So, the last thing I really anticipated taking under my wing with this blog was DIY… but alas, the time has come.
I know, it’s a super simple concept, there are tons of other DIY Baby Wipes blog posts out there, so I guess you can add this one to the mix. I’m just going to toss in my spin and experience to what led me to decide to step out of my zone for this one!
Making my own baby wipes has been something that I’ve been pondering for over a year now, but between laziness and maybe not the right kick in the pants, it took a while to get around to… so for starters, a little history:
For about 15 years I suffered with hand eczema. Started on the back of my hands and as I progressed through my 20s it got worse and affected specifically the palm of my right hand in a major way. It wasn’t until I did a complete overhaul of my personal care products in my home, spent several weeks wearing gloves to wash dishes, etc. that I saw a complete 180 and the eczema disappeared. So that experience was amazing… (For full story you can view My Journey page HERE.)
The odd thing about that experience was that after a few months of having no issues at all, I started to lose my fingertips. Yes, I literally had no fingerprints… I had cracks and weirdness, my iPhone wouldn’t even recognize my fingerprint, and I was left again with no idea why.
One fateful day in March of 2015 I came across this article:
“After noticing a rise in these reactions, Dr. Katta did a study at several Houston-area stores to find out if products for infants and children with sensitive skin contained MI. [Methylisothiazolinone]
‘And what we found is that a lot of them did, especially diaper wipes and hair care products,’ Dr. Katta said. “
Ah Hah!!! Diaper Wipes. And it made total sense! It was just my 3 finger tips, on my right hand, that I used when changing my daughter. Sure enough, I switched brands and it went away… until it came back. (Typical of sensitization.)
Initially the wipes I was using contained phenoxyethanol preservative when I discovered this issue. I actually switched to one with methylisothiazolinone, problem went away and reappeared a few months later. Then I switched to a wipe with sodium benzoate, same story. (Although I have a suspicion that in this case I might have been reacting to something else in conjunction because…) I then switched to yet another wipe containing sodium benzoate, but to date have not had any issues. (If you’re interested in more information on preservatives, you can check out a post I did HERE.)
So, now on the verge of giving birth to baby #3, #2 almost being out of diapers, at this point I figure I have 2 options: 1) continue using the latest wipe until it starts giving me issues, or 2) if I still want to be really lazy, switch to Water Wipes and call it a day. Although, option #2, at $4 a package, definitely does not sound like a welcome option either.
Faced with this conundrum, I then discovered this…
Plastic. PLASTIC. These wipes aren’t even biodegradable. They contain polyesters and plastics. Awesome.
That was the last straw. Wipes can’t even be just paper-based, biodegradable wipes.
Now, lastly I will mention that I realize I could also be cloth diapering, but it’s a personal choice that I just don’t think I can do it effectively. I’ve spent some time researching cleaner diaper options than the Target brand diapers I had used for my first 2 kids and decided to start using Andy Pandy brand diapers (purchased through Amazon). By the same token, with the new knowledge that even the wipes I was using weren’t biodegradable, I decided that now is the time I need to make that change. Know better, do better.
So here’s what I did….
The first time I failed, it was pathetic.
Here’s what I learned from that experience:
1) I wanted to *try* to utilize the two Huggies wipes containers I already had at home but that required me to accordion fold paper towels in to the box, and it was a complete fail. So if you come across a blog post that suggests that (probably the same one I saw)- save yourself the trouble and don’t bother.
2) If you’re used to that thick wonderful plushness of a Huggies-type wipe (I also used and enjoyed for a time Kirkland brand, BabyGanics, and 7th Generation) then don’t bother with Viva paper towels either. This is a common suggestion because they’re so soft and “fabric-like” but when they get wet, they’re worthless.
3) Just say “yes” to Target Up & Up brand Make-A-Size paper towels, or Bounty, if you want to use name brand. But I would also suggest that whichever you go with, get the “double roll.” Also, if you’re hesitant thinking that they won’t be soft enough for baby’s bottom, they will be once they are wet.
Cut your roll in half, …. or, you know, as close to half as you can get.
Add 7-10 Pumps of amazing RY Foaming Hand Soap to your 2 cups of water & stir.
Stick your half a roll of paper towels in to the container and drench it in your new deliciousy-smelling soapy water.
Turn it upside down and let it sit for 10 minutes.
This is the fun part! Flip the container back over and take off the lid. Now we get to pull out the paper tube! Take a peek inside the tube and look for the corner. In this case I found one on the outside which was a little tough to pull out, but in my most recent batch it was on the inside of the tube and so easy to pull out. So once you find it, it should come out nice and smoothly!
Find the innermost corner, or if you have to, pull out a couple to find it and start the cycle! Whenever I sit down to change a diaper I just break off 2 or 3 to have ready during the change!
I honestly don’t even know if it can get easier than that! Obviously these wipes are just fabulous for all sorts of things that you would use other cleansing towels for- especially if you get the Lavender Hand Soap- it’s so soothing and smells so lovely!
The only caveat I can think of is, because they are not chemically laden, that they have a short(ish) shelf-life. I don’t set any hard-and-fast rules, but keep an eye on them after a week or two to make sure they don’t start growing any mold. If they do, toss and make some new ones!
To that same end… here’s some research for you on one of the fantastic ingredients in the RY Hand Soap that might be worth consideration:
Lavandula Angustifolia Essentail Oil:
“The essential oil of L. angustifolia was rich in linalool (49.2%) , linalyl acetate (12.3%), Lavendul acetate (6.5%), 4-terpineol (5.9%). Fungal toxicity of the essential oils were evaluated against three pathogenic fungi (Rhizopus stolonifer, Botrytis cinerea and Aspergillus niger) in vitro. Plate assayes showed that the different concentrations of essential oils have antifungalactivity against these fungi, and the essential oil of L. angustifolia showed stronger fungistatic activity. Lavendula oil exhibited complete growth inhibition of all pathogens at 1000 ppm and minimum EC50 (311.24 ppm) resulted on B. cinerea.”
Composition and antifungal activity of essential oils of Mentha piperita and Lavendula angustifolia on post-harvest phytopathogens.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lavendula+angustifolia+antifungal]
Who is “Research Mama?” I’m a mom who discovered a passion for the blessings of nature. After experiencing the benefit of natural remedies over prescriptions, I became very curious about the claims of the natural community and the verification behind it.
This is my blog to help share the information that I have found that solidifies the claims that you see time and time again. I hope you will receive the information with an open mind and note that I’m sharing it for the sole purpose of validating that it is there. Anyone reading it can make their personal choice to utilize it or not. That’s it!
Feel free to let me know if you have any topics for consideration!