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Before You Buy Disposable Diapers for Baby


Mother changing baby's diaper
Science Photo Library - RUTH JENKINSON/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Diapers are one baby product that no parent can live without. If you plan to use disposable diapers for your baby, this quick guide to diaper buying will help you bring home the right types of diapers for your baby and your budget.

Start With Small Diaper Purchases

It's tempting to buy several cases of diapers if you find them at a good price, but if you're buying for a newborn, or stocking up for a baby that hasn't yet been born, you shouldn't buy too many diapers in the same size. Most newborns don't stay in the same diaper size for very long, so you could end up with lots of tiny diapers and a not so tiny baby. Some babies never even need newborn size diapers, so if you're going to buy the tiniest size, you may want to just buy one pack until you know how big your baby is at birth.


    Newborn Diapers - With or Without Cord Cut-Out?

    Some newborn size diapers come with a space cut out of the front so that the diaper won't irritate the spot where baby's umbilical cord was cut. This is a nice feature, but if you don't have this type of diaper or don't want to spend extra money just for that missing piece of diaper, you can simply fold down the front of baby's diaper just a bit until the cord stump has healed. You can also be crafty and cut the proper shape out of the diaper on your own.


      What's the Best Disposable Diaper Brand?

      Diaper brands are tricky, because every diaper is designed to be just a little bit different than a competitor's diaper. This is good, because it means there's a diaper to fit almost any baby. However, it also means that you may have to try several different brands before you find the disposable diaper brand that works best for your baby. How will you know if the brand isn't working for baby? Common problems include leaking at the legs, leaking up the back, and leaking from everywhere at once. Some brands may irritate your baby's skin. Again, buying just one pack to try is wise until you find the right diaper.


      Are Store-Brand Disposable Diapers OK?

      Many new parents are hesitant to try less expensive diaper brands or store brands because they're afraid the cheap diapers will leak readily. For some cheap diaper brands, that's true. However, if you're on a budget, I'd suggest that you try some of the less expensive brands anyway. Luvs is one inexpensive diaper that gets consistently high ratings from parents, as is the WalMart store brand, White Cloud.


      Boys and Girls Diapers, Crawling and Walking Diapers

      Some disposable diaper manufacturers make several different styles of diapers that are designed to work better for boys or girls, or for newborns, crawling babies or walking babies. These specialty diapers usually have more absorbency in the areas that are most likely to leak. Generally, these diapers are more expensive than other brands and styles, but using coupons or watching for sales can bring the price closer to average. Trial and error is the only way to know if these specialty diapers are the best fit for your baby.


        Soft Covers and Re-Closable Tabs

        If you haven't seen a disposable diaper for a while, you may be surprised to find that diapers are no longer the crunchy-sounding, plastic-covered monstrosities of the past. Most disposable diapers now have a softer, waterproof cover that feels more like cloth than plastic. It's possible nowadays to check a diaper without completely tearing it apart, too, thanks to smooth plastic tabs or softer hook and loop tabs. Some cheaper diaper brands still offer plastic-covered diapers if you're a traditionalist in this area, but these are becoming hard to find.


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