Full disclaimer: I personally think that baby wipe warmers are stupid. Having your baby’s bottom cleaned with a wipe that has been heated to the perfect temperature? Please…
One day you will be out in public changing your baby’s diaper when all of a sudden your baby turns into a tantrum monster. Just because the wipes in your diaper bag are cold and his precious little bottom is not used to it.
Your baby probably wont pull this face if a cold wipe touches his bottom:
Unless you use steel wool to wipe…
Many parents swear by baby wipe warmers!
My daughter squirms like a cut snake when we use room temperature wipes. She couldn’t have been more pleasant when we swapped to wipes from a wipe warmer. Diaper change time just got easier, especially late at night when the temperature drops…
Every parents situation is different. If you suspect a cold baby wipe is causing your baby distress then perhaps you should try a wipe warmer. If a wipe warmer makes your change time easier then despite my personal beliefs I completely support your decision.
In the Guide
- How does a wipe warmer work
- The best baby wipe warmers
- Wipe warmer tips and tricks
- Wipe warmer safety
With the introduction out of the way it’s time to jump into the meat of the guide.
How does a wipe warmer work?
Lets take a closer look at how a baby wipe warmer works.
From the outside, a wipe warmer looks like any other container that holds your baby wipes, the top flap opens and closes to prevent your baby wipes from drying out.
Pressing the button on the front of the wipe warmer will see the lid spring open.
You will be greeted with a storage compartment to store your baby wipes.
Sitting on the bottom of the wipe warmer is a sponge (also called a pillow). Water is added to the sponge. The sponge is then placed underneath your baby wipes to stop them from drying out. Higher end models have misters that actually spray your baby wipes with water.
If you look under the lid of the wipe warmer you will see where the heat comes from. In the lid sits a heating element. Heat from the element flows through the holes and warms the baby wipes.
From this angle you can also see the slot that your baby wipes slide through.
The only thing left to do is load the wipe warmer up with baby wipes, plug it in and wait for the wipes to heat up.
Note: This was a look at how a basic wipe warmer works. Wipe warmers will work differently depending on brand, make and model.
The best baby wipe warmers
If you have made it this far through the guide then you have obviously decided that a baby wipe warmer is perfect for your baby.
If you honestly feel this way then I do not want you to get stuck with a wipe warmer that sucks. While I may disagree with the idea of baby wipe warmers, I would not wish crappy baby gear on any parent.
So; just for you dear reader, I have gotten my friend Alice (who thinks baby wipe warmers are great) to give a run down of some of the best on the market.
Let’s start of with the wipe warmer that she currently uses:
Changing your baby’s diaper in the middle of the night can be an incredibly difficult job. Munchkin’s wipe warmer has a unique feature currently found on no other wipe warmer:a built in light
No more fumbling around during the night. Simply press the button and the soft light activates. Don’t worry, the light wont stay on all night. The light automatically shuts off after 10 minutes of use; just long enough to change your baby.
The Munchkin wipe warmer claims it can hold up to 100 standard baby wipes and a built in window will allow you to check how many wipes are left before you need to refill. However, we found that 80 seemed to be the magic number although this could vary according to brand (we tested Huggies and Pampers wipes). Anymore and the top wipes seemed to dry out too quick.
For those of you who are looking for a wipe warmer that works with cloth baby wipes then this is the one you are after. Alice reports that she currently uses Bumkins flannel wipes without any issue, however they cannot be pulled through the dispenser. Instead; you have to the warmer each time you need one.
For the price this is an excellent baby wipe warmer outshines what is currently the most popular wipe warmer available:
Part of the reason for this wipe warmers popularity is that it has simply been on the market for so long; since 2003 to be exact.
This is currently the only wipes warmer that contains an EPA approved antibacterial additive. To put it simply, thanks to special ingredients in the plastic, any bacteria will be unable to grow and multiply; keeping your baby safe.
This would be the ideal wipe warmer if not for one thing:
A flimsy lid. Many parents report that the top of this wipes warmer simply wont stay shut. The problem seems to come around the three month mark, just when you were starting to fall in love with this wipe warmer.
The good news is that there is a little lever inside the wipe warmer that, if adjusted, seems to solve the problem.
Prince Lionheart also has a warmer just for cloth baby wipes:
Gee… Try saying the name of this product five times fast. Quite the tongue twister. Silly product names aside, this is one of the best solutions available if you use Homemade cloth baby wipes and have the desire to warm them.
Rather than have a dispenser hole in the top of the wipes warmer (which is too small for cloth wipes) the lid has no holes, locking the moisture inside.
Simply roll up your cloth baby wipes, add your solution (the soapy stuff that cleans your baby’s bottom) and turn the warmer on. It’s that simple.
But what happens when you need to change your baby’s diaper away from home? Prince Lionheart have created a compact portable wipe warmer for these occasions:
This wipes warmer is small enough that you can fit it inside your diaper bag. As you would suspect, the compact size means that less baby wipes will fit inside (roughly 30).
Despite being designed for travel, this wipes warmer does still need to be plugged in. Fortunately; you will find both wall and car power adapters included inside the packaging:
So if you can manage to chase down a power socket or are able to change your baby in a car, this baby wipe warmer is not truly portable. Unfortunately this is your best option as:
There are currently no effective battery operated wipe warmers available
Why? Because heating uses quite a lot of power. As you can imagine, you will constantly be replacing batteries which will only add to the cost of the wipe warmer.
In a perfect world everything would be cordless but for the moment you will have to make do with baby wipe warmers that use adapters.
Wipe warmer tips and tricks
Baby wipe warmers do come with a learning curve. Lets take a look at some tips and tricks so that your wipe warmer experience is less like this:
And more like this:
1. Unplug the warmer when you are not using it
A baby wipe warmer will continue heating your baby wipes for as long as it is turned on. Normally this wont be a problem as you will continually be changing your baby’s diaper throughout the day (yaaaay!).
However, if you are not continuously using the wipes then wipe warmers will have a tendency to dry them out, usually over a 24 hour period.
If you know you will not be using your wipe warmer the next day, be sure to turn it off so that your wipes remain soft and damp for the next time you wipe your baby’s bottom.
2. Fill the warmer with water.
Even if your wipe warmer does not come with a sponge, add a small amount of water to the base. A bit of water can go a long way in preventing your baby wipes from drying out.
Do not pour the water on the wipes themselves, rather let it pool at the bottom of the warmer.
3. Do not over fill the wipe warmer
While wipe warmers claim that they can fit a whole packet of baby wipes inside, this is a little bit of an exaggeration. The closer the baby wipes sit to the heating element, the quicker they will dry out.
Another disadvantage to overfilling a wipe warmer is that the lid can squash the top baby wipes, making them difficult to pull through the dispenser.
Experiment with how many wipes can fit inside your warmer, you can always store extras in a Ziploc bag for later use.
4. Clean the wipe warmer
To keep your wipe warmer clean and bacteria free, you should give the insides a wipe down every now and again. Many parents do this before they refill their wipe warmer with baby wipes when it runs out. You don’t want mold growing inside, do you?
Remember to use a non-abrasive cloth. You don’t want to scratch the inside of your wipe warmer. Why? Because scratches are the perfect hiding place for germs and bacteria to build up.
Wipe warmer safety
It is vital that you familiarize yourself with the instruction manual of your baby wipe warmer. Using a warmer incorrectly can lead to fire, electrocution or worse. I will quickly cover a few safety areas to keep an eye on below:
Adding water – If your wipe warmer tells you to add water Then do it!. You don’t want your wipes drying out. Dry wipes are essentially paper and as you know, paper plus heat equals fire. If your baby wipe warmer dries out your wipes then immediately stop using it!
Bacterial growth – Think back to middle school science. A warm, moist environment is perfect for bacteria to grow. A wipe warmer provides that environment. Read up on how your wipe warmer deals with bacterial growth and follow the instructions closely. No parent wants to wipe their baby’s bottom with a germ covered cloth.
Buy brand name – While a cheap generic wipe warmer may seem like a great deal, they are often poorly made and potentially dangerous. While you wont find these in store shelves, they can easily be ordered online. When in doubt, stick to a brand name you know.
So while baby wipes warmers are definitely not a baby essential, some parents find them incredibly useful.
Whether you choose to use a wipes warmer or not is entirely up to you, if you try them and find that they are the best thing since the diaper then good for you; everyone needs a win now and again when parenting.
However; if you are anything like me you will simply hold the wipes in your hands for a few minutes until they warm up.
As a side note, have put together a guide on locating cheap baby wipes. You can’t use a baby wipes warmer without baby wipes!
If you are still undecided on whether you need a baby wipes warmer, here are some articles that will help you make up your mind:
What are yourthought’s on baby wipes warmers; a ray of sunshine for your baby’s bottom or something that should be reserved for baby royalty?
You know the drill: Leave me any questions, wisdom, love or hate in the comments below and as always . . .
Keep being awesome!