Of all the changes you and your baby are experiencing during the first year of their life, diaper changes have got to be the least exciting. You’ll be changing dirty and wet diapers as often as 12 times a day and the right diaper can make the mess more manageable.
So whether you’re looking for the best cloth diapers, the best newborn diapers, or the best overnight diapers, we’ve got you covered with Truly Mama’s picks for the best diapers to stock up on. And by stock up, we mean really, really stock up. Because you’re definitely going to use way more diapers than you ever thought possible.
What are Baby Diapers Made of?
Disposable diapers are made very similarly from brand to brand, with small adjustments made in design, primarily for function and comfort. In general, diapers are going to have a core that is made of polymers and cellulose that are responsible for soaking up liquids so your baby feels dry for longer.
The shell of the diaper keeps everything together. Design of the shell is important, influencing fit and comfort.
Features to Look Out For in a Baby Diaper
Since modern diapers typically have a lot of similarities in design, it might be hard to find one diaper that sets itself apart from the rest. For this reason, we recommend paying attention to what reviewers say about absorbency, fit, and breathability to get to scoop on the little differences.
- Absorbency will give you an idea of how long your baby can wear a single diaper between changes. While keeping your baby dry is ideal, no parent wants to interrupt a nap or nighttime sleep over the fear of leaks. Some diapers will perform better for longer stretches.
- Fit will give you an idea of whether or not diapers run true to size and if the design of the fit will keep blowouts and leaks in check. If one brand has a reputation for poop-splosions, you can bet you’ll be able to find out from other parents who have left reviews online.
- Breathability keeps your baby’s bottom feeling dry, even when their diaper is wet. This is important for comfort, helping to prevent irritation and rashes. Many diapers are made with a layer of moisture-wicking materials, so pay attention to what the creators have to say about this added feature.
And while features are helpful to help guide you, it’s also important to keep in mind that every baby is different—your baby’s bum might fit better in a different brand of diaper than your mama friend’s baby and that’s perfectly fine. You may have to experiment and try a few brands before you find the perfect fit.
Different Types of Baby Diapers
Diapers are designed with different ages and needs in mind. Once you’ve got a handle on what your baby needs from a diaper, you can shop for the type that will work best for your child.
- Thin diapers are generally made for daytime wear. They’re not bulky, which means they take up less space in your home, diaper bag, and in landfills.
- Overnight diapers are typically designed to handle up to 12 hours of wear. If your baby is sleeping through the night, this is important for avoiding leaks in the middle of the night!
- Toddler diapers fit kids up to 35 pounds, making them perfect for larger babies and toddlers who aren’t ready for toilet training.
- Newborn diapers aren’t just smaller, most brands also have a lower rise in the front to avoid irritating umbilical stumps. They also have a snug fit created to keep loose, newborn stools inside and a wetness indicator that lets you know when your baby has emptied their tiny bladder.
- Cloth diapers are reusable diapers that you wash and dry instead of dispose of. There are many, many different kinds of cloth diapers from all-in-ones to shells with inserts, so be sure to check out our complete cloth diapering guide if you’re interested in cloth diapering.
Truly Mama’s Picks for the Best Baby Diapers
According to Amazon, Pampers Swaddlers are the #1 bestselling diaper and there are 57,664 reviews and a 4.8-star rating to back up that claim.
Pampers diapers are well-loved by caregivers because they’re super absorptive, preventing leaks and keeping your baby comfortable between diaper changes. The BreatheFree liner that is unique to this diaper actually provides moisture-wicking, so your baby’s bottom will feel dry even when their diaper is wet.
As a hypoallergenic diaper that is free from parabens and latex, Pampers Swaddlers work well for little ones with sensitive skin. One common thread found in reviews left by happy parents online is that these diapers are a cut above the rest because they’re less bulky than other popular brands, including Huggies.
All of these positive points have earned Pampers a great reputation, making them the preferred brand of hospitals and pediatricians here in the United States.
As runner up, Huggies Little Snugglers aren’t much of a compromise for your baby. These diapers are designed with two special features: they’re lined with a GentleAbsorb liner, which helps keep babies comfortable between diaper changes and have a special waistband helps prevent blowouts, a major headache any parent will be thrilled to do without.
Without fragrance or parabens, these diapers will work well for most babies, even those with sensitive skin. On Amazon, nearly 15,000 parents and caregivers have given Huggies Little Snugglers a 4.9-star.
“Huggies Little Snugglers have this awesome poop guard in the back that works to prevent blowouts” writes one reviewer. “I don’t know why it took me so long to find these! We like Huggies and I think we’ll be buying this brand from now on!”
Your baby is finally sleeping through the night, yay! So the last thing you want is for them to wake up because of a full diaper—you’ll need a diaper that can keep your baby comfortable and leak-free all night long. We think Pampers Baby Dry is the best overnight diapering option and the 10,000 Amazon reviews and 4.8-star rating indicate that parents agree.
Snug, elastic leg openings are meant to help prevent leaks and a triple layer lining makes sure a single diaper can stand up to a restful night’s sleep. They’re designed to be especially breathable, so the wetness doesn’t bug your baby while they’re fast asleep.
No, you’re not seeing double! When we went hunting for the best diaper for newborns, we found ourselves right back where we started — in love with Pampers Swaddlers.
You already know what makes these diapers great for babies of any age. They’re breathable and plenty absorptive without a ton of excess bulk. What makes them the best for the newest babies? Snug but flexible sides keep runny, newborn poop right where it belongs. Plus, a wetness indicator makes keeping up with changes simple, letting you know the diaper is wet.
Cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics … ever. Kudos is perfect for little bottoms that require a diaper that breathes with them. Made from TruCotton sourced from farmers in the U.S., these diapers are hypoallergenic, sustainable, super soft, and an all-around great pick for babies prone to skin issues. Their leak protection is on par with the big brands and with Kudos, there’s no need to shell out extra cash for bulky overnight diapers. Their DoubleDry technology (patent-pending) uses two absorption layers instead of the traditional one layer. The best part: that little line on the front of the diaper changes color when wet so you know it’s changing time!
For parents who are hoping to reduce their family’s impact on the environment, disposables are a tricky topic. Cloth diapers are labor-intensive and require a lot of water for cleaning. Cloth just might not be a good option for many parents. But there are still some more earthy-friendly options somewhere in the middle.
For instance, Earth + Eden has worked hard to reduce waste associated with disposable diapers as much as possible. They operate their facility to send no waste to landfills and get their diaper fluff from sustainable sources. You can feel good about using these diapers knowing they have less of an impact on the environment than conventional brands.
You might know Hilary Duff as Lizzy McGuire (or am I showing my age?), but these days, the soon-to-be mom of three is more into the diaper stage. And we are huge fans of her natural line of baby diapers and wipes, Happy Little Camper.
These natural baby diapers use natural ingredients, including a natural wood pulp bio-core blend and non-GMO cotton. They’re also free of fragrance, chlorine, VOC’s or toxic adhesives. And having tested them at Truly Mama, we can say these natural diapers are the real deal—our Pampers-only mom was a big fan and found them totally comparable to Pampers.
Diapering a baby isn’t cheap. Most families will spend between $70 and $80 a month on diapers according to the National Diaper Bank Network. If you’re looking for a budget diaper that doesn’t compromise on quality, Mama Bear by Amazon is an option worth giving a try. Costing between $.15 and $.20 a diaper, Mama Bear is more affordable than name brands but still has great reviews from caregivers.
These diapers are great for sensitive skin because they’re free from parabens and scents. With a breathable layer on the inside, you don’t have to worry about irritation between diaper changes.
“Loved everything about these diapers,” writes a reviewer who gave these diapers 5 stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pampers or Huggies better?
What brand of diapers do hospitals use?
Since Pamper’s Swaddlers are the #1 Choice for Pediatricians, you’ll find these in most hospitals and pediatrician offices.
How long can a baby stay in a diaper?
Some overnight diapers can handle up to 12 hours of wear! If you have a baby who sleeps for a long stretches at night, look for a diaper suited for up to 12 hours of wear.
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