The Bottom Line: Do You Need a Wipe Warmer?

Breastfeeding? Co-sleeping? If you really want to get new mamas riled up, just mention the wipe warmer. I confess when I see one of these plug-in baby wipe heaters on a friend's registry, I grimace and chuckle to myself. "Oh, first-time parent. You will learn!" (There are so many of these must-haves that are really just money-wasters. I’m talking to you, shopping cart cover.)

My friend Erin knows the deal. "I remember someone saying that wipe warmers are a sign of everything that’s wrong with modern day parents: too coddling, too precious," she laughs. She bought one anyway. "We found that during those middle-of-the-night diaper changes, a warm wipe was less jarring to the baby. Who really wants to have a cold wet anything slapped on your bottom in the middle of the night -- or anytime?"     

I see where she’s coming from, but I still echo what several iVillagers posted on our Facebook page when we posed the big yay-or-nay wipe warmer question.

"I never thought putting a paper product in an electric device in my baby’s room was a good idea. And I was also kind of lazy and didn’t want them to HAVE to     have a warm wipe every time." -- Amy

"I thought if I got the babe used to it, they would not be happy when I used a cold one when we were not at home.” -- Kimberly

Laziness and fear -- that sort of sums up why I went warmer-free. (They’re actually the same reasons I stopped heating up bottles. If the little guy gets used to the chill, there’s no tantrum when suddenly the bottle cannot be warmed.) Then a reader piped up with another con to add to my list:
"They dry out the wipes and are a waste of money and electricity." -- Lisa

Heck, one reader says she almost burnt her house down with it! Still, others like my pal Erin love, love, love them some toasty wipes.

"We could not live without ours!" -- Christa
"LOVE THEM and so do my babies! I've been using it the last three years!" -- Stacey
Do you need one? Well, you know my opinion. However, as with everything baby-related, it depends. I will give you that some babies are way more sensitive than others. If you’ve birthed one of those, a nice warm wipe may be the ticket to a scream-free diaper change. And if you have a winter babe and your home is particularly chilly, a warmed-up wipe probably feels better than an ice-cold one. If money and space are an issue, don’t bother. You can always run to Target after the baby is born, right?

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