Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frugal Living Series - #1 Baby Wipes

Welcome to the first of my Frugal Living Series blogs! My weekend blog each week will be a Frugal Living blog which will have tips, pointers and examples of ways to stretch the dollar that little bit further. These days it's important to learn ways to live simply, saving money where we can and doing our bit to help the environment. These tips will hopefully help us do this.

Baby Wipes

In our early days with our son James we used purely water and cotton balls when changing his nappy. James seemed to react to anything else we would try to use on him. However, when he started solids the water and cotton balls just weren't going to cut it! We looked into other options for wipes. We tried normal wipes, sensitive skin wipes, eco wipes (which cost the earth we are trying to save!).... Nothing seemed to work on him or if it did - was way too expensive for our budget with the amount of "number 2's" we were trying to cope with.

I stumbled across a book I brought years ago when I was first married called "Miserly Moms" written by Jonni McCoy. In this book I discovered a fantastic recipe for home-made baby wipes. I tried them out and sure enough - they worked on James with no bad reaction! These wipes are not only friendly on bub's little bottom but they are very economical. They work just as good as leading brands such as Huggies but for a 5th of the price!

2 cups of warm water
1 Tablespoon of baby oil or lotion
2 Tablespoons of baby bath (sensitive if your child is that way inclined)
1 roll of strong paper towels*

*having tried many different types of paper towels since I have been using this recipe I recommend Viva Ultra Strong. They work really well.

Combine the water, baby oil and baby bath to form a liquid. Remove the cardboard tube from the middle of the tube. Stand the paper towels in either an old bowl or perhaps an old ice-cream container. Pour the liquid mixture over the towels, concentrating on the centre and working your way out. Squeeze the towels and pour the remaining mixture back into your cup. Pour mixture over repeatedly until the towels are completely saturated. Squeeze excess liquid out of towels and store them in an a container. I use an old Huggies large wipes box but a Tupperware container or Glad bags with an airtight seal would work just as well.

My estimate is that each set of wipes (i.e. 1 roll) costs approx $1.40.

Baby oil  125ml = $3.50 (20 uses)
Baby bath 1000ml  = $8.00 (60 + uses)
Viva paper towels 3 pack = $4.40 (3 uses)

$1.40 for the same amount of wipes as a large pack of Huggies wipes which cost $5.60 approx. Now thats awesome!


  1. hehe yes i used to make these with madi as a baby they are good xxxxxx

  2. Hi Ali
    I used to make my own wipes too with a recipe that Petra gave me which is very good for sensitive skin as it is all natural. Here it goes;
    Make 1 cup of chamomile tea (leave the bag in longer so it is a strong brew)
    let it cool down a bit and add
    1/2 t calendula oil
    1/2 t almond oil
    We used to buy these blue and white (Chux) cleaning cloth and cut them up and fold then once each way and then you pour the mixture over it. You can wash them and use them a few times. I stopped using them now as he is on solids and I didn't like reusing them. But I might try my recipe with papertowels.
    Thanks for sharing!
    PS; any tips on cleaning shower doors?

  3. good job! we just use good old warm water and flannels :D thankfully we dont have nappy rash or irritation.

  4. If you're already using cloth nappies, then you can use cloth wipes too and it works out even cheaper!
    Just an overlocked square of flannelette will do, or if you want to get fancy, flannelette on one side and cotton velour on the other is lovely.

  5. If I had babies again - I would so do this!! Great hint Ali... maybe I will make some for the grandchildren who stay over....

  6. Thanks guys! Iemke - see the post on Baking Soda - it works on doors too!