Deano’s answer to: “What are the best diapers?”

The question could use more details, especially a definition of "best" in the querent's context.

That said, when we were getting ready to receive our now-3-year-old, we attended a parent prep class at a hospital in Berkeley, CA. Bear with me, or scroll-to-the-bold:

For those who aren't aware, Berkeley has a reputation for being both: 

(a) a very granola'd-out hippie eco-topia filled with rainbow-farting unicorns and biodegradable elitism and self-satisfaction, and

(b) filled with extremely wealthy white people who live in expensive houses, and drive the greenest SUVs on the market as they shuttle their children to and from vegan soccer practice.

The nurses and volunteers on hand at the training certainly "fit the vibe", and I cannot recall how many times we were hypno-proselytized into using Doulas, though we did succumb in the end.

Long story short, even these paragons of propriety, and champions of cloth diapering said that Pampers are, and have always been, the best diapers, hands-down.

There were numerous arguments for this:

  1. Leak factor. For newborns, apparently the "other brands" just do not do as good a job with catching everything, not coming undone, being reasonably form-fitting, etc. Pampers also led the way on differentiated male/female diapers, and still maintain that lead.
  2. Stress factor. You're a new parent. You want to save the earth, but you want to get 5 minutes of sleep a day. Use disposable Swaddlers, at least until you get in the rhythm of things. I swear those initial diaper changes took two minutes. Laughably slow!
  3. Sleep factor. When baby wakes up screaming to be changed at 4am, you are unhappy. They are unhappy. With disposables, a lot of the waste gets absorbed by the crazy space age carcinogens inside the diaper, and Pampers has the best, most sponge-like carcinogens on the market. When the waste is absorbed, it doesn't irritate baby, who then sleeps through (eventually, some day, I promise) and saves you at least one trip in the middle of the night. Even if you switch to cloth for days, it can be a good idea to use disposables at night. Especially once solid foods are on the menu. Yikes!
  4. Smell. Pampers tend to smell the least-bad out of all the disposables. Ideally, you'll buy UNSCENTED Pampers, which also tend to be the easiest unscented non-eco-diaper to find in stores (but don't do that, get Amazon to "subscribe and save" ship you diapers – much cheaper, and saves you another trip).

Over the course of 3 years, we went from Swaddlers, briefly into Cruisers, then on to Pull-ups (Dora, of course). We also used cloth during the days once she could crawl (all that diaper landfill guilt gets to you eventually). But, whenever we ran out, and had to use a Huggies sample, or try out those Seventh Generation recycle-diapers, we learned the painful lesson: 

Pampers may be EVIL, but they're also the BEST.

Note: this is only for "land diapers"… I seem to remember it was a much closer call for swim diapers, various brands all had good offerings for at least trying to keep the 'P' out of various 'ools' we visited.

Whatever you choose, good luck, and good health to you and your baby!

What are the best diapers?

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