How To Select Baby Diapers
When it comes to selecting diapers, we have all done our share of research. I tried a number diaper brands over time. The data was compiled into a database, where I then broken it down into various categories. I graded each category as objectively as I could – all based on my own experience and some general themes I heard from other moms. Overall grading criteria was % weighted and calculated based on four categories: health (usage of petrochemicals, chlorine, latex, fragrance),environment (biodegradable), features (absorbency, fit, hypoallergenic), and affordability (price). In the end, only one brand deserved grade A: Seventh Generation. A couple of brands earned acceptable B’s, while the rest of them fell into C and D, or a so-called “stay-away”, category. I hope my short feedback on each of these brands helps you make a more informative decision when it comes to purchasing diapers.
SEVENTH GENERATION DIAPERS (Grade A-)
Seventh Generation diapers is the best brand of diapers I have found. I wouldn’t call them perfect, but they are free of fragrances, petroleum based lotions, and chlorine processing. They are not bio-degradable, but do have more natural ingredients than many other brands. They fit well. We only have leaks on rare occasions with the regular diapers. I tried the overnight diapers and do not recommend those. We had several leaks with the overnight diapers. The regular diapers perform much better at keeping my son dry all night. They are a little more expensive than pampers or HUGGIES, but I feel the difference is worth it knowing I am not putting Bean in something filled with phthalates, petroleum next to the skin (there is a small amount of SAP gel inside the diaper for absorption, but less than Pampers, Huggies and other brands) and chlorine. I save some money by purchasing these diapers from Amazon using my Prime subscription and the Subscribe and Save option.
HONEST DIAPERS (Grade B+) According to their website, Honest diapers are free of chlorine, latex, lotions, fragrances, common allergens, phthalates, fragrances, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT) & harsh petrochemical additives. They are not biodegradable, but are made with approximately 80% plant based ingredients. They fit my son well and have a variety of cute prints. Bean did not have any negative reactions to these diapers. We found them to be absorbent. We had a leak only on rare occasions. I would rate them comparable to 7th Generations Diapers, however they can only be purchased from their web-site and are more expensive than 7th Generation diapers. It is possible to bundle diapers and wipes and have a subscription to Honest diapers, but I still found it more expensive than other brands. One also has to pay shipping and handling.
Diapers main selling points include: no perfume, totally chlorine-free outer cover pulp, no plastic, GM-free based corn film, and leakage barrier distribution layer made of natural material. Be aware that the most recent design runs smaller than advertised and the tightening straps easily break.
HUGGIES DIAPERS (Grade B-)
Known for inexpensiveness, shaped fit; flexibility and long-lasting protection. Be aware of artificial baby fragrances, recent dye (coloring) issues, and unusually high number of leaking complains. I used them occasionally with mixed results as emergency back-ups.
PAMPERS DIAPERS (Grade B-)
One of the most beloved diaper manufacturers, Pampers has a wide variety gentle, hypoallergenic, and ultra-thin diapers. The company claims that 80% of moms recommend Pampers to their friends. When it comes to Swaddlers, most complaints are associated with unusually strong fragrances.
EARTH’S BEST DIAPERS (Grade C-)
Available in seven sizes, made with renewable resources and fewer petro-chemicals to reduce your baby’s environmental footprint. Larger sizes seem to fit better than the newborn stage. Material stiffness and leaking gel are my main concerns for this brand.
LUVS DIAPERS (Grade C-)
Another P&G product, but not as recommended as Pampers. The best feature of this brand is price. Everything else seems to lag completion. Overwhelmingly strong fake powder scent, frequent leakages, and overall poor quality are major contributors for my overall low rating of this brand.
MUNCHKIN DIAPERS (Grade D+)
Arm & Hammer is known for a variety baby products. Diapers might not be their best product so far. Two features that seem to be OK with this brand include: good fit and decent leakage protection. Main complaints: diaper being too stiff, frequently reported skin irritations and poor tape quality.
NURTURED BY NATURE DIAPERS (Grade D+)
Main selling points include: environmentally friendly, chlorine-free, using 20-30% less petroleum-based materials than the leading brands. Chemical smell and frequently reported rush are top two issues with this brand. Until they address rush issues, I would stay away from this one.
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