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Baby & Youth Diapers Guide

Not all baby diapers are equal. As babies grow, their diaper needs change. The size of your baby, activity level and food consumption will help determine which size and style will work best. Baby diapers will also vary by brands. It’s important to understand these factors when selecting the appropriate diaper. Another consideration is material. Diapers are offered in both cloth and disposable types. Cloth diapers are generally made of wool, cotton or polyester and are washable. Disposable diapers have a plastic backing, stretch wait and legs and tabs to stay secured. Disposable diapers are the more convenient option given the amount of diapers babies go through.  


Babies ages 0-1 month are considered newborns and range in weight from 1-14 pounds. Diapers for newborns range from preemie (P) to size 1. According to popular brands such as Huggies®, diapers are sized based on baby’s weight. Preemie diapers (P), are for babies 1-5 pounds, newborn diapers (N) are for babies 6-9 pounds and size 1 diapers are for babies 8-14 pounds. Due to the small amount of nutritional intake, newborns generally create small messes but are changed pretty frequently. On average, Newborns go through approximately 50-70 diapers a week. Because of this, a heavy absorbency diaper isn’t a priority. Instead of absorbency due to frequent changes and eating, parents may want to focus on a diaper that is stretchy to accommodate the rapid growth of an infant. Some diapers are also available with options such as a cut out for the umbilical cord care.  


Babies aging 5-9 months are generally eating solid foods in addition to milk or formula. This results in messier diapers than the previous stage of life. It is important to select diapers based on size and absorbency, especially at night. A good fit so there are no leaks is vital to avoid discomfort to the baby. Parents might want to consider heavy absorbency diapers, overnight or night-time diapers for night use because of increase food consumption and longer sleeping patterns. Babies at this stage are generally in size 2 (12-18 pounds) or size 3 (16-28 pounds).  


Babies aging 12-24 months are considered toddlers and are generally on the move, whether crawling, walking or running. Because of increase movement, diapers that are flexible and stretch are important. A comfortable and good fit is crucial to help avoid diaper rash. Babies might be eating more at this stage and a heavy absorbent diaper is recommended, especially at night time. General sizing for this age group include size 3 (16-28 pounds), size 4 (22-37 pounds), size 5 (up to 27 pounds) and size 6 (up to 35 pounds).  


Graduating from toddlers, preschoolers age from 24 months to 4years old. Parents generally start potty training at this stage. In the beginning stages of potty training, preschoolers still may wear diapers and gradually switch to training pants or diapers. Many training pants brands offer colorful designs to help appeal more to children in a fun way. Some companies also try to mimic the look of children’s underwear to help make the transition easier. Training pants are also sized by weight and sometimes by gender. Common sizes according to Pull-Ups® are 2T-3T (18-34 pounds), 3T-4T(32-40 pounds) and 4T-5T (38-50 pounds) and are available specific to gender.  

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