Best Baby Wipes, Overall: Pampers Sensitive Baby Diaper Wipes

Our extensive testing of baby wipes produced this clear winner: Pampers Sensitive Baby Diaper Wipes. Here are the details:

What We Liked

• Soft texture. Compared to other brands we tested, our parent testers thought these wipes had just the right balance between softness and thickness. Less expensive wipes tend to be thin . . . and curl up on themselves when you take them out of the container. Pampers, on the other hand, were substantial.

• Size. Pampers hits the size just right—big enough to get the job done. We could handle the worst diaper blowouts with only two wipes.

Toughness. If you can tear a baby wipe with minimal effort, it’s going to fail at cleaning up messes. Pampers Sensitive Baby Diaper Wipes topped our toughness tests—it didn’t tear until pressure.

• Perfume free.

What Needs Work

• Smell. Some folks don’t like the scent of these wipes—yes, they are unscented . . . but even unscented wipes still have a slight smell. But we know some folks are super sensitive!

Best Budget-Friendly Wipe: Amazon Elements Baby Wipes

We estimate these wipes run 27% less expensive than name brands, yet in our testing held their own against fancy brands. Here’s a breakdown:

What We Liked:

Unscented. No perfumes or strong odors.

Transparency. Ingredients are listed clearly both online and on the package.

• Thickness, softness and texture. These wipes hit the right notes in this trifecta.

• No dyes, or alcohol.

What Needs Work

•  Thinner. While these wipes are the same size as name brand wipes, Amazon Elements wipes are just a touch thinner. In our testing, we thought they were still effective—but we know thickness is important for some folks.

• Additives. While these wipes are free from parabens and phthalates, they still contain preservatives like Phenoxyethanol and Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate. Based on our research and conversations with pediatric researchers, we believe these additive are safe and help keep the wipes from being contaminated during shipment and storage from heat/humidity. However, we can understand why some parents would prefer to avoid them.

• Fabric from China. While these wipes are manufactured in Indiana, the cloth in the wipes is sourced from polyester, viscose & polypropylene made in China.

Best Water Wipe: WaterWipes Sensitive Baby Wipes

Our top pick for eco-friendly baby wipes are WaterWipes, made of 99.9% water and a touch of grapefruit seed oil. If your baby’s skin can’t tolerate other wipes, WaterWipes are an excellent choice based on our testing.

We tested nine different wipes that claimed to be natural or eco-friendly—WaterWipes performed the best. Here’s an overview:

What We Liked

• Same performance as fancy brands. These wipes handled most diapers messes with the same effectiveness as standard wipes.

No additives.  Our testers loved WaterWipes simple ingredients, especially for babies who’ve developed rashes from standard wipes.

• No fragrance. These wipes were unscented.

What Needs Work

Pricey. They can run two to three times the price of standard wipes.

• Must store in a cool/dry place. If you are looking for wipes to store in a car during a hot summer, these aren’t the best choice. The lack of preservatives mean these wipes can mold if not stored properly.

• Expiration dates. Since these wipes have no preservatives, the company recommends using opened packages within 30 days. A box must be used within 15 months of manufacture. As a result, it may make sense to order these wipes in smaller amounts.

Drippy. In our testing, parents who were used to name brand wipes found these wipes to be somewhat drippy—and that can make a diaper change a bit more messy. In the end, we thought this drawback wasn’t a deal killer . . . our testers just had to get used to the different moisture level.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby essentials like diapers and wipes since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward safety, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews.

7 Things No One Tells You About Diaper Rash!

1. Don’t let your baby sit in a dirty or wet diaper.

The most common cause of diaper rash is irritation from sitting in pee or poop. You can easily check a disposable diaper for pee by pinching it to see if it’s wet. And we all know babies usually poop during or soon after eating. Stay on top of it, especially with toddlers who may not like to be interrupted during play. Better an interruption than a case of painful diaper rash.

2. There are a variety of causes for diaper rash besides just contact with urine and poop.

These include bacterial or yeast infections, new foods in the diet, antibiotics, irritation from wipes or detergent, and already sensitive skin (eczema for example).

This is an important take-home message: while your garden-variety diaper rash is caused by a baby who sits too long in pee or poop, there can be more serious infections caused by bacteria or yeast. More on this in a minute.

3. Apply a barrier cream or ointment.

First, clean the area well with warm water or a diaper wipe. Allow baby’s bum to dry, then apply a thick barrier to the entire rashy area. Replace with a clean diaper.

A good piece of advice from the Mayo Clinic web site on diaper rash: “Don’t try to scrub off this protective layer (of cream or ointment) completely at the next diaper change, as that could hurt the skin more. If you do want to remove it, try using mineral oil on a cotton ball.”

4. Air out your baby’s bum.

Don’t rush to put baby back in a diaper if you don’t have to. Let them hang out au naturelle for a bit. Some parents will even use a hair dryer on the coolest setting to dry baby’s skin before re-diapering.

5. Avoid powders.

Yes, you may have seen babies get “powdered up” with talcum powder or cornstarch, but that practice is a thing of the past. Doctors warn that babies can inhale the powder, leading to breathing problems and other health concerns. Bottom line: no baby powder.

6. Some “natural” solutions do work.

Try aloe vera or lanolin (you may have some left over from nursing). One suggestion: Corona Ointment, which is made of lanolin. Dr. Ari Brown, pediatrician and co-author of Baby 411, notes that even though Corona Ointment is made for horses, the ointment’s active ingredient (lanolin) has worked well for her patients. It’s relatively inexpensive and Corona’s 14 ounce jar is also handy, compared to lanolin designed for babies that usually comes in one ounce tubes.

7. If over-the-counter remedies don’t work, see your doctor to call in the big guns.

“Not working” means your baby’s rash doesn’t get better after a few days using an over-the-counter creams or ointments. Or the diaper rash gets more severe, bleeds or oozes, causes pain when baby pees or poops—or if baby has a fever. These are red flags—it’s time to call your doc.

When treating diaper rash, the natural assumption is baby’s diaper rash is caused by pee and poop in contact with skin. But if barrier treatments don’t improve the situation, you should check in with your doctor to see if the rash is caused by yeast infection or bacterial infection. Your doc may suggest a prescription medication to clear it up.

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