A baby wipe is a handy tool for cleaning the soft, sensitive skin of an infant or toddler. While choosing baby wipes, parents not only have to look for the price, but also check the ingredients and various other factors. This AptParenting article enlists some of these factors.
Flushable wipes are apparently not meant to be flushed. The problem was recognized worldwide when London sewer officials reportedly removed a 15-ton huge lump of wrongly flushed wet wipes from the sewers.
Baby wipes can be a lifesaver, they are extremely handy when your child has soiled his diaper at home, or when your baby needs a diaper change on the go. Of course, there are parents who are satisfied with using a wet washcloth for cleaning their baby’s butt, but the convenience of a baby wipe is simply too great to resist. There are several brands of baby wipes in the market, and apart from cleaning the baby’s bottom, these wet towelettes can also be used for wiping the face and hands of your messy little angel.
As a parent, we go through tons of baby wipes on a daily basis. Most parents pick up just any baby wipe that they can find in the department store aisle. What they do not consider is that like all skincare products, baby wipes contain a lot of chemicals. This can harm your baby’s thin, sensitive skin. Choosing a good quality wipe with the right ingredients helps in preventing rashes and allergies.
Baby Wipes Buying Guide
When buying baby wipes, you need to look out for certain things.
Ingredients of the Wipes
You always thought that baby wipes are safe for your little one’s delicate skin, but what most parents do not realize is that these wipes contain a variety of chemicals including parabens and phthalates (added for fragrance). Other not-so-good chemicals include, cocamidopropyl betaine―a synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil that is known to cause allergic contact dermatitis and skin irritation. Another ingredient to watch out for is phenoxyethanol―a preservative used in cosmetic products and also present in many baby wipes, that is known to cause skin, eye, and lung irritation.
Some commonly used ingredients are water, glycerin, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extracts, aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) extract, lemon (citrus medica limonum) oil, lavender oil, and tea tree leaf oil, are considered relatively safe by the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This American environmental organization lists the ingredients and their relative toxicity on personal care products for the benefit of the consumers.
Special Wipes for Sensitive Skin
If your baby has extremely sensitive skin, then you need wipes that are formulated to suit their skin type. These wipes are free of harmful chemicals such as alcohol and chlorine, which can irritate the baby’s skin and aggravate diaper rashes. Fragrant baby wipes can also irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. It is best to look for fragrance-free wipes containing all natural ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E. If you are potty training a toddler, then you may opt for flushable wipes.
Thickness and Size
While choosing baby wipes, you will have to check the thickness and size of each wipe. While a cheaper wipe may be easier on your pocket, it may be extremely thin and small. Obviously, no one wants to end up with dirty hands after a diaper change, or use multiple wipes to clean up baby poop every time. So, opt for extra-thick, large variants that are better and more efficient at wiping the baby’s bottom.
Type of Container
Most baby wipes are available in flexible plastic bags with a rigid flip-up lid or a sticker-type top. You can open the lid and pull out the wipe with one hand while changing the baby’s diaper. The rigid flip-up top ensures that the wet wipes stay moist. One of the problems with these wipes is that they tend to get all bunched up in the plastic package. The ones with the sticker-type top tend to lose moisture faster. An alternative to these are the hard baby wipe containers with flip-up lids. These boxes retain the moisture of the wipes. Once the wipes are over, instead of getting a new packet, you can simply buy refills.
Price and Availability
Since we use baby wipes regularly, the price matters as well. Instead of cheap and bad-quality variants, choose wipes that may be a little expensive but are made of natural ingredients. Obviously, buying in bulk saves extra bucks as well.
Availability can be a cause for concern. Most of the wet wipes we see in department stores are from popular brands, which may or may not suit the baby. If you find it a pain to take a trip to the baby store to get a specific wet wipe brand, just order it online.
Choosing a biodegradable baby wipe option helps in reducing the burden that the baby’s bottom leaves on the planet during the diapering stage. Not all parents like the idea of reusable baby wipes which are more eco-friendly than the one-time-use variants. However, choosing a baby wipe that is made of natural and renewable materials, and is 100 percent compostable, helps in reducing the damage done to the environment by disposable baby wipes and diapers.
Five Best Baby Wipes
Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine Free Baby Wipes
Containing safe ingredients such as glycerin, aloe vera leaf juice, citric acid, and water, this natural and organic baby wipe is perfect for a sensitive baby’s bottom. Thankfully, there is no alcohol or chlorine in these wipes. Moreover, they are readily available and decently priced as well.
Bum Boosa Bamboo Baby Wipes
Made of 100% bamboo viscose, these compostable and 100% biodegradable wipes are good for children with eczema and sensitive skin. These wipes contain ingredients such as sweet orange oil, aloe vera leaf extract, glycerin, water, calendula extract, lavender oil, and citric acid. These hypoallergenic wipes are soft and thick. They contain no chemicals such as alcohol, SLS, or parabens that can irritate the baby’s skin.
Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Wipes
These soft cloth-like wipes contain no alcohol, fragrances, or dyes that can irritate the baby’s skin. The hypoallergenic formula is very good as compared to other baby wipes in the same range. A thing to note is that, since these wipes are small and soft, it takes twice as many wipes to clean a baby’s bottom as compared to thicker wipes.
Elements Naturals 100% Natural and Compostable Baby Wipes
These 100% natural and renewable baby wipes are not just safe for the environment but also for the baby’s bottom. Apart from being chemical-, fragrance-, and chlorine-free, these wipes are large and thick
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Chlorine Free Wipes
These wipes are chlorine-free, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. The aloe and Vitamin E calm the skin, and they are gentle enough for everyday use. One factor that detracts from the benefits of these wipes is the presence of phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol.
There are many other good wipes in the market, apart from those listed here. Whatever you choose, make sure that your choice is not just based on the price and ease of availability. Look at the ingredients and buy a baby wipe that is good for your child’s skin.