Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Experience With Cloth Wipes

After deciding to use cloth diapers for various reasons, I decided we might as well use cloth wipes too.

I liked the idea of using only plain, warm water on my daughter’s behind most of the time, and using a gentle, non-irritating soap the rest of the time. The thought of not having to buy container after container of wipes also appealed to me.

In the last months of my pregnancy, when I was as big as a boat and unable to do much activity (yes, I gained 60+ pounds, despite the fact that I tried to eat mostly healthy foods and stay active), I spent many enjoyable hours making my own wipes. As I cut rectangles out of old, flannel receiving blankets, I dreamed about all the ways my baby would benefit from not having harsh soaps and alcohol put on her skin every diaper change. As I sewed the rectangles together, I marveled at how much money we’d be saving because we’d be able to use the cloth wipes over and over. As I stacked the adorable wipes in the top drawer of her changing table, I grew more and more excited for our baby to arrive.

Arrive she did, and we used disposable wipes for the first month or so while we were adjusting to life with a baby. We’d gotten many different kinds as shower gifts, and I was able to form opinions on which we liked the best. Some of the strongly-scented varieties gave her a horrible rash. Some felt too rough to be using on her skin. We very much liked the Pampers Sensitive Wipes, but I knew that my cloth wipes would be even better for her.

I finally decided I was ready to start using the cloth wipes exclusively, and could hardly wait to try them out. We used them all day, and I felt so good about the decision we had made for our daughter.

I felt good, that is, until she got the worst rash of her life.

This rash was awful. It started off as bright red. “Good thing we started using cloth,” I thought, “because this must be from the disposable wipes we were using. It’ll clear up in no time with these babies.”

It didn’t clear up. It got worse. It started looking scabby. It caused her to SCREAM anytime she had to sit in her carseat. When we took her in for a checkup, which happened to be right after we started using the cloth wipes, her pediatrician took one look at the rash and said, “If you can’t get that to clear up in a few days, I’ll need to prescribe a steroid cream. That rash is going into her skin.”

I can’t exactly recall why, but we used disposable wipes (Pampers Sensitive Wipes) shortly after, and what do you know? The rash disappeared. It totally went away. Boy, was I surprised!

I’m not sure what caused the rash. It could have been the flannel material or the type of water in our city. It could be something I’m not even thinking of. All I know is that when we use the cloth wipes, she breaks out, and when we use the Pampers Sensitive Wipes, her butt is great.

So, we gave cloth wipes a good try for a few days. It didn’t work for us. I thought about trying wipes made of other materials, using a different solution for the wipes, but finally, and happily, settled on buying Pampers Sensitive Wipes in bulk.

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