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How Many Baby Wipes Do You Need?


It’s estimated that parents go through between 2,500 and 3,000 diapers a year. So, how many wipes will you need to change that many diapers?

For each diaper change, you will go through about 2-3 wipes. Plan on going through 3-4 packages of baby wipes a week for the first couple of years.

This can vary based on what surprises your baby has in store inside their diaper, but it’s a good average to follow. 

You’ll notice as your baby gets older, you’ll be changing their diaper less often, and your stock of wipes won’t be depleted so quickly. However, don’t get rid of extra baby wipes too soon. Wipes are great for cleaning around the house or having in the car for unexpected messes. 

Page Contents

Factors Affecting Baby Wipe Usage

Age of Your Baby

Likely the most important consideration on how many baby wipes you need is the age of your baby. We can easily break this down into several different categories. For each diaper change, you likely will need roughly 2-3 baby wipes unless, of course, you have a blowout on your hands. 

young toddler boy playing with a package of baby wipes against a white background

But how many baby wipes do you need per age range? 

Newborns

A brand new baby goes through a lot of diaper changes a day, roughly 8-12. Sometimes I would have a diaper change in the midst of a diaper change because my baby thought it was the perfect time to go to the bathroom. Therefore, you’ll find yourself going through a lot of wipes during the first several weeks. 

While an average diaper change might only need a few wipes, a major blowout can easily cost you ten wipes. I recommend moms of newborns have more than enough wipes on hand. You never know when those blowouts will come. 

A standard pack of wipes has about 70 wipes, so you’ll go through a pack in just a few days. At this early stage, I recommend getting a large box of wipes to ensure you’re never short. Newborns soil their diapers often, so it’s important to be stocked with a sufficient supply of wipes. 

Finally, I feel like I always used more wipes on my newborns, particularly my first, because I was still learning the best way to clean them up. I probably used way more wipes than I needed to because, frankly, I had no clue what I was doing. 

6 weeks – 4 Months 

You’ll likely notice a slight decrease in diaper changes once your baby hits 6 weeks of age. At this point, you’ll be doing about 8-10 diaper changes a day which will equal a smaller number of wipes used daily. While it’s not a huge dip, you will notice a pack lasts you an extra day or two. 

4 – 8 Months 

As your baby is slowly being introduced to solids, they will have fewer bowel movements, and they will become firmer. I promise you will not miss those breastmilk poops. I don’t think I could ever keep them contained. 

Once your baby reaches four months, you probably will only be changing your baby 8 times a day, and that will decrease to about 6-7 as they reach the eight-month mark. Keeping in mind the 2-3 wipes per change, you are looking at about 20-25 wipes a day. A pack of 70 will last you a good 3-4 days. 

8 – 12 Months 

When your baby is nearing their first birthday, you will notice your stash of wipes is staying pretty steady. As babies are eating more solids, their number of diaper changes drastically decreases from those newborn days. 

At this point, your baby will likely be changed right around 5-6 times a day, and you’ll be using about 20 wipes over the course of the day. You’ll be going through about 2-3 packs of wipes a week.

Keep in mind, if you are also using the wipes for sticky fingers and messy faces, you’ll want to factor in an extra package per week. 

12 Months and Beyond 

Your baby will stay pretty consistently at around 5-6 diaper changes a day until they are potty trained. With about one or two bowel movements a day, you probably will notice you’re buying fewer and fewer wipes.

However, don’t take them off your shopping list just yet. Baby wipes will prove useful for years to come, even after your babies are out of diapers. 

I will say, toddlers can have some pretty messy diapers, especially as they are starting to eat a variety of foods. You might find yourself needing at least 10 wipes per poopy diaper. 

Brand of Baby Wipes 

The brand of baby wipes you use will affect how many wipes you go through on a daily and weekly basis. While I’m always looking for a good deal, I never felt like the cheaper wipes thoroughly cleaned my baby. I found myself using more wipes on a single change than if I used a better quality brand. 

If you are preparing for your first baby or wanting to switch brands of wipes, we have an in-depth look at the best baby wipes. Keep in mind, just like with diapers, you might have to try more than one brand before you fall in love with one. 

Sensitivity of Your Baby’s Skin 

Babies with sensitive skin can have major reactions to the overuse of baby wipes. Therefore, if your baby falls into that category, you will find yourself making a point not to go through so many wipes with each diaper change.

You may also want to buy wipes specifically for babies with sensitive skin. If your baby still seems to have a reaction, rinsing the wipe before using it will help remove any irritants. Many parents of babies with eczema like Water Wipes best because they are endorsed by the National Eczema Association and have the cleanest ingredient list of all brands. 

If your baby reacts to one particular wipe but not another, check the label for its ingredients. You may find that something used in one brand’s wipe bothers your baby’s bottom, but another brand works just fine. 

Finally, the more cotton in wipes, the gentler they will be on the baby’s skin. We have a review of the best sensitive wipes if your baby does have uber-sensitive skin. All three of my babies had sensitive skin, and I found the Pampers Sensitive Wipes to work best for them. 

best sensitive baby wipes

Tips for Buying Baby Wipes

Wait to Buy in Bulk 

It’s tempting to buy in bulk because it usually is cheaper in the long run, but don’t rush out quite yet. Make sure the wipes you are using work for you and your baby. You don’t want to be stuck with a giant stock of wipes you can’t use. 

Start with small packages of various brands to help determine which wipes you like best. I also recommend registering for different brands of wipes as a way to test them out.

However, once you do find your favorite, buying them in bulk is definitely ideal. They are cheaper per package, and you are less likely to run out. 

Avoid Scented Wipes 

I’m sure there is a difference of opinion on this one, but I was never a fan of scented wipes. I’m not too fond of the added ingredients needed for them, and I feel they weren’t as good for my baby’s skin.

While the scent may cover any unpleasant smells, I didn’t find it necessary to have it with baby wipes. In addition, if your baby has sensitive skin, they are more likely to become irritated with scented wipes. 

Look for Coupons 

Since you now know you will go through a large number of baby wipes, I recommend keeping an eye out for coupons. Whether you are still searching for the perfect baby wipe or have a favorite, coupons will help soften the blow of the expense wipes brings. 

A lot of times, you can find coupons on the manufacturer’s website. In addition, some brands have rewards programs where you can get discounts on your favorite baby wipes. I always figure every little discount adds up! 

FAQ on the Number of Baby Wipes You’ll Need

Do you use a baby wipe on every diaper change?

If your baby is just wet, you may wonder if a baby wipe is necessary. The diapers on the market these days are super absorbent, and you likely won’t need a wipe with every change. Urine, thankfully, doesn’t irritate a baby’s skin in the short term, so a lightly damp diaper change doesn’t necessarily warrant a wipe.

Remember, with girls, it’s important to wipe front to back to avoid any fecal material from entering their private area. This can lead to infection and major discomfort for your little girl. If your daughter is older, we have a full article on how to teach them to wipe from front to back. 

What can I use if I run out of wipes?

There’s nothing like being in a situation where you need wipes for a blowout, but your package is empty. Simply wetting a paper towel will sufficiently clean your little one’s bottom. If you have tissues on hand, moisten them up, and they will make a great wipe substitute. 

Sometimes when I was out with my baby, and this happened, I made a point to change them again when I got home. While wetting a paper towel will work in a pinch, I certainly preferred the cleaning job of baby wipes because they do contain at least some soap or other cleaning agent! 

When can I stop buying wipes?

Your baby is out of diapers, so should you celebrate the end of wipes, too? If you are like me, you continue to have a pack or two on hand, even after your kids are potty trained. Wipes are this amazing invention that can help with anything. 

While I’m not using wipes to clean bottoms anymore, I love that you can use them to clean up spills, messy faces, dirty hands, and I even use them to remove my makeup from time to time.

You don’t need to go to the wholesale club and stock up, but you probably will find yourself wanting some wipes around the house. In addition, I always have a pack in the car, especially since my youngest gets carsick often. Wipes really are a mom’s best friend. 

How quickly do wipes dry out after opening?

It’s always good practice to securely close your wipe box or package after each use. If you leave it open, you are prone to finding yourself with dried-up wipes. While it typically will only affect the next wipe in the package, doing so for a long period of time will leave you with an entire dried-up package. 

While baby wipes do technically expire, it’s not for about two years. At that point, they will start losing their moisture and won’t be as effective at cleaning. If you’re in a pinch, you can always try wetting a dried-up wipe for a quick clean-up. 

Are there alternatives to disposable baby wipes?

If the amount of baby wipes you’ll go through has you cringing, you may have considered a more eco-friendly option. There are baby washcloths that do a superb job at cleaning your baby’s bottom.

You’ll want to find ones that are hypo-allergenic and absorbent. We have a thorough list of the best washcloths for babies, so you can start stocking up. 

Once you decide to go the reusable wipes route, you’ll want to calculate how many you’ll need per day. Going this route will require extra cleaning, so you’ll want to be prepared for that. Plan on having right around 50 washcloths total to ensure you always have a clean one handy. 

Final Thoughts 

Being prepared with a sufficient amount of wipes is key in making sure your baby doesn’t have a dirty bottom with a clean diaper. Asking yourself, “how many baby wipes do you need,” before your little one arrives will help fully prepare you for diaper changing. 

Each diaper change will use about 2-3 wipes, depending on the degree of what’s in the diaper. As long as they are properly stored, wipes last a long time, so you don’t have to worry about them drying up. While changing diapers can be a dirty job, having a sufficient amount of wipes makes the cleaning process much easier! 

Sources

  1. WaterWipes Baby Wipes, nationaleczema.org

Kelly O'Lone    

I am a stay-at-home mom with three little ones, ages 6, 5 and 3. They certainly keep me on my toes for the majority of the day. My favorite way to parent is through humor and making my kids laugh. In my spare time, I enjoy writing about my parenting experiences and finding DIY projects around the house.



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