1001 reasons to make your own baby wipes

October 15, 2014


Ok, so I won’t list 1001 reasons here, but I could definitely come up with that many if I had enough time (which I probably won’t till Zena is off to college!). My top four are:

1. Chemicals
2. Preservatives
3. Misleading packaging
4. Fragrances

The good news is that making your own is SUPER EASY and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner. [scroll down to bottom for details]

What we put on our skin is just as important as what we eat. Unfortunately it took me a few months to get around to reading the ingredients on our Huggies “natural care” wipes which we spent extra money on thinking they would be better. So let me start by giving you some insight into the ingredients in shelf stable baby wipes, which is every single brand you’ll buy in a store, including organic/green/earth friendly, etc. Notice they are not kept in the fridge, so just like shelf stable food, they need all sorts of things to stop them going moldy, to smell good months after production, to keep them fluffy and not stick together…etc. None of these ingredients are things you want on your baby’s bottom. Trust me!

What’s in store bought baby wipes: 

Citric acid, tocopherol acetate or vitamin E acetate and potassium sorb ate are all common ingredients that are used as mold and yeast inhibitor and sodium benzoate is an antimicrobial preservative. While these are considered ‘food grade’ preservatives, you wouldn’t feed them to your baby so why would you want to have them absorb it through their skin, our largest organ.

Additional ingredients may include propylene glycol, a stabilizer and quaternium, an ammonium salt often used as a preservative in cosmetics. Cosmetics are not highly regulated, and even our food, which technically is, contains so much stuff approved by the FDA that we absolutely should not be eating and are banned in many countries except ours. Don’t be fooled into thinking anyone but you has your baby’s best interest at heart.

These ingredients are known to cause minor to more serious interactions include Disodium EDTA, a chelating agent used to absorb impurities; sodium citrate, a urinary alkalizer; phenoxyethanol, an antiseptic agent; ethylhexylglycerin, a cleaning agent; benzyl alcohol, an anesthetic and bacteriostatic; dipropylene glycol, a solvent; lauryl glucoside, a surface-active agent; carbomer, a suspending agent; anisic acid, an antiseptic; and coco glucoside, a fragrance. Fragrance is a catch all name that allows cosmetic companies to put whatever they like into a mix. At best it contains a bunch of artificially created chemical scents. As an overall rule I never buy anything with fragrance as an ingredient.

As I found out after buying Huggies ‘natural care’ wipes, it’s easy to get taken by packaging colors, stamps and certifications like “Green America Seal of Approval” or the “EPA Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative.” Unfortunately this does not mean the product doesn’t include questionable ingredient. The seal can relate to the company’s overall environmental stewardship not that this one product is 100-percent safe for your child. For instance, the EPA seal only refers to the use of an environmentally safer surfactant in the product’s cleaning ingredient — it does not necessarily address whether that ingredient is safe for your baby.

Now the good news!

They are SO easy to make. What’s in them?
•  Viva Kitchen roll cut up into thirds (this specific brand is particularly cloth like and easy to find in most grocery stores)
•  Water
•  1 tablespoon of your choice of oil, I use 100% argan oil or olive oil
•  1 teaspoon of grated soap (we use Truly-Life unscented)

And that’s it! Doesn’t that sound better for your baby’s bottom, and face, and hands and all the other parts!

Here’s our how-to so you can see how silly easy it is!

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