Diaper Buying Guide

A dry baby is a happy baby, but keeping baby dry can require up to 10 changes a day. This diaper buying guide outlines various types and features to help you find the right diapers for you and your baby.

Diapers 101: Cloth vs. Disposable

Cloth vs. disposable is a question that all new parents need to address. Disposable diapers are more convenient but tend to be more expensive over time. Cloth is less costly and more environmentally friendly, but also more work. Regardless of your choice, you’ll still need to consider factors like fit, absorbency and ease of use. Diaper changing is a big part of early childhood so finding the right solution is important. Just remember, a little trial-and-error along the way is expected.   

Types of Diapers


Disposable Diapers

Breathable with moisture-resisting comfort, disposable diapers feature super-absorbent gel cores that hold a large amount of fluid without becoming saturated. This means they don't need to be changed as frequently as cloth diapers. Some feature added moisturizer, antibacterial agents, or aloe in the liners. Many styles have elastic around the legs to prevent leaks, and others offer different absorbency options for daytime and nighttime. There is a disposable diaper for every stage of baby development; from newborn, to crawling and walking, to pull-ups for toddlers as they prepare for potty training. A convenient choice for travel, these diapers can be disposed of easily vs. storing in a diaper bag.

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are made of washable, reusable fabrics such as microfibre, cotton, terry cloth, flannel, or hemp. They’ve also come a long way from the fold-and-pin style of the past. Today, cloth diapers can be found in different styles such as pocket, fitted, and all-in-ones. These feature easy snaps and closures to make them adjustable for comfort, and removable linings for added convenience. The prefold style is the least expensive, but they do require a waterproof outer cover. Prefolds can be closed in the traditional wrap method, or with diaper pins or a snappy. Some babies prefer the softness of cloth diapers over disposable diapers. And some types come in baby-skin-friendly organic styles that are free of dyes and chemicals. Cloth diapers do, however, tend to be less absorbent and will require more frequent changing to keep baby dry. With up 10 changes per day, you should have about three-dozen cloth diapers on hand. This will cover a three-day wash cycle with a few extras in reserve.  

Cloth Training Pants

Training pants are a type of cloth (reusable) diaper designed for toddlers who are potty training. The key advantage to training pants is that unlike disposable pants, they allow your baby to feel the wetness of an accident. Training pants come in fun colours and allow your child to feel like they’re wearing underwear, while providing some wetness protection. The number of training pants you’ll need depends on your child’s development stage. Many parents purchase 6 to 8 trainers, but if your child is transitioning out of diapers you may only need 2-4 pairs. Once they become soiled you would just switch over to diapers for the rest of the day.  

Potty Training Diapers

These diapers are similar to disposable diapers, but are designed to pull on and pull off like underwear. This allows a toddler in training to wear a diaper that feels and acts like underwear without having to worry about an accident. These ‘diaper underpants’ also come with popular character prints for boys and girls to make the potty training process more appealing. 

Diapers for Swimming

Made specifically for little swimmers, these disposable diapers keep accidents in but won’t swell with water, allowing your child to have fun in the pool without getting water logged. If your baby wears a normal disposable diaper in the pool it will soak in all the water and make your baby feel uncomfortable. 

Overnight Diapers

Diapers specifically designed for bedtime are available for the older baby who is sleeping through the night but isn’t toilet trained yet. They are the most absorbent diapers and can offer up to 12 hours of wetness protection. 

Diaper Buying Tips

  • Buying in bulk will save money, but babies grow quickly so don’t overdo it
  •  Different brands have different features and fits; try a few brands to see which are the best for your child
  • To prepare for your newborn have at least 10 diapers on hand per day for the first month or so
  • Stock up on baby wipes

Diaper Features

Cloth Diaper Inserts and Liners +

After you buy the cloth diaper ‘wrap’ or outer layer, you’ll need to buy inserts or liners. These help keep your baby’s skin drier. You still have to wash the diaper after soiling, but the liner makes for a much easier cleanup. Inserts and liners come in different absorbencies and sizes to suit your baby’s needs. They can also be purchased in both disposable and reusable styles, and come in bulk formats to save time and money.

Customized Fit +

Some types of diapers are designed specifically to fit your child’s size and/or age. For example, you’ll find diapers for newborns that have softer cotton lining and cut outs to allow space for the healing umbilical cord area. There are also a variety of diapers types designed to accommodate different stages of your child’s development including crawling, standing, and walking.

Fasteners +

The most popular fastener is Velcro or a Velcro-type material. This type of fastener allows for quick diaper checks because the Velcro is so easy to open and close.

Contoured Fit +

A contoured fit helps prevent leaks, especially for babies on the move. Contour fit diapers will usually gather around the leg and feature snug elasticized backs to make sure nothing leaks out. The type of fit will depend on the age and developmental stage of your baby.

Wetness Indicator +

Many diapers now have a wetness indicator. This is a coloured shape or picture that becomes noticeable once your baby’s diaper is wet. This helpful feature allows you to change your baby as soon as a change is needed.

Leak Lock or Leak Proof +

These diapers use special fabrics and diaper linings to keep leaks in and moisture away from your baby’s bottom.

Sensitive or Organic +

Most major brands now have an organic or sensitive diaper option. Essentially this means that the diaper has less exposure to chemicals, fragrance, dyes and anything that might irritate your baby. The sensitive or organic options are great for newborns and also children with sensitive skin or diaper rashes.

Shop Accessories & Related Products

Cloth Diaper Maintenance Tips

  • Wash all cloth diapers before wear to remove any impurities, dirt or chemicals
  • Natural fibres like hemp, cotton and bamboo require several hot water washes to remove their natural oils before they become fully absorbent
  • Rinse cloth diapers with diaper spray before putting in the diaper pail
  • Schedule wash days every 2-3 days to avoid daily laundering
  • Consider doing a prewash with very dirty diapers
  • Sun bleaching is great for stained diapers
  • Insert a deodorizer in your cloth diaper pail to promote freshness

How Many Diapers Do I Need for my Newborn?

When buying diapers in preparation for the arrival of your newborn, it can be hard to guess how many you’ll need. Most experts suggest estimating that your baby will use 8-10 diapers per day for the first six weeks or so. Experienced moms know that you should get enough for the first few weeks, about 200 diapers. However, don’t buy too many of the newborn size because babies grow quickly, and some babies won’t even fit into the newborn size at birth.

Did you know?

The average baby uses just under 3,000 diapers in the first year. Consider your daily workload and the cost of diapers when deciding between disposable or cloth diapers.
Diaper “Nappy’ cakes were invented by a mom shortly after her baby was born. Nappy cakes are now one of the most popular baby shower gifts.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details