Any time you can make your own something, you can generally make it cheaper. You can also make sure that the ingredients are safe for your child, and if you chose the cloth method, you can even help save the planet. Not bad for a day’s work!
You can use paper towels, or wash cloths, depending on your level of green-ness. If you chose the disposable route, you’ll want a better quality paper towel than the el-cheapo brand. Cut the roll of paper towels in half so that you have two rolls shaped like a roll of toilet tissue. Pull out and discard the cardboard insert. You may find that an electric knife works great for the cutting part. Otherwise, be careful as you saw away! Pull towels from the center, just like you would with a commercial brand of wipes. Find a round container with a snug fitting lid that will hold your paper towel half-roll, or recycle an empty commercial wipes container – but their lids tend not to shut very tight and the wipes dry out.
If you chose to recycle, buy a stack of cheap wash cloths. You can keep them dry and store a wetting solution in a spray bottle, or you can soak the washcloths and store them in a zippy bag, or recycled plastic container with a tight fitting lid, or a glass canning jar. If you store them wet, rotate them frequently so they don’t get musty or moldy. Storing them dry, and bringing along some wash solution in a spray bottle works best for me.
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baby wash or shampoo
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together well. For disposable wipes, pour solution into the container, add paper towels and snap the lid shut. Shake and set aside. Towels will eventually absorb all the solution. Otherwise, pour solution into a spray bottle. Spray solution on a wash cloth right before using.
2 cups water
2 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lavender oil
2 drops chamomile oil
1 vitamin E gel cap
Cut open gel cap and squeeze vitamin E into the water. Add the essential oils, and shake. Be sure to use pure essential oils, and not synthetic ones. They are available in health food stores. Tea tree oil acts like a disinfectant. I think the others just smell nice. Vitamin E is good for nourishing the skin. Full-strength essential oils are toxic, so keep the bottle out of reach of your child. Two drops of oil diluted in 2 cups of water is relatively harmless.
Top: photo by Linda Aslund