25 February 2009
Made: Baby Bum Wipes and Spray
Somewhere there is a fine line between being environmentally conscious and becoming a totally freakin' Portland hippie. I may have just crossed that line with my latest concoction.
In the past two years I have made a conscious effort to slowly switch over all of our baby and body products to less-toxic options. Most conventional shampoos, lotions, skin care products, etc. contain Nasties like petrochemical products (mineral oil), parabens (endocrine disruptors), and other volatile organic compounds. Not only do I not want them on my skin, I do not want them washing down my drain into the Willamette River. And, yes, that is still where the overflow sewage drains until they get the Big Pipe finished. Ew.
I just assumed we would use cloth diapers as much as possible since that's the obvious environmental and economical choice in my mind. I didn't really think about baby wipes until I grabbed a box off the shelf at the SuperMegaMart the other day and read the ingredients. Ew. Even in the "pure and natural" baby wipes there were the Nasties. A little bit of research on the internet confirmed that conventional baby wipes are decidedly Un-Green. They are also a prime mark-up item for stores who cannily position them next to disposable diapers that have a very low mark-up value.
I had some cheapo JoAnn's $2-a-yard flannel on hand and a whole lot of time to waste the last couple of days so I whipped up some reuseable flannel wipes that can be tossed in the wash with the cloth diapers. If I would have had an old flannel sheet this would be a perfect place to do some recycling. Or I think a packet of cheap washclothes would work just as well. But like I said, I had some time on my hands.
After sewing the wipes, I had to decide how to moisten them. There are LOTS of baby wipe recipes out there. Some ingredients made sense to me: aloe vera, calendula oil, lavendar oil, vitamin E. Some ingredients made no sense to me at all: mineral oil, alcohol and soaps (why would you want to dry out the tender baby skin? wouldn't that make it crack/rash more quickly?) I had some left-over ingredients from earlier bath and body experiments so I just used what I had on hand.
My bum wipe spray is approximately:
2 cups water,
1 tablespoon vegetable glycerine (a natural moisturizer/emolient)
2 drops of tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial plus it smells good)
a couple of drops of Vitamin E
Some bum wipe recipes say to dump the concoction on the wipes and keep them pre-moistened in a plastic container. I have issues with leaving fabric soaking and potentially growing mold so I chose to put it in a spray bottle and I'll just spray the wipe before I tackle the bum.
So what do you think? Have I crossed over into crazy Portland hippie territory? Will it work? I have no baby bums to test it on. Yet. What would you experienced mamas and papas put in baby bum solution?