When it comes to caring for your baby, there’s a multitude of opinions to consider!
It's undeniable that disposable baby wipes have become the go-to convenience item, considered the standard nowadays. They are single-use wipes that you use and throw away.
At Little Gubbins, we receive questions all the time about the benefits of reusable baby wipes vs disposable wipes. We will attempt to address some of these questions in this article.
Which wipes are more environmentally friendly?
Reusable baby wipes take the cake when it comes to environmental friendliness. You've probably seen alarming images and documentaries about the havoc wreaked by wet wipes. In the UK, a staggering 90% of wet wipes contain plastic, taking hundreds of years to biodegrade in landfills. When flushed, they create even more significant problems, leading to sewer blockages and polluting our beaches and oceans.
While there are brands claiming to be plastic-free and biodegradable, their impact is negated when disposed of wrapped in a plastic bag. Even so-called "flushable" wipes take 12 weeks to break down, causing chaos in our sewer systems.
Assessing the eco-friendliness of reusable baby wipes
Reusable baby wipes are highly eco-friendly because they can be washed along with your regular laundry, reducing the additional load. Line drying is the most economical method and even if you choose to tumble dry them, the added cost is minimal when included in a regular mixed load. In terms of the environmental impact of washing detergents, washing 20 cloth wipes as part of a mixed load or with your cloth nappies has a minimal effect. There are even more eco-friendly washing options available if you want to further reduce your ecological footprint. There is a wide range of fabric options to choose from too.
At Little Gubbins you can shop from a selection of options including bamboo, microfibre, cotton and a special cotton bamboo mix, enabling you to choose exactly what’s right for your baby.
- Disposable baby wipes
At the lower end, two packs of £1 wipes per week for two years will cost £208, while premium ‘eco’ wipes can amount to around £500.
While a single pack of disposable wipes seems to cost very little when added to your shopping basket, consider that you'll use 1-2 packs per week for 3 years + and for lots more than just nappy changes. As all mums know, wipes are your best friend and will be used for almost everything including hands and faces.
- Reusable baby wipes
The cost of reusable baby wipes ranges. At Little Gubbins you can get a pack of 12 wipes for as little as £9.99 up to a more comprehensive kit that includes everything you need for £19.99. At the lower end, traditional flannels in a bag are an inexpensive option and work well for cleaning grubby hands and faces. For those willing to invest a bit more, all-in-one wipe reusable baby wipe kits are available. The Little Gubbins essentials kit includes 10 microfibre wipes, 10 cotton wipes, a wet bag, spray bottle and 2 laundry bags for both clean and dirty wipes.
How do you use reusable baby wipes?
Reusable baby wipes might be a new concept for some, but they were very common in past generations. Reusable baby wipes are essentially cloth squares that you can use dry and warm or with water for a quick and easy cleaning solution that won't leave your little one running for the hills!
They are perfect for cleaning hands and faces and moping up little spills. Leave a few on your kitchen table and watch your children become self-cleaning – its magic!
With reusable baby wipes you really are covered for everything from messy meal times and bath times to nappy changes (even the pooey ones!). Simply pop in a laundry bag and wash alongside your other laundry when dirty.
Which option is more suitable for my baby?
- Reusable baby wipes
Reusable baby wipes are an excellent choice for newborns as you have full control over what touches your baby's skin. This is particularly beneficial for babies with eczema or sensitive skin as reusable wipes are effective with plain water alone.
The suitability of disposable wipes for your baby depends on the brand you choose. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly baby wipe options available, however, for many parents close attention to the PH balance and fragrances are essential as disposable wet wipes may cause skin issues such as rashes and irritation.
At the end of the day whatever you choose, whether disposable or reusable, at Little Gubbins we hope that it is the right decision for you and your family.