You have entered the world of Size 3+ diapers. Welcome. (Eight months later, Baby and I are still here.) You will go through less diapers now (compared to the Size 1-2 days). You will find it is a lot harder to find good deals on Size 3 and up. You will consider, as I did, many times to switch to cloth diapers. Then you will slap yourself in the face, (again, as I did) because you will realize your life is completely run over with a baby crawling into everything and you are exhausted and could never deal with the stink, mess and laundry that comes with cloth diapering. But maybe you’re superwoman and can do what I can’t. As babies grow up, their diaper needs change. So we’ll need to talk dirty…talk about poo (oh, gross, the life of a mommy):
- Poo is more solid (and more stinky, I know I am so sorry for you); I feel that the huge runny, leaky problems are mostly gone (I say, mostly, not all gone! Cross your fingers).
- Your baby will have fewer dirty diapers, which can at times be big messes
- Your baby will start to crawl and move around, and eventually walk and run!
- Your baby, especially after 12 months, will not be growing as crazily as he used to, so you will likely be buying a lot of Size 3’s; we are almost done with size 3’s and will have used about 2600 total size 3 diapers!!
You will want a diaper than is soft and flexible to move with the moving baby. And you will want to make sure you are using the correct size of diaper to contain the big mess. And you will now want to get a warehouse membership* just for Size 3 + diapers. A box goes a long way now. Here are diaper brands for Size 3 and up (from best to worst):
- Pampers Cruisers/ Swaddlers
- Pampers Baby Dry
- Kirkland Signature Supreme (monkey design)
- Huggies Little Movers
- Huggies Snug and Dry and Overnights
As you can see, I still love the Pampers brand. I like the soft feel of the diapers, the closures, the lining–everything works well and is quality-made. UPDATE 2015: Pampers Cruisers are the best in terms of fit and absorbancy. In this original post, I mentioned we use mostly Pampers Baby Dry for everyday use, but some babies gets really active, so you need a really good fitting diaper. (Remember, Baby is a boy and very, very active!) I would still consider getting Baby Dry for a baby before his/her running stage and also to use as a nighttime diaper since they absorb well. Though the more expensive option, Cruisers just fit better.
Swaddlers and Cruisers are slightly different.The outer diaper is essentially the same cloth-like build, but in inner is different: Swaddlers have a mesh lining in them and they feel very cushy, Cruisers do not have mesh. Cruisers are likely more absorbant, as they claim they are the best in fit and dryness.
Pampers now makes Swaddlers up to Size 5 but they are very expensive—there are fewer per pack and you will not find sizes 3-5 Swaddlers at drugstores, making it very hard to get any coupon deals like I did for sizes N-2 at CVS and Walgreens.
I loved using Swaddlers back in the day: they are still a great newborn diaper and I was truly sad when I opened my last pack of Size 3 Swaddlers (SimpleGuy made fun of me!) but I would suggest switching to Cruisers once your baby starts crawling/walking just because you will get more diapers per pack. Pampers seem wider (compared to Huggies and Kirkland Signature because there’s no elastic waistband in Pampers), which was a good thing for my baby because he was so big and fat since Day 1, that he needed a roomier diaper. I can see how the elastic all around the other brands could be a plus for other babies though. My #1 pick during Size 3 was Pampers Baby Dry because they got the job done, were/are pretty absorbant, came with the most diapers per pack, and I was able to find more high value coupons only good on the Baby Dry line (but those high value coupons—$2.50/off a pack—are rare to find nowadays). Baby Dry diapers are a soft and flexible diaper that hold most problems though not as plush as Cruisers.That being said, once Baby turned 2, these diapers started moving around a lot, leaking, and falling off which is why Cruisers still perform better. I still use Baby Dry because there are more diapers in each pack, but if I had to choose one brand, it’d be Cruisers. I definitely prefer using them when we’re traveling and can only bring so many diapers in my luggage.
We tried Kirkland Signature late in the game. I realized I could have Baby stay a lot longer in Size 3 diapers so we went to Costco and are currently using these (Baby is 14 months old today); these boxes were on sale at Costco a month ago. Similar to Huggies Little Movers at a bulk rate price, these are slightly less cushy than Little Movers, but a great alternative. They are such a great deal with those Costco coupons. If you try them (perhaps ask a Costco-member-mommy friend to donate a small stack) and like them, then make sure to stock up! They come in huge boxes! Huggies Little Movers are just like Huggies Little Snugglers. If Little Snugglers worked well for your baby, you can move right to Little Movers. They are the premium line of Huggies and are a great option if you can find the right coupons and deals. We used a Sam’s Club big box of Huggies Snug and Dry and I really hated them. SimpleGuy bought them when they were on sale so the price was excellent (and if you are trying to save money on diapers, this might be a good option), but I just felt the diapers were so stiff and rough and ill-sized. I still think Huggies are best for the smaller end of the weight range; I just could not see how a 26 or 27 pound baby could wear these.
Huggies Overnights also have the same stiff texture. Unfortunately, we are slowly going through a box of 96 of these and I regret buying them because I don’t think they absorb better than Pampers Baby Dry and are very expensive and yet we still have leaks in the morning. I haven’t tried other nighttime diapers yet; you may want to consider double diapering using regular diapers at nighttime to avoid having to buy the overnight ones.
Hope this helps and let me know your findings for toddler diapers.
*Sam’s Club carries Pampers and Huggies; Costco carries Kirkland Signature and Huggies Plus
Moneysaver Tip: If your baby is not sensitive to different diapers, use different brands as your baby grows. Each size has a weight range. When baby first enters that range, use Huggies Snug and Dry or Little Movers or Kirkland Signature. They run small (i.e. tight around the waist) but are a good alternative and have better coupon deals than Pampers, but realize the diapers may need to be changed more often throughout the day. Use Pampers Baby Dry in the mid-range. Use Pampers Cruisers towards the end of the weight range and for outings or when on vacation.
If you are looking for suggestions for Newborn diapers (sizes N-2), check out Part One.