for preservatives by making small batches.
When my kids were first born, I actually just used a wet cloth to clean their bottoms. Babies are so sensitive in the first three months, especially to fragrances, chemicals and even natural essential oils so it is best to keep it simple. I made my own cloth wipes using organic flannel that I bought at the fabric store. Simply cut the cloth into squares and hem the edges.
You can also purchase ready made cloth wipes. After a poopy diaper, rinse the cloth under warm water and wipe. Remember that urine is sterile, so there is no need to wipe a baby after a wet diaper. Just let them air dry a bit before putting on a fresh diaper. When my babies reached 3 months of age, I began making my homemade wipes solution for a more thorough cleaning.
You can use the wipes solution with cloth wipes or to make your own disposable wipes. For use with cloth wipes, make the solution and store in a spray bottle. It is nice to have a larger size for home use and a small travel size for the diaper bag. Simply spray the solution directly onto the bottom or onto the wipe and wipe baby clean. The solution will keep in the spray bottle for 2-3 weeks.
To make your own disposable wipes you will need a roll of sturdy paper towels. Tear the paper towels along the perforated edge and fold into thirds. Make a stack of folded paper towels. Place them in a reusable wipes container or tupperware container that is an appropriate size for your wipes to fit easily.
Saturate the wipes with the solution. You want the stack to be nice and wet but not swimming in the solution. Similar to the consistency of wipes you would purchase at the store. Wipe as usual using your disposable wipes and throw in the trash (don’t flush paper towels down the toilet as they can clog the plumbing). The disposable wipes will keep for 5-7 days.
For Cloth Wipes- 2 Spray Bottles (I like to use a 4 or 8 oz bottle for home use and a small 2 oz bottle for the diaper bag) and Cloth Wipes
For Disposable Wipes- Strong Paper Towels, Reusable wipes container or other storage container
4 fl. oz Water
3 fl. oz Liquid Aloe Vera
1 fl. oz Witch Hazel Extract
2 Tbsp Apricot Kernal Oil (or other healing oil like Olive, Almond or Jojoba)
8 drops Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oil
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is soothing, cooling and healing to the skin. It provides relief from itchy skin and rashes. It is also a nice anti-fungal which is helpful for the prevention and treatment of diaper rash. Make sure to get a liquid aloe vera for this recipe, rather than a gel (the gel is just the liquid aloe with a thickening agent added to it).
Witch Hazel Extract: Witch Hazel Extract is soothing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and provides a nice preservative quality to the formula
Apricot Kernal Oil: Apricot oil is a great moisturizer for sensitive skin.
Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oil: These oils are cleansing, antibacterial and are also natural preservatives. Lavender is specific for soothing red, irritated or inflamed skin. Tea tree is anti-fungal and can provide healing to skin that is prone to diaper rash. You can choose either oil, or use a combination of the two.
Mix all ingredients together and shake well before each use. Yields 8 fl. oz of solution.