Amazon's newest product line will save parents a ton of money
Affordable diapers, wipes, and diaper pail refills? Yes, please.
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Like most stores, Amazon sells a number of generic products under a variety of brand names. But a new line is particularly interesting to new parents: Mama Bear.
Amazon has offered Mama Bear-branded products in the past, but it's bringing it back in a big way. The new line includes diapers, wipes, diaper pail refills, baby detergent, and baby food pouches.
It's a smart move by Amazon, since these products are the disposable essentials that most parents find themselves buying over and over—and they're often the products that sneakily wind up costing new parents hundreds of dollars per year.
Here are the new products and how much you can save opting for Amazon's version vs. the more popular brands. As with most products you buy online, the pricing is subject to change. We're also focusing on the main pricing, but Amazon also offers discounts if you sign up for Subscribe & Save and there is also currently a 20% off coupon on each item page if you want a short-term discount.
Diapers are one of the main expenses new parents have to cope with when having a baby. Though there are always sales at various baby stores—oftentimes including a $10 or $20 gift card if you spend a certain amount—Amazon's diaper brand is seriously affordable.
Though prices will change depending on which size pack you get, you can nab a large box (including 216 diapers in size 1) for just $38.49, or about 18 cents per diaper for smaller sizes (the price per diaper goes up with larger sizes). A comparable box of size 1 Pampers is about 21-22 cents per diaper at Target and Walmart and more "natural" brands like Honest Company and Babyganics typically go for 28 cents per diaper and up.
One competitor that Amazon's pricing isn't yet beating is Target's Up & Up store brand, which offers diapers in certain sizes for as little as 14 cents each. I've used Up & Up brand with my daughter and I actually think it holds up just as well as the larger brand names.
If you own a diaper pail, chances are you went for a Diaper Genie or something similar. The one issue with pails like the Genie is the cost of the bags; the proprietary system means you can't just use regular trash bags, and refills often go for about $6 each.
Amazon isn't dramatically undercutting the market here, but it's offering a 4-pack of refills (each refill holds ~270 diapers) for $19.99. That's slightly less per refill than the Playtex-branded packs on Amazon, which go for around 60 cents more each.
It's again matched by Target's Up & Up-branded diaper genie refills, which come in an 8-pack for $37.99, or about $4.75 per refill. Still, if you haven't had luck with the Up & Up version or you just want to use Amazon's subscribe & save feature (which saves you even more money), then it's a useful alternative.
When I became a new parent, I did not expect to go through baby wipes quickly. Oh, how wrong I was. Though not as expensive as diapers, baby wipes really add up.
Amazon's offering here isn't any cheaper than the existing products on the market, unless you make use of the company's "Subscribe and Save" option or the current 20% off promotion. At regular prices, Amazon's Elements wipes go for about 2.3 cents each in their various packs, while wipes from other major brands cost about the same.
Once again, Target is the leader here with its Up & Up-branded wipes going for around 1.75 cents each on top of any other gift card-centric promotions the store is running.
Although Amazon is again not undercutting the market here, it's worth noting that it is charging the same price for its wipe packs whether you want a regular scent, unscented, or "sensitive" versions. Most companies use fragrance-free or "sensitive" products as an excuse to charge more, so good on Amazon for keeping it consistent.
So we're actually pretty excited to see what Amazon's house brand can do here. The price is definitely right, with each 2-pack good for 106 loads—or about 22 cents per load. Though our favorite overall detergent (Persil) costs just 19 cents per load most of the time, most unscented detergents cost closer to 30-50 cents per load when not on sale.
It's worth pointing out that the Mama Bear detergent is concentrated, so you don't need to use as much per load. It's rated to be fine for high-efficiency washers as well, though as we've seen with other HE-rated detergents, that may not mean it does a better job necessarily.
Baby food pouches are a lifesaver when you're a new parent. Not only do they often include nutritious mixes of fruits and veggies, they're super portable and easy enough for a toddler to use to feed themselves. Our diaper bag always has 2-3 pouches in it, just in case.
Amazon's line of organic baby food pouches seem pretty typical, both in terms of the cost-per-pouch and the flavor offerings. The mixes include standard fare like apples, bananas, pears, mangos, and carrots in various mixes, and—like most baby food pouches I've seen—all claim to be organic.
The pouches start at Stage 1 (4 months and up) with Apples only, and the rest of the flavors are all Stage 2 (6 months and up). The price per pouch is right around $1.25, which is typical for the category.