Baby

Buying wipes? These 6 things you want to look out for!

26 February 2024

Baby wipes

Baby wipes, they are indispensable when you have a baby. Did you know that on average you use up to 14,000 wipes per child? Sometimes they come in quite handy when cleaning the table too ;). As convenient as they are, (plastic) baby wipes are one of the most commonly found forms of waste on river banks. And that, of course, is not the intention. That is why it is important to choose wipes that are good for your baby and with minimal impact on the planet. Read along to see what to look for.

In the bag, on the go or just at the changing table, wipes are often used when you have kids. So often that you might wonder what is actually in them. After all, you do use them every day directly on your baby's skin. But what should you look out for when buying wipes?

1. Can your baby handle them?

It may seem obvious, but the most important thing when buying wipes is of course that your baby doesn't get irritated skin or an allergic reaction. You will find out soon enough, as you use so many in a day. Look out for red bumps, rashes or dry skin.

Of course, if your baby suffers from nappy rash, this has little to do with the wipes you use. By letting the skin dry properly after changing and using zinc cream preventively, you can minimise the chances of diaper rash. More tips? We asked dermatologist Elodie Mendels all about diaper rash. It is difficult to know in advance what your baby's skin will react well or badly to, but by paying attention to the following things, you can at least reduce the risk of irritation:

2. Quick check: ingredients

If they contain an endless list of ingredients, you may want to steer clear. Look for wipes with fewer ingredients and your baby will be less likely to get irritated skin. Although fewer ingredients are not necessarily better. Some wipes contain an extract, such as grapefruit extract. Only one ingredient is on the packaging, but extracts consist of a hundred to a thousand different components, which do not need to be listed separately on the pack.

3. Perfume

A mild perfume can be a fine addition to baby care, we love our Naïf fragrance. But perfume can also contain allergens. When we make products with perfume, it is of course made without the 26 most common allergens. In wipes you can better avoid perfume though, it's a sensitive area after all and doesn't need to smell like flowers. That's why our wipes are made with 0% added perfume. Especially if your baby regularly suffers from nappy rash and/or open wounds, you only want to use what you need and it is better to avoid perfume.

4. Alcohol

Like perfume, alcohol can also irritate the sensitive baby bottom. If the skin is broken, it can even sting tremendously. You should not want that. Yet, alcohol is often added to the lotion of babywipes to fight bacteria. But you don't need alcohol for that at all. Naïf wipes contain ingredients with a preservative effect and they do exactly the same thing!

5. Plastic

Did you know that most wipes are made of plastic? A standard pack of wipes contains almost 2 PET bottles' worth of plastic. These often end up in nature and leave a lot of damage there. So check not only what is in the wipes, but also what they are made of. Since July 2021, it is mandatory to put a red/blue logo with a turtle on the packaging if a product contains plastic. As a result, you can easily recognize plastic wipes.

There is also good news! More and more brands are switching to plastic-free wipes. In 2020, for example, we launched our plastic-free wipes made from different types of wood fibre. These leave no trace in nature! And we now also have a second variant: plastic-free baby wipes with lotion. So we now offer two types of wipes: with lotion and with water. Which one is right for you is a personal preference. You can read all about the differences here.

Note: some wipes are plastic-free, but contain microplastics. This makes you think you're doing the right thing, but not reallt. Want to be sure your wipes do not contain microplastics? Download the app Beat the Microbead from the Plastic Soup Foundation. Just scan it and you'll know right away.

6. Packaging

While we are on the subject of plastic, take a look at what the packaging is made of. There is no escaping the fact that wipes are wrapped in plastic (waterproof packaging is important so that the wipes stay moist), but the type of plastic can make quite a difference. For example, bio-plastic, made from a natural source such as maize starch or sugar cane, is a good substitute for standard plastic. Or even better: opt for recycled plastic!

What else do you want to pay attention to when buying wipes? Make sure they have a good seal on them, that way you prevent them from drying out. Not a fan of the stickers? You can buy hard plastic closures from several shops, which you can use over and over again to seal your wipes properly. Or buy a handy storage box with a nice design, they also look nice on the dresser or dining table.

Choose wipes that are big and wet enough and make sure they are not folded together like a ladder. You often only have one free hand (you hold up your baby's legs with the other), so make it as easy as possible. Tip: if you cut the opening a little, the wipes always come out individually!

There are wipes with lotion or with water. The former is more moisturizing and nourishing, perfect for very sensitive skin. The water wipes are mostly cleansing. Just whatever your preference is!

A final tip: There are all kinds of different types of wipes. Which ones do you and your little one like, you will find out mainly by trying!

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