The Down and Dirty on Diapers

Our clients often ask us, “What kind of diapers should I use on my little one?” The truth is, there is no one brand or type that will work for everyone, because everyone’s priorities are different.  Are you concerned about cost?  The environment?  Best fit?  You may need to try a few before you find a brand you want to stick with.  Here, we will give you a rundown of a few of the most popular brands to help you decide what will work best for your family.

Name Brand Diapers

The three most popular name brand diapers are Pampers, Luvs, and Huggies.  Pampers have tested to be more absorbent than Huggies, but Huggies are a bit less expensive than Pampers. Luvs have the least absorbency of the three, and the lowest cost.  Although absorbency is key when choosing the best diaper for your baby, cost can certainly be a factor too, since babies use approximately 2,000 diapers just in their first year.  If you choose a more cost effective diaper, you just may need to change your little one a bit more often.  These three diaper brands use similar materials to make their diapers.  We don’t want to get too scientific with you, but the core is made from a super absorbent compound that can soak up to 30 times its weight in liquid.  Not all diapers are created equal, however.  Read on.

Eco-Friendly Diapers

Eco-Friendly diapers, such as Seventh Generation, Honest Company, and Earth’s Best, are quickly rising in popularity.  The materials that go into these types of diapers can vary, but most of them are made from plant-based materials or non-toxic compounds.  They can be more biodegradable so they have less of an impact on landfills.  Although eco-friendly diapers are increasingly available in stores, they tend to be pricey and come in small packages of about 20-40 diapers, as opposed to buying in bulk packages of about 250 diapers.  There are, however, online ordering options, which we’ll get to in a bit.  We love the Honest Company diapers because they come in adorable prints.

Store Brand Diapers

Many grocers and big box stores carry their own brand of diapers at an attractive price.  We polled our community of moms for this portion of the blog and the top recommended brands were Costco’s Kirkland, Safeway’s Mom to Mom, Walmart’s Parent’s Choice, and Target’s Up & Up.  Our moms said these brands have worked very well for them in terms of absorbency, price, and fit. 

Cloth Diapers

Today’s cloth diapers are not the flat cotton squares with safety pins your grandmother used.  Cloth diapers now come in a wide range of styles and prints.  Many have a built-in or additional cover that is lined with a polyurethane coating, making them surprisingly leak-proof.  They can be made from cotton, wool, hemp, or bamboo, and because they are made of fabric, the colors and prints are endless.  Although cloth diapers are better for the environment because they create zero waste, and they are the least expensive option because they require only an upfront cost of a few hundred dollars as opposed to the thousands of dollars parents spend on disposables every year, they are a lot of work.  Cloth diapers need to be rinsed, stored, washed (often twice), air dried, then put away, not to mention what a dirty job it is to scrape or spray poop off the diaper into the toilet.  We like this in-depth article on cloth diapering, which contains a few must-haves if you choose to cloth diaper at all, such as the sprayer, SprayPal, and wet bags.

Money Saving Tips

No matter what style or brand of diapers you choose, they are quite an expense.  Fortunately, there are tons of tips and tricks to help you save money.  Coupons can be found in newspapers, magazines, your local weekly mailer, and online, and some stores even double the coupon’s value.  Providing your email and/or physical address to diaper companies through their website will get coupons delivered to your mailbox or inbox.  Babies R Us has great prices on diapers and they have a Price Match Guarantee.  Buying diapers in bulk and buying the smallest size that will fit your baby are two of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck.  Amazon offers a subscribe and save option that offers a 20% discount off whatever price you subscribe to; if you subscribe while your diapers are on sale, you can get deep discounts.  Although cloth diapers are the least expensive option, the best quality ones are not cheap; they can run about $30/diaper.  The good news is cloth diapers hold their resale value extremely well so you can buy new and sell them when you’re done, or buy secondhand from Ebay or your local swap and sell group (we love Facebook marketplace for this option).

So there you have it, our rundown of the down and dirty on diapers.  Our professionally trained, certified, and insured doulas are here to help you navigate these types of choices and more.  We have a wealth of knowledge on sleeping, feeding, and diapering issues.  We are here to support you along your mothering journey.