Douchebags & Warm Wipes

Unnecessary Warmness.

Unnecessary Warmness.

A friend of mine is expecting his first child in the spring and foolishly took to facebook in search of friendly advice on what he and his wife should register for.  Not surprisingly, everyone and their mother had an opinion including one woman who wrote that advice from other parents is “unnecessary” and then went on to give her two cents on his entire registry. I couldn’t bring myself to comment (for reasons I’m sure I will share at a later time) but his post did get me thinking about all of the items on my baby registry and how one in particular, the wipe warmer, will most likely be looked at in years to come as the reason my generation of parents failed their children.

Although it’s true there are a lot of mommy must haves that can, for one reason or another, be labeled “unnecessary”, I’m pretty sure that with the invention of the wipe warmer came the potential beginning of the end of common sense parenting. I’m being dramatic I know, but from a practical standpoint, the notion that a baby needs to have wipes warmed before they touch their skin is absurd.  If you are using a wipe chances are, said baby has been sitting in his or her own excrement for some time and although a warm wipe is lovely, I’m fairly certain that in the long run, he doesn’t care about it’s temperature as long as it cleans his ass.  This insight, courtesy of hindsight of course, because I, like so many other parents drank the Kool-Aid and kept my wipes heated for almost 3 years with my first child. Three. Years.  Looking back I realize that in my attempt to do everything right when caring for my son, I forgot one very important thing.  Babies are born tough. If they can survive the trauma of actually “being born” than surely they can survive a room temperature wipe.

I understand that this may seem like an attack on the wipe warmer industry as a whole and for that, I apologize.  I do not want an Oprah vs. The Texas Cattle Ranchers type backlash so I want to be perfectly clear; my beef is really not with the wipe warmer itself. It’s with the fact that we as parents are consuming without question.  We buy this stuff on the recommendation of other parents, some of whom are being paid to push, but never stop to ask ourselves “is this complete and total bullshit?”  We have been told that we must have an entire list of things to properly care for our infants and operate under the assumption that the more of those things we have the better the parents we will be.   We claim to know that every baby is different and yet we pre-register their needs without having ever met them.

With my second child I vowed to re-instate my common sense and ask myself one question before I commit to any product that society has claimed a mommy must have. “Would my ninety-five year old Grandmother wish she had this when she was raising her kids or would she call me a douchebag?”  In the case of the wipe warmer, I don’t even need to ask, Doris would unleash such a verbal assault on me that it would give Alec Baldwin a run for his money.

So to my friend who is about to embark on this wonderful journey called parenthood I say this; register for everything…register for nothing, it doesn’t really matter.  Parenting is wonderfully rewarding and horribly agonizing no matter how many gadgets you have.  Common sense will help you navigate your way through the sea of B.S. so if nothing else, register for that.  And when all else fails just talk to your friend who doesn’t believe in advice…I’m sure she has all of the answers.

This post is dedicated to my sister-in-law who, to this day I’m certain, still has her wipe warmer in it’s original box in the closet.  Lisa, you’re our only hope.


  1. Britt johnson says

    I must beg to differ. We have installed warm wipes in all our bathrooms. Great for kids even better for adults. Try ithem on your pets too

  2. says

    Good site name. Good tag line. Good looking site and a great first post to boot. While it’s been 16-17 years since I’ve heard it, this is — unquestionably — your voice and it remains funny. Keep writing. Don’t stop. Glad to see you’re doing well.

    • ErinMyles says

      Thanks Mark! I have been following yours as well and ditto. Thank you so much for reading and commenting it means a lot!

  3. says

    I’m not a mom but I am an Auntie and that industry blows my mind. Just saw this “Wipe Warmer” blog posted on FB and cracked up! Not gonna lie, if I were pregnant with “Mommy Brain” and all, the wipe warmer may just be irresistible, but in reality it’s unnecessary for sure. Keep up the good work, love it!

    • ErinMyles says

      Thanks for reading!!!!! Yes, let’s blame my choice to use the warmer on “pregnancy brain” it sound so much better than “just plain stupid” :)

  4. Joanna says

    So funny erin! I’m one of the ones who shunned the wipes warmer and then had a crazy baby that screamed with every swipe of this freezing wipes. Room temp wipe does not equal room temp [insert dry object here]. I actually wiped my nether regions myself and she is right they are damn chilly. Still I never gave in and she only seems moderately scared. Younger daughter still runs away yelling “no!” when I try to change her so we’ll see what kind of damage she ends up with.

    • ErinMyles says

      Jo-Jo!!! Your poor girls :) I cannot believe you wiped yourself!!!! The things a mom will do. Love that you read it…love and miss you!!!!!!

  5. says

    Three years is a long time! Haha ours only made it to about 3 hours and it broke. We just registered for baby #3 and laughed at all the stuff we thought we needed for #1.

  6. Noelle says

    Great blog! I am totally with you, yes I got the wipe warmer, however I never plugged it in because I didn’t want my daughter to get use to it. Then one day you don’t have a warm wipe and all hell breaks loose. I know I am a mean mom, but hey they have to get use to cruel world early!

  7. kristina says

    Love this blog! I never wanted a wipe warmer because I thought, what happens when I’m changing a diaper somewhere other than my home, and GASP! the wipe would not be warm?! That was the beginning of my parental independence. This year, with my children in 5th and 7th grade, I took another stand: no more binders larger than 1.5″. I don’t care if the list said 3″, I’m not doing it. I don’t need my kids to fall backwards when wearing their backpacks. You go girl, love your first blog!

  8. Traci says

    (Found you through Sabrina Soto’s recommendation) So twice my grandmother gave me common sense advice regarding my kids. When first home from the hospital I was waking my son every two hours to eat, as the nurse instructed me to do. My grandmother thought that was ridiculous and said he will wake up and cry when he was hungry. The other was when my four year old fell asleep in the bathtub and was floating. (Shame on me for leaving her there….I thought she was old enough). As I recounted the incident to my grandma she told me that my daughter wouldn’t drown. She’d wake up if water went up her nose. She is probably right, but anyway, I just love her common sense ways.

  9. Traci says

    P.S. I did not leave my daughter after she was asleep and floating, just to clarify. I freaked out when I came back and saw that!

  10. Karol says

    Funny article, but I wouldn’t change the wipe warmer at all! As a matter of fact, that’s the one gift that I give all my friends having babies. No need for unnecessary stress and screaming!

  11. Kelly says

    Love this! I too had a wipe warmer that I thought I “had to have” but it stayed in the box and gave it to another mommy that thought she “had to have one”!

  12. Chris says

    Didn’t anyone ever suggest just crumpling the wipe in your fist to warm it with your own body heat before using it?? My input to any friend who ever asked for advice has been: “Three must-haves: Baby Bjorn, Baby Jogger and Diaper Genie”.

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