How to choose diapers for a baby


Updated: 25.01.2021 17:01:36

It is not enough to know the size of the diaper and its weight in order to choose the best “protection” for the baby. You also need to take into account the type of diaper, material, gender of the child and other important details – which ones, you will learn in this article.


  1. Standard disposable diapers
  2. Panties-diapers
  3. Night diapers
  4. Cloth reusable diapers
  5. Swim diapers
  6. How to choose a diaper size
  7. What to look for when buying a diaper

Types of diapers

Standard disposable diapers

types of diapers

This is the most popular type of underwear for children. In the first months after birth, a baby may need 6 to 12 diapers per day, at least 186 diapers per month. Over time, this number decreases, and the baby needs 3-10 diapers every 24 hours. Therefore, most parents prefer disposable models that do not need to be washed or ironed.

These diapers are usually made from cellulose. They fit snugly to the body of the baby due to special Velcro fasteners or elastic bands and allow the child to move freely, protecting against leakage. Models with reusable fasteners should be preferred so that you can check the dryness of the diaper and refasten it.

Disposable diapers consist of three layers:

  1. The inner layer. Lets moisture through but stays dry. Sometimes a special cream is applied to it, which protects the baby’s skin from irritation.
  2. middle layer. Consists of materials that turn into a gel when wet. It accumulates the secretions of the baby.
  3. outer layer. Prevents fluid from escaping the diaper.

Some diapers have a filling indicator. It turns into a different color after the baby has done its business.

Newborn diapers often have a notch for the navel to avoid chafing the umbilical ring. Usually they are designed for 2-5 kilogram babies. Sometimes mothers have to fold the diaper themselves so that it does not touch the healing navel.


  • After use, they are easily folded with Velcro. Some models have a special fixing tape that helps roll up the diaper.
  • The skin of the baby remains dry even after he went to the toilet. Some models absorb baby’s loose stools.
  • A fresh diaper is almost invisible under clothes.
  • Compact and lightweight (a dry diaper weighs 30–40 g), it takes up little space in a purse or stroller.


  • Price. Due to the fact that you need a lot of diapers, buying disposable models is “expensive”.
  • Some diaper fillers clump when wet.
  • A child may develop an allergy to a certain brand of diapers.
  • It is not recommended to use for premature babies, as well as for babies with dermatitis, exudative diathesis, fever and high temperature.
  • Negatively affect the environment. To create disposable diapers for a baby (for the entire period of use), about 4-5 trees are needed. In addition, it can take 200-500 years for a single diaper to decompose naturally.

It is believed that the constant use of disposable models can lead to overheating of the child’s genitals. But research scientists have shown that the temperature under a wet reusable diaper is higher than under a disposable diaper.


panty diapers

Disposable diaper panties are used for potty training a baby. Most suitable for crawling babies and children who have begun to walk. They are less absorbent. Due to this, the baby feels moisture and discomfort. This helps him respond correctly to natural urges and allows him to sit on the potty faster.

Panties have the same pros and cons as standard disposable diapers. But they also have their own characteristics.


  • Compared to standard Velcro models, they are easier to remove or put on a child.
  • They help to avoid “trouble” if the baby did not have time to run to the potty.
  • Do not slip and do not put pressure on the tummy.
  • Suitable for active and restless kids.


  • Less absorbent. They run more often than usual.
  • It is not necessary to remove diaper panties through the legs (there is a risk of smearing both the child and surrounding objects). They are torn at the side seam.

Night diapers

Night diapers

Night diapers are disposable and reusable. Disposable models have more absorbent layer, due to which one diaper lasts all night. They are larger and thicker than standard ones. And reusable liners absorb more moisture than regular ones.

There are also models of disposable night diapers that are designed for children from 3 to 15 years old suffering from enuresis. They are thinner than usual, do not rustle under clothes. Therefore, the child does not worry that someone will find out his “secret”.


  • A child can drink a lot of water at night, but mom does not have to get up and change a diaper three times a night.
  • Helps children with urinary incontinence to get rid of the shame associated with the disease.


  • Suitable for night use only.

Cloth reusable diapers

reusable nappies

Reusable diapers usually consist of a fabric base (panties) and absorbent liners. The inner layer is made of natural materials with high permeability. Often made from microfiber or cotton. Inserts can be disposable and reusable. Diapers are on the buttons and Velcro.

These products are designed for repeated washing in manual and automatic mode. They must be washed after each bowel movement of the child.


  • Price. It is cheaper to buy a batch of reusable diapers and liners than to buy disposable models for several years, even with the cost of detergents.
  • Can be used for multiple children.
  • They pass air well.
  • Do not cause an allergic reaction.
  • Environmentally friendly product. Easily disposed of.


  • Needs to be changed often.
  • It is inconvenient to use on the road and away.
  • They need to be washed, and some need to be ironed.
  • A child may develop diaper dermatitis if diapers are not changed on time.
  • They leak and get off if the baby is active.
  • They look bulky on a child. Hard to hide under clothes.

Swim diapers

Swim diapers

The outer layer of swim diapers keeps water out and baby’s feces out. This type of underwear does not have Velcro fasteners, but is kept on elastic bands, tightly wrapping around the tummy and legs. Therefore, being in the water, the baby does not lose his clothes.

Swim diapers are disposable and reusable. All models are soft to the touch and do not harm the baby’s skin. They do not swell in water and do not rub the legs. Sometimes disposable products are used twice. To do this, you need to squeeze out the water, dry it, and the diapers will be as good as new.


  • Suitable for use in open water and pools.
  • Can be used for children weighing 3-18 kg.
  • Easy to take off and put on.


  • Not intended for everyday wear.

Diapers for boys and girls

There are models designed only for boys or girls. They are associated with the structural features of the genitourinary system of the child. In diapers for boys, the absorbent layer is located in the front of the product, and for girls – in the middle of the model. There are also universal products in which the absorbent gel is evenly distributed throughout the product.

How to choose a diaper size

diaper size

The size of the product can be determined by the weight of the baby. Correspondence of the sizes and weight category of the baby should be indicated on the package. Manufacturers often use the following system:

  1. “0” size or SSS (1-3 kg);
  2. “1” or SS (2-5 kg);
  3. “2” or S (3–7 kg);
  4. “3” or M (5–10 kg);
  5. “4” or L (9–18 kg);
  6. “5” or “Big” (15–25 kg);
  7. “6” (16–35 kg);
  8. “7” (more than 19 kg), up to 9 years.

What to look for when buying a diaper

diaper selection

Before you buy diapers for the future, which you have not used before, take a few pieces or a small package “for testing”. Finding the right size can only be done by experience. For example, if the baby is thin and tall, a smaller diaper size than what you calculate from the manufacturer’s table may be suitable for him. When the weight of the crumbs corresponds to the upper limit of the weight indicated by the manufacturer, it is time to move on to the next size.

Remember, that:

  1. The diaper should not pinch the legs and tummy of the baby.
  2. It is necessary to use diapers made of breathable fabrics and avoid polyethylene in the composition. This will help reduce the likelihood of diaper rash and allergies.
  3. You can not use expired goods, because. they lose their effectiveness.
  4. Choose products from trusted manufacturers. Diapers must pass quality and safety control.

If the product starts to leak, then:

  1. It’s time to move up to a larger size;
  2. The diaper is incorrectly put on;
  3. The product is too big.


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Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.


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