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Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry

New mums and dads get to make exciting decisions for their little ones. They discuss a whole bunch of topics before their baby is born:

where will they find the best pram, the best car seat, the best walker, the best blanket, the best shoes, the best toys… All of these are very reasonable discussions to have, of course!

But what about choosing the best diapers? Selecting the right diaper for your baby’s bottom is just as vital as picking out the most comfortable cot or the most snuggly socks.

People assume that all diapers do the same job so there won’t be any particular difference between the variety of brands on offer – cheap and cheerful will do the trick, won’t it?

The truth is that deciding on a diaper for your baby will affect all sorts of things, including their physical movement, quality of sleep, general comfort and overall cleanliness.

As everyone knows, babies have super sensitive skin and very tiny tummies – meaning you should expect lots of wet diapers, especially for the first few months! Keeping babies in comfy top-quality diapers will keep them calm, content, clean and comfortable.

A weak diaper could result in nappy rash, soiled clothing, stinging skin or disturbed sleep (and we all know that sleep is already a luxury in the land of parents – even an extra minute of snoozing will be greatly appreciated!).

Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry

Diapers range from fancy designer brands to simple supermarket alternatives, so what product should YOU choose?

Well, you don’t even need to be a parent to have heard about one of the biggest names in the baby industry: Pampers! In the same way that Coca-Cola is known as the face of sodas and Barbie is known as the face of dolls, Pampers are now synonymous with the word “diapers” all over the world.

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With celebrity endorsements and an international presence, Pampers are leading the diaper market with heaps of coolness and confidence.

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Pampers have created a wide range of diapers. Here, we will be taking a good look at two leading diaper brands by this baby industry giant: Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry. To help you decide between these two products, we’ll look at the great and the not-so-great features of both products and determine which diaper will be the best option for your little one!

More: Pampers Cruisers vs Swaddlers


Absorbency refers to the diaper’s strength of absorption – how much wetness can the diaper take before it is time to change into a fresh one? No parent wants to be changing diapers every hour, right? That would take up a huge amount of time, effort, money and sanity!

More importantly, is the diaper resilient against leaks? If a nappy cannot hold back the moisture, the diaper will leak and soak your baby before you can even say: “Not again!”

Pampers Baby Dry and Pampers Swaddlers both promise 12 hours of dryness, which automatically makes them two top contenders for the best overnight nappies. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Every parent knows that the only way they can recharge themselves for their baby’s adventures is if their child is able to sleep for at least a couple of hours in peace! Undisturbed sleep is also very important because this is the main time when a baby’s brain can grow and develop.

Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry

Pampers Swaddlers use Dry Max technology, which is just an absorbent gel inside the diaper lining that sucks up moisture. It is much more efficient at absorbing dampness than fluffy pulp, which is commonly used in cheaper regular nappies.

Swaddlers also have extra Absorb Channels to distribute wetness evenly. This helps to avoid those pesky wet spots that can lead to nappy rashes and interrupted sleep. This feature also plays a part in postponing the need for regular diaper changes – this is really useful for longer naps or when you’re away from home.

Pampers Baby Dry have the same Absorb Channels but these diapers go one step further with three layers for absorbency. This triple-layer system pulls liquid away from your baby’s skin and allows more space for moisture to spread.

Most diapers are made up of two main layers so this extra layer in Baby Dry diapers makes a huge difference for baby (clean diaper) AND for you (less changing)!

One thing to consider is that the promise of 12 hours of dryness is much more relevant to your baby sleeping at night. During the day, a child will be drinking regular fluids and is likely to use their diaper a lot more than they do at night. Unfortunately, this means you will never get 12 hours of dryness during the day with either brand!

However, Baby Dry diapers will offer your baby a longer and dryer sleep, meaning that there’s much less chance of the diaper needing to be changed during the night – oh, can you hear all those parents sighing in relief?

More: Similac Sensitive Vs Enfamil Gentlease


Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry both have color-changing wetness indicators to remind you when baby needs a change and to help you in those early days of regular wet diapers. The yellow indicator line turns to blue when your baby has really wet their nappy.

Swaddlers have these indicators on newborn and size 1 diapers, while Baby Dry use wetness indicators on newborn, size 1 and size 2 diapers – which makes them very useful for slightly bigger babies!

Also, Swaddlers diapers’ indicators tend to change color a bit faster than Baby Dry, even if the diaper is not totally wet. This is probably because Baby Dry diapers are stronger and just a little larger than Swaddlers.


A nappy should be made of soft material that allows baby to roll, wriggle and run with ease. The same way you love your favorite pair of silky pants or that cozy cotton t-shirt, your baby will love a diaper that feels weightless and smooth.

Pampers advertise Swaddlers as “the softest Pampers diaper” – that statement probably says it all! Is there even any need to elaborate?

The reason for Swaddlers softness is that they were actually created with very delicate newborns in mind. In fact, the word “swaddling” means to wrap a baby up and cuddle them with soft blankets.

Imagine that and you’ll have an idea of how gentle Swaddlers diapers feel on baby skin. Pampers also describe Swaddlers as a great choice for babies in hospitals, further highlighting just how cozy they feel for sensitive newborn skin.

Swaddlers diapers also have super stretchy sides that allow your baby to move around easily. The softness makes sure that the baby doesn’t feel itchy or constricted while the easy-close tabs are smooth but strong – no danger of the diaper slipping off while the baby is midway through a pee!

Although Swaddlers are the softest diapers made by Pampers, they may feel a little bulky around your child’s thighs. While Swaddlers are super comfy, the bulky design makes them a little too heavy for smaller babies and lighter sleepers.

Pampers Baby Dry diapers also feel like soft cotton on your baby’s bottom with the same flexible stretchy sides and strong tabs.

They are also breathable and light – air will circulate around your baby’s skin easily at all times, whether you’re enjoying a hot summer day at the park or a cozy winter nap in bed. Baby Dry diapers are also less bulky than Swaddlers, which means they provide a snug fit that won’t annoy your baby or disturb their naps.

Baby Dry diapers were created mostly for slightly older babies, so they do not have a soft inner mesh layer like the Swaddlers. The mesh lining creates a layer of separation between your baby’s bottom and their looser stools.

It makes sense that Baby Dry diapers do not have this addition as older babies include solid foods in their diet while little babies tend to pee a lot more because of all the milk they drink! This means that younger children would benefit more from the mesh feature.


Diaper sizing is really important and must accommodate children of all shapes and sizes. Not every baby is the same and not every baby starts on standard newborn sized diapers. Luckily, both Swaddlers and Baby Dry are available in sizes newborn, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

However, neither size offers a premature ‘tiny baby’ version, which can be found in other diaper brands. Many supermarket alternatives also offer premature baby sizes so it is disappointing that a huge household name like Pampers missed the mark here. If your baby is premature or smaller than average, both of these brands may be a little too loose.


Newborn sized nappies need extra care when it comes to their design because many newborns will have their umbilical cord stump attached for a few days after their birth.

Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry both have a smooth round cut-out in the upper part of the diaper’s front. This cut-out creates a neat space for the stump and helps to keep it clean and dry, which is extremely important for the stump’s healing process.

Swaddlers and Baby Dry both offer this cut-out in newborn, 1 and 2 sized diapers. This is again really helpful for parents with slightly larger newborns!


A good diaper has the ability to mask bad smells for as long as possible – preferably long enough to pick up your baby in super-fast mode and change them in privacy! Nobody likes changing a smelly diaper in the middle of a public gathering (although your child’s adorable smile will be a great distraction).

Pampers Swaddlers are great at masking light odors but they are more suited for smaller babies who are much less likely to produce foul-smelling diapers in the first place.

This is because their diet mainly consists of milk. Once babies start eating solids and moving on from their regular milk, their diapers and smells will get a lot harder to deal with – sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s true!

Pampers Baby Dry diapers feel stronger than Swaddlers and are more effective at dealing with stronger odors. Whether your baby is a milk-guzzling newborn or a carrot-chomping toddler, Baby Dry manages to control the bad smells for a little while longer than Swaddlers.


There is never going to be a standard diaper that works for everyone. Babies are different and naturally, their needs will also be different. Smaller babies are a little more delicate and more prone to wetter diapers, while older babies need much more flexibility and a stronger product.

Also, parents living in hotter countries might prefer a diaper that can mask bad odors for longer while parents in colder places might opt for lighter diapers that can fit underneath lots of layers of clothing. Your choice of product should depend on what you and your child need and prefer.

Pampers Swaddlers are the perfect diapers for little ones with sensitive skin. Their color-changing wetness indicator, unbeatably soft material, and cozy design will give your baby a snug fit and keep their bottoms clean and rash-free. These are fantastic ‘starter’ diapers in your baby’s gentle early days.

Pampers Baby Dry are strong diapers for older babies. They have better absorption, great odor protection and longer dryness to make sure your baby is comfortable and clean in their bed as well as when they are tumbling all over your floor. These are very useful diapers that will keep an active older child more comfortable while still offering the same excellent protection.

Although neither diaper accommodates premature babies and smaller tots, they both come with some fantastic features.

If you are looking for a delicate ‘first’ diaper for your newborn, Pampers Swaddlers is your best choice. If your baby is past the newborn stage and starting to roll and wriggle and sleep for longer periods, then Pampers Baby Dry is the perfect match for your child.

Monica Lawrence

I’m Monica, a single mother who’s raising two beautiful angels. Here, I share helpful and creative articles and how-to’s for all the busy, multitasking moms.