There are many decisions that moms are faced with everyday. It’s apart of being a parent, and it never gets any easier. There are big decisions like deciding whether to breastfeed or circumcise, and smaller decisions like what color to paint the nursery or what type of shoes to buy for the baby,
Regardless of how big the decision is, it never ceases to be a daunting task to figure out what the right thing to do is. Even the most minute decision can seem life altering, because parents just want the absolute best for their baby. This is understandable, but everything doesn’t have to invoke a stressful response.
One of the main things that parents have to get used to buying once their bundle of joy arrives is diapers. Next to food it’s possibly one of the most important accessories to have for the baby at all times. It seems like such an easy thing to do. Just go to the store and buy some diapers. But for parents with newborns and first-time parents, it can often be a very stressful decision and that’s okay. There are many factors that go into buying the perfect pair of diapers. Parents most certainly have to take into account the baby’s comfort, safety and support before purchasing anything.
Some parents find it important to do research on everything before they buy, and we believe that that is an important thing to do also. Below is a list of everything a parent should consider before purchasing diapers for their child.
First thing’s first, the price has to be on point. While safety and comfort are important, the cost of diapers is equally important for parents to consider as well. According to Investopedia, parents will likely spend about $500 on diapers as there baby can go through as many as 2,700 diapers in one year. That’s a lot of diapers for one baby! This price roughly estimates the overall cost from disposable diapers at about $.20 per diaper.
Parents can spend upwards to two thousand dollars on diapers and pull-ups until their child is old enough to use the restroom. It’s pretty pricey, and ultimately the cost usually depends on whether a parent would opt for using big brand name diapers or off brand (more on that later). Either way, parents should budget their money accordingly. Knowing the child’s potty habits can help a parent better determine how many diapers they need, and how much money they will need to spend. For parents who opt for cloth diapers (more on that later too), the cost on the front end is pretty pricey. But they become cheaper as time goes on because the only other purchases a parent has to make is for diaper liners and washing.
The next thing that a parent should consider when making a purchase on diapers is the practicality of the diaper. This takes into account several factors: what works for the parent and what works for the baby. Parents have to consider their time and money, and babies, well, they decide everything else.
This is where knowing your baby also comes in handy, because it helps the parent make an informed decision about the type of diapers to buy. If the baby is rowdy, likely to pull at the diaper a lot, has really heavy BM or urinates a lot at once, a parent will probably need to invest in some pretty durable diapers. On the other hand, if a parent is too busy to take the time necessary to wash and prepare cloth diapers, disposable diapers may be a better option for them. It’s ultimately about trial and error here, but once you have the basics down, purchasing diapers becomes a lot easier.
Some parents (but not all) worry about sustainability and the eco-friendliness of their child’s diapers. It’s an honorable thing to think about, as what we buy and use very much has an impact on the environment in some way. With that being said, there are a few things that a parent should consider when looking at sustainability.
Firstly, they should consider how far they are willing to go. Finding eco-friendly, sustainable diaper options can be costly. If a parent can afford them, cloth diapers may be the safest way to go. They don’t have to be disposed of as often as disposable diapers, and they can actually save a little more money in the long run after the initial investment. If a parent would opt for a more “green” disposable diaper, it is important to find diapers that are biodegradable and made with materials that will easily break down without harming the environment once they are disposed of.
Obviously a parent has to take into account the size of their baby. This falls into the category of safety and comfort. When picking the right size diaper it is important to consider a few things including growth, price and comfort.
Babies will obviously need bigger diapers as they grow, but it is not necessary to immediately one up the diaper size during the first signs that your baby is getting bigger. This is important, because the price of diapers go up and the number of diapers in each package decrease as the sizes get bigger. If a parent can help it, they should refrain from going up a size until they are sure that their baby has outgrown the size they currently wear. With that in mind, it is also important not to wait too long or have the baby in diapers that are too small or too large for their body. Not only will this be uncomfortable, but it can make the baby more susceptible to issues like diaper rash, unexpected leaks and other unfortunate potty accidents.
No adult likes to walk around in a pair of ill-fitting, itchy or uncomfortable underwear, so why should a baby have to endure it? The baby’s response to their diaper is very, very important. An ill-fitting diaper can cause a lot of stress for babies and their parents.
Babies already have sensitive skin, but some are more sensitive than others. The material, chemicals and fit of the diaper can bring about a variety of issues like allergic reactions, diaper rash, and possibly quite a bit of tears. Parents should pay close attention to their baby if they start to develop bumps or rashes due to the diaper and look into other brands that are safer. Disposable diapers are especially prone to issues because of chemicals that are used to treat the diapers, and if they are scented, the fragrances can be harmful as well. If the baby doesn’t seem to take well to their current diaper, there are a variety of others available and it doesn’t hurt to contact a doctor or healthcare professional for advice, especially if the child has some sort of physical reaction or rash because of the diaper.
Cloth diapers may be a very helpful alternative to disposable diapers that are worth looking into. Cloth diapers can be pretty pricey on the front end as parents stock up on the diapers that they need, but eventually, the cost evens out and may even become a cheaper alternative to disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers don’t come in a wide variation of sizes, rather they have adjustable pins and straps that make it easier for a parent to fit the diaper to their baby accordingly. There are inserts that are also available for children according to how heavy their “loads” tend to be. It could be a good investment, but like everything, there are things to consider. First there is the cost of the diapers. Secondly, how often a parent decides to use the diapers determines how many they will need to purchase. Some parents just use the diapers at night instead of throughout the day. Third, a parent will need to consider how easy it will be to use in the case that someone else will have to change the diaper like a family member or babysitter. Lastly, a parent needs to consider their time. If they don’t have the time to constantly wash and prepare cloth diapers, disposable ones may be a better option.
In continuing to look at cloth diapers, there are a few other things that have to be considered. As stated above, a parent has to consider how long they are planning to use cloth diapers if they decide to use them at all.
Cloth diapers require washing as they aren’t readily disposable. They cost money. More money than disposable diapers at first, and the price depends on how many diapers a parent has to purchase for their child. Before doing this, a parent should consider whether they want to use cloth diapers through their child’s diaper and pull-up phases, or whether they only want to use it during a certain point in development. As stated earlier, some parents only use cloth diapers during certain parts of the day, particularly when the child is less active. Some parents may opt to use cloth diapers during a certain phase of a child’s development, like before the potty-training begins.
The baby’s age is another important factor. Kids obviously grow and mature as we all have. Nobody stays in the same underwear or clothes as they mature (that would probably look weird), so it is important to purchase diapers and pull-ups that are befitting of the child’s age, size and stage of development.
Every child doesn’t progress the same way. Some kids may still be wearing diapers when others of similar age are potty training and moving on to different kinds of pull-ups. It’s important for parents to take their child’s development into consideration when purchasing certain kinds of diapers or pull-ups. Another thing is size. Every child doesn’t grow at the same rate either. Two kids can be the same age, but completely different sizes. Knowing how big or small the child is can help parents pick the right size diaper for their child according to their measurements and not necessarily their age.
Now let’s talk about the big bucks. A parent’s budget is ultimately what determines the type of diapers being purchased before anything else. Parents need to know what’s in their wallet and how much they are willing to spend first. Then they should do their research accordingly, before making a trip to the store and buying something that is too expensive or too cheaply made for their baby.
In the first point, there is a statistic about the cost of diapers and how much parents typically spend per year. It can obviously be quite costly. If a parent researches their options before they make their shopping trip, it could save them a ton of money in the long run. Cloth diapers are always an option, but parents can still purchase disposable diapers without breaking the bank. It starts with smart spending. A good budget makes shopping for supplies easier in general, but it is especially handy when it comes to the thing your baby will use the most--diapers.
Another factor to take into account is how often the baby uses the bathroom. Babies who have BM or urinate frequently OR are “heavy wetters” are more prone to frequent diaper changes and getting rashes if they aren’t changed quickly enough.
Parents should consider purchasing heavy duty diapers to take care of big loads and reduce the risk of major potty accidents (trust us, it won’t be pretty). If a child has a tendency to urinate a lot, diapers with high absorbency are a good idea to have too. “Specialty” diapers are likely to cost a little more depending on the brand, but they obviously save a lot of time and trouble for kids who tend to let off bigger loads. It’s a good investment for a noble cause. Plus the parent and the baby will be thankful that neither of them has to deal with the trouble that’s bound to come along with diapers that don’t live up to their expectations.
The next big thing to consider is the usability of the diaper when it comes to family and friends. Parents who entrust their kids to the care of others from time to time (which is most people) will want to think carefully about the type of diaper they purchase.
There are some great diaper brands out there with state-of-the-art design for holding in what nobody wants out. But often times, these diapers come with extra do-hickeys and gadgets that may be a little too complicated for the babysitter or grandma. If a parent is planning on leaving their child in the care of another for a while, it is important that they purchase diapers that are easy to use as well as comfortable for the baby. There’s nothing worse than struggling with a diaper when a baby is likely to get pee or number two all over you. Practicality is key for family and loved ones who have to endure the task of changing a dirty diaper.
Parents will most definitely want their baby to be comfortable above all else. Diapers are like underwear for tiny, pudgy people that don’t have too much control over their bodily fluids. Just like underwear, diapers are worn throughout the day, mostly, and they have to be comfortable to wear or else it might not be so fun for the person in charge of watching the baby.
Many diaper companies today take into consideration how comfortable their diapers are to wear. However, every baby does not respond to diapers the same way the next baby does. Parents should observe whether their child feels the need to pull or tug at their diaper, if they present any rashes or allergic reactions, and if the diaper seems to fit them well as they go throughout the day. Babies who are more active and bouncing, will definitely need diapers that are going to move with them and not restrict their movement. This is also a case of trial and error, as a parent will have to learn how their baby takes to certain diaper brands before making informed decisions about what makes their baby comfortable.
The next thing to consider is whether an investment in scented diapers is worth it. Honestly some people think it is, and others not so much. It honestly depends on the budget and the diaper brand. Every diaper doesn’t smell the same (truly).
Scented diapers can be awesome if the baby doesn’t seem to be allergic to them, and if the diapers scent can actually mask the awful smell of pee or poop. Unfortunately, some diapers are just full of fluff here, as the scent works wonderful until the diaper is filled with something that doesn’t smell nearly as good. It can be irritating to spend extra cash on a scented diaper when it doesn’t mask the smell at all. Ultimately a parent has to figure out whether their child will respond well to the fragrance-laden diaper and whether the diaper will actually mask the smell once it gets dirty. It can take some research to find the perfect scented diaper, but it’s not always necessary. As long as the diaper can fulfill its primary duties, some parents are satisfied with just that.
For parents that have strict budgets, it can be very tempting to bypass the expensive, name-brand diapers and reach for the off-brand ones instead. It’s okay to use off brand diapers as long as a few things are taken into account first.
If a diaper is cheaply made is can pose many different problems like diaper rashes, being prone to tears and coming completely off, and being pretty uncomfortable. Sometimes “dollar” diapers are only a dollar for a reason. They do the job of holding the pee and poop, but nothing else. It is important to consider the material and chemicals that may have been used to make the diaper, because this determines whether it is actually a good investment or not. It can also depend on the type of store that the diapers are purchased from as well. Many stores have their own “off brand” diapers that work just as well as the name brand ones. They may even offer a similar variety of diapers. Parents who opt to use off brand diapers should do so at their own discretion, but make sure that it works well for their baby first as opposed to their wallets.
Another issue that parents may face with disposable diapers is potentially harmful chemicals located in the diapers. There are chemicals used in diapers that help make them what they are. Some chemicals are used to aid in absorbency, drying agents, dyes and fragrances that may be located in the diaper.
Some of these chemicals could cause potentially dangerous health problems for the baby and the parent who uses the diapers. Dioxin and sodium polyacrylate have both been attributed to developmental problems, respiratory and hormonal issues, as well as chemical burns and endometriosis to name a few. There are other harmful chemicals that could be located in diapers. It is important for parents to know what these chemicals are and how they could potentially affect their child before making a big purchase. Knowing the risks and side effects associated with these chemicals could potentially save a baby’s life, and it helps parents make more informed decisions about what they are buying.
Sources: TheBump.com, SuperBottoms.com, Kaboutjie.com, Pampers.com, Parents.com, Investopedia.com