Monday, June 14, 2010

Mama Bean can't be bothered to be completely crunchy granola

For the first eight months of Bean's life, we didn't have to buy any wipes. We were given a bunch of refill packages at our baby showers, and we already had a box of two from before he was born. Why? Apparently wipes (alcohol-free, scent-free, every-gosh-darn-thing-free) are useful when you're hunting, so Papa Bean bought some for his single excursion of 2009, but only used a few of them.

In addition to using cloth diapers, we also wanted to make our own washcloth wipes that we could wash and reuse. When the refill packs ran out, I carefully prepared the Internet's recommended mixture of baby wash, calendula oil, and tea tree oil. They smelled really good, and washcloths wipe up poop so much better than disposable wipes. They just grip or absorb or something - we find wipes tend to smear everything around before finally getting things cleaned up. I think it's because wipes have more fluid and soapy stuff. I made the washcloth wipes damp but not soaking.

So we like using the washcloths, but I don't like making them. I fold them to fit into a normal wipes container, which will hold about 25 of them. So every 25 wipes I have to make a new box. At anywhere from 1 to 5 poops a day, that's a box every 5 or so days. It's more work than I expected. So was cloth diapering, but I can handle the diaper work. I don't want to handle the wipes work. With diapering, I can tell myself it's cheaper for us, and it's good for the environment, and that makes it worth it. Washcloth wipes are good for the environment, especially since we just add them to the diaper laundry, but it's not necessarily saving us that much money. I was using up our baby wash, and essential oils really quickly - just lucky that I happened to have both calendula and tea tree oil on hand, but it would be expensive to get new bottles when they ran out, which was going to be pretty darn quick.

Rather than get defeatist about it, I had the best intentions to brainstorm ways to make it less work. For example, I could make a big batch of the wipe solution (like, two liters at a time) and then it'd be easier to just pour out 2 cups for each new box. Another important factor (impediment?) is only having 30 appropriate washcloths on hand (You know, the cheap, thin dollar store variety. They are the perfect texture.) If I stocked up to like 50 or 75 cloths, I could have three boxes folded and ready to just moisten and be ready. But then I'm wrangling 50 or 75 tiny pieces of flimsy terry cloth in my laundry. And that just don't appeal!

Okay, so I am defeated after all. We bought a package of refills (We buy in bulk because we is cheapos!) because we're headed to Cowtown for a visit and wedding, and we're going All Disposable while traveling. And then the box of washcloths petered out today, during big smelly dumps of Epic Stank-times, and that was just so exceedingly frustrating. (I know, I know, if that's the least of my problems...) So I think we're gonna give up on the washcloth experiment for now.

The other important lesson of the day: don't loosen Bean's poopy diaper, and then go looking for a washcloth. Have the wipe In Hand and Prepared For Duty. Because otherwise, little Bean hands are going directly into giant, stank-fest Bean poop, and then - well, then it's bathtime in the middle of the day. Yippee!!

Not that I can stay frustrated for long. Did I mention the giggles? OMG, the GIGGLES. Seriously, I'm almost sad to put him to bed, because then there's no more giggles until the next morning. How do I survive?!? I know, I know, if that's the least of my problems... yeah, life's pretty sweet :)


  1. You can only be super-mom for so long until you need to put up your feet, have a big box of chocolates and through the reusable wash clothes out the window.

    As one that totally care about being cheap and saving the environment I feel your pain. But you cannot do it all...

    LOL...the hands in the poop is oh to familiar! Kim

  2. Ah, I get it now. I was going to suggest my solution (which is wet the cloths under the tap for wiping, no solution necessary) but then I realized you don't change in the bathroom. How about a spritz bottle to spray a really mild solution on the offending bum, and then wipe with the cloth?

  3. A cheapo(albeit non green) solution for nearly free wipes is to buy them at London Drugs and stack coupons (info on my blog).

    I had stocked up on wipes and diapers before my boy was born. I am still considering cloth diapering at some point, have to convince the hubby.

    I struggle between green vs convenience baby items too.