The pure perfection of my son’s skin as a newborn is a memory which I hold dear to my heart, and constantly will myself to not forget.
The highlight of each hazy newborn day was bath time – undressing my not-so-tiny infant and holding on to him like a priceless elixir. There’s something so special about newborn skin – and so fleeting!
Adult skin is a beast compared to baby skin.
At birth, the skin is still developing its epidermal barrier. This makes it more permeable and reactive to the environment.
Until one year of age, the infant skin barrier is still a work in progress, requiring more protection.
Once out of the sterile environment of the womb, the baby’s skin is exposed to a multitude of new elements, some of which trigger a reaction. The last thing you’d want is to irritate that perfect canvas that is your little one’s skin!
Whether you like it or not, your baby will come into contact with a whole lot – even in only the first hours of life.
One of these is the diaper which will be promptly placed on their tiny little buttocks, so how can you ensure that only the safest material is in contact with your bundle of perfection?
In this article, we’ll delve into the best diapers for sensitive skin, talk a little about the cloth vs disposables debate, discuss what you should look for in sensitive skin baby diapers on the market, and what you should avoid at all costs.
Best Diapers for Sensitive Skin – a Quick Look at Our Top 4 Recommendations
Note: When clicking on any of the below links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.
- Pampers Pure Disposable Baby Diapers
- Seventh Generation Baby Diapers for Sensitive Skin
- Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine-Free Disposable Baby Diapers
- Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Premium Baby Diapers for Sensitive Skin
Best Diapers for Sensitive Skin – a More Detailed Look at Our Top 4 Recommendations
Not sure where to start off your search for the best diapers for your little one’s sensitive skin? This list has more than enough options to cover whatever different needs and preferences you might have!
Pampers Pure Disposable Baby Diapers
These diapers are cotton enhanced, made with soft plant-based fibers, sustainably sourced fluff pulp, sustainably sourced wood pulp, and other materials that were all thoughtfully selected.
They also come in the most adorable prints you’ll ever see.
They’re some of the most gentle and hypoallergenic diapers you’ll find today, and they make for excellent sensitive skin care because of how supremely soft they are, as well as the fact that they have no scent to them at all.
According to Pampers, these diapers contain none of the following:
- Chlorine Bleaching
- All EU 26 allergens.
You’ll get up to 12 hours of leak protection for your baby, and if you’re tired of having to fork out an arm and a leg to get eco-friendly diapers, you’ll love how affordable these ones are in comparison.
I also love the fact that these diapers don’t have any Velcro or sticky clasps on them, since these tend to give many babies rashes.
With all of that being said, the absorbency on these diapers isn’t exactly the best.
If you’re looking for overnight protection or just regular day-time protection without having to change your baby as often as you’re used to, then these tend to absorb a bit too quickly, which makes for almost hourly diaper changes.
This is especially true with newborns.
So, for those of you concerned about the frequency of having to pull off your baby’s diapers, you might want to consider a different option.
Otherwise, the diaper tends to get fairly full (especially at night time when baby is sleeping) and may start to lea through the front.
Seventh Generation Baby Sensitive Skin Diapers
These Free & Clear baby diapers are specifically designed for your baby’s sensitive skin needs.
They’re super absorbent, and they come with a high capacity core that gives your baby premium leak protection. All of this keeps their skin dry and well protected.
They’re hypoallergenic, contain absolutely no lotions or fragrances, and do not have any sort of chlorine bleaching.
The core of these diapers is made from wood pulp that has been sustainably sourced and is FSC certified.
For those of you trying to limit your baby’s exposure to chemicals as much as humanly possible, you should definitely consider getting these.
Unlike other diapers out there that are suitable for sensitive skin, these don’t leak anywhere near as much.
Chances are that the most you’ll experience with them is having to open them up because they’ve become so full after some time, and that usually only happens when your baby wears them overnight for a good 12 or 13 hours of sleep.
Assuming you change your baby frequently enough, you should have absolutely no problem with these diapers causing any leaks or blowouts.
This is especially true if you already change your baby’s diapers frequently enough because their sensitive skin develops rashes if you do otherwise.
With that being said, if you’re specifically looking for something to keep your baby protected as much as possible overnight, then you might want to consider buying overnight diapers instead.
This is especially true for babies who like to drink a lot.
Overall, though, for all parents who have a history of sticking with Seventh Generation Free & Clear products (such as their notorious baby wipes, laundry soap and dish soap), these diapers can be an excellent addition to the mix if your baby has sensitive skin!
Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine-Free Disposable Baby Diapers
Earth’s Best TenderCare diapers are chlorine-free, latex-free, dye-free and fragrance-free, all of which make them an excellent choice for babies with sensitive skin.
As soon as you open a new box and take a quick smell of the diapers, you’ll notice that there isn’t even a hint of smell.
If you’re anything like me and absolutely hate the smell of chemicals that comes out from other diaper brands out there, you’ll love this.
They come with a moisture barrier cuff and breathable sides that work to prevent leaks, as well as keep your baby as comfortable and dry as possible.
They come in all sorts of sizes, so you’ll be sure to find something that works for your baby no matter how old they are. These diapers are available in seven sizes: Newborn up through size 6.
If your little one has a history of developing allergic reactions to different diapers, you might want to give these a shot. These are some of the best non-toxic diapers you’ll find on the market today.
A word of caution if you’re not changing their diapers all that frequently, though: These diapers will swell up with pee and become so big!
So, make sure you’re changing your baby’s diapers often enough so that it doesn’t become uncomfortable for them.
When changing your baby often enough, these can be excellent day-time diapers, but not so much overnight. If you’re looking for something suitable for your baby to wear when sleeping, look for overnight diapers instead.
Last but not least, I love how these diapers hold up pretty well, and the enclosures on them are pretty sturdy and don’t rip, at least not as easily as other non toxic diapers out there.
Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Premium Baby Diapers for Sensitive Skin
These bamboo diapers are certified skin-safe, and they have been dermatologically tested to ensure they’re up to standard and are suitable for babies with sensitive skin.
They’re free of all known allergens, perfumes and harmful chemicals. There’s also absolutely no dyes or parabens included.
To keep your baby’s rashes at bay, all you should need to use along with these diapers is a light layer of diaper rash cream (or ointment / balm)
All in all, these diapers are great for babies with sensitive skin.
They fit very well (from newborn to toddlerhood) and you don’t need to size up (like you would need to do with other diaper brands), they offer your baby great coverage, they’re environmentally friendly, they have great absorbency and they’re incredibly soft.
If you’re looking to stay away from some of the other diapers out there that have prints and designs all over them, then you’ll love the plain white of these diapers.
The fact that they’re in plain white also means that they’ll look perfect under your baby’s outfits.
Also, if you don’t want to buy overnight diapers, these can be the perfect alternative. They’re ultra absorbent and can manage to hold an entire night’s worth of pee, which is usually up to 12 hours.
It will look like a huge yellow water balloon when you check it first thin in the morning for a change, though!
It’s super funny when you see it for the first time, but thankfully, you shouldn’t notice any leaks.
I also like that there’s a water mark (wet indicator line) that makes it very easy for you to tell when the diaper is soiled and needs to be changed.
These are some of the more expensive diapers for babies with sensitive skin out there, but in my opinion, they’re more than worth every penny you’re paying for them.
How Can I Know If My Baby’s Skin Is Sensitive?
All babies have delicate skin, but some are born with skin that also happens to be sensitive.
If your baby is experiencing recurrent rashes, dry skin or irritation, you may be dealing with sensitive skin. As a matter of fact, statistics show that 1 in 3 children have very sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin reddens easily and at the slightest of touch. It’s skin that overreacts to stressors that are normally well-tolerated.
Environmental factors, such as changes in temperature and wind; chemical stressors from detergents or dyes; and even contact from diapers or clothing, can quickly irritate baby skin.
A child’s skin is classified as sensitive if it is prone to eczema, diaper rash, hives or allergic reactions.
Does My Baby Need Diapers for Sensitive Skin?
Both disposable and cloth diapers have developed in leaps and bounds through the years.
From the handy sensors on some diapers letting you know when it’s time for a change, to the technology that keeps them drier for longer periods of time, today’s diapers promise a whole lot.
However, it’s not all positive stuff to take away. These new scientific tricks can also be the reason behind your little one’s skin sensitivity.
If your baby’s ending up with recurrent diaper rashes, unnecessary chafing or any of the conditions listed above, it’s time to reconsider what kind of diapers you’re having them wear.
Needless to say, finding the right diaper for your little one is very much a trial and error process. You can be lucky and find the perfect diaper at the first go, or go through all brands available on the planet before you find one that serves your munchkin comfortably!
Before we delve deeper into the subject of diapers for sensitive skin, let’s try to settle the age old question: cloth or disposables for babies with sensitive skin?
Cloth or Disposables for Sensitive Skin?
The answer to this question largely depends on the source of your baby’s skin irritation.
It’s one thing if your little one’s sensitivity is due to a material or chemical reaction, and an entirely different story if it’s an effect of moisture.
As noted by Healthy Children, wet skin and contact with urine and stools can cause diaper rash.
Cloth diapers are not as efficient as disposables when it comes to moisture levels. This means that your baby’s skin may end up wetter with cloth diapers.
That said, you can easily address this downside by changing cloth diapers quickly once they become wet or soiled. If this still doesn’t solve the issue, it may be time to consider switching over to using disposables instead.
On the other hand, if moisture does not appear to be the issue, your baby’s sensitivity may be due to the material and chemicals in disposable diapers.
Sometimes, regardless of how many brands you try, the problem does not solve itself. In this case, it’s wise to opt for cloth diapers instead, since the problem may very well be something that’s inherent in all disposable diaper brands.
If you do choose to go with cloth diapers, be careful with the detergents you use to wash them, as these too can trigger a reaction.
In short then, there is no one foolproof answer to this debate. It all boils down to your little one’s own situation!
What Makes a Diaper Suitable for Babies With Sensitive Skin?
Some elements make a diaper more suitable if your baby has sensitive skin.
If moisture is the issue, look for diapers that have increased absorbency. Stay dry liners are a good option if you’re using cloth diapers.
ECF and TCF
Alphabet soup apart, ECF stands for elemental chlorine free, and TCF stands for totally chlorine free.
When diapers are labeled this way, it means that chlorine exposure has been limited (ECF) or skipped (TCF).
TCF is your go to acronym if your little one is super sensitive to chlorine.
You’d want to prevent all possibilities of chafing and irritation from diapers that are not soft enough.
For babies with sensitive skin, extra soft diapers are a kinder option.
Popular fragrances used widely in products we use every single day are horrible on sensitive skin, and this is especially true when it comes to diapers.
So, save yourself (and your baby) the trouble and go for fragrance-free diapers.
Latex is the stretchy element of diapers. It’s no longer used as much, but it’s still wise to check the packaging nonetheless.
You know what they say, better safe than sorry!
There are 100% gluten-free diaper options for babies with a gluten allergy or intolerance.
What to Avoid in Diapers Suitable for Sensitive Skin
Now that you know what to look for in diapers for sensitive skin, here’s a list of the most important culprits you should avoid:
Chlorine is used to get disposable diapers white.
While diapers certainly look better and cleaner that way, this ingredient can wreak havoc on your little one’s sensitive skin.
A number of diapers marketed for babies with sensitive skin make use of oil blends. While oils can help soothe sensitive skin, specific oils can trigger an allergic reaction.
So, it’s always best to check the fine print first, to know what really went into making the diaper.
Low Absorbency Levels
Unfortunately, some diapers aimed at sensitive skin do not rate well on the absorbency scale.
The last thing you’d want is moisture on your baby’s bottom and a leaky diaper, especially at night!
Check out our reviews below to ensure that you’re really going for the best option that takes absorbency as a top priority.
Cloth diapers made of natural fibers are safer on your little one’s sensitive skin.
Dioxin and Sodium Poly Carbonate
Although diapers do not significantly contribute to dioxin exposure, it’s best to limit exposure to this as much as possible, still.
Sodium poly carbonate, in turn, can lead to skin irritation in babies.
What to Look for in Sensitive Skin Baby Diapers
Your baby’s skin can easily become irritated due to close contact with chemicals and fragrances.
Sensitive disposable diapers are:
Residue chlorine from the bleaching process may irritate your child’s skin.
Synthetic fragrances are made out of a number of ingredients and chemicals. Babies with sensitive skin can easily react to one or more ingredients used to make the fragrance.
Free From Sodium Polyacrylate
Sodium Polyacrylate is what makes diapers absorbent. It’s so effective that it can also dry out your little one’s skin.
If the sensitiveness is not due to moisture, sodium polyacrylate can irritate your baby’s skin.
Go for a brand that invests heavily in its R&D, follows regulations and is transparent about what goes into their diapers. Shady brands have no place on baby’s bottoms!
Wrapping it Up
Seeing your little one’s skin react negatively to environmental and chemical stressors is both painful and frustrating. If only we could preserve the softness and suppleness of newborn skin forever!
Luckily, there’s loads of studies that delve into the effects of certain chemicals and ingredients on a baby’s skin these days, and many regulations aimed at safeguarding human health are being enforced now more than ever.
So, help is available to extend the perfection of baby skin as much as humanly possible.
Finding a diaper that works best for your little one’s sensitive skin may require substantial research and try outs, but we hope we’ve managed to assist you in sorting out this difficult part of parenting!
Hold on there, it’ll all get easier before you know it!