Wondering if generic baby brands are as good as name brands?
Making sure your baby has the best care is the number one priority for most parents. Still, just because you don’t want to shell out extra cash for pretty packaging and clever marketing doesn’t make you a bad parent! There are generics for TONS of your favorite products, with many made by the same manufacturer as brand name products.
We’ve rounded up shopping tips when searching for generic alternatives for baby products along with some highly-rated options!
If you’re already a parent, you know the endless amount of diapers you go through on a daily basis. If you’re not yet a parent, buckle up. You obviously want a product that’ll do the job without breaking the bank!
Brand name: Huggies Diapers Size 2 186ct $38.99 ($0.22 per diaper)
Generic: up&up Diapers Size 2 222ct $21.99 ($0.13 per diaper)
Hip Tip: Really want to save money (along with the environment!) on diapers? Consider using cloth diapers to cut down on cost, reduce waste, and prevent chemical exposure to your baby that can come with disposable diapers.
2. Infant formula
Since this is something your baby consumes, it’s no wonder most parents fall back on reputable brand names for the highest quality. But did you know that all American-made formulas must pass the nutrient guidelines provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? This means even the generic formulas contain the same high-quality ingredients as brand names.
One thing to be mindful of is added supplements as generic formulas may not contain them. DHA and ARA are found naturally in breast milk, which can help boost your baby’s development before they graduate to solid foods. Another great resource is your pediatrician! Consult with them to ask if they have a generic brand recommendation.
Brand Name: Gerber Good Start Gentle Formula 32oz. $33.48 ($1.05 per ounce)
Generic: Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula 33.2oz. $20.98 ($0.63 per ounce)
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3. Baby wipes
You’re probably going to go through copious amounts of wipes as well — but you don’t have to pay for the brand. A good rule of thumb when searching for generics is to look for labels stating they’re hypoallergenic and free of perfumes, dyes, and preservatives.
Brand Name: Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes 576ct $14.59 ($0.03 per wipe)
Generic: Costco Kirkland Ultra Soft Baby Wipes 900ct $19.99 ($0.02 per wipe)
Generic: up&up Sensitive Baby Wipes 736ct $12.89 ($0.02 per wipe)
Hip Tip: Did you know Target offers a 1-year satisfaction or money-back guarantee on ALL of their exclusive-brand, private label items? If you are not satisfied for ANY reason, just bring back your receipt to a Target store to receive a full refund within one year of the item’s purchase date.
4. Diaper rash creams
What stands between you and your crying, diaper-rashed baby? Zinc oxide —it’s the primary ingredient in many diaper creams. The magic number is 10-15% zinc oxide to provide protection to your little one’s bum. Already dealing with a bit of diaper rash? Up the percentage (max strength formulas typically run around 40%) to heal existing redness.
Brand name: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Maximum Strength 4oz. $7.49 ($1.87 per ounce)
Generic: up&up Diaper Rash Ointment Maximum Strength 4oz. $2.49 ($0.62 per ounce)
5. Diaper pail refills
So. Many. Dirty. Diapers. If you have a diaper pail, you’ll run through liners in a snap. The only difference here is the odor-blocking quality of the bag. These two options have such similar positive reviews (and even pretty similar price points), so it’s a no-brainer to go with the generic option.
Brand name: Playtex Diaper Genie Pail refill 810ct $16.03 ($0.020 per liner)
Generic: ChoiceRefill Diaper Pail refill 1080ct $17.09 ($0.016 per liner)
Similar to wipes, you should check your generics to make sure they’re hypoallergenic and free of perfumes, dyes, and preservatives. A look at the ingredients list will help here as well. If the generic is essentially the same as far as the product makeup (and they look and feel the same), don’t worry about ditching the brand name option.
Brand name: Aveeno Baby Daily Moisturizing Lotion 12oz $6.97 ($0.58 per ounce)
Generic: Parent’s Choice Baby Daily Moisturizing Lotion 12oz. $3.74 ($0.31 per ounce)
Hip Tip: Get a FREE Baby Welcome Box from Amazon! Here’s how…
7. Everyday basics
It’s pretty easy to go with generics of common medicine cabinet items, like tissues, bandages, swabs, and baby powder, but you’ll want to look out for varying textures and smells and gauge their performance. When going with something at a lower cost, buy a small pack first before you jump into the bulk savings. After all, you want to know your baby responds well to the product.
Brand name: Johnson’s Baby Powder with Aloe and Vitamin E 22 oz. $4.99 ($0.22 per ounce)
Generic: up&up Baby Powder with Aloe and Vitamin E 22 oz. $2.29 ($0.10 per ounce)
Hip Tip: Check your local Dollar Tree for an even cheaper generic of pure cornstarch baby powder!
8. Baby detergent
You want your baby to feel as cozy as possible in their onesies, so settling for a cheaper detergent could be a little unsettling. If you follow the same label rule of thumb (hypoallergenic and no skin irritating ingredients) you should be in the clear to go with the generic. That said, if your little one’s skin does end up reacting negatively to the lower-priced option, you’ll definitely want to switch to another brand.
Brand name: Dreft Baby Detergent 100 oz. $15.97 ($0.16 per ounce)
Generic: Purex for Baby Detergent 75 oz. $3.97 ($0.06 per ounce)
9. Over-the-counter medicine
When considering generics for baby pain relievers and the like, the active ingredient will more than likely stay the same between products. However, you will see differences in the inactive contents which are usually the ingredients that improve the taste of the medicine. That said, many parents disguise the medicine in other foods to help deliver the benefits, making the taste less of a concern.
As they get older and start taking cough or cold soothing medicine (which have an unpleasant taste even for adults!) try starting out with a generic. If the taste prevents them from taking the medicine, you may want to switch to brand names with more kid-friendly flavors.
Brand name: Tylenol Infant’s Acetaminophen Drops 2 oz. $8.49 ($0.71 per 5ml dose)
Generic: up&up Infant’s Acetaminophen Drops 2 oz. $3.94 ($0.33 per 5ml dose)
10. Bath products
Just because the bottle has exciting packaging or their favorite character doesn’t mean you should spend more money on it. Generic bathing products and water will get your little one just as clean as the well-marketed brands. You will, however, want to scan the ingredients list to make sure there aren’t too many additives. When it comes to these products, less is more.
Brand name: Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash 28oz. $5.99 ($0.21 per ounce)
Generic: up&up Baby Hair and Body Wash 15 oz. $2.37 ($0.16 per ounce)
Hip Tip: Be sure to check out Hip2Save’s Baby Deals page on Facebook to get the best prices on your favorite baby products!
Keep in mind that all babies are different, so the best products are the ones they’ll actually enjoy! Also, as always, never hesitate to check with your pediatrician about what is safe, healthy, and recommended for your baby.
Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.