You have spent months debating strollers, cribs and color palettes for your new little one. Likely you haven’t even thought about diapers. Today it is no longer just a decision between Huggies and Pampers.
The options are endless and can be very overwhelming when you stand in the diaper aisle. If cloth is one of your options, there are many great brands and diaper services but for the purposes of this article we will be discussing overnight disposable diapers. There are many factors to consider and your baby will even have a say.
How Big is the Problem?
The list of needed items for your new baby can be very long. Bottles, receiving blankets, soothers, formula… the list can be endless but there is no other baby item that will impact your daily life as much as diapers.
Conservative estimates state you will spend about $2500 a year on diapers. Disposable diapers can range in price from $0.13/diaper to over $.65/diaper. Cost is only one factor to consider and, in most cases, better does not necessarily mean expensive.
What to Expect
When you bring your newborn home you may wonder how many diapers should you purchase? What kind? What size? Your newborn will have different diaper needs than a three month old. In the first week you may be changing a lot of diapers. Your newborn will take about a week to get into a regular routine for pee and poop.
This is what you can expect in the first week.
Day One – expect 1 wet diaper.
Day Two – expect 2 wet diapers and 1-2 poops. Baby’s poop will be black and tar-like as baby begins to breakdown the extra red blood cells in their body. During pregnancy baby carried all the oxygen they needed in those extra red blood cells.
Now that she is breathing air, she doesn’t need them anymore. This is also the reason most babies have some jaundice, because of the extra work their little livers go through to remove all those cells. Don’t worry, the best treatment for newborn jaundice is lots of fluids.
Day Three – expect 3 wet diapers and 1 poop. The colour will begin to change from black to green in these next days.
Day Four – expect 4 wet diapers and 1 poop.
Day Five – expect 5 wet diapers and 1 poop. The colour will change now depending on the type of food baby is getting. If breastfed, poops will change from green to yellow and looser consistency. If formula, baby poop will move from green to brown with a thicker consistency.
Day Six until 3 months – expect 6-10+ wet diapers and poop frequency will depend on the type of food. If breastfed, expect 1-2 poops per week and if formula, expect 1 poop every day or two.
Check out this great diaper calculator for determining how many and what sizes you may need in the first year.
How Often do You Change?
In the beginning your baby will be eating more often and sleeping for shorter periods of time. In the first weeks you may even find there are times when you go to change baby, but the diaper is empty. Here are few suggestions for when to change and other than that it is at your discretion.
- Just prior to a feeding or just after.
- After baby wakes from a nap.
- After a poop.
- Prior to leaving the house.
- Some diapers have wetness indicators that can tell you when diaper should be changed.
- When diaper feels heavy, full or lumpy.
If this is your first baby likely you may have some questions about how to diaper. Disposable diapers have some extra features that will help.
- Here is a great video for changing a baby girl diaper.
- Here is a great video for changing a baby boy diaper.
Best Overnight Diapers
1. GoodNites Bedtime Bedwetting Underwear
GoodNites – provide night protection for older children with nighttime bed wetting issues. The smallest size is 28 lbs and fit right up until 125 lbs.
They are an underwear-like product the child can pull on easily. The graphics simulate the look of real underwear. In addition to the appearance, GoodNites have odor absorbing action so your child will feel less conspicuous at sleep overs. They have different models for boys and girls.
2. Allnites Overnight Baby Diapers
Allnites Overnight Baby Diapers are an overnight pull up brief for babies and children who sleep through the night. The 12-hour protection and extra absorbent inner core will allow for your child to sleep through to morning without leakage.
Allnites are only available in sizes between 16 lbs and +27 lbs. Allnites have no latex, artificial fragrances, dyes, or chlorine. They have chosen to infuse their diapers with aloe, natural botanical and vitamin E to help protect your child’s skin.
3. HUGGIES Snug & Dry Baby Diapers
Huggies Snug & Dry are for overnight protection from newborn to 36 lbs. Huggies Leak Lock system with 4 layers of protection claims up to 12 hours of protection.
The diapers contain no chlorine, bleach, latex or artificial fragrances. Wetness indicator changes colour when it detects moisture. The Snugfit waistband and 4-point fasteners ensure a snug and comfortable fit.
4. Huggies OverNites Diapers
Huggies OverNites are the next level in protection for 16 lbs to 35 lbs. It is 25% more absorbent than Huggies Snug & Dry. It has double leak guard protection.
The classic Huggies Snugfit and 4-point fasteners are there to ensure proper fit. An embossed inner liner helps move moisture away from baby’s skin and the breathable outer cover keeps moisture in while still allowing air movement.
Huggies is one of the top two diaper providers on the market with a variety of products for your day and night diaper needs from newborn to 125lbs. Huggies has an excellent website with informative articles for moms during pregnancy through to child development. Huggies offers several reward programs.
Huggies runs a very strong donation program called No Baby Unhugged. They supply diapers to families in need. Parents are encouraged to donate their Huggies Points or unused diapers to local food banks to participate.
5. Pampers Baby-Dry Disposable Diapers
Pampers Baby Dry is for newborn to 41 lbs. In the first few sizes, the diaper has a wetness indicator. They boast 12 hours of wetness protection.
The fasteners have some flex so the diaper will move as your baby moves. The cotton like feel is gentle on baby’s skin and allows air circulation.
6. Pampers Swaddlers Overnights Disposable Baby Diapers
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is for baby’s 16 lbs to 36 lbs. I could find no discernable difference between Baby Dry Overnight and Swaddler’s Overnights except for the sizes.
Pampers is one of the two largest diaper providers. It has an amazing website with articles about their products and other parenting information. Pampers has chosen to be upfront about all the ingredients in their products.
This will allow you to extra informed about what is next to your baby’s skin 24 hours a day. They have a reward program that can help you earn coupons, Pampers products and other merchandise.
7. Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Baby Diapers
Bambo Nature does not offer a specific overnight product but state their diapers will cover through the night. Sizes range from newborn to 66 lbs which may allow you to remain with the same company throughout your diapering years.
Bambo nature is an eco-friendly option for disposable diapers. Eco-friendly manufacturing ensures that only sustainable forests are used. The diapers are free of any harmful chemicals and perfumes and are dermatologist tested.
They certify that their diapers are free from allergens, irritants, carcinogens and mutagens. This is a great option if you are worried about skin reaction or have already experienced rashes with other diapers. It has a flex waist and leg to ensure a tight fit. You can contact customer service to request a free sample to try.
8. Luvs Ultra Leakguards Disposable Baby Diapers
Luvs comes in sizes Newborn to 35 lbs. LuvsNightLock Plus boasts greater absorption than the leading brands. It has all the needed fit components with flex fasteners, gathered leg barriers and flex waistband. Luvs is a cost-effective alternative.
9. The Honest Company Overnight Diapers
Honest Overnights comes in sizes Newborn to 35 lbs. They offer eco-friendly and effective overnight protection. Sustainable materials are used in the ultrathin absorbent core. The overnight diaper has faster absorption and a 20% greater capacity than their day diapers.
No chlorine, latex, synthetic fragrances and lotions to bother baby’s skin. The moisture cuffs on legs prevent spillover and the elastic waist provides a snug fit even as baby moves in the night.
10. Sposie Booster Pads Diaper Doubler
Sposie Booster Pads are an insert pad you can add to your regular diapers to make them more absorbent. They are pediatrician and dermatologist tested and contain no synthetic fragrances, latex, and chlorine.
You can position the pads in the front for boys and down low for girls. The company prides itself on being cruelty-free which means no animal testing. These are great for long car trips or if your baby is overflowing their night diaper.
11. Naty by Nature Babycare Eco-Friendly Premium Disposable Diapers
Naty by Nature is another eco-friendly option. Their diapers contain no chlorine, latex, phthalates, VOC’s, dyes, or perfumes. baby’s skin.
Corn starch is used rather than plastic which naturally keeps bacteria and pathogens away from baby’s skin and is breathable. This diaper was created by an ecologically aware mother.
12. Seventh Generation Baby Overnight Diapers
Seventh Generation is a label you may be familiar with if you have used their eco-friendly home product line. If they put as much into their diapers as they did for those products it will be quite a diaper.
They come in size Newborn to 35 lbs. Their diapers contain no bleach, lotion or fragrance. They are FSC certified and utilize sustainable manufacturing practices. They have stretchy side panels to help with fit. They do offer a trial package when you sign up for a subscription.
How do Disposable Diapers Work?
Although there are some minor architectural differences between diapers, all disposable diapers have the same inner technology. They all utilize a product called SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer).
This product looks like sand when dry and then it absorbs moisture. When full it looks like a clear gel. It is possible for diapers to split if too full and the gel will get on everything. You can avoid this by purchasing better quality diapers and changing before they reach capacity.
Despite its ominous name, SAP is what makes the difference between cloth and disposable. It is this gel that will allow nighttime disposable diapers to hold enough liquid to last up to 12 hours. There is no science that shows that this gel has any negative effects on baby, but you would still not want baby to eat the gel.
What are the Concerns About Disposable Diapers?
Baby’s skin – Cloth diapers do the have benefit of being made of cotton and are less irritating to baby’s skin. It is the combination of wet and chemicals in disposable diapers that lead to diaper rash. Look for a diaper that is breathable to allow air circulation.
Some diapers have cotton in them or have a cotton-like feel that can be softer. If you have a baby that has sensitive skin look for products with less chemicals.
Waste – millions of tons of disposable diapers end up in the landfill every year. They take approximately 500 years to decompose in a land fill. Don’t be swayed by products that claim to be biodegradable, they are only biodegradable when exposed to sun and oxygen which is not what they will have in a landfill.
Environmental – disposable diapers pose more than just a landfill issue, if not treated properly they pose a danger to our water sources. What most people do not realize is that the poop from the diaper should be put in the toilet not just wrapped up in the diaper and disposed. This untreated waste can contaminate water supplies..
Benefits of Disposable Diapers
The benefits of disposable diapers are not insignificant.
Hold more waste – disposable diapers are hands down the winners in the battle over absorbency. They can hold and trap more pee and poop than cloth diapers.
Health – because of the technology of disposables the moisture is moved away from baby’s skin this can lead to less rashes.
Environmental – cloth diapers require large amounts of energy and water to clean and sanitize.
More Sleep – if baby is drier, she will sleep longer. Cold wet diapers would wake anyone.
How to Choose a Size
Diapers are sized by weight and not age. Depending on your baby’s birth weight you may not be in Newborn size for long. If your baby is under 8 lbs at birth you may even find that Newborn diapers are a little large. Pampers and Huggies both offer Preemie sizes in smaller packages if you need.
Weight is the best determiner for size. You might know your baby’s weight but if not, you can use your home scale. Stand on the scale, note your weight, then step back on while holding your baby. The difference is your baby’s weight.
Weight is not always a perfect method. When putting your baby’s diaper on, check to see if the legs are too tight or if there are gaps. Too tight will cause irritation and gaps will allow moisture to escape.
Don’t rush to bump up in size. A larger size will have a bigger price per diaper. However, those larger sizes will have greater absorption.
You may also notice a difference when you introduce solids to your baby. They will likely have more or larger poops so you may need to size up.
How to Choose a Brand
There are many things to consider when choosing a brand. Most families find one brand and stick with them. Other families choose based on price. It can be hard to know where to start with so many brands.
I recommend you ask some friends to gift you some of their favorite brand of diapers so you can try. Some companies offer coupons or free samples which can be a risk-free way to test a few different brands.
There is no one perfect diaper. If you look at customer reviews for diapers, you will see die hard fans and strong negative responses. You are the best determiner of the brand that works for your family. Your baby’s skin sensitivities will also play a role.
Factors to consider
Cost – is one major consideration when choosing diapers. Diapers can now be purchased many ways. You might just go to your grocery store and choose from what is available. You can purchase directly from the manufacturer online.
Online stores like Amazon are also great sources. You will find that if you buy in bulk, the price per diaper drops. Now you can even sign up for subscriptions where a set amount of diapers are delivered to your door monthly. Another factor that can affect price is the availability of coupons.
Some manufacturers offer many coupons. For my babies I usually only purchase Huggies because I like the product but also I can always find coupons. Do another price check when you bump up in size.
Baby health – You might have the best priced, most eco-friendly, best designed diaper but your baby can’t wear them. Every child has different responses to diapers. If you tried one brand and baby has diaper rash, check with another brand, you may find it makes a difference. If baby is too sensitive, you may have to pay a little more to get a diaper that has less chemicals.
Environmental Effect – Eco-friendly is the new buzz word in diapers. Although you can not completely eliminate your footprint if you use disposables, there are options that are friendlier than others. I was thrilled to learn Seventh Generation now made diapers.
Their reputation with household products gave me confidence to trust their diapers. There is a continuum with this as well, so I labelled the chart with average environmental effect and above-average if the company reduced their footprint.
Fit/absorbency – Fit is one of the most important factors. Improper fit will lead to leaks and cause irritation. Look for brands that have elastic waists, gathers at the legs, and adjustable tabs. Absorption is probably your greatest concern if you are looking for over night diapers.
It has taken months to get your baby to the stage that they can go 8-10 hours without food, but if a wet diaper wakes them at three in the morning, neither of you are getting a good night’s sleep. Fit will affect absorbency so ensure you have the right size. Some babies pee large amounts at night and so a liner in a night time diaper maybe necessary.