Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Skinny On: Baby Wipes

If you’ve got a baby in diapers, you no doubt need baby wipes (or a whole lot of wash cloths).  If you have a baby shower, you will inevitably get some wipes, which will help you in your quest for the perfect paper to touch your baby’s tushy.  It shouldn’t be this confusing to choose wipes, but alas, it is.  Both Pampers and Huggies offer at least four different types of wipes with a few variations in name/ingredients (Sensitive, Fresh Scent, Refreshing, and Extra Thick/Soft).  Luvs (god love em) only offers one. 

I would recommend using a sensitive non-scented wipe for the first few months until you’ve figured out whether baby has allergies.  I preferred the Pampers Sensitive wipes because they were very soft/gentle and unscented.  But they are definitely not the cheapest.  I have used the Huggies non-scented before but I found them to be very rough and wound up using them as hand wipes and kept them in the car for emergency blow outs.  But to be fair to Huggies, there’s a good chance they were just regular unscented Huggies wipes and not the sensitive kind. 

Once your little one is a couple months old and you know he/she isn’t allergic to the scented kind, there are a plethora of options based on scent and soothing ingredient (aloe, shea, baby fresh scent, etc).  You’ll also notice that some wipes are bigger than others.  Size mattered to me more than scent . Basically you want to find one that works on baby’s bottom and doesn’t make you gag or leave your hand covered in poo.  I have become fond of Luvs wipes.  They are big, they work well and they don’t have an overpowering scent. Oh, and they are a great price!  My husband recently bought Pampers Swipers when we were at the beach and while they were big, I found the smell way overpowering and sweet. (I didn’t include in the chart b/c they aren’t sold everywhere and are for older babies…I think). 

So I checked out the cost of wipes at 7 local stores – 3 wholesale clubs (BJs, Costco, & Sams Club), 2 Baby superstores (Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby), and 2 discount stores (Target, Walmart).  In addition, I also looked at the cost of wipes online at and I tried to compare apples to apples as often as I could, but you know how hard the companies make it to do this.  I highlighted the best-priced wipe in each category. 

(Again if this doesn't open for you just e-mail me at and I will e-mail you the spreadsheet)

Best prices overall: BJs & Target

Is it better to purchase wipes at the store or online?

Wholesale Clubs (BJ’s*, Costco, Sam’s Club)
Well if you have the time to do the shopping then buying in bulk from a wholesale club, like BJ’s is very cost effective for wipes as well.  I say BJ’s because they definitely have the largest and best priced selection in Northern VA.  Costco’s selection was awful- they had two types of Huggies wipes in addition to their brand.  However, you have to decide if it’s cost effective for you to join a wholesale club.  Annual fees range from $35-$50 so if you are just buying diapers there – it might not be cost effective.  I get my diapers, wipes, formula, coffee, paper products, etc there so it works out for me.  The wholesale clubs also offer $3-$4 wipes coupons every few months.

Babies R Us & Buy Buy Baby
I really don’t like buying my wipes here. They don’t have the best prices and they only occasionally have coupons that make it worthwhile.  Buy Buy Baby doesn’t even really try to corner the market on wipes—they too have very few offerings.  Babies R Us does have sales and offers coupons pretty regularly, but in general the cost less elsewhere.

Target* & Walmart
Target and Walmart also have good prices, but the Target’s in our area had a larger selection.  Target’s wipes came out to be a great value (comparable to BJs prices) Target also puts their wipes/diapers on sale pretty frequently and offer coupons every 3 or so months.

Online (
I’d usually say that if you’re working and totally pinched for time, it’s probably easier and more cost effective for you to order online--BUT not when it comes to wipes. and prices were awful compared to the other stores.  For example, Pampers 770 count wipes cost $17 at BJs and $26 on Amazon.  Huggies Soft Skin 600 count wipes cost $15 at BJs and $30 on Amazon! 

However, both & deliver to your door and you can set up an automatic delivery schedule.  Very convenient. often has an offer going on and has free delivery on orders over $49 (so just order your wipes and diapers together).  I’ve found that the prices and selection on Amazon are not as stable as, however if you subscribe you save 15% on your orders and get free delivery—which would make their prices a bit better. 

Supermarkets/Convenience Stores
While both put diapers/wipes on sale from time to time, the packages are very small and usually don’t compare to the savings you get at the discount and wholesale stores. Only buy diapers, wipes and formula at the supermarket if you are in a pinch or if they go on great sale—otherwise you are wasting your money.  You’ll pay a lot more  

Where to buy wipes in the DC area:

BJ’s Locations
Alexandria, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Fredricksburg
Waldorf, Columbia, Bowie

Costco Locations
Arlington, Springfield, Fairfax, Potomac Mills, Chantilly, Manassas
Beltsville, Gaithersburg

Target Locations
Columbia Heights
Alexandria (2), Falls Church, Skyline, Springfield, Fairfax, Manassas, and a whole lotta other places
Rockville, Columbia, Gaithersburg, etc

Babies R Us
Alexandria, Falls Church, Woodbridge, Waldorf, Chantilly, Silver Spring, Sterling

Buy Buy Baby
Rockville, MD
Springfield, VA

Alexandria, Burke, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Manassas
Waldorf, Columbia, Germantown, Landover Hills, and more

Sam’s Club
Woodbridge, Sterling
Waldorf, Gaithersburg, Laurel, etc

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