The Best Diapers for Your Baby

By Kimberly Bruce

February 3, 2021

One day your baby’s diaper will fit just fine and the next, they’re too tight to fasten properly. A good fitting diaper is essential for preventing leaks and diaper blowouts, so keep an eye on how your baby’s diaper fits to avoid a huge mess. Of all the things you have to keep you busy, cleaning up a diaper explosion shouldn’t be one of them. When shopping for the best diaper for your baby, your main priorities are likely adequate leak protection, a good fit so the diaper stays in place when your little one is on the move, and definitely a diaper that won’t irritate their skin and cause nasty diaper rashes.

Most disposable diapers on the market today have a wetness indicator, which can be a line or pattern that changes colour when the diaper is soiled. Another feature of common disposable diaper brands, is a padding that turns to gel when wet; this material absorbs liquid and keeps it away from baby’s skin. Plus, the jelly feel makes it easier to know when it’s time for a diaper change without having to take a peek inside first.

Below, you’ll find a list of popular diaper brands that are highly recommended by parents just like you. We’ve also included a few tips to help you choose the best fitting diaper for your tot.

1. Editor's Pick: Huggies OverNites Night Time

ProsCons
  • Soft
  • High absorbency
  • No bleach, latex or perfume
  • Some users found them too stiff

Key Specs

Specs/Dimensions: 22.86 x 25.4 x 27.61 cm; 2.36 kg

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Designed primarily for nighttime use, Huggies OverNites Night Time is extra absorbent so you won’t have to worry about leaks throughout the night and changing bed linens in the morning. With double leak guards and a soft, DryTouch liner to trap moisture and prevent chaffing, your little one is protected for up to 12 hours—keeping them dry all night so everyone can get a restful sleep. Featuring SnugFit waistband and double grip strips, these diapers stay in place even through nighttime twists and turns.

2. Best For Newborns: Huggies Special Delivery Hypoallergenic

ProsCons
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Designed for newborns
  • Bleach, paraben and fragrance-free
  • Some users claimed they weren’t absorbent enough and caused leaks

Key Specs

Specs/Dimensions: 36.5 x 20.65 x 17.3 cm; 907.18 g

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These ultra-soft, plant-based diapers, are made with sugar cane and fluff pulp, and features a LeakLock system to contain wetness up to 12 hours. Because Huggies Special Delivery Hypoallergenic is chemical free, your baby’s skin in safe from bleach, parabens and fragrances which could irritate them and cause rashes. These diapers also feature a wetness indicator that changes from yellow to blue when it’s time for a diaper change.

3. Best Moisture Wicking: Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers

ProsCons
  • No parabens or latex
  • Dermatologically tested to be hypoallergenic
  • Some users reported adverse skin reactions

Key Specs

Specs/Dimensions: 24.64 x 30.48 x 23.37 cm; 1.88 kg

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Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers are reported to be twice as soft as other Pampers diapers, and they feature heart shaped quilting to wick away wetness for up to 12 hours of leak protection. Another fabulous attribute of these diapers is their breathability. They have air channels that allow air to pass through the diaper to help keep your baby dry and prevent diaper rash. And of course, they come with a pH-sensitive wetness indicator strip so you won’t need to disturb your sleeping baby to check whether they need changing.

4. Most Absorbent: The Honest Company Diapers with TrueAbsorb Technology

ProsCons
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Chlorine-free
  • Made of sustainable materials
  • Smell
  • No wetness indicator
  • Exterior material is rough/stiff

Key Specs

Specs/Dimensions: 44.81 x 25.1 x 24.79 cm; 4.01 kg

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Made with sustainable materials, The Honest Company Diapers with TrueAbsorb Technology uses predominantly naturally derived ingredients, including citrus extract, wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, and liquid chlorophyll. If your baby has sensitive skin, this hypoallergenic diaper could be a great alternative to common household diaper brands because The Honest Company doesn’t use toxic chemicals, so you can be confident they’ll be gentle on baby’s skin. The TrueAbsorb Bio-Core traps wetness and offers superior absorbency for leak protection.

5. Honorable Mention: Eco by Naty Baby Diapers

ProsCons
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Zero chemicals, plastics or oils
  • Natural plant-based ingredients
  • Expensive
  • Susceptible to leakage
  • Not ideal for overnight use

Key Specs

Specs/Dimensions: 25.5 x 11.5 x 20.5 cm; 1.01 kg

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You may have never heard of Eco by Naty Baby Diapers, but this Swedish brand has received a number of certifications and awards for their eco-friendly diapers. If you’re concerned about the environment and don’t want to add to the stockpile of plastic-containing diapers sitting in landfills, then Eco by Naty Baby Diapers could give you peace of mind. Their diapers are made with sustainable materials sourced from FSC-certified forests and even the packaging is renewable. Naty diapers are hypoallergenic and contain no bleach, plastic, fragrance, oil or lotion, and the plant-based fibers are absorbent enough to effectively soak up messes.

Best Leak Protection: Cloth, Organic or Disposable Diapers?

All diapers, whether disposable or not, should be able to absorb urine and fecal matter, however you may have to do a bit of work to get the most out of your diaper choice. Every baby has different diapering needs and it comes down to doing what you feel is best for your child. You may have a wish list that comprises advanced leak protection, prevents blowouts, won’t harm your baby’s skin or the environment. And that is to be expected, as a parent you only want what’s best for your precious little bundle.

So, which type of diaper is going to meet the needs of your baby, and check all the boxes on your wish list? Here are a few things to consider when choosing between, disposable, organic and cloth diapers:

Disposable diapers: By far the most convenient option for the modern parent, disposable single-use diapers make diapering less bothersome for parents, however, some disposable diapers can cause skin irritation due to chemical ingredients and fragrances. Plus, a few still contain latex and other plastics, which sit for generations in the landfill without ever degrading. That’s because the plastic helps them prevent leaks; and to ensure a secure fit, they use a Velcro-like closure–also plastic.

When it comes to leak-proofing, they contain a mix of natural and gel absorbent material to trap leaks, but as any parent knows, leaks inevitably do happen. We’re not saying that disposable diapers are a bad choice, just that there are downfalls to the convenience. Luckily, diaper manufacturers are aware and are now offering some great hypoallergenic, chemical-free and eco-friendly disposable diapers to combat this issue.

Organic diapers: Diapers lauded for being organic, are those made with predominantly, if not completely, all-natural ingredients such as bamboo, cotton, hemp or other biodegradable materials. Their appeal lies in the fact that they forgo the use of plastic and chemicals like bleach, xylene, toluene, and thylbenzene, to name a few. Those harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on baby’s sensitive skin and cause a host of adverse skin reactions and even harm other organs, including the nervous system.

Most parents feel that organic diapers are a safe bet, being “all natural” and all, however not all diapers advertised as organic or eco-friendly, nor are they made from 100% earth-sourced materials. Organic diapers do tend to fare well in the absorbency department and because they are made with natural plant-based material, they can soak up a large capacity of liquid.

Cloth Diapers: Like their organic counterpart, cloth diapers are made with a variety of natural cloth materials, making them soft, gentle and comfy for your little one. But like nappies from yonder years, they absorb your baby’s waste, leaving them wet and quite uncomfortable to wear after they’ve been soiled. Most cloth diapers tout their ability to keep baby dry—even after soiling—however, these diapers do require close monitoring and frequent changing.

Cloth diapers will need to be reinforced with a leak-proof diaper cover to stop the contents from leaking all over bedding, clothing and your lap! Not to mention, you’ll have more laundry to contend with, too. A bonus is, many moms reported less instances of diaper rash since switching from disposable to cloth diapers.

Whichever diaper you choose, if leaks are a concern, try a diaper booster pad insert for added protection and extra absorbency, especially overnight. These pads usually come in biodegradable options so they’re safe to flush after use.

How to Choose the Right Sized Diaper?

A diaper fits well if the waistband falls slightly below the navel, and is snug on your baby’s waist and legs—but not so tight that it presses into their stomach. Red marks on their legs or waist caused by taut diapers are a telltale sign that it’s time to go up a size. You’ll want to make sure they can move around freely without the diaper closure tabs popping open, and that the diaper is loose enough for you to fit two fingers in between the waistband. If your baby often leaks through their diaper or has blowouts, that’s your cue that it’s too small.

Once you’re sure of your baby’s correct diaper size, consider signing up for a subscription delivery service to take advantage of the bulk order and frequent shopper discounts.

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