If you have a new baby around the house, you are going to end up using a lot of disposable baby wipes – plain and simple. I remember when we had the twins that we had built up what I considered to be a lifetime supply of wipes and diapers from our baby showers and after a month or two I realized that I was sadly mistaken and immediately started to worry about the cost of baby wipes moving forward.
All things considered, the cost for baby wipes during the first year will be about $120-547 with an average cost of $10-45 per month and between $.02 and $.06 per wipe. Where you fall in this range will depend on the type of wipes you use, how you purchase them, how often your baby needs a diaper change, and how often you end up using them on other things around the house!
I hate giving out price ranges because they somehow feel a little less helpful than an exact number, but the reality is that baby wipe usage will vary dramatically from house to house. Let’s dig into how to lower the average cost you are paying per baby wipe and explore the many different ways that the wipes will get used up faster than you might think!
Breaking down the Average and Yearly Cost of Baby Wipes
This is a big question so we are just going to have to dive in and get dirty with the details. I’m going to break things down the way we did when we first started tackling this question so that you can avoid some of the mistakes we made, save some money, and get the highest quality baby wipes to use on your little one.
Of course, with a name like Natural Baby Life we are obviously going to prefer to use the safer, more natural brands of baby wipes on our baby’s bottom, but I’m going to open this post up a little to include a wide range of options and costs so that you can get a feel for how much money they will cost with your needs.
How to get the lowest cost per baby wipe
If you simply want to find the lowest cost per baby wipe then you will want to purchase a store brand or major at least a major brand with the highest bulk wipe count possible. Just like everything else, the more you buy the cheaper it will become per wipe. To illustrate this point, let’s look at how much the Huggies Natural Care wipes (check latest reviews and buy on Amazon) would cost us on Amazon at the time of this writing in three different scenarios:
- 64-count baby wipe tub (2-pack) – almost $.10 per wipe – buying wipes in the tub means that you’ll get a hard plastic case or shell with the wipes included inside. These are nice to have sometimes in places that you always want to have a supply of wipes handy or want them to look a little nicer (baby changing table, bathrooms, etc). Unfortunately, this option is priced to include the case and it usually doesn’t make sense to make this your standard buy after you have all the tubs you want, especially if you find yourself just throwing these cases away. Also, you can usually only buy a couple of these at a time, eliminating bulk options.
- 56-count baby wipe flip top packs (9-pack) – about $.04 per wipe – This is a great option for people that like to have a bunch of resealable packages open in different places at the same time. Essentially, you get the convenience of the tub without the higher cost. You could have one in both cars, the kitchen, diaper changing station, bedrooms, outside, you name it.
- 1,040-count bulk refill package – about $.03 per wipe with a bonus tub – If you already have a few tubs around the house and hard cases tucked into diaper bags and cars, then buying bulk is the most cost-effective option. Just remember that the refill packs inside the box are bigger than normal flip top packs so you’ll probably need to use one to refill a few different cases.
As you can see, there is quite a swing in price depending on how you choose to buy.
We personally don’t care too much about the hard cases and almost always choose to purchase the flip-top packs of our favorite brand in the bulkiest form possible. If you look at the numbers, the cost of baby wipes is closest between that option and the bulk refills, anyway.
Outside of Amazon, more and more options are popping up for subscription services or other recurring shipments. If you really love a certain brand, check to see if they have bigger bulk options available on their website or even free samples.
The two best examples of subscription services that I have seen are The Honest Company and Joonya. I’ve used the baby wipes from both of these companies and our family loves them. They also both appear on my list of best biodegradable baby wipes which means that they are also a better choice for the environment. Choosing a subscription plan means that you’ll get a certain amount of wipes each month, usually with free shipping and a discount, without having to think much about it!
Cost comparison between different popular brands
So now that we know how the different kinds of packaging will affect the average cost of baby wipes, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular mainstream and natural care brands on the market to see how they stack up in terms of price. The range of costs here is what went into our total cost equation above.
|Brand name||Package details||Approximate price per wipe||Current price on Amazon|
|Amazon sensitive||480-count flip-top packs||$.02||Buy on Amazon|
|Pampers Pure Aqua||864-count flip-top packs||$.03||Buy on Amazon|
|Babyganics||400-count, package varies||$.03||Buy on Amazon|
|Huggies Natural Care||504-count flip-top packs||$.04||Buy on Amazon|
|The Honest Company||576-count, package varies||$.06||Buy on Amazon|
|Eco by Naty||672-count flip top packs||$.06||Buy on Amazon|
|Water Wipes||720-count flip-top packs||$.06||Buy on Amazon|
How many wipes will you use in a month?
Now that we have a good idea of how much baby wipes are likely to cost us when we buy them, we still don’t know how many we will be using each month and year. Again, this depends on a lot of variables so we are going to break those down to get a reasonable estimation.
In my personal experience, my family uses about 20-25 baby wipes per day, or about 7,300-9,125 baby wipes per year with a one-year-old in the house. This number includes the baby wipes we use to change dirty diapers, clean up after meals, and miscellaneous things around the house throughout each day such as wiping down a table or dirty feet after playing outside. If you are frugal with your wipes, you could probably keep this number below 6,000 per year.
Wow. That’s a lot of wipes.
After looking around in several forums to see others’ experiences, it looks like we are about average in terms of usage. Some people reported using way more than we do (one person even reported using 20 wipes per diaper change!) and others seemed to barely use them at all. Importantly, baby wipe usage will change over time depending on what stage your baby is in and there are a few factors worth noting when it comes to your individual circumstances:
- Newborns can have poop in their diapers almost every change while older babies tend to poop less frequently
- Breastfed babies tend to poop more often, but it will likely be more manageable each time
- Babies that have started eating solid foods will get a LOT messier during meal times
- Once your baby is mobile, she will start putting her hands on everything she can, including messy things
Once you have recovered from the zombie-like state that often accompanies the first couple of weeks of a newborn’s life (what is sleep, anyway?) it might be a good idea to track how long a container of wipes lasts you so that you can have a decent idea of what you will need going forward.
Remember, it’s always better to buy in bulk to save money!
Not all wipes are created equally
Another thing to remember is that not every baby wipe brand is going to be the same as the next. We’ve experimented with tons of different brands in my house during the past year and they all vary in terms of effectiveness and quality. Here are a few things to watch out for as you are trying brands out for yourself:
- Durability – Some wipes can be torn apart quite easily while others are so durable you would pretty much need scissors to destroy them. Practically, this means that some baby wipes will be able to stand up to scrubbing and other tougher jobs better than others. You might end up using more of the wimpy wipes than the tougher ones for the same job, leading to more cost.
- Size – Take a look at the dimensions on the package next time you are shopping for baby wipes and you’ll see that they range from around 5.5 inches long to 13 inches. While size might not be the biggest factor you think about when choosing a wipe, it can really make a difference when it comes to certain cleanups.
- Texture – Another factor that you might not consider, texture plays a big part when it comes to scraping…things off of your baby’s bottom. You definitely don’t want a wipe that is just going to slide right over the mess, you want something that will take it with it. The best wipes will have a woven texture that provides more surface area and grip.
One of my most popular comparisons is between Pampers Aqua Pure wipes and Water Wipes. Check out that breakdown here!
You’ll end up using wipes for things other than changing diapers
Of course, baby wipes can be useful for all sorts of other things that you wouldn’t have really thought about before having kids. Once they are in the house, however, you’ll start picking them up to handle all sorts of little messes because they are so convenient. Just remember that they are more expensive on average than something like a paper towel so don’t go too crazy with the wipes if you can help it!
Here’s a short list of my family’s alternative baby wipe uses:
- Car – We always have a container of wipes stowed in our van and they are incredibly useful. With older kids, there is always something being spilled and wipes work great on leather, cloth, and carpet too. Since they are wet, most messes will come right up or at least fade to an acceptable level. If you have wipes without a lot of extra ingredients or moisturizers, they can also do a great job wiping down consoles, infotainment systems, and other accessories inside the car that get grimy.
- Bathroom – My wife likes to use baby wipes to help remove makeup or when she is touching up her nails. If you’ve never tried it, they are also quite nice for adults when using the toilet – not just babies! WARNING: Do not flush the wipes!
- Random things – If a wipe is handy, it will get used. Computer screens and keyboards, smartphones, books, walls covered in crayon, remotes, and dog paws are just a few miscellaneous things we’ve tackled with baby wipes recently!
As you can see, there is no end.
If you are honest about how many wipes you will be using each month, be sure to include all of these other extra uses that are separate from diaper changes and meal times!
What is the total yearly cost of baby wipes?
We’ve covered a lot of ground here and by now you should have a good idea of how much the cost per baby wipe will be depending on the packaging and brand that you choose. If we add the equation the number of wipes that you will be using on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis then we’ll be able to figure out how much you should anticipate spending for your yearly cost of baby wipes.
Let’s look at the low, middle, and higher end of the brand and use spectrum to get a range.
- Low – Choosing the cheapest wipe option and staying stingy with the wipe use means that you could spend as little as $120 per year.
- Middle – Choosing a mid-range brand with more average usage will lead to about $275 in baby wipe expenses.
- High – If you select the most expensive wipes on our list and use them for everything under the sun, you could spend as much as $547 per year on baby wipes.
I don’t know about you, but $547 is a lot of money and would certainly have to be budgeted for ahead of time in my family to ensure that we had enough money to cover it. Realistically, you will fall somewhere in the middle or lower end of the spectrum with smart shopping and frugal usage.
For those of you that already have kids, what has been your experience? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!