Try Before You Buy: Best Newborn Diapers

newborn diapers

Newborns put diapers to the test. They must be gentle on sensitive skin, absorbent and cheap enough for many diaper changes a day.

Snuggling my newborn babies, breathing in their smell, watching them sleep—there is nothing better in my experience as a mother. But nothing has the power to spoil those precious moments like a leaky diaper. A newborn diaper needs to be easy to use and requires a perfect fit to avoid leaks and messes. New babies go through twelve or more diapers per day, so spending a lot of money on all those diapers is impractical. It sounds like a lot to expect from a diaper, but many Viewpoints reviewers have found great success with these newborn diaper brands.

Best choice for newborns

Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Newborn Diapers

Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Newborn Diapers

The hands-down top choice is Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Newborn Diapers (93/100), and these were my personal favorites, too. They fit my daughter better than my son. They are absorbent, fit well, and have some nice features such as the notch cut out so as not to irritate the umbilical area. Since my kids both have very sensitive skin, I appreciated that they have a focus on newborn skin sensitivity.

“Diaper changes were as easy as they could possibly be in those first few days and that was something to be thankful for since my husband was the one responsible for almost all the changes while I recovered from surgery. My husband especially loved the blue stripe that let him know if the diaper was wet without having to open it up and look.” —hlm0401, Reviewer since 2010

Huggies Little Snugglers Newborn Diapers

Huggies Little Snugglers Newborn Diapers

Huggies tend to leak for newborns

Another popular choice for newborns is Huggies Little Snugglers Newborn Diapers (80/100.) The rating is much lower than the Pampers Swaddlers, but for my son, they worked the best. The elastic in the back of the diaper keeps messes in and is a feature that I found to be such a lifesaver when out and about with my new baby.

However, it seems like most reviewers had a different experience. Huggies Little Snugglers consistently receive lower scores from Viewpoints reviewers in the Leak Prevention category.

“Now my qualm with these diapers is major leaking. I’m talking 9 out of 10 diapers leaking. That’s bad! He leaks in the same place every time; at the top of the diaper in the hip and back area. The elastic around the legs seems to be just fine, there’s just something wrong with the diaper around the waist.” —this2shallpass19, Reviewer since 2008

Parents expect even budget diapers to work well

No parent likes to spend extra money on diapers they just throw away anyway, but it’s equally important to make sure the budget-friendly options still hold up. Luvs is one of the most popular brands for families on a budget, and many parents love them. They don’t have the bells and whistles that Huggies and Pampers newborn diapers have, like the notch for the umbilical cord and the wetness indicators, but they do the job. I had some success with this brand, but they were not ideal to use during my babies’ longer sleep stretches.

Luvs Ultra Leakguards Newborn Diapers

Luvs Ultra Leakguards Newborn Diapers

A Viewpoints reviewer and mother of twins had a lot to say about Luvs Ultra Leakguards Newborn Diapers (77/100.)

“I am the mom of twins. Two babies. Double the screams, double the hugs, double the love and double the diapers. Let me tell you, its a lot of diapers. … On average, these diapers are at least .10 less than the average diaper. The average baby goes through 2000 diapers a year (but thats the average baby- if you have a baby who likes to poop right after you put a diaper on, its more than 2000!) and at .10 per diaper, thats a savings of $200 per year- minimum. $200 can buy a lot when you think about all the expense a baby (or two) adds to your budget.” —dgroves21, Reviewer since 2011

For parents looking to stock up on diapers before their baby is born, my advice is to see if you can get some samples first. Or ask for a wide variety of diapers at your shower. Not all diapers will work for every baby, and you’ll want to try out a few on your newborn.

Which newborn diapers have worked best for you? Leave a Viewpoints review.

Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with baby products, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.

Alison Muller (31 Posts)

Alison Muller is an educator and mother of two young children. She teaches cloth-diapering classes, and she loves taking her kids to the park and reading fiction.


  • http://www.miny-moe.com Heather – Owner, Miny Moe

    Great post – I couldn’t have said it better myself! Finding the best diaper for your little one is tough. We went through 4 brands before settling on Target’s Up & Up. Which is why I started Miny Moe. Our diaper sampler has 5 diapers each from the following brands: Huggies Little Snugglers, Pampers Swaddlers, Luvs, Earth’s Best, Target Up & Up, and Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice – so you can try them all out before heading to the store to stock up on the economy packs! ^_^