Washable Wipes, Cotton Wool or Disposable Wipes?

3 CommentsMonday, 20 July 2015

What to clean baby's bottom with?

Midwives and health visitors routinely advise against using commercial wipes for cleaning the bottom of newborn babies, because of all the chemicals in them. Next time you are in the shop, take a look at the cocktail of chemicals that go together to make a baby wipe. Also, bear this in mind: these wipes are fantastic for removing ink marks that nothing else will shift, on all sorts of surfaces. Can something that powerful really be good for a baby's skin? There are now some wipes supposedly specifically for newborns, but look at the ingredients and draw your own conclusions.

Whenever you change a nappy, you should clean baby's bottom area carefully. This is especially true if it is a dirty nappy - make sure you get into all those folds of skin to clean up the poo, but don't go poking around inside any genitals - the body has its own self clean mechanism to deal with inaccessible bits, and you should not interfere with that mechanism. There are a number of materials you can use to clean baby's bottom:

Cotton Wool

But you may find this leaves bits of fluff everywhere. It is much cheaper to buy cotton wool on a roll rather than in balls (and the balls are such a fiddly size anyway).

Commercial Wipes

Very convenient, as no water is needed, but expensive and sting if baby has nappy rash.

Washable Terry Wipes

Very environmentally friendly, as they just go in the nappy bucket with the dirty nappy.  They cost nothing after initial purchase.  You're in control of what is used on babies skin you can use just plain water or create your own wipes solution. They clean up a pooey mucky baby much quicker than any disposable wipe as the texture of a washable wipe grips those last bits of poo.

Bounty Kitchen Roll

Cut the Bounty kitchen roll in half with a sharp knife & place one half into a large wipes box/Tupperware box & pour the wipes lotion over it. When soaked through remove the inner cardboard tube & hey presto disposable tear off wipes which even husbands will use!

Washable Wipes Recipes

You may like to use the following recipe variations to add cleanser to your wipes or cotton wool, which make the mixture much nicer than simple water. You simply mix the ingredients in a bottle, and can then tip it over your wipes in a plastic wipes tub till they are wet through. Where essential oils are mentioned, please be sparing with these. Bear in mind that the wash mixture should be changed every few days, to prevent it from going rancid.

Basic Recipe

  • One and a half cups of warm water
  • 2 x tbs oil (baby oil or coconut or olive oil)
  • 2 x tbs baby wash (eg. liquid baby soap)

Even More Basic Recipe

  • Plain Water

Alternative Wash Recipe 1

  • 1 x camomile tea bag
  • Coconut oil or olive oil

    This is very soothing for baby skin. Approximate proportions are two tea bags, two mugs of water and a couple of teaspoons of oil.

Soothing Nappy Rash Recipe

  • 1x Honey and Camomile Tea Bag

A variation I have used is simply a camomile and honey tea bag in water that has been allowed to cool - when my first son was teething and had very caustic poo, this was the only wash he allowed near his bottom. Honey is a natural antiseptic without stinging, and so aids the healing process enormously. In fact, the results were nothing short of amazing. I know one lady whose son had such severe nappy rash that he required hydrocortisone injections. She soaked a flannel with this mixture (slightly warm), which she laid on the night nappy - within 24 hours, the rash was gone.

Alternative Wash Recipe 2

  • 1 x camomile tea bag
  • 1 x cup of hot water
  • 1 x teaspoon oil (Coconut oil, olive oil or baby oil)
  • 1 x teaspoon Baby bath or shampoo
  • 1 x drop of Lavender Oil

Brew the teabag in the hot water & allow to cool slightly. Poor into a screw top jar (jam jar or similar), add the oil, baby bath/shampoo, Lavender oil & shake well to mix.

Friday, 2 June 2017  |  12:35

Thank you for this. I've been looking around for ages for a simple wipes solution (ie not needing to buy a ton of stuff I've never heard of) It's frustrating as I've been on your website a few times but just never seen this! doh

My lo regularly suffers from bad nappy rash so I've been wanting to ditch the disposable wipes. I've also started to introduce distilled white vinegar to the nappy wash routine to see if that will help.

Failing all else, I'm going to start buying shares in clomitrazole...

Saturday, 7 April 2018  |  10:54

Can we wash 10 days old baby bottom directly with water ? If not so what is the right time to start washing with water only?

Saturday, 7 April 2018  |  11:53

You can use plain water from birth for cleaning. You normally need a wipe to remove poo from the skin which is where wipes come in.

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