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Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 1/23/12 – Cloth Wipes Irritating Bottom

Irritated bottom from #clothdiapers wipes via @chgdiapers

Help me give cloth diaper advice! If I’ve received a question, I will answer it on Monday and ask all of you to help too..

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Jessica says:

Hello. Sorry to bother you; I’m just not sure where to turn for information about this and was hoping you might be able to help. I use cloth diapers with my daughter and am attempting to use cloth wipes as well. Initially, I cut up some old receiving blankets and used a solution of water, tea tree oil, and baby shampoo. Very shortly after switching to this, my daughter developed a very red and irritated bottom. I switched back to disposable wipes, and the rash quickly cleared up. I thought perhaps the receiving blankets were too rough because of how old they were, so I bought some cotton flannel fabric and sewed up some new wipes. This time I used only water on the wipes in case the solution was irritating her bottom. Sure enough, after a few changes with the cloth wipes, her bottom is red and irritated again. She cries whenever I wipe her with them, and I am at a loss as to why this is happening. I don’t really want to continue using disposable wipes forever. Have you ever experienced this or heard of this, or is there a cloth wipe you might recommend? I understand if you do not have time to answer this, but I would appreciate it if you do and if you have any ideas.

Thank you,


Hi Jessica,
My initial thought was that the TTO or shampoo was irritating her bottom, so I was surprised to hear you say that water irritates her bottom but disposable wipes don’t!

First I’d say make sure they are totally saturated so you can get all residue off her bottom without scrubbing. Have you tried anything but flannel? I’m wondering if perhaps she is sensitive to that.

My favorite wipes are GroVia wipes because they are soft, stay soft, wash well, and are more affordable than others (under $1 ea, I believe $10.95 for 12.) I like to use Thirsties booty luster and spray right on the bottom. When the bottle is empty, I refill it with dissolved wipes bits like booty cubes.

Have cloth wipes irritated your baby’s bottom? Did you figure out what was causing it?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • Rebecca G
    January 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    If you can afford them – I love our thirsties wipes, but I also think they are better for older ones.

  • January 24, 2012 at 12:56 am

    As the mother of a 3yo cloth diapered child who is VERY verbal I can tell you that it is the flannel. Most receiving blankets (at least the ones I’ve seen) are a type of flannel. So, you’ve used flannel and flannel. I also made wipes out of receiving blankets and was having the same problem as you with my son – but not with my daughter (I have 2 in cloth). My son informed me one day that I needed to get softer wipes and that he does not like my wipes. So, I began using some baby washcloths and made wipes out of a pair of velour pants my 7 yo had outgrown. He prefers the velour and he doesn’t complain with the washcloths. An occasional use of a flannel wipe doesn’t irritate his skin, but he will usually complain if I use one.

  • Beth
    January 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    She might be having issues with the solution. I’d stay away from plain water, it doesn’t get rid of the bacteria from urine or poo, which could be why the water alone bothered her bottom. Plus, how long were you using the solution? If it’s not kept in the fridge it should only be used for a day or two. Something we do at our house is get a little travel spray bottle, fill it with water, then 2 drops of baby wash, shake it up, and the small travel bottle will only last 1-2 days so I never have it too long. Just some ideas, good luck!

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