The humble nappy is an essential part of every child’s early life. However, choosing the right nappy can be daunting as there are now a huge amount of options available. You’ll also have to take into account when and where you intend to use the nappy, such as for swimming or nighttime, as well as think about the best size for the baby; will you need size 0 or size 3?
Whether you’re looking for a biodegradable and eco-friendly nappy for a newborn baby or a something hypoallergenic for a toddler with sensitive skin, our handy guide will help you find that best fit, faster. We’ll also include recommended products by brands such as Pampers, Huggies, and Aldi Mamia, all available on Amazon, eBay, Tesco and Asda.
Do you find yourself scrutinizing baby product ingredients far more than you would for yourself? With that attitude in mind, we’ve created a detailed guide to everything you might want to know about nappies to make an informed choice. We will explain how many nappies you might need, the different types of nappies, how to choose the right size, and if biodegradable nappies are a good option.
When picking nappies you should look at how many nappies in the packet and buy enough to make it until your next planned online purchase. Nappies are generally available in two types of pack. The larger, bulk packs hold 60 - 70 nappies and the smaller around 24 - 30. A lot of online retailers will sell smaller packs in a set of 3 or 4, and we note where this is the case.
On average, a newborn baby will get through about 70 nappies a week. As your baby gets older this will go down to somewhere between 40 - 60 per week. By about 12 months your baby will need changing only about 35 times per week.
Of course, every baby is different and might need more or less than the figures above. There will also be the occasional accident when changing your baby that will cost you a nappy or two every month. We recommend you start with more than you think you’ll need for the first weeks or so. Keep a record of how many changes your baby needs (there are many good free apps) and adjust your purchases accordingly.
When choosing for your child, it's important to pick the right type of nappy based on their general size and weight, plus their developmental stage (if they have started walking and crawling about).
These smaller nappies are designed to come off easily and to minimize rubbing against the sensitive belly button area. They fasten at the sides using Velcro tags and are often decorated with cute characters. In general a baby will need these for the first one to three months.
Regular nappies are very similar to newborn in that they fasten at the sides with Velcro tags and are for general everyday use. These are for most babies that are out of the newborn stage and are suitable for use throughout the day.
Active nappies are made for when your baby starts to crawl and move around. The nappies pull on like a pair of pants, and have extra elastic to ensure they stay attached to your baby and minimize leaks.
Depending on the brand these nappies can also be labelled extra or ultra-dry. They have more absorbent materials built in and are good for night times or long journeys where regular nappy changes will be difficult.
These nappies can be used underneath swimwear to prevent leaks while enjoying a swim. They are not perfect though and (as always with children and swimming) should be used under supervision.
It’s important to have a nappy that fits snugly and firmly around your baby’s waist and legs to minimize leaks.
Nappies go from size zero to six, and these sizes are based on the baby's weight. You’ll usually see the weight range also displayed on the nappy packaging. Of course, each baby is different so you might need to experiment until you get a nappy that is right for your baby. Specific sizes can vary depending on the brand, but here is a general guide to nappy size and baby weights:
When putting on a nappy make sure that the leg cuffs fan outwards from the nappy and that the waist is snug but not too tight; you should be able insert two fingers between the nappy and your baby's waist. While a good fit will stop most leaks, no nappy is 100% leak proof! If you’re noticing frequent leaks or that the nappy seems too big or small, then try a different size or brand.
To prevent rash and ensure good hygiene, you should change your baby whenever you notice the nappy is heavy with pee or the baby has pooped. Be aware that newborns can pee a little every 20 minutes but you won’t need to change them that frequently. You can use gentle moistened wipes to keep your baby's nappy area clean and fresh.
Most disposable nappies come with a wetness indicator. These are a useful feature that will tell you if the nappy needs changing without having to disturb your baby. The wetness indicator is a colored line printed down the center of the nappy that changes colour to blue when your baby pees. Poo is usually not picked up by the wetness indicator unless the baby has peed at the same time.
These days many parents are looking at both disposable and reusable nappies when deciding what’s best for their baby’s bottom. More and more consumers are making choices to minimize their carbon footprint, and nappies are no exception. While they are more hygienic, conventional disposable nappies are almost impossible to recycle.
However, these days there are more and more biodegradable nappies available in supermarkets. These nappies are made from natural materials such as bamboo and cotton. Although they tend to be more expensive than other disposables, biodegradable nappies will naturally breakdown and be reabsorbed into the soil.
Be aware however that even biodegradable nappies will not rot away in a conventional landfill. Landfill sites are designed to minimize decomposition to control harmful methane and other chemicals leaching out. Also know that some UK local authorities now incinerate household waste instead of using landfill. The most ecologically friendly way to use biodegradable nappies is to compost them yourself at home.
All babies are born with delicate skin and nappies are manufactured with this in mind. All nappies are made with materials known to be kind to your child's skin and for the most part your child should have little to no discomfort when wearing a nappy.
However some babies can have mild allergic reactions to nappies. Signs of an allergic reaction can include tender red marks around the nappy area, peeling skin and diarrhea. If you suspect your child is having such a reaction then do consult a dermatologist and try a different nappy.
Some disposal nappies will come with lotion to moisturize your baby's skin and perfumes to mask nasty smells. In the first instance avoid using these sorts of nappies. Also consider using nappies made from natural cotton and bamboo fibers to keep irritation to a minimum.
Now that we've given you a thorough guide to disposable nappies, here is our list of the ten best available online in the UK. Our recommendations are based on each nappy’s effectiveness, value for money and environmental impact. We have analyzed page after page of reviews and recommendations by parents just like you!
|Number in Pack||174|
|Number in Pack||36|
|Number in Pack||72|
|Number in Pack||12|
|Number in Pack||180|
|Nappy Type||Newborn / Normal|
|Number in Pack||104 (26 x 4)|
|Number in Pack||104 (26 x 4)|
|Number in Pack||100 (25 x 4)|
|Number in Pack||132 (44 x 3)|
|Number in Pack||24|
Mum & You
Kit & Kin
Rascal + Friends
Mama Bamboo Eco-Nappies
Premium Protection New Baby
A Favourite With Parents Across the Country at a Great Price
Smart, Soft Eco-Friendly Nappies
A Plant-Based Premium Nappy with No Oily Plastics
Hypoallergenic Nappies That Are Kind to the Planet
A Comfortable, Absorbent Nappy That's Kind to the Environment
A Great Performance Nappy with More Natural Materials
The Best Nappies for Swimming
A Great Help for New Parents
Great Absorbency, Softness and Kind to Skin
An Excellent Nappy For Overnights and Long Car Journeys
|Number in Pack||24||132 (44 x 3)||100 (25 x 4)||104 (26 x 4)||104 (26 x 4)||180||12||72||36||174|
|Nappy Type||Newborn||Normal||Normal||Active||Normal||Newborn / Normal||Swimming||Newborn||Normal||Plus|
A third of babies will develop nappy rash at some point. Signs include red patches on your baby's bottom or pimples. Their baby's skin may feel hot to the touch. While mild nappy rash won't be painful, a severe rash will cause discomfort and distress for your baby.
Disposable nappies are made with an absorbent core of salt crystals and other materials to soak up moisture. This will keep your baby’s skin away from a great deal of the liquid and strongly reduce the risk of nappy rash. For parents that are using biodegradable nappies, you should be aware that the absorbent cores can be less effective than conventional nappies and you might have to change your baby more frequently.
Nappy rash occurs when skin is left in contact with a wet or soiled nappy. To prevent it, ensure regular changes and that your baby is clean and dry around the nappy area. Don't use alcohol wipes; they're too strong and will dry out the skin. In some rare cases, nappy materials can provoke an allergic reaction and rash. If you suspect your baby is having such a reaction, try a different brand and avoid nappies with 'extras' like perfume. If the rash persists or is severe consult your doctor or health professional.
If you are a new parent, there are many more products that you'll need to buy! Maybe you'd like to try out reusable nappies alongside disposable ones. Or maybe you still need to purchase a baby carrier and changing bag? If you are still getting ready for that bundle of joy, take a look at some of our other baby-related articles.
As you've seen, there are a huge selection of nappy types and sizes available right now, with choices to suit every lifestyle and budget. Inevitably you will have to experiment to find the right nappy for your baby. Hopefully we've given you some of the best choices on the market right now, and a few that are better for the environment.
Author: Nick Harling
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