Wipes Warmers: A Moral Quandary

We’ve gone on the record saying that wipes warmers are completely unnecessary and probably even evil. They’re made of plastic and require electricity—they represent everything we abhor! At least, that’s what I used to think. Lately I’ve been reexamining some of my long-held convictions and I’m confronting some painful realities. For example, after years of denial, I’ve come around to accepting that diaper sprayers might be a good thing. (Or—even better—try the DIY diaper sprayer option.)

Today the difficult philosophical question I’m asking is this: Can wipes warmers be green? Here’s a little story to help us decide: Joy admitted she didn’t use cloth wipes  with her first child. Why? Because she thought it would be too much trouble to take the five seconds to wet the wipe with a spray bottle or squirt bottle. I’m happy to report that she changed her tune with her second baby.

I’ve heard of cloth-diapering parents using a wipes warmer for cloth wipes—thus eliminating that five-second hassle of wetting each cloth. As a bonus, the baby’s bottom gets treated to a nice, warm wipe instead of a bracingly cold one. If this little contraption keeps thousands of disposable wipes from getting used and discarded, is it—in its own roundabout way—a green product?

What do you think? Have you tried using a wipes warmer for cloth wipes? Or do wipes warmers fly in the face of everything we stand for, as we originally suspected?

Comments

  1. I thought I needed to have a wipes solution warmer for my cloth wipes since our house is at a chilly 61-64 degrees in the winter. Our baby was born in late August and I was sure the screaming during diaper changes was because she was cold. However, as winter progressed, I found that she had been screaming for other reasons (sleepy, hungry, etc) and diaper changes calmed down considerably. I actually never used the used bottle warmer I purchased- for wipes solution or my husband’s early morning bottle feeds. To my surprise, my daughter has never cried over cold wipes!

  2. We were given a wipes warmer but there was no outlet near the changing table, so we never used it. Granted, we used disposable wipes, but my son never seemed to mind the temperature–he was always much too busy trying to wriggle out of my grasp. 🙂

  3. I admit to being a fan of the wipes warmer (for cloth wipes, anyway). We’ve actually been through two of them in 6 years. They are really great for keeping cloth wipes ready to go. A warm wipe cleans so much better than a cold one!

  4. We use a wipes warmer with cloth wipes. It’s awesome. It would be on my list of must have baby products and I returned LOTS of gifts that were plastic or I thought unnecessary! I can grab a wipe out of the warmer with one hand while wrestling the baby with the other (make sure you get the warmer designed for cloth wipes, the top is simpler and easier to open). Throw a stack of wipes in there, dump a little solution on top and I’m ready to go. The double-sided wipes from Green Mountain Diapers fit perfectly with no folding or rolling required. Cloth wipes are so much easier than disposables that seem to just smear the mess around. If we are traveling and have to use a disposable wipe, my son always cries that it’s cold!

  5. I am a fan of the wipe warmer to store wet or dry cloth wipes in, but I don’t have the electrical cord plugged in. I got it consigned so it felt more “green” that way. Also I tried using a disposable wipes container to store them in, but either my mom or MIL (both deny it) threw it away. I told them the purpose of the container, but I didn’t quite trust the incident to not happen again.
    I like having a container to put them in since the kids enjoy playing with the wipes if they aren’t put away. So those felt like my only options.

  6. I am a fan. Can’t help it. I load up my wipes warmer with nice wet cloth wipes and just grab one quick when there is a surprise waiting for me in the dipe, which sometimes happens. I hate to say it but I am actually buying another one for my soon to have twins!

  7. can all wipe warmers be used for cloth wipes? I’d like to look for one second hand and I’m wonderin what to look for. Audrey mentioned looking for one designed for cloth wipes, any tips?

  8. Melody, I will have to look into that and report back! In the meantime, perhaps others will chime in with their favorite brands.

  9. The one I use is the Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipes Warmer. The warmer is great but the sample wipes which come with it fell apart almost immediately so I would buy a different brand of wipes or make your own. The main thing I would look for is a top you think is easy to open. The one designed for cloth wipes doesn’t have that extra flap that is used for pop-up disposable wipes so it’s simpler. I was originally given the disposable wipe version but the large portion of the top that I would be opening every time for a cloth wipe needed one hand to hold the warmer and one hand to pop it open. There might be other brands that are good too or one that is second hand might not stick as much as a brand new one. I would just test out the top. The Prince Lionheart Warmies version says it has a “specially designed three part heating system” but I’m not sure how much difference that makes.

  10. I personally think these are totally unnecessary. For a while I used an empty plastic wipes tub to keep already wet cloth wipes in and handy — then I found it was easier to just wet a wipe as needed. It should be noted that I only wipe my baby’s bottom when she poops. I don’t feel the need to wipe off pee, despite my kids’ sensitive bums. But I do have a favorite, favorite wipe that I bought:
    http://www.eco-novice.com/2010/05/wfmw-wiping-my-babys-bottom.html

    It would have been even MORE eco-friendly to just make my own. I tried it (cut up some old t-shirts) and I thought they really stank.

    Neither of my kids ever complained about a cold wipe, and, believe me, they complained about plenty.

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