Diaper Buying Guide: What To Consider When Buying Disposable Diapers

Are you wanting to learn more about using disposable diapers?

Then this ultimate diaper buying guide is for you!

There is no denying that diapers are a significant part of parenting.

You’ll spend a lot of hours, and dollars, changing your baby’s diaper over the next two to three years. That’s why it’s so crucial for parents to understand their diapering needs and options right from the get-go.

An average family uses over 7,000 disposable diapers until their child potty trains.

Which is a lot of diapers to buy and change!

Even more so if you have more than one child in diapers at the same time.

And unlike many baby items that are a one-time cost, diapering is ongoing until your child is fully potty trained.

So, picking the best disposable diapers for you and your baby matters!

That’s why we put together this ultimate guide to disposable diapers.

From what diaper brands to choose to diaper sizing to the different types of disposable diapers, we break down all the things you need to consider when buying your disposable diapers.

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here

Our Top Pick
Pampers Swaddlers
$37.99 $33.48 ($0.28 / Count)

A popular choice, widely found in supermarkets and online, Pampers Swaddlers offer everything that babies need and parents want in a diaper. From great absorbency to an umbilical cord notch for newborns to their super soft lining, these value for money diapers are our top pick for diapering your baby with disposable diapers!


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
08/13/2022 12:32 am GMT

5 Types of Disposable Diapers

First, let’s look at the types of disposable diapers available.

What type of diapers are best for you will depend on your specific diapering needs.

Here are the 5 types of disposable diapers you may come across:

Daytime Disposable Diapers

Daytime diapers, or regular diapers, are the most common type of diaper you will find. They are designed to absorb and retain urine and faeces throughout the day and night, keeping your baby dry. They are disposable and as such can only be used once.

Overnight Diapers

What are overnight diapers? Overnight diapers also referred to as nighttime diapers, are specifically designed to be extra absorbent to prevent leaks throughout the night. They are often can hold around 20 to 25 percent more fluid to help keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours.

Pull-Ups

What’s the difference between diapers and pull ups? A pull up diaper is a disposable diaper that is designed with an elastic waistband that can be pulled up and down and worn like underpants. The sides can easily be ripped apart to assist in removing a full diaper. Pull ups are generally used while potty training.

You may also like these guides on Huggies Pull Ups vs Pampers Easy Ups and when to switch to pull ups.

Swim Diapers

How do swim diapers work? Swim diapers are specifically designed for swimming. They are not made to absorb urine, but rather withstand water and contain solids from entering the water. They are not leakproof and should not be used in place of a regular diaper.

There are two choices when it comes to swim diapers; disposable and reusable. You can read more about them in our best swim diapers review!

Adult Diapers and Disposable Underwear

What are adult diapers? Adult diapers and disposable underwear are designed to be worn by a person with a larger body than an infant or toddler. They are a discrete alternative to underwear to assist in preventing leaks from urinary or fecal incontinence. Postpartum diapers are also a form of adult diapers used after birth.

What Diaper Brands To Chose

It can be overwhelming when you walk down the diaper aisle at your local store or jump online, and you see dozens of diaper options.

From popular diaper brands to generic store brand diapers, you are confronted with eye-catching packaging bidding for your dollars.

This leaves many parents wondering what diaper brands to chose for their baby.

The truth? It really depends on a number of factors which we will dive into shortly.

But, the one thing we do recommend right from the get go is to consider choosing a reputable brand that will hang around for the next few years until your child potty trains.

What Are The Most Popular Diaper Brands

Without a doubt, the two most popular brands of diapers are Huggies and Pampers.

These are the top two brands that dominate the disposable diapering world!

And they are not just in the USA. You’ll find them in multiple countries around the world, which says a lot!

Yet, Huggies and Pampers aren’t the only popular disposable diaper brands out there.

Some of the most popular diaper brands include:

  • Luvs
  • Hello Bello
  • Up & Up
  • Kirkland
  • Andy’s Pandy’s
  • Seventh Generation
  • Parent’s Choice
  • The Honest Company
  • Bambo Nature
  • Mama Bear Diapers
  • Babyganics
  • Goodnites

Diaper Sizing

Before you buy disposable diapers, you need to take a look at the different diaper sizing. All brands have similar, but not the same, sizing regulations.

In general, disposable diapers come in these sizes:

  • Preemie (not all brands sell preemie diapers)
  • Newborn Diapers
  • Size 1
  • Size 2
  • Size 3
  • Size 4
  • Size 5
  • Size 6
  • Size 7 (not all brands sell size 7)

Each size has a pound range as a guideline for parents, but the ranges overlap. For example, newborn diapers might have a size range from 6-12lbs, but size 1 diapers might start from 10-16lbs.

A diaper size chart is a very handy tool to help you calculate diaper sizes by age and weight.

Just be mindful, if you switch diaper brands, make sure you take a look at their sizing guidelines because not all brands are the same. Your baby might not be in the same size if you change brands.

Things-to-Consider-When-Buying-Disposable-Diapers

What to Consider When Buying Disposable Diapers

When you have to decide which disposable diapers you want for your baby, here are some factors to consider.

Absorbency

Without a doubt, absorbency is at the top of the list when deciding what diaper to buy.

Although diapers should be changed regularly, they should be capable of absorbing liquids and preventing waste from leaking out.

Otherwise, what would be the benefit of using diapers?

So, now you’re probably wondering a few things about diaper absorbency like:

  • How much liquid does a diaper hold?
  • Should you buy a diaper based on which diaper holds the most liquid?
  • How do diapers absorb liquid?
  • How can I make my diapers more absorbent?
  • What is the absorbent material in disposable diapers?
  • How do you know diaper is full?
  • How do you know when to change a diaper?
  • Is there a difference between boy and girl diapers?

Well, like most things baby-related, your diaper absorbency capabilities and needs will vary based on the type and brand of diaper you use and your baby.

For example, if you baby is a heavy wetter, their diapers may need to be changed more regularly to prevent leaks. You may even prefer to use diapers for heavy wetters as their additional absorbency capabilities will help keep your baby dry.

Or if your child only needs extra absorbency at night, you may choose to use one of the best overnight diapers and use regular diapers during the day to save on costs.

Ultimately, most disposable diaper should do their job and absorb liquids and hold in waste, but if you discover you are having regular leaks or needing to change diapers too frequently, we recommend trying a different brand or two.

Fit

Right after absorbency, we have to consider the fit of the diaper.

A poor fitting will cause leaks every single time, no matter how absorbent the diaper is.

Or even worse diaper blowouts! (*While you are here you may want to check out our guide on how to prevent diaper blowouts – as no parent wants to deal with them on a regular basis.)

So, again questions you may be wondering:

  • How is a diaper suppose to fit?
  • How do you know if a diaper fits properly?
  • How do you know a diaper is too small?
  • How do you know a diaper is too big?
  • How tight should diaper tabs be?

Well in a nutshell, when a diaper fits properly it should appear straight and equally proportioned with your baby. The waistband should fit snuggly just under your baby’s belly button and the leg cuffs securely (but not tightly) around your baby’s legs and bottom.

If your diaper looks or feels too tight on your baby or leaves red marks on your baby’s upper legs and tummy it is more than likely too small. You make also notice increased leaks.

If your diaper looks or feels too loose on your baby or has excessive gapping at the legs and waist, the diaper is more than likely to be too big. You make also notice increased blowouts.

Budget

No matter what way you look at it, there are some disadvantages of using disposable diapers like the ongoing cost for at least two to three years.

How much does a year of diaper cost? Well, that depends on the brand and size of diapers you use and if you can get them at a discounted price.

The good news is with so many disposable diapers on the market, there is a lot of variety when it comes to prices.

So, what is the cheapest diaper brands? Generally, you’ll find generic diapers are the most affordable choice.

You’ll find luxury diaper brands and organic diaper brands are generally at the higher end of the diaper cost scale.

If you are looking for ways to save money on diapers, you may want to consider signing up for a diaper subscription service to save money.

With subscriptions, you sign up to have diapers delivered every month or every two months in exchange for a discounted price.

Other ways to make diapers more budget friendly, include using coupons and diaper discounts, buying in bulk, and buying when your diapers are on sale.

Materials

Not all diapers are created equal.

From polyethylene plasticand bamboo to fragrances and dyes you’ll find there is a large variance in materials and chemicals used to create diapers.

Why does it matter how diapers are made?

Well, there are two main reasons you may care:

  1. Most disposable diapers are treated with chemicals and irritants harmful and harsh on your baby’s skin.
  2. Babies go through thousands of diapers that take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills, making them a serious environmental problem. 

If you find that your baby’s skin is reacting to the additives like lotions and fragrances found in regular diapers, or you are concerned about the potential long term health implications of using parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based products, you may need to look at making the switch to organic baby diapers.

If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, then you are probably going to want to opt for eco friendly diapers or biodegradable diapers.

Or alternatively to disposable diapers you may want to consider using cloth diapers.

Convenience

Whether it is in the middle of the day or night, no one wants to reach for a diaper to realize you are all out. Especially, if they are not easy to purchase at your local store!

Having the convenience of easily purchasing your brand of diapers when you are running low is an important factor to consider when deciding what diapers to buy.

So, what can I do if I run out of diapers? I hear you ask!

Well, apart from reaching for the closest burp rag or clean dish towel, and legging it to the local store to buy any brand of diaper you can find…

There are a few ways to help combat this like ensuring your diaper brand is stocked locally, buying diapers in advance, bulk buying diapers, diaper subscriptions, and stockpiling diapers.

Ideally, though, when it comes to the convenience of buying diapers, you will find your preferred diaper stocked locally or have a stockpile of diapers you can fall back on (even if it is in the next size up).

How-Many-Diapers-Do-You-Need-to-Buy

How Many Diapers Do You Need to Buy?

So, since we just mentioned stocking up on diapers for convenience, you’re probably wondering just how many diapers do you need to buy?

On average, parents use 2500-3000 diapers in the first year.

However, working out exactly how long a baby will be in each size or how many diapers a baby will go through is a little more complex.

The reason being babies all grow at different rates. You never know when your baby is going to hit a growth spurt or start to slow down growth.

Instead, we look at how many diaper changes your baby typically needs by age range.

Here are some recommended changes by age:

  • 0-1 Months: 10-12 changes
  • 1-5 Months: 8-10 changes
  • 5-9 Months: 7-8 changes
  • 9-12 Months: 6-7 changes

But, before you go out and spend a ton of money on diapers that you may or may not use, there are a few questions to consider:

Final Thoughts On Buying Disposable Diapers

Not all disposable diapers are the same. So, take the time to consider what type or size of diaper you need and what factors in a diaper are important to you. Then test a few different brands out till you find a brand that you love!

And if you’re looking for more great diapering guides, then check out these guides on Luvs vs Pampers, Huggies vs Luvs, Hello Bello vs Pampers, and Mama Bear Diapers Review.

Our Top Pick
Pampers Swaddlers
$37.99 $33.48 ($0.28 / Count)

A popular choice, widely found in supermarkets and online, Pampers Swaddlers offer everything that babies need and parents want in a diaper. From great absorbency to an umbilical cord notch for newborns to their super soft lining, these value for money diapers are our top pick for diapering your baby with disposable diapers!


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
08/13/2022 12:32 am GMT
diaper buying guide