Best Baby Diaper Review in 2018
Choosing the right diaper for your baby can make a big difference in your happiness and the happiness of your infant. Ensuring that they stay clean and dry will not only prevent rashes and other health issues but will help your baby sleep through the night and will keep you from dealing with leaky and overflowing diapers.
Choosing the Right Diaper
Children usually stay in diapers until they are between 18 and 30 months old. That's two whole years of diapers on average. During that time, as your baby grows and becomes larger, their diet also changes, and their activity level increases. Good diaper brands understand that this means your baby will not simply need diapers that are larger in size, but which are fundamentally different in their level of absorbency and in their stretchiness.
Most manufacturers produce their lines of diapers to specifically suit a growth phase and make products for older babies more absorbent and more flexible. But it's worth noting that you may need to switch brands between different life stages if you've begun noticing leaks or if your baby begins to become uncomfortable in their current brand of diapers.
Your Baby's Comfort Comes First
If your baby has sensitive skin, or if you see more rashes from a specific brand of diapers, there are now more options than ever to keep your baby dry and rash free. As synthetic materials improve, diaper manufacturers have managed to produce products with a more breathable and cloth-like material. Not only is this more comfortable to the touch, but it also allows for more airflow than older disposable diapers. This makes them softer against your baby's skin and leads to less diaper rash and other wetness related health concerns.
Companies have also started to sell diapers made from natural materials such as bamboo fibers and wood pulp in response to parent concerns that the plastic used in diapers and Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) often used for absorbency can cause harm to babies and to the environment.
Wait to Buy Your Diapers
There are a ton of cute pictures of charmingly sweet diaper cakes on the internet, but diapers should not be one of the items you buy in quantity before the birth of your child. Many parents want to have plenty of diapers on hand or may simply want to take advantage of sales. As tempting as it may be to stock up on diapers before your baby is born, your infant may be larger or smaller than average at birth. At best, this could mean you have a lot of diapers in a size you cannot use, and could mean either loose and leaky diapers or uncomfortably tight diapers.
Similarly, don't buy a bulk supply of diapers without having tried that specific size and brand on your baby. Even well-reviewed diapers may not be a great fit for your child, and your baby may quickly outgrow a certain size of diapers.
How To Choose The Best Baby Diapers
Comfort and Fit
Every brand of diapers has a sizing system based on the weight of your baby. These sizing guides are generally effective but take into account that babies with different body shapes may need to be put in a size which is larger or smaller than the recommendation if they are uncomfortably tight or are loose. Red marks on your baby's legs or on the waist can indicate that they are ready for a larger size of diapers, while frequent leaks may indicate that the diapers are too loose around the legs.
Most infants will be perfectly comfortable in standard disposable diapers, but babies with sensitive skin or those who suffer from frequent rashes may need a softer brand or one which is made out of unbleached, chemical-free materials. You may also want to consider cloth diapers if the situation becomes serious enough.
Age of Your Baby
There's no question that a rambunctious 18-month-old will need a different level of protection than a newborn. It's also true that babies who are still on 100% breast milk or formula create different messes than babies who are able to eat solid food. For these reasons, your child may need different products at different ages, and you will likely need to switch to a different brand of diapers at least once.
Preemie and newborn diapers are obviously quite small, but there are other differences as well. The tabs are often lower when compared to diapers designed for older babies in order to accommodate their umbilical cord stump or may have a lower cut front to keep the stump from being irritated. They also have smaller leg openings.
Diapers for toddlers often have stretchy leg openings to allow for greater movement and will have a more absorbent core. Toddlers are also typically less prone to rashes once they fully transition to solid foods.
Price Per Diaper
Price will be one of the biggest considerations for many families when deciding which brand of diapers to use. Each baby needs literally thousands of diapers during their first year, and the cost for diapers may add up quickly if you choose a brand with a high price point. In general, you can expect to pay between .10 cents and .30 cents per diaper. If you buy in bulk or on sale, you may find a better deal, but if you use specialty diapers, your cost may be higher.
Disposable diapers were originally little more than paper tissues inside of a waterproof shell. They were often only equally effective - or sometimes less effective - than plain cotton cloth diapers. Now, with the invention of absorbent polymer cores and top layers designed to prevent rashes, disposable diapers have become more effective at eliminating wetness. Super Absorbent polymers (SAPs) were introduced in the 1980s and revolutionized diapers. They can hold 300 times their own weight in water, and allow diapers to have a more streamlined outline while being more effective than natural fiber diapers at absorbing liquid.
However, the needs of each baby can be different, and as your infant grows into a toddler they will have different absorbency needs. Your child may also require a different level of dryness protection at night than during the day.
Disposable diapers are a quite recent invention. Originally produced in the 1940's, they solved a number of the inherent flaws of cloth diapering at the time but created a whole host of new issues, too. It's estimated that 95% of babies born in the USA now wear disposable diapers, which mean tons of plastic waste ends up in landfills annually. While some manufacturers have moved to plastics which will biodegrade more quickly than diapers from previous decades, the manufacturing process for any plastic - even biodegradable plastics - leads to toxic waste and pollutants.
There are several companies which are devoted to producing disposable diapers with the lowest environmental impact possible. Many of these are made from renewable materials such as bamboo which reduces the environmental impact of your baby's diapers.
Five Best Baby Diaper
Pampers Swaddlers Diapers
The Pampers Swaddlers line comes in sizes suitable for newborns through toddlers, and are among the most popular diapers available. With features such as wetness indicators, super soft materials, and extra absorbent channels which allow up to 12 hours of use, it's easy to see why these diapers are the go-to choice for many parents. Unfortunately, the product recently went through a design change, and many parents feel that the new Swaddlers are less effective than the older version. Some complain of a strong chemical smell. Others note that the new design is more prone to leaks and has sharp points on the velcro tabs which can dig into the skin of a baby's hip.
Huggies Little Movers Diapers
Huggies Little Movers were designed with older babies in mind. Their design sports strong double grip-strip tabs and a contoured shape to help prevent leaks as your baby becomes more active. They come in sizes 3-6, which will fit babies between 16 and 35 pounds. These diapers also have a stay dry liner to prevent wetness from lingering next to your baby's skin and have a nice stretchiness to the waist. Like the Pampers Swaddlers, Little Movers went through a design change in recent years, and some parents noticed that the materials used were rougher and of lower quality than before. Some parents also noticed an increase in rashes, especially around the waistband.
Bambo Nature Diapers
These diapers are one of several brands which use bamboo fibers for an eco-friendly alternative to non-biodegradable plastic-based diapers. Bambo Nature Diapers are certified free of harsh chemicals, are non-toxic, and are hypoallergenic. Like other disposables, they have easy to use hook and loop tabs and are soft and cloth-like. The super absorbent core can hold more wetness than other diapers on the market. The big drawback to these diapers is the price. At more than double the price of other brands, Bambo Nature Diapers may be good for the environment and for your sensitive baby's skin, but they are not good for your pocket book.
Seventh Generation Free and Clear Sensitive Skin Baby Diapers
Another great option for parents looking for an environmentally friendly alternative that is also gentle enough to use on sensitive babies is Seventh Generation Free and Clear Sensitive Skin Baby Diapers. These diapers can be found for under .40 cents per diaper, and are made from unbleached tree pulp. Because the core is fluffy fibers, they can clump up oddly when wet, and the texture is rougher than other diapers, however, many families enjoy the low impact of the materials used and the high absorbency of the core.
Pampers Baby Dry Diapers Size 5
Pampers Baby Dry Diapers are a great option for overnight diapers, and offer up to 12 hours of wetness protection. In fact, they have an extra layer of protection specifically to make them effective overnight. They are stretchy around the waist to prevent them from bunching up or being pulled out of shape while your baby sleeps, and have a breathable outer shell with micropores for plenty of air flow. Because of this, Baby Dry Diapers are a great choice for babies who are prone to rashes caused by wetness. Some parents dislike the scent of these diapers and describe it as being overpowering, while others noticed that they can leave fibers on your baby's skin.
Each baby is unique, and the diaper you choose may change as they grow. You may find that your infant requires different levels of wetness protection and elasticity as they become older. Or, you may notice that your baby is sensitive to one or more of the chemicals in a certain brand and may decide to choose an unbleached eco-friendly hypoallergenic brand instead.
Of the five diapers reviewed here, the best option for most families are the Pampers Swaddlers Diapers. Despite a recent redesign, these are still one of the most popular disposable diapers on the market. Not only are they reasonably priced and widely available, but most babies will like the soft, blanket-like material and will benefit from the ability to use these diapers from birth to potty training. Parents will appreciate the convenient wetness indicator and their absorbency.
Your baby will have diapers touching their skin nearly every hour of every day for approximately two years. No matter which brands you try, know that your baby is always growing and changing, and you should make sure to accommodate these changes.