By Rishu Gandhi, Founder & Head- Brand Strategy, Mother Sparsh
Today wipes are an indispensable item, especially while travelling with babies. Before wipes came into our world, cloth scraps or store-bought clothes were used as baby wipes, they could be washed and re-used. And then in the late 1970s, some companies manufactured disposable wipes for cleaning of hands, or other clean-ups while on the go. Over the years baby wipes have evolved as a necessity, that can be used as a quick cleaning solution anytime, anywhere to gently wipe away the dirt and discard after a single use. These days with fast-tracked lifestyles, nuclear families, and working mothers, we are constantly on the lookout for convenience based quick fixes. And baby wipes is just one of the ready to use options. Here’s how you can use them effectively.
- Mild wipes or a warm, wet washcloth can be gently used to cleanse the baby’s skin. Wipes can be used to clean the baby’s bottoms and genitals from front to back, during the diaper changing process. It is suggested to wipe from the cleanest area towards the dirtiest area so that impurities are not spread. To dry the skin before putting on a new diaper, allow baby’s bottom to air dry for 15-30 seconds after wiping.
- Do not use wipes on mucous membranes, as the area is very sensitive. Avoid rubbing the bottom of the baby with wipes during a nappy change. Wipe slowly and gently and do not use it to clean the baby’s bottoms. You need to avoid using wipes to clean the baby’s mouth and other body parts thus reducing the chances of an allergy.
- Since the baby skin is highly sensitive, using wipes that are alcohol-free and unscented, water-based and cotton wipes to minimise irritation. Some doctors suggest that baby wipes be used after the baby is at least a month old. For the first few weeks, during diaper changes, ultra-soft paper towels or clean cloth and warm water can be used for cleaning the baby. If required gentle baby wash soap can be used since diapers change is done at least six to seven times a day.
- If your baby’s bum looks red after using the wipe, it may be because of a reaction. If the rashes persist, you need to consult a pediatrician. You may need to try a few wipes’ brands before settling down on one of the brands. You must discontinue their use in case of any kind of discomfort.
- Most wipes contain some chemicals as preservatives. Therefore, you need to be cautious about using synthetic baby products, which may cause allergies and irritations on the baby’s sensitive skin.
- Apply a thin layer of baby cream or petroleum jelly to the baby’s bottoms after every nappy change. This will avoid contact with the chemicals in the wipes with the baby’s skin. The baby cream will be like a cover between the baby’s skin and the chemicals in the wipes.
- While at home, and with enough time, you can avoid using wipes. If you are hard pressed for time, use of organic and chemical-free baby wipes would be the best solution. Water wipes, made from natural materials, are safe to be used on the baby’s delicate skin.
- Use of extra thick wipes may be a good and economical option for cleaning the baby’s bottoms area thoroughly. However, the used wipes need to be disposed of immediately. Some of the wipes are not bio-degradable and flushable, so you need to be judicious in their use.
With such a wide spectrum of baby wipes to choose from, it is a blessing for parents with babies. They give you the flexibility to multitask, meet all their responsibilities with grace and travel with ease. There is a wide range of baby wipes available with different characteristics like wipes which use different degrees of chemicals, 100 per cent plant fabric-based wipes, water-based wipes and wipes made of biodegradable material. You need to make informed, aware and socially responsible decisions for your baby, in terms of his health and the effect these products will have on the environment in which your baby will grow and live.
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