Best Baby Diapers
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diapers for sensitive skin

Cloth Diapers Cloth diapers are usually made from absorbent fabrics: Cotton fleece, terry (like towels, but softer), flannel (similar to the material used in flannel sheets and pajamas, but denser and thicker), and unbleached hemp, wool and/or other materials. Flannel is the softest against the skin and the most absorbent. Organic cotton cloth and eco-friendly diapers made from bamboo are widely available, but you’ll pay more for them compared with non-organic cotton. A dozen white or unbleached medium diapers from Green Mountain Diapers costs about $32. A dozen of the same size in organic cotton cost $36. Bummis offers a starter kit of organic diapers that comes with, among other things, cotton pre-fold inserts, five reusable fleece liners, and flushable Bio-Soft liners. The kit also includes 24 infant-size diapers or 18 baby-size diapers. It retails for $170 best diapers for sensitive skin. Many parents cite environmental concerns when they choose cloth diapers since one child can contribute thousands of disposable diapers to the local landfill before they are potty-trained. Of course, using “flushable” diaper inserts with your cloth diaper also adds to the sewage waste stream. But cloth can also make sense from an economic standpoint (see Cloth vs. Disposables for more information). Standard cloth diapers can cost $16 to $24 depending on the brand, size, and features. An “all-in-one” infant cloth diaper from Kushies for babies 10 to 22 pounds, for example, sells for about $16. A cloth diaper from BumGenius that comes with two inserts (one for an infant and one for a toddler) retails for about $18. They fit babies 7 to 35 pounds. Another example is the Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit One Size Cloth Diaper, which can be used with a baby from 8 to 35 pounds by adjusting the rise of the diaper using snaps on the front. It retails for $24 at online stores, uses Velcro closures, and comes with an absorbent liner insert. Some cloth diapers have inserts that you wash and reuse, and others have liners that can be tossed. A pack of flushable liners by Kushies (also labeled as biodegradable) comes in a pack of 100 for about $10, for example. Fully washable diapers tend to be less expensive to maintain than those that need disposable inserts. Some cloth diapering systems can be used with a variety of inserts—ones you can wash, ones you can flush, and some you can compost. You might need to wash organic cotton and bamboo diapers several times to enhance their absorbency before your baby wears them, so check the care instructions. There are five types of cloth diapers to choose from. With the first three diaper types, you’ll also need to use waterproof pants. All-in-One Diapers These are a variation on pocket diapers in which the diaper is sewn to the outer waterproof cover (you still fold the diaper into the pocket). Bummis Easy-Fit Diaper is an example. They’re convenient for quick changes on the go and, with an extra diaper inside, can work well overnight. But they’re bulky and thick, so they might need more time in the dryer after laundering. Some are one size; instead of buying larger sizes as your baby grows, you simply secure the front flaps on the outer snaps as your baby gets bigger. Fitted or Contour Diapers These are shaped more like disposables, with a narrow crotch and wide wings that wrap around a baby’s waist. Some require diaper fasteners, but others are fastened with Velcro. Still others have snaps, like the Baby BeeHinds one-size hemp fitted diaper. Some fitted diapers have elastic at the waist and legs, and a more absorbent layer in the center. With contour diapers, you have to buy different sizes as your baby grows. Pocket Diapers Pocket diapers, such as Kushies, consist of a waterproof covering that includes a pocket into that you insert a folded diaper or a disposable or washable liner. Velcro fasteners or several rows of snaps (for different fits) keep the covering closed. The outer cover comes in a range of sizes. Pre-Folded Diapers These are also rectangular but not nearly as big as unfolded diapers, so some parents find them easier to use. They require you to fold them once or twice to fit inside a waterproof diaper cover. But they can be versatile; depending on how you fold them, they can be adapted to accommodate the different absorption needs of boys and girls, or the less-solid waste of a newborn. You’ll need to buy a different size diaper and diaper cover as your baby grows. The Green Mountain Pre-fold diapers, for example, come in Newborn, Small, Medium, Large and XL-Toddler. Pre-folded diapers are most commonly used by diaper services. They typically come with folding instructions that differ for boys and girls. Unfolded Diapers These are rectangles of flat fabric that you fold to fit your baby’s shape, holding them in place with diaper pins or a Snappi diaper fastener (a pinless diaper fastener with T-shaped grips on each end that hook into diaper fabric) in three places (the left and right sides, and the center). Unfolded diapers can also be folded and placed inside a Velcro or snap-closing waterproof cover, which you’ll have to buy in different sizes as your baby grows.

Features

Cloth diapers are easy to use, but some parents find them less convenient than disposables because they have to be washed. When shopping for either type, look for features that improve fit, comfort, and absorbency. Fasteners The type of fastener varies from brand to brand. Most now have Velcro fasteners, which, unlike tape, don’t lose their sticking power when they come in contact with baby creams or powders, or when you make adjustments. Contoured Fit Many diaper brands have elastic around the waist and legs to help prevent leaks. Lotion Some disposable diapers have petroleum-based lotions in the liner, and some are scented with light fragrance. The lotion is meant to lubricate the skin and protect baby’s bottom. Ilona J. Frieden, M.D., director of pediatric dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital, says the lotions “may be helpful, but as with any additional substance there might be a small number of infants who are either irritated by, or allergic to, the substances added.” “The same can be said of fragrances,” she adds, “except they are really there for the benefit of parents rather than infants, and so don’t really serve a very good purpose. But true allergic reactions to fragrances in this age group are very rare.” Frieden says that fragrance is not something parents need to avoid, but that scented diapers “are certainly not needed.” Stretch Sides These sides help the diaper to do a better job of molding to a baby’s body, which can help stop leaks. Diapers with stretch sides can be more comfortable, too. This feature is found on disposable diapers and on waterproof cloth diaper covers and all-in-one cloth diaper styles. Ultra-Absorbent Core Most disposable diapers have materials in the crotch padding that enhance absorbency. Wetness Indicator Some diapers, such as Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive, have a wetness indicator that lets you know your baby needs a change. Cutout (for Newborns) Newborn sizes of many brands of disposable diapers have a curved front or cutout to avoid irritating the still-healing navel area. Some parents just fold a regular diaper down until the area fully heals. Fashion and Style You’ll find plenty of diapers specifically for boys or girls, and not just because of where the most absorbency is placed in the diaper. Some manufacturers offer cartoon characters or patterns printed on diapers that are geared toward one gender or the other. You’ll also see manufacturers offering “limited edition” prints and patterns, such as Huggies, which has offered a limited edition diaper in a “blue jeans” style.

Brands

Disposable In addition to the major national brands of disposable diapers outlined below, there are also many store brands, including but not limited to the following: Stop & Shop’s Cottontails, Costco’s Kirkland Signature, Target’s Up & Up, Walmart’s Parent Choice, and Kmart’s Little Ones.