When my NWC boss Nick Veneris made his first contact with me after his son was born, he had one piece of advice for my daughter’s arrival in June: use cloth wipes.
This little revelation was as cryptic to me as a recommendation to hide all the burritos or to only watch horror movies on Tuesdays would have been. I had done all kinds of homework on cloth diapers, but cloth wipes? Ew. Why?
Nick’s the kind of guy who’s really easy to trust, so I wouldn’t have a problem blindly following his advice (especially since it was the only piece he imparted after all the things he must have learned that week).
But just for fun, because maybe you’re as curious as I am, I thought you and I might take a look into the world of cloth baby wipes together.
Here are a few questions I have I take this thing to Google and Etsy:
1. Why use cloth wipes?
The two biggest reasons to use cloth wipes are the very same reasons you recite to all of your mom’s friends to defend your choice to use cloth diapers: they’re green and they’ll save you money. But what else?
You can make your own wipes. You could probably make your own disposable wipes too somehow, but I doubt that would be worth it.
You can use any materials you want. You can use old washcloths or pieces of cut up fleece. I bet you could even use pieces of old t-shirts.
If you’re already using cloth diapers, laundering your cloth wipes is easy – just toss them in.
2. Why might cloth wipes be a pain?
The first headache might come from the fact that wipes need to be wet. You can make or buy a solution, but should you carry a bottle and spray each wipe, or wet them all at once and keep them in an old disposable wipe container?
Either way, seems like kind of a pain. But just like stuffing, folding and cleaning cloth diapers, it’s a necessary evil that you could quickly grow used to.
There is of course the grossness factor to contend with, which is another thing you will probably grow used to. Poop’s just a way of life now, right?
Another con is that especially poopy wipes need to be rinsed, just like poopy cloth diapers. Some may find it much easier to just chuck (disposable) wipes into the trash than rinse each one.
Yet another con is that you need to make an initial investment in a bunch of wipes to have around, but again, this is a problem you’ve probably already tackled with cloth diapers.
3. Can these things be nerdified? I mean, this isn’t BabyCenter.com. There are rules.
One of the major pluses of cloth wipes is that it’s yet another place to insert a little personality into the poop management process.
As you can probably imagine, there are as many cloth diapering options as there are parents out there. Cheap? Pricy? Organic? Cute? Plain? Seriously, so many options.
As far as price goes, it looks like you’re going to be spending around a dollar a wipe (or a little under) if you buy cloths marketed as wipes. But don’t rule out your own ingenuity, cloth wipes can be made from anything cloth. The possibilities expand even more if you have a sewing machine to do a little zigzag trimming around the edges.
The winner of the nerdiest cloth wipes I could find go to the Star Wars/I love bacon combo pack. Who doesn’t love Star Wars and bacon? If you don’t, please don’t tell me. I might judge you.
The adorable eco-friendly bicycle pattern wipes in the header image are from Etsy’s Family Cloth Wipes.