Keeping baby dry and happy is a big challenge daily, so we went in search of the best diaper solution.
A key decision for parents is to choose between the convenience of disposable diapers and the seemingly eco-friendlier cloth diapers. Consider these points:
You can reuse 2 or 3 dozen cloth diapers a year, but the average baby will go through about 2,900 disposables in 12 months!
Laundering cloth diapers uses about 34,000 litres of water per year and energy you wouldn’t otherwise use.
You can cut down energy consumed by washing cloth diapers in cold water and hanging dry.
A cloth diaper service uses about 2/3 less water than washing at home, but you’ll pay for the service.
For disposables, the more you buy, the less you pay per diaper.
Fit is key to baby’s comfort. You should be able to easily get a finger around the thigh area. Make sure it’s doesn’t dig into sensitive skin or get too tight around the abdomen – most disposable diapers allow quite a bit of flexibility.
- Some companies have come out with boy- and girl-specific diapers, claiming more leak control in areas where urine accumulates. The pediatricians we asked say the urine-gender difference is minor and shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
With some willing babies and experienced diaper-changing moms, we tested these four brands of diapers:
- Safeway Store Brand: 0.31¢ per diaper
- Pampers Cruisers: 0.50¢ per diaper
- Seventh Generation: 0.50¢ per diaper
- Huggies: 0.44¢ per diaper
We took our diaper samples to a lab, cut a strip of each, soaked it, and then put it in a device called a centrifuge to force out any “free” water.
- We were very impressed with all the diapers. They held the water and didn’t let out a drop, even at the centrifuge’s warp speed.
None were interested in the scent of the Pampers – a fake sort of baby powder smell.
The fit of the Safeway store brand just didn’t measure up. It was also was the first to sag.
One mom liked the fit of the Huggies best.
Seventh Generation squeaked by the rest in terms of fit, style, and absorption.
OUR TOP PICK
The marginally more environmentally-friendly Seventh Generation took the prize with most of our moms, despite the higher price.