Best Diapers for Babies Under 2

There are many items on a baby registry that are in the “nice to have” or “make your life easier” category, but diapers… diapers fall on the “absolutely essential” list.

Not only do you use them several times a day – newborns can go through 12 (!) In a single day – but you’ll also need to keep diapers in stock for years to come.

With so many different diaper brands out there, choosing the best diapers for your little one can be difficult. Here’s how to find the best diaper for your family, plus parent-approved diaper brands we love.

Types of baby diapers
Before you shop for diapers, the first factor to consider is what type best suits your lifestyle.

Cloth diapers
While cloth diapers can be more work – both to get on baby and in extra loads of laundry – they can save you thousands of dollars over the course of the diapering years. (And if you’re planning on using them for more than one baby, those savings can double or triple.)

Eco-minded parents will appreciate that cloth diapers are reusable. When you consider that 20 billion disposable diapers are added to landfills each year, that’s a big incentive.

Disposable diapers
Disposable diapers are the definition of convenience. Not only do they go on easily, but as long as you’re using the right size, they’re pretty much guaranteed to fit, which means fewer leaks. Today’s diapers are so absorbent that babies can often sleep through the night even when they’re wet without feeling discomfort. They’re also easy to use when traveling since you just toss them when you’re done.

That leads us to one of the biggest cons, the aforementioned space disposable diapers take up in landfills. They also cost more over time than cloth diapers.

Organic diapers
An “organic” label can make new parents feel reassured, especially with something you put on baby’s bum. But when it comes to disposable diapers, there’s no brand that is 100 percent organic. What you will find is that certain brands use eco-friendly materials, such as wood pulp derived from sustainable trees, and production methods that are better for the earth.

Most diapers, whether they’re labeled eco-friendly or not, no longer use latex or chlorine to bleach the wood pulp, a process that was phased out in the ’90s.

Choosing the best diaper for your baby
As with many baby items, you may want to buy a few different diaper brands at first to see which works best for your cutie. Once you know your favorite, consider signing up for a subscription delivery service to take advantage of the substantial discounts they offer.

Here are a few additional factors to consider when shopping for baby diapers:

Reusable and adjustable tabs: These are great when you’re trying to quickly peek to see if baby is wet. They can also help you get the best fit.
Wetness indicator: These are lines that change colors when baby is wet. They’re handy to have, especially in those first few weeks when you’re still learning baby’s cues.
Pocketed waistband: These pockets on the back panel of the diaper help keep poop contained. If you routinely have issues with blowouts, they can be a lifesaver.
Impact on the environment: Eco-minded parents may choose a diaper made in the most earth-friendly way possible.
Diaper size: Correct diaper fit is important for baby’s comfort – too tight, and the elasticized leg openings can irritate her skin, but one that’s too large can lead to leaks. Diaper packaging will make recommendations based on your baby’s weight, but feel free to size up or down as needed until you get a fit that is comfortable for your baby and minimizes leaks.
How we made our picks for the best diapers for babies under 2
When creating this list, we factored in a combination of our editor’s personal experiences with the various diaper brands as well as feedback from members of the What to Expect community. The result: A cohesive round-up of the diapers that won’t let you down as you navigate the unchartered waters of your child’s first two years.

Ready to start shopping? Here are our top picks for the best disposable diapers on the market – including great choices for newborns, nighttime use, babies with sensitive skin and more.

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