I’ve seen moms receive more packets of wipes than you could ever imagine needing at baby showers. Some moms use wipes like they’re going out of style: two or more with every diaper change and out they come again to clean up messy faces and dirty toys. Hey, wipes are handy!
Here’s the thing: mainstream disposable wipes aren’t very environmentally friendly and are packed with fragrances and wetting chemicals that you really don’t want around your baby, really. On Skin Deep’s Cosmetic Database, wipes by Huggies and Pampers contain DMDM Hydantoin. This chemical is rated a seven on a toxicity scale of one to ten. DMDM Hydantoin is a known human immune system toxicant and is restricted in cosmetics since it can cause skin irritation and can have broad systemic organ effects. Pampers and Huggies wipes also contain Methylparaben. Even the media has been on board with the concern for parabens. Methylparaben rates a four by Skin Deep for “Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Biochemical or cellular level changes.”
All Pampers and Huggies wipes contain these concerning ingredients (so far as I can tell), even those touted as “Natural” and “Fragrance Free”. And the off brands like CVS, Target, and Rite-Aid are no better. If you use disposable wipes, buy eco-conscious brands such as 7th Generation, Tushies, and Avalon Organics. Their wipes are low on chemicals, don’t contain the worse offenders, and rate 1-2 on the Skin Deep toxicity scale.
Of course, if you really want to go all natural, nothing is more pure than cloth wipes moistened with water. I use BumGenius Bamboo Baby Wipes (available at EuphoriaBaby.com) in an old disposable wipes container. I place about 9 wipes in the container at a time and simply run them under the bathroom sink to moisten. They wash up well, never seem to stain, and seem to work better on messy bums than disposable wipes. Still, when I’m out and about, I use disposable wipes. I like to be able to simply throw them away and never have to worry about them getting dried out or moldy from infrequent use. I suspect that when I run out of disposables, I won’t buy anymore. We’ll see.
What do you use?