Baby Wipes vs. Water vs. Diapering Lotion: what cleans best?

Whether you have a boy or a girl, a peer or a pooper, a sleepy baby or an active one: all babies have something in common: they pee and poo. A lot! During their first year, your baby will go through 2,000 to 2,500 diaper changes. So you want to make sure that the method you use to clean that little behind is efficient at cleaning but also protecting against the inevitable next load. 

We've put 3 common baby wiping methods to the test to see how they compare in both cleaning and protecting your baby's skin inside the diaper.

Diapering lotion vs baby wipes

To make our pretend booties, we used 3 apples. 

Apples for baby bums

One by one, we wipes clean each apple with one of the test products: 

1. Baby wipes

Baby wipes come in various come in various form with more or less ingredients and fragrances. What all baby wipes have in common is that they are pre-moistured and water-based. A good rule of thumb when picking a wipe is to choose one with the least amount of ingredients. Many brand now offer a "natural" or "free" line like the one picked here. 

Is baby wipes the best for sensitive babies?

2. Water (on a cloth)

When wiping with water, you can use any wiping material you like: cloth, toilet paper, towel... If you choose a cloth, make sure it has been cleaned thoroughly before using to avoid adding bacteria onto your baby/s skin; that will then be trapped into their diaper. 

Water instead of wipes

3. French diapering lotion

Did you know that when you have a baby in France, they don't provide you with babies wipes at the hospital but a bottle of diapering lotion? To use it, simply apply a little lotion on a pad, a cloth or any material you'd like and use it as your wipe. Unlike baby wipes, the diapering lotion is oil-based and not water-based. 

While it may sound silly at first to clean with oil, you'll notice after the first use that oil is very efficient at grasping liquid and solids from the skin. Plus: the skin load is going to slide right off the skin. 

Best wipes for sensitive skin

After wiping each apple, we placed each one in an airtight plastic bag and removed as much air as possible. Just like in a diaper, the apple (aka baby bum) will sit at room temperature in a closed environment. 

Wipes comparison


After a (couple of weeks long) while, let's see how our little bums are doing...

Baby wipes do not protects not disinfect

The apple cleaned with baby wipes is evenly covered with back and yellowish molding. The apple shrank a little bit and texture is mushy.  


Water does not disinfect

The apple that was wiped with water shows bright yellow molding. The base of the stem is collapsing and the surface of the apples is wrinkled. It did not shrink in side as much as the 'baby wipes apple'. 


Changing a diaper with la Petite Creme

The apple that was wiped with La Petite Creme diapering lotion does not show any sign of developed mold. One side of the apple (left) is starting to tiny punctures in the skin but the mold has not grown on it (yet). Of the 3 apples: this one remains the large and kept its fullness. It is also the most firm to the touch. 


Why is La Petite Creme performing so much better than wipes or water? 

Best wipes for sensitive skin babies


The above pictures clearly show that wiping with a La Petite Creme diapering lotion has not only done a much better job at cleaning and disinfecting the surface of the apple (delayed the presence of mold) but it also PROTECTED it from the outside air. 

Now remember how we said that La Petite Creme (unlike wipes and water) is oil-based? Well, that oil (combined with organic beeswax) is creating a thin shield on your baby's skin that will prevent acidic urine and feces from getting in direct contact with your baby's skin and protect it from breaking up. 

And voila! That is why La Petite Creme has been chosen by millions of parents as the #1 (and only) wiping product for their precious little one. 


Ready to see the results for yourself? Check out our shop to get started. 


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