Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Who Gives A Shit: Diaper Review

From left to right: Luvs, Kirkland, Pampers

In the brief eternity that has been the first month of my son's life we've found ourselves trying out many different brands of diaper, as I am sure many of you have, looking for that magical one that does everything you could ask of a diaper consistently. Here are my findings thus far.

In six weeks time we have gone through 4 brands of varying cost: Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, and Kirkland (Costco generic).

Before Jude's birth we had received a package of Huggies Little Snugglers as a gift. At the hospital they supplied us with Pampers Swaddlers. While out on a pre-delivery supply run we nabbed a box of Kirkland diapers on sale from Costco, because why not? And later at the suggestion of my mother-in-law we gave Luvs a shot to see how they measured up.

Pampers 3/5
Pampers Swaddlers were the first diapers we used, starting right after birth in the hospital. Size 0 have a generous dip in the front to avoid irritating the umbilical stump which is good, a feature which goes away in the size 1's (understandably). They're decorated with a Sesame Street character and have a yellow line on the front which changes color to blue when baby is wet. The ease of use is fantastic, with the diaper staying open to put on baby once unfolded very nicely. The velcro tabs are a different color than the rest of the diaper making them easy to find even in low light, and are of such a shape as to easily meet in the center of the diaper evenly. Unfortunately they are prone to leaking on occasion, especially from the sides for whatever reason. So many times when baby peed while nursing, he needed a wardrobe change.

Huggies 2/5

Once we got home we started using the Huggies Little Snugglers we'd received. These too have a dip in the front for size 0, though it seemed a little less generous. These were decorated with Winnie The Pooh characters on them and also contained the wetness indicator on the front. They didn't stay open as well as the Pamper's Swaddlers and thus were a little harder to get onto a squirmy baby. The tabs are white like the diaper and therefor not as easy to get off during those midnight changings. Much to my dismay they were prone to leaking as well and fairly frequently, particularly from the top of the diaper, front or back depending on what position baby happened to be in when he peed.

Kirkland 4/5
We next tried the Kirkland diapers we purchased at Costco. I assume size 0's would have a dip in the front but we started at size 1, which was wise because Jude grew out of size 0 diapers rather quickly. These are decorated with panda bears and also have the wetness indicator on the front. It works the same as name brand ones, changing from yellow to blue when baby pees. The tabs on these are white like the main body of the diaper and rounded which makes them sort of hard to meet evenly in the middle (not that this is a huge deal). These did not stay open near as well as the other brands once unfolded and required some adjustments once baby was in them as a result, but they did not leak near so much as Huggies or Pampers did. Occasionally a leak would happen but it was pretty rare.

Luvs 2/5
Lastly we busted out the Luvs. By then Jude was in 1's, so I cannot speak as to the size 0 or whether or not they have a dip for the umbilical stump. I would assume yes, as that's pretty standard these days. Luvs are decorated with wild animals, penguins, gazelle, and so forth. They do not have a wetness indicator on the front which is their major shortcoming. They are peculiarly scented though, and the scent of the diaper becomes more noticeable once the diaper is wet. I'm not big on the fragrance, but these diapers have yet to leak at all. Which is amazing for the price of them and given their thinner appearance.

Addendum: Now that Jude has fully grown into the size 1 diapers, Luvs is not as dependable. They leak just as often as the Pampers, so without the wetness indicator, actually fall beneath them in ratings. Score dropping from a 3 to a 2. Summary will be amended to reflect this.

All in all it seems that for ease of use the top name brands trump their more reasonably priced competitors, but when it came to functionality the cheaper diapers actually out performed the costlier choices far and away. I would probably rate them in the following order: Kirkland, Pampers, Luvs, Huggies. Jude seemed to find them all equally comfortable and has yet to experience any instances of diaper rash.

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