Babies are expensive. Diapers, wipes, clothes, formula, food, cribs, chairs, daycare, and on and on.
I feel far richer with a full house and an empty bank account then I ever did when my money was mine, but it's still hard to spend so much on stuff that either gets tossed out after a single use or is outgrown in weeks to months.
Now I do not have a lot of spare time, like none really, but I am still determined to save a couple bucks on things that are easy to do myself. The second part of that determination comes from finding out just how awful baby products are. I mean is it really necessary to include toxic chemicals in body wash, wipes, formula, etc? It's funny how you don't hear anything about the amount of chemicals we and our children come into contact with or ingest daily. You would think it would be brought up almost constantly what with the steady rise in cancers and other health issues.
My children (and yours) live in a very toxic age. It's now to the point where people don't even question it. Everything, from the food we eat to the lotions we slather on our new born babies' skin, is loaded with chemicals. We all just assume that it's there for a reason, and that it can't be that harmful or they wouldn't allow it. Wrong. Most of the time, the reason is to allow larger production, longer shelf life and therefore a bigger profit margin, and we all know that when it comes to the business man's priorities, a little toxicity does not compare with dollar signs.
Most people remain unaware because the effects of this type of exposure is more chronic than acute. If you ate some questionable fish and then 12 hours later you were laid up in bed, you would probably think a little harder about it the next time suspicious fish came your way. However, if you ate fish that smelled fine, tasted fine, looked fine, but was contaminated with, lets say... trace amounts of lead, and consumed said fish over several years, you would see a depletion in health and the guilty fish would go unsuspected. We as people, have a very cause and effect mentality. We tend to look at the thing that immediately preceded something and assume it is the reason.
Our children are the first generation expected to live a shorter life span then their parents, and childhood illnesses and afflictions are at an all time high, including autism. My children also suffer from very sensitive skin. Now I am not a doctor. I am also not a scientist, I am a mother. I have learnt to trust my intuition and to do what feels right for my children. Honestly what feels right for me, might not feel right for someone else, but parenting doesn't come with a manual and each child is different, that is why I think it is important to follow your instincts and do what you think is right for YOUR child.
For my family, I have really begun to adapt a more organic way of living. Now like i mentioned before, I don't have a ton of free time, nor is my bank account equipped to buy 100% natural, organic, free from, etc, etc. The only way I have figured out how to do what I feel is right for our household, is to do it gradually, and to DIY a lot of things. Now I am not a good enough sewer to make all my own cloth diapers, nor do I have the time to grow all of our own produce year round, I do what I can. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, small steps in the right direction.
So my first small step that I decided to take was baby wipes. My mom used baby cloths on my siblings and I, and washed them after each use. I had my children in the age of convenience, and am a bit ashamed to admit, but not too proud, that I just can't muster up the gumption to go from disposable wipes to washing poop covered washcloths by hand multiple times a day, ewe. Yes i know, I sound spoiled, but most of us are. I have however, decided on a reasonable compromise.
This method of making baby wipes can also be used to make other household wipes, such as glass cleaner wipes, makeup removal wipes, furniture wipes, etc. You can choose to use an eco-friendly paper towel for this (or not) but whichever you choose, make sure you don't skimp out on quality. A strong paper towel that holds up when wet is key.
What You'll Need:
- 1 Roll good quality paper towel
- 2 Containers, I use plastic food containers
- Natural, pure liquid soap. I use vegetable glycerin soap from The Soap Works because my husband is allergic to hemp oil found in the leading castile soap, Dr. Bronners, but both work beautifully
- Witch hazel (optional, but it is very soothing as well as helps the wipes to remain mould free)
- Essential oils (again optional, I like tee-tree for it's anti-fungal properties. Rose and lavender are also nice)
- Coconut oil (LOVE LOVE LOVE Coconut oil)
- Distilled or boiled water (I just boil the kettle)
- Cut the roll of paper towel in half. This is kind of a pain in the butt, but takes just a minute or two and then it's all down hill after this.
- In each of the containers, dump in 1.5 cups of hot water, 1T liquid soap, 1-3 drops essential oil, 1.5T coconut oil, and a capful of witch hazel(about a t). Gently stir.
- Place 1/2 roll of paper towel in each container and squish down with lid until it closes.
- Make sure lid is on tight and then flip the containers over and let them sit for about 10 mins.
- Turn back over and remove lid. Grab ahold of the tube in the centre and pull it out. It will come easily.
- Pull first paper towel from the centre to start using roll.
- Keep the lid on when you aren't using the wipes.
I have two still in diapers, and They have both had less irritation and almost no rash issues since I switched to homemade wipes, and I have also saved a ton by buying my paper towels in bulk and each item you add to these wipes lasts a really long time.
I also make my own baby wash, laundry soap, and toothpaste now. Little bit by little bit, we are greening our home, I encourage you to give it a shot! Whether it's for frugality's sake or health concerns, what have you got to lose?