Eco-friendly Baby Wipes
Not all baby wipes are as handy as you'd think – which ones clean baby's bottom and are safe to dispose of?
Posted: 19 September 2008
by Debra Stottor
You’ve probably got a stack of them in the bathroom, and more in your changing bag – and you don’t just using them for wiping your baby’s bottom – but it’s time to take a look at what’s in baby wipes and what’s the greener alternative.
What’s so bad about standard wipes?
They may be super-convenient, but they’re non-biodegradable, adding to the waste mountain, often highly perfumed and contain alcohol and other chemicals. They can dry out your baby’s skin and may exacerbate or trigger eczema, dermatitis or nappy rash.
What’s the alternative?
For a newborn baby, cotton wool and warm water are all you need. Remember that a newborn’s skin is incredibly delicate and needs to develop naturally. A washable wipe is a good solution for older babies (£9.99 for 12, from www.greenbaby.co.uk) – use with your own ‘wipe solution’ or plain water. When your baby’s out of nappies, you can use them as dusters or household cloths.
How do I make my own solution?
Simple. Mix together 2 tbsp baby wash (do choose a brand that’s free of chemical nasties or you’ll be defeating the object), 2 tbsp olive oil (or 1 tbsp calendula oil) and 500ml water. Store in a bottle (ideally one with a spray top) or soak your washcloths in an old baby wipes box (they do have their uses!). Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil if desired – this has disinfectant properties as well as the wonderful, clean smell. Spray on to dry cloth or tissue (kitchen towel is good as it’s quite strong) as needed.
(This 'recipe' and other green tips can be found on the American website, www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com.)
Are there any commercially available natural wipes?
Loads. It seems to be a growing market as parents cotton on to the fact that chemicals aren’t so good for our babies. Your local health food shop, baby shop or pharmacy will probably have some. As well as steering clear of alcohol and parfum (artificial scent), see Toiletries: ingredients to avoid for other nasties to give a wide berth.
These brands are all worth trying:
Beaming Baby from www.beamingbaby.co.uk
Earth Friendly Baby from www.ethicalbabe.com
Ellie Smellie from www.beamingbaby.co.uk
Natracare from www.soorganic.com
Nature Babycare see www.naty.com for stockists
Naturebotts from www.naturebotts.co.uk
PHP from www.beamingbaby.co.uk
Tushies, from www.greenbaby.co.uk
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