Sunday, March 23, 2014

Baby Wipes 3: Store Bought Wipes Giveaway!!!

Thanks for sticking around through my wipes series where I shared making DIY Disposable Baby Wipes and DIY Cloth Baby Wipes. Now what about store bought wipes? Today I share some information and have a giveaway for a 3 month supply of super natural WaterWipes.

Store Bought Baby Wipes

I have bought a lot of baby wipes over the past 6.5 years. I love the disposable wipes for trips, disposable diapers, quick face washes on the go. I tried to use cloth for these purposes but sometimes a girl needs balance and convenience. You've probably seen these babies with bad chemical rashes from baby wipes. Plain water works great for baby wipes, it is all I have used for baby #3 with our cloth wipes. 

It is easy to pick out wipes, just read the ingredients like you would a food label: if you cannot pronounce it or it isn't natural, don't get it. After all, our skin is our largest organ and everything that goes on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Example: Huggies Soft Skin Wipes
  • Ingredients: Water, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Maleic Acid, PEG 50 Shea Butter, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance 
  • According the Environmental Working Group, these chemicals can cause "Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Neurotoxicity, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, use restrictions."

I use only water with my homemade cloth wipes and my baby's bottom is always clean and rash-free BUT disposable wipes are such a purse staple for me for diaper changes, dirty faces and hand washes.

Luckily, there are some really great brands out there that understands that water is the best solution for cleaning a baby.  Even my local Walgreens sells these WaterWipes that are 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit extract. They are a natural baby wipe that prevent diaper rash by fully cleaning my baby's bottom and keeping the harmful chemicals off her bottom. You need to know what is in your baby wipes

Can you tell that I am excited about these wipes?! My toddler gets messy and sticky diapers yet these wipes make her clean using just two wipes. Also check out their facial wipes that clean my makeup and my baby's snotty nose in an easy wipe. Thanks WaterWipes for hooking me up and sponsoring this giveaway!

Here it is... the giveaway!

Post a comment about baby wipes below and you can win 12 packs of 60 wipes! You have until 9pm Wednesday so hurry and share with your friends.  This is open to addresses in the U.S.A. only.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baby Wipes 2: DIY Cloth Baby Wipes

Now that you all know how I made disposable baby wipes that were extra gentle on my baby's skin and chemical free, here is how my baby wipe journey continued.

I HATED DISPOSABLE WIPES! Mainly because I had to have a second trash can next to my cloth diaper pail and I just don't like clutter and extra STUFF in my life. While pregnant with baby #2, I knew that I would be washing my own cloth diapers so I made my own cloth wipes. I had never sewed before but my aunt gave me my grandmother's 70 year old sewing machine. I had it serviced and the man at the sewing machine repair shop showed me how to thread the string and sew a straight stitch forward and backwards (that's all the machine does). That 5 minute tutorial (and a few YouTube videos) was all I needed to sew a quilt, a bedroom garland banner, a sleep sack, and these cloth wipes as my nesting projects. These wipes are very easy!

Next week I will be giving away a 3 month supply of all natural baby wipes so check back!

DIY Cloth Baby Wipes
My wipes after being used on 2 babies.

The greatest part about these wipes is that when you are done wiping the baby, you just put them with the diaper right into your cloth diaper pail. They get washed the same way that your diapers get washed.

Sizing: You can make your wipes any size you want. I made mine so that they could fold in half in a standard diaper wipes container. I never actually did that but the thought was good.

1 yard 100% cotton flannel fabric (this made enough wipes for a week so I could continue to wash diapers weekly)
sewing machine or pinking sheers

Directions 1: No Sew Baby Wipes
  1. Wash your fabric in hot water and dry in the dryer to pre-shrink the fabric.
  2. Using pinking sheers, cut your wipes into the size that you want. Done!

Directions 2: Sewed Baby Wipes
  1. Wash your fabric in hot water and dry in the dryer to pre-shrink the fabric.
  2. Using scissors, cut your wipes into the size that you want. 
  3. Sew along the edges using a zig-zag stitch. My 70 sewing machine only did a straight stitch and my wipes look great two kids later. You can also use a serger if you have one.
Note: After the first few washes, there may be some small strings that need to be pulled or cut from the wipes. 

DIY Cloth Baby Wipes Spray

Now that you have a beautiful pile of wipes, you will need to moisten them before you use them. You can use just water, water + a squirt of baby soap, or water + a squirt of baby soap + a drop of oil. Here are the methods that I recommend:
  1. Water: Simply wet the cloth before a diaper change at the sink. Since my older kids wouldn't stop straying everyone with my diaper spray, this is what we resorted to and it works perfect! Soap can be too harsh on the baby's skin. Two wipes and we are done!
  2. Diaper Spray: Fill an empty spray bottle with water (with or without soap and oil). Spray your cloth to moisten it before wiping.
  3. Diaper pump: Use the above directions in an old pump soap bottle. If find this easier than the spray because I can do it one-handed during a diaper change.
  4. Pre-moistened: You can your pour soapy water in your wipes container and keep them there for several days so they are always moist when you go to use them. I never tried this since I wash once a week and was afraid of the potential yuck factor.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 25: So Normal, So Extraordinary

I've felt that there has been little interesting to say about my pregnancy in the last several weeks. In my first pregnancy, I'm pretty sure I never thought or felt that. It was so new! And strange! And painful! And exciting! And then as soon as I started writing for this blog, I tricked myself into thinking that reflections I had about pregnancy were more interesting than they actually were, just for the sake of having something to say.

But ever since I found out, at 20 weeks, that the baby appears to be developing normally, I guess things have just seemed pretty normal. Normal aches and pains. Normal(ish) blood sugars (at least the awkward overnight lows have been fewer and farther between). Normal doctor's appointments. Normal shortness-of-breath. Normal schedule, normal this, normal that.

Pregnancy was so shocking the first time I did it, partly because it was so HARD and PAINFUL! And I couldn't even take ibuprofen for the symptoms! And I was so TIRED all the time! And I couldn't even bend down to tie my own shoe! Sitting down in a chair practically knocked the wind out of me! And then I was chasing a couple toddlers, I was changing two sets of diapers, AND I was pregnant! A  very good friend of mine, at that time, when I was pregnant with my third, asked me, " gets easier, right?" And in some ways, that's true. For example, you get more efficient at clearing the breakfast table and getting everyone into the car. You know exactly when to check your blood sugar and what you need to have with you before you leave the house. But efficiency can only get you so far before the difficult tasks of daily living demand your attention once more (and sometimes, all at the same time). So what it really boils down to, and what I told her, is, "No, it doesn't get easier. You just get used to being tired and in pain."

This truth is one I have known intimately, for I have been living in the depths of pregnancy-, baby-, and toddler-induced fatigue and pain for 6 years. The minor aches and pains and irritations of  pregnancy or nursing or parenting are just so ordinary and normal at this point. Perhaps that seems horrifying to you. It was to me, too, for a long time...except for the fact that it was my life and I still had to live it. And you know what? I just can't afford to be outraged about the horror of it all all the time. So I've given in, and stopped being mad about it. I've stopped feeling like I'm special, or that life is unfair, or that everyone should congratulate me all the time because I have diabetes and children. All the aches, pains, fatigue, and irritations are just par for the course now. The good news is I'm still alive, and those problems haven't caused my demise yet. Nothing terrible has happened, and in fact, very many good things (ages 26 weeks gestation, 1, 3, and 4) have happened! They are continuing to happen right before my very eyes.

So the most extraordinary thing I have experienced during this pregnancy has nothing to do with all the things that I normally write about, that is, the physical symptoms related to diabetes and pregnancy. The most extraordinary thing I've experienced these last few weeks is interior collection and peace. For all I know, being tired actually helps with that...not a lot of excess energy to be mad, complain, or try to change the world to AVOID ALL THE PAIN. All the fears and anxieties that have lived in me for so long, for so many pregnancies, are gradually fading away. I am not worried about labor, I am not worried about recovery, I am not worried about bringing a new baby home, I am not worried about high blood sugars, I am not worried about low blood sugars, I am not worried about whether my baby will be too big, and I am not even worried about having a c-section. My life is still full of aches and pains and irritations and exhaustion and minor failures but those don't seem so shocking or new or strange anymore.

Instead, all of the day-to-day pains and irritations are fading away before the extraordinary joy of being present and open to my children each and every day. What's so shocking, strange, new, and exciting now is all of the lovely things they see and do and notice and say. Like when my 4-year-old Pious One starts coming up with math problems in his head and solving them out loud, or when 3-year-old Braveheart courageously "makes a sacrifice" and decides to walk through the grocery store so that his two brothers can sit in the grocery cart, or the fact that two of my little Statesman's first words happened to be "brothers" and "excited." Or when the Pious One tells me, after much careful thought, that he is afraid of death in one way, but not in another. Or when Braveheart proudly declares that he will NOT wet his bed tomorrow night, or the next night, or ever! Or when the Statesman gently lays his head down on my shoulder, sucks his thumb, and gently says, "Mama."

I don't know. These things may not seem that extraordinary to you. I guess they didn't seem all that extraordinary or exciting to me a few months ago, either. A few months ago, I just couldn't wait for them to get to the next phase, or at least get to the point where they just wouldn't NEED me so much. I was so impatient and constantly felt like their needs were dragging me down and I JUST NEEDED TO GET AWAY and HAVE A NAP and SOMEONE GIVE ME AN IBUPROFEN AND TEACH MY KIDS HOW TO DO STUFF FOR THEMSELVES. I've had to make a conscious effort to slow down and work harder at the things that are important: caring for my achy body, being attentive to my diabetes, and addressing all the needs of my children that I possibly can. And then, I do my best not ti worry about all the things I can't do. Sometimes they cry and I can't be there for 10 more minutes. Sometimes I'm absurdly hungry and I just have to wait 15 more minutes until I can get a healthy meal prepared. Sometimes I'm so mad that they did that thing again that I've always told them not to do and this time, one of my mom's dishes is broken all over the kitchen floor and I have to clean it up right at this very moment when the oven timer is going off and oh by the way, my blood sugar is starting to get low. But I've decided I'm not mad at them or my life for requiring my attention anymore, and I'm not worried about all the things I'm not doing anymore. And now, all these anxieties, pains, and irritations truly pale in comparison to the amazing little things that I am seeing in my children's lives. And that has been so, so beautiful.

The only ache that really matters to me anymore is the ache in my heart that I feel for all the ways I've pushed my children away and resented their needs. I wish I could take back all the angry words and all the running away, all the times I rolled my eyes because they were crying again about wanting the same thing that I took away in the first place because they kept breaking it. I wish I could go back and open my heart to them in the past. I might still have had to say no, or left them crying for a long time, or taken away a toy, or done something else that made them upset; but at least I could have left my heart open and avoided treating them like they were the enemies of my happiness. Because they are definitely NOT the enemy of my happiness - they are the very substance of it! For that reason, I also burn with another kind of heartache: wanting to love them more and give them more. I still find there are a thousands of things I want to do for and with them, to teach them, and to say to them. There don't seem to be enough hours in a day. I'm not even sure there are enough moments in a lifetime for it all.

So in the last few weeks, this pregnancy has been very normal in all the ways that I usually write about: fatigue, bodily aches, joint pains, blood sugars, medical testing, etc. But it has been very extraordinary in ways that are more difficult to speak about. The aches are in the heart, and those aches have flowed from an abundant joy that I've experienced in the presence of the very people that pregnancy is all about. Caring for the child within is much easier in weeks like these, when I am able to catch a glimpse of all that's coming for him, and for us together, in the next few years!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Baby Wipes 1: DIY Disposable Baby Wipes

Here's the start of a series about baby wipes (homemade, cloth, and bought) from when I used to make my own disposable baby wipes with baby #1. BUT I also use disposable wipes in my purse for the out-and-about diaper changes, playground hand/face washes, and for the babysitter. At the end of this series I will be giving away a 3 month supply of all natural baby wipes so check back!

DIY Homemade Disposable Baby Wipes

A reaction from the chemicals
 in mainstream baby wipes.

Sometimes you want more natural wipes than the mainstream brands. Maybe you're baby has a reaction to mainstream wipes or you are a natural minded person. Purchased natural wipes are great (and keep checking back for that 3 month supply giveaway that is coming up), but can be 3-4 times the cost of store brand wipes. So for those of you who have a tight wallet or are obsessed with DIY projects, here is how to make your own disposable baby wipes.

With baby #1, I was new to cloth diapers and I used a service. I was not about to use cloth wipes and have to figure out how to wash my wipes in the laundromat (which I later did when I stopped the service). To help in my transition I used cloth wipes and had a trash pail next to my diaper pail. I was buying store brand wipes and realized that they contained chemicals that I just didn't want on my baby's skin.  After a little research, I realized that I could make disposable wipes with things that I already had in the house.

1 T. castille soap (or other gentle baby soap)
1/2-1 T. olive oil
1 c. water
1 paper towel roll
large scissors or a large serrated bread knife
empty baby wipes container


  1. Using your large scissors or serrated bread knife, cut the paper towel in thirds so that it looks like three toilet paper rolls. 
  2. Place one roll in your empty baby wipes container on its side as pictured. Save the other 2 rolls for future use.
  3. Mix the first three ingredients together.
  4. Poor the liquid over the roll that is in the baby wipes container. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then turn the roll over and let sit another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the cardboard core. Pull your wipes out of the top of the wipes container. Use within a week.
These wipes can also be put in a ziploc or other water tight container for out-and-about use. Enjoy!