Choosing the right diaper size for your baby and reduce leaks and blowouts

Shopping for diapers can be a confusing experience for first-time parents. There are a dozen brands and they are competitively priced. 

It was the case for us and we spent hours researching about them. In the end, we decided to go for Huggies NB or in some countries, it’s labelled JB. NB and JB stand for newborn and just-born respectively and basically refer to diapers suitable for babies up to 10 pounds or around 4.5 kg in weight. 

Our baby was born 3.215 kg and we left the hospital with her weighing at 3.091 kg. Babies lose a bit of weight after birth but they quickly put it back on. The NB diaper fitted her well until the third week. That was when we discovered her poo kept leaking out from the side and soiling her clothes. I remember constantly washing her clothes…

Ah well, at first, we thought it was due to our inexperience and that we were not using the diaper properly. However, after a few days, we had to admit it was due to her outgrowing the diaper. We were surprised but babies do puff up very fast in the initial weeks.

So here’s our most important tip for you. DO NOT stock up on diapers. You may worry about running out of diapers and hence decided to stock up while taking advantage of the bulk purchase discount but imagine a few bags of diapers that cannot be used! Eventually you either have to discard or donate them to others. That would be a waste of money. Our advice is to just get a bag of diapers which usually consist of 40-50 pieces. That will be able to see you through for the first few days.

A newborn may consume diapers much faster because they can’t really control their bowels. On average, expect to use up 10-12 pieces per day for the first two weeks. Then it should taper off and hover around 6-7 pieces per day. The guideline for diaper change is usually just before/after each feeding. Thus, if baby is feeding once every 2-3 hours, you will need to change up to 8-12 times per day. So don’t worry about not being good at diaper change…you will get lots of practice. 

The bright side of things is that this onslaught of diaper change is usually for the first month. From the second month onwards, it will become less frequent especially if your baby is sleeping soundly throughout the night. From then on, you probably need to change only six times per day. Please note that these numbers are from our personal experience and provide a reference but not a definitive guide.

Although we started with Huggies, we switched to Pampers upon upgrading the size to M at 3 weeks old. This came about because while testing out samples from Pampers, we found it provided a more comfortable fit for our baby. It covers her entire bottom well, is tight fitting yet not too restrictive. Our baby adjusted to the switch well, and we have been using Pampers ever since. 

Again, it wasn’t too long before our baby outgrew the M size and we were thankful we didn’t buy bags of it. In fact, we only bought one bag of M size Pampers before upgrading to the L size. Normally, the M size (suitable for 6-11 kg baby) will last for the longest time until the baby hits 7 – 8 months old. However, this was not the case with our baby who started using L size even when she is just about 5 kg. An overkill? Well, it really depends. L seems to be the new M for our baby.

Are we saying the sizing chart on Pampers are inaccurate? 

We think the sizing chart is a rough guide and parents have to monitor the performance and adjust accordingly. As such, it is probably not a good idea to stock up too much on any one particular size. This will give you the flexibility to switch to a bigger size if need to. 

Check out the Pampers Baby Dry Disposable Diapers for Newborn. It’s economical and at 104 pieces, you have enough supply for a good 9 – 10 days before you need to replenish.

Lastly, there is also a growing trend of organic cloth diaper. Made of 100% cotton and washable, it is environment friendly and you can use it over and over again. However, a single piece can set you back by $20-30 and you can’t use it once your baby outgrows the size. This is definitely a heftier investment and if you are keen to explore, here’s a link to organic diaper by Thirstiesbaby (USA).

Conclusion

There are many diaper brands out there on the market. Which one you choose is probably a matter of branding preference encouraged by your friends. The important (more crucial) point to note is not to overbuy any of the sizes, especially for the first few weeks. Babies sprout up rapidly and you won’t want to be left with bags of unused diapers. 

Do you have a question for us? Let us know in the comments, and we can get back to you. If you are a parent, share your experience with us, and do share this article!