Baby Wet Wipes Buying Guide

Baby Wipes: A Guide to Safety, Ingredients, and Quality for New Parents

by Coterie Team

As you equip your diaper bag with all of the newborn essentials, you’re likely imagining what adventures await. New parents often find that hypoallergenic diaper wipes are their best friend when it comes to every surprise or accident in those first few years.

It can be difficult to choose the safest baby wipes. From little spills to diaper changes, these wipes will find their way all over you and your baby, so their ingredients and feel make a world of difference.

What to Look For In a Baby Wipe Brand

From the moment your baby is born to their first two months of life, you will have completed upwards of six hundred diaper changes, on average. For wet diapers, you only need one wipe, but for soiled diapers, you could need anywhere between five to ten. That comes out to nearly 1,800 wipes in just sixty days!

Despite being disposable, baby wipes are an investment–the right baby wipe can help make diaper changes run smoother, help keep your baby healthy and happy, and allow you to focus on those special moments that don’t involve a changing table.

In this guide, we’ll walk through common questions and concerns surrounding baby wipes so that you can find the best baby wipe brand for you.

Plant-Based Versus Plastic Wipes: Does It Matter?

When you start looking at baby wipe brands, choose one that is plant-based. Baby wipes that do not contain plastic are free from these concerns and are gentler on your baby’s skin.

90% of baby wipes on the market are made from plastic, using nonwoven fabrics such as polypropylene and polyester. In addition to containing plastic, these wipes also often contain harsh preservatives and chemicals, such as parabens. Plastic, parabens, and harsh chemicals can all be irritants to your baby’s delicate skin.

To put things in perspective, your newborn has incredibly sensitive skin for their first two months of life–so much so that doctors recommend only washing your baby with water until they are four to six weeks old. This is because even a mild soap can dry out your baby’s skin, making it difficult for them to feel comfortable for sleep, feedings, and diaper changes.

Additionally, plastics can contain hormone-disrupting chemicals like phthalates and BPA. When this comes into contact with your baby’s skin, these chemicals can get absorbed and potentially create long-term health concerns and issues.

Chemicals: The Good and The Bad

Not all chemicals are created equal, and even ones labeled as 'all-natural' and 'organic' can contain harmful chemicals! There are many chemicals that can appear in baby wipes that are toxic, irritating, or have negative health risks to you and your baby.

Watch out for these ingredients in your baby wipes:

  • Phenoxyethanol: This chemical can cause allergic reactions and is used as a preservative in wipes.
  • Phthalates: This chemical is banned in the EU because there is evidence suggesting a connection between phthalates and asthma, as well as phthalates and hormonal disturbances. It is frequently found in scented wipes.
  • Formaldehyde: This chemical has been linked to cancer and has several short-term health hazards, such as allergic reactions.
  • Bronopol and DMDM Hydantoin: These chemicals are formaldehyde donors, meaning they release formaldehyde as they break down and may have similar effects.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for chemicals you should watch out for. When in doubt, choose a baby wipe brand with limited ingredients that is water-dominant (containing 99% or more water).

Surface Area: Do More With Less

On average, you can expect to go through anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 baby wipes within the first year of having your child. When your wipes have a smaller surface area or are made with low-quality materials, you wind up with a bigger mess on your hands and blow through your wipes faster.

Stronger, larger, and softer wipes do the trick. When your wipes are soft and soothing to the touch and large enough for only one of them to get those bigger jobs done, you spend more time bonding with your little one and less time stressed at the changing table.

Safety Reports and Certifications

There currently isn’t a standard or regulation for baby wipes in the U.S. This means companies can include any range of ingredients, materials, and chemicals in their baby wipes. To mitigate your risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals and ingredients, opt for a baby wipe that is endorsed or certified by a reputable third party.

Baby wipes that are endorsed by Consumer Reports, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Better Goods are reputable. The organizations focus on consumer health and wellness and have strict guidelines for which baby wipes pass with flying colors.

Check Every Box with Coterie

Is there a wipe that can do it all? Coterie’s The Wipe is up to 30% larger than the average baby wipe, and is made of 100% biodegradable, plant-based fibers.

The Wipe has the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, is EWG-certified, and is created by the only baby wipe brand on the market to publish their Safety Reports. The best part? These soft baby wipes are free of more than 200 chemicals and are composed of 99% purified water for the ultimate changing experience!