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Buying Diapers for Your Baby How to Find the Right Size, Fit and Comfort

By Bethany Kandel for

Once your baby arrives you'll be amazed by so many things. One ofthose unexpected surprises is just how many times a day you'll bechanging diapers. You may also be amazed at how quickly your babyoutgrows the size that fit perfectly just yesterday.

Since baby will be wearing a diaper all day and all night, it's keyto buy the size that fits properly to prevent unpleasant leaks andmesses while keeping baby clean, dry and comfortable. That's where thechallenge comes in: How do you know what size diaper to buy, and when isit time to move to the next size? Here are some tips to make both babyand parent happy:

First diapers:

  • Pay close attention to the weight chart on each package to help you choose the size that's best for your growing baby.
  • Baby's first diaper will likely be a newborn size (up to 10 pounds)or size 1 (up to 14 pounds), but there are also preemie diapers for thetiniest babies (up to 6 pounds). You may want to stock up on a few packsof different sizes before baby arrives just to be prepared. Be sure toput diapers and wipes on your registry. You can never have too many!
  • To protect a newborn's umbilical cord stump, the smallest diapersactually have a cutout in front. If you are using a larger size, be sureto fold the diaper down and away from the area to ensure properhealing.

FACT: Baby will initially use about 10-12 diapers daily

Size and fit:

  • Size matters! Diapers should fit snuggly around the waist and legs without gaps or sagging.
  • Although diapers are sized by weight, there is some overlap. Forinstance, size 1 is for infants up to 14 pounds, while size 2 is forthose between 12 and 18 pounds. If your baby is 13 pounds and stillfitting securely into size 1, it's safe to stay there a little longer.But if things seem a little tight, you might want to move to the nextsize.

FACT: Diapers are sold by baby's weight, not age.

Time to upsize:

  • When baby nears the top of the suggested weight range, it might be agood idea to buy the next size for optimal diaper performance andleakage protection.
  • You'll know the size diaper you are using is too small when baby'sonesies or t-shirts frequently get soaked and other leaky messesactually explode out the sides (a blowout is something you've got to seeto believe!). If baby has red marks around the belly or thighs, it'salso a sign that it's time to move up a size.
  • If the next size is still too big, try a different style diaper orstay with the smaller size temporarily. In just a couple of weeks yourbaby is sure to have grown and the fit of the larger diaper will be justright.

FACT: If one shape/style diaper doesn't fit as well as baby'sbody grows and changes; try another. Some have more elastic in thewaistband for a more contoured fit, while others fit snugger around thelegs. 

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