How to Find the Best Diapers For Your Baby And Save Big
If your search for the perfect diaper for your baby has you totally pooped out, you’ve come to the right place. As a mom, I’ve mastered the art of finding the best diapers, so don’t worry, I’ve got your butt covered, and soon you’ll have your baby’s bottom well covered too.
I’ve changed more diapers than I’ve ever dreamed possible, and it hasn’t always been pretty. Here is what I’ve learned during my extensive on-the-job diaper training.
How Bad Can a Diaper Change Really Be?
In your pre-mom days, the word blowout probably conjured feelings of relaxation for you as you envisioned a day at the spa getting your hair professionally styled with a round brush and a blow dryer.
As a mom, the word blowout takes on a more sinister meaning. It brings to your mind images you never dreamed you’d see – or have to clean up.
A diaper blowout isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll see poop everywhere and usually, even if there are other people in the household, you’ll be the one stuck holding the bag. Once they see your baby’s diaper blowout, they’ll disappear quicker than cockroaches when you turn on the light. You’ll be forced to act like an adult and clean it up by yourself.
But it doesn’t always have to be such a bleak outlook. Two-thirds of the battle against the bottom all comes down to selecting the proper diaper. If you are armed with the right tools like a proper fitting diaper, you can rewrite this horror story into a tale with a happy ending.
Things to Look for in a Diaper
Your baby spends a lot of her time on your lap. Whether you’re holding or feeding her, or simply indulging yourself in some precious snuggling time, she’s constantly in your arms.
The only thing protecting her outfit from getting wet is a good diaper. And, if her outfit gets wet, yours probably will too just because you are together so much. You’ve already come to terms with the fact your baby will have frequent outfit changes – that’s why you pack extra outfits in her diaper bag. But changing your own outfit is a pain in the butt because you don’t usually carry a spare outfit for yourself when you’re away from home for a few hours.
And if your child falls victim to the curse of rotavirus or some other diarrheal illness common in childhood, your problem is much worse than wearing wet clothes around for a while. Your clothes may actually be permanently stained brown. That can get expensive and frustrating.
And believe me, it happens. I can’t count the number of times that my baby and I were sailing along, having a great day, when out of nowhere it was like a volcano erupted from her bottom and both she and I were covered with absolutely no warning.
While no diaper will guarantee you won’t be covered in your baby’s poop and pee at some point, the best diapers minimize that risk. Here are some of the things you should look for when selecting your baby's diapers.
- Protection from leaks: Diaper leaks are a reality and they always seem to happen at the worst time possible. You want a diaper that offers fast-absorbing layers and can provide hours of protection so you aren’t stuck changing a diaper every hour on the hour. While you may hate the idea of letting your baby hang out for a while in her wet diaper, the absorbing layers should whisk that liquid away from her bottom quickly. And really, most moms can’t afford to change their baby’s diaper every hour, it gets way too expensive.
- The comfort factor: Your baby has to be comfortable. If you notice the material of the diaper is rubbing your baby the wrong way and causing some chafing, you might want to reconsider your choice. Your baby will be in diapers every hour of the day that she isn’t in the bathtub, and that’s far too long to put up with an uncomfortable diaper. Be aware that sometimes your baby can have an allergic reaction to one of the materials used in the diaper (source). Before buying too many of any kind, you should do a test run to make sure your baby won’t have a reaction to those particular diapers. You don’t want to have a stockpile of diapers that you won’t be able to use.
- Super strong tape: If you’re using disposable diapers, you want to find ones that have strong tape to hold the diaper in place. If the tape comes off one side of the diaper, the whole operation will quickly go south. The diaper will shift or fall off one side completely, and your baby might as well be bare bottomed at that point for all the good the diaper will be doing her.
- Cost: If you’re the type of person who likes to use the cheapest products out there to save a few dollars, resist that urge when it comes to diapers. You’ll be sorry you did. Not only will it be a major inconvenience if you choose a subpar diaper, you’ll also lose money too. You’ll be changing your baby more frequently because your cheap diaper won’t hold as much liquid as some of the more expensive brands. Plus, you’ll be risking staining both your clothes and your baby’s clothes if there are leaks. Replacing those clothes will quickly eat up any savings you get from buying cheaper diapers.
- Size: You’ll want your baby to wear the smallest size of diaper that will fit her bottom and still be comfortable. When you jump sizes, the price per diaper increases with bigger diapers. You don’t want to cram your baby in a diaper that’s too small for her just to save a couple dollars, but it’s something to consider when you are looking at sizing up.
- Whether you want cloth or disposable diapers: You need to figure out if you want the convenience of disposable diapers or the environmental benefits of cloth diapers.
Cloth Versus Disposables
Each kind of diaper comes with pros and cons. Although choosing a type of diaper shouldn’t be a heart-wrenching decision, you should carefully examine your core values and what your needs are to determine which type will work best for you. Here are some of the pros and consfor each type.
For many people, cloth diapers conjure up long-ago memories of using safety pins to cinch an ill-fitting cloth diaper onto a baby’s bottom. But times have changed since then. Modern cloth diapers are much different from those diapers of yesteryear – they now use snaps or Velcro to stay in place.
- More cost effective.
- They feel soft on your baby’s bottom.
- Environmentally friendlier than disposables.
- Less chemicals or synthetic materials than disposables.
- Cute patterns and colors to choose from.
- They come in a variety of materials so you’ll easily be able to find one, even if your baby has allergies.
- Cloth diapers can get messy.
- You don’t just take them off and throw them away – you have to clean them.
- You’ll be doing extra laundry every week.
- If you are out of the house, you’ll have to pack up the dirty diapers and take them home with you, which can create a bit of a smell.
- Going on a vacation without access to a washing machine can be a challenge.
Everyone is familiar with disposable diapers. If you choose this route, you’ll love their convenience, but you’ll need a lot of them to get you through until your child is potty trained.
- Super convenient.
- Easy to change your baby with these.
- Toss them right into the garbage without cleaning a thing.
- Easier to use when traveling than cloth diapers are.
- Because of their absorbent nature, you won’t have to change your baby as frequently during the day as you will with cloth diapers.
- Creates a lot of garbage that you wouldn’t have if you used cloth diapers.
- Some babies can have allergic reactions to substances used to make these diapers.
- Sometimes you’ll get a faulty tape tab section with disposables.
- More expensive than cloth diapers.
The Best Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are much more appealing than they used to be for moms. You can find them in so many different patterns and colors now, they’ve almost become a fashion accessory for babies.
For environmentally-minded moms, cloth diapers are an attractive option because they’ll sleep like a baby knowing they aren’t contributing to landfill overcrowding.
You won’t have to worry about sizing with this diaper, it can adjust to fit a wide range of sizes from 8 to 35 pounds. That means you won’t have to buy larger diapers as your baby grows.
This diaper is easy to use – it has double snap closures on both sides, meaning your baby’s diaper won’t go anywhere until you take it off. Although this diaper is blue, you can buy them in other colors.
It is a one-step cloth diaper that doesn’t require any additional work – you don’t have to stuff these diapers or put covers on them. They are completely ready to go, and they have been designed to mimic the ease of use of disposable diapers. The use of elastic helps protect against leaks.
While it might sting a little at first to pay this much for a diaper, you’ll be able to use it repeatedly which makes the cost worth it.
- Free of lead, BPA, phthalate and latex.
- They are great at preventing leaks.
- Hold up well wash after wash.
- Easy to use – no inserts or confusing instructions.
- It’s a big initial investment to buy enough of these for two days of diaper changes.
- It is bulky compared to other diapers.
The Best Disposable Diapers
Disposable diapers offer moms complete convenience. You can pack them in a diaper bag, take them anywhere you and your baby are going, and once they’re soiled, you can simply throw them away. There’s no cleaning required.
But all disposable diapers don’t perform well. Sometimes you need to search long and hard to find one that works for you.
Pampers Swaddlers are a great option whether you have a newborn or a 1 year old.
The great thing about this diaper when it comes to your newborn is that they offer some umbilical cord protection by providing extra space in that area. If the dried up part of a baby’s umbilical cord is ripped off too soon by a diaper that snags it, it can bleed, so you want to treat that cord as gently as you can. Having a diaper that provides some room for it gives moms some peace of mind.
Each of these diapers have a wetness indicator on the outside of the diaper showing you just how wet the inside of the diaper is without you having to unfasten the diaper and check. It saves a little bit of time for moms.
These diapers are super soft and come with a liner that pulls wetness away from your baby.
- Room for the umbilical cord stump on newborns.
- Wetness indicator.
- Comfortable feel for babies.
- Pricy compared to some other brands.
- The diaper is thin and sometimes leaks.
Even the best diapers are put to the test during the night. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has a baby who sleeps all night, you’ll need to find an overnight diaper that offers superior absorption and performance. The last thing you want is to have to change your baby’s crib sheet daily because her diaper won’t keep up with her sleep requirements.
These heavy-duty diapers are just what you need for the heavy-duty sleeper in your life. Your baby should be able to sleep as long as she needs to without overflowing the Huggies OverNites.
The diapers provide up to 12 hours of leak-proof protection, and if your baby is sleeping longer than that at one stretch, we’d love to know your secret.
The SnugFit waistband should stay with your baby through all of her tossing and turning. These diapers come in a variety of sizes to fit your baby, no matter what her size and age.
Because of the leak lock design of these diapers, your baby’s bottom shouldn’t be irritated by skipping diaper changes while she’s sleeping – the moisture should be absorbed by the diaper, which means less wetness resting against her bottom.
Because these diapers are fairly expensive and designed to hold a lot of liquid, I wouldn’t use them during the day – I would solely keep these as a nighttime diaper.
- Thick diapers.
- Soft and comfortable.
- Pretty expensive.
- You can still have leaks with these, particularly if your child is experiencing diarrhea.
The Best Diapers for Diaper Rash & Sensitive Skin
As a mom, you feel awful when your baby gets a rash on her bottom. You feel like you’ve failed at the whole parenting thing and you wonder how awful it must be for her to be so uncomfortable.
The best way to prevent diaper rash and to help sensitive skin is to not irritate the skin in the first place. It’s far easier to keep skin healthier than it is to try to help a baby recover from a rash. Early on, you should find a diaper that will be gentle on your baby’s skin.
This hypoallergenic diaper will help your baby’s skin stay soft and rash-free. It’s disposable and feels softs, but don’t let the feel fool you. This is a strong diaper, made out of bamboo, that can suck the moisture away from your baby’s bottom.
It’s a breathable diaper, which won’t feel too hot in the summer. Another perk of this diaper is that it is odor resistant, which is a wonderful thing considering your baby’s diaper pail will smell awful if you don’t empty it frequently.
Moms who worry about the environment but who feel intimidated by cloth diapers should like that these diapers are 100 percent biodegradable.These diapers also have a wetness indicator, which will take the guesswork out of when your baby needs to be changed. The aloe liner helps naturally soothe your baby’s bottom and the absorbent core keeps his skin nice and dry.
- This diaper uses natural products.
- Since the diapers are hypoallergenic, your baby has a better chance of having no adverse reaction while using these.
- Better for the environment than other disposables.
- The smallest diapers of this brand are a bit wide for newborns who are on the smaller side.
- May have to order these online since they aren’t widely available in stores.
The Best Swim Diapers
As long as the temperature isn’t too cold, babies love to play in the water. They have fun and get to learn new skills. But when you’re at pools, you need a way to keep the water almost as pristine as it was before your baby entered – you definitely don’t want to leave any unwanted floaters in the water. That’s where a swim diaper comes in handy.
These reusable swim diapers will save you a bunch of money if you have a baby who loves the water. The fun fish design on the diaper is eye-catching and cute, and they are available in other patterns as well.
One of the nicest features about this swim diaper made by Beau and Belle Littles is that the adjustable size ensures that your baby will have a swim diaper that works for her for a very long time. This one can adjust to fit children from newborns up to 36 months old, from 6 pounds to 35 pounds.
It fastens with snaps around the waist, and you can also adjust the height of the diaper, not just the diameter. It’s comfortable and keeps any waste in the diaper instead of in the pool for everyone to see.
When your baby poops in this swim diaper, you simply knock the solid into the toilet and wash the diaper in cold water, and your baby will be ready for his next swimming session.
- A much cheaper option for babies who spend considerable time in the water.
- Cute design for moms who don’t want a plain white swim diaper.
- Won’t take up space in landfills.
- You’ll have to clean the diapers instead of tossing them in the garbage.
- Seems to run small on the sizing – a 35-pound child may be pushing it sizewise.
My Favorite Diapers
My favorite diaper off this list is the Andy Pandy biodegradable bamboo diaper. It works well and is a great choice for moms like me who want the convenience of a disposable diaper, especially while on vacations or days away from home. I don’t feel as much guilt over using this product as I do with diapers that aren’t biodegradable – I hate the idea of a diaper having a longer lifespan than I do.
I also love how it uses natural products like aloe instead of chemicals I can’t even pronounce. I feel safer knowing an all-natural product is on my baby’s skin instead of one with all those synthetic ingredients.