How Do I Choose the Best Baby Wipes?

Cindy Quarters

Baby wipes are a type of disposable wash cloth that are most often used for cleaning the baby’s diaper area when changing the diaper, that can also be used to wash the baby’s face, hands, and other parts of the body. Determining which are the best baby wipes is largely a matter of personal preference, since what is best for one family may not be the ideal for others. Before making a choice you should consider the factors that are important to you, such as the size and thickness of the wipes, whether or not they contain additives, and the cost.

Baby wipes.
Baby wipes.

Disposable baby wipes come in many different sizes. Some of them are fairly small and thin, and you may want to use two at a time when dealing with a messy baby so that nothing gets on your hands. Others are almost as large as a regular washcloth and quite thick, and you may find that these are more than you need for the average use. The size you select will depend on how often you need a thick, heavy cloth and how often a smaller, light one will work. Since they tend to be fairly inexpensive you may want to choose the smaller ones for routine jobs and have the large ones on hand for big messes.

The size and thickness of the baby wipes are important factors to consider.
The size and thickness of the baby wipes are important factors to consider.

It is very common for baby wipes to have additives, particularly fragrance and baby oil, though not everybody wants these. Some infants are very sensitive to certain chemicals and cannot tolerate such additives being used; in some cases, parents don’t feel that it is a good idea to use them even if the baby doesn’t seem to be bothered. There are many different kinds of wipes that are fragrance-free, so if this is something you want to avoid be sure to read the label to see what is added to the cloths before you buy them.

Cost is another factor that is important when choosing baby wipes. As a general rule, the smaller, thinner wipes tend to be less expensive, while the large, thick ones can cost twice as much as the others. When choosing the best, don’t go just by the overall price, since that may not tell the whole story. Often you will pay extra for attractive, pop-up containers, but you can usually get quality refills for a container you already have for a much lower price. Look carefully at the label to find the size and thickness of the wipes, as well as how many are in the container, when deciding which ones are best for your needs.

One thing you might want to consider when choosing baby wipes is what happens to them after you throw them away. Typically they end up in landfills, because they cannot be flushed without clogging the plumbing, and it takes them a long time to decompose. If you have environmental concerns, look for environmentally friendly baby wipes that can be flushed and are made to decompose quickly. You may also want to consider reusable baby wipes, which you can buy or make for yourself. These are small pieces of very soft, absorbent cloth that are easy to use for cleaning the baby, after which they can be tossed in with the diapers so that they can be washed and used again.

Baby wipes are used to clean a baby's diaper area during a diaper change.
Baby wipes are used to clean a baby's diaper area during a diaper change.

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Discussion Comments


People have used baby wipes for many years, and I don't think that much thought was given to what happens to them once they were thrown away in the trash. However, with more of a consciousness of the environment and the importance of being green, more people are aware that items like baby wipes do not easily decompose and are bad for the earth. I'm glad to see that this article points out this important fact about them, and explains that reusable baby wipes are an option.

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