It’s not an exaggeration if your baby’s first year feels like an endless cycle of feeding, burping, sleeping and diapering.
In their very first year, babies will need anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 diapers. That’s a triple ouch on the time, finances, and environment fronts!
It also means that your baby will be spending the majority of time with her bum nestled in a diaper.
While we’re extra careful about what comes into contact with baby’s perfect skin, plenty of us forget that some diapers are nowhere as safe as others as far as harmful chemicals are concerned.
The run of the mill diaper at the store is harmful to the environment and probably contains chemicals that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
If you’re trying to stay away from all of that and offer your baby the safest diapering experience possible, the first alternative to disposable diapers that comes to mind is cloth diapering.
That said, cloth diapering is not a viable solution for all parents alike, seeing that it requires much more time and effort than using disposables.
Luckily, though, you don’t have to cloth diaper if you can’t make that commitment. Natural disposable diapers are nowadays widely available on the market!
This article will go into all you need to know about natural diapers.
Best Natural Diapers for Babies – a Quick Look at Our Top 6 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.
- Earth + Eden Baby Diapers
- Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Premium Baby Diapers
- Andy Pandy Eco Friendly Premium Bamboo Disposable Diapers
- Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine-Free Disposable Baby Diapers
- ECO BOOM Baby Bamboo Biodegradable Disposable Diapers
- Seventh Generation Free & Clear Unbleached Diapers
Best Natural Diapers for Babies – a More Detailed Look at Our Top 6 Recommendations
It’s a tough task finding the absolute best natural diapers for babies out there, simply because there’s way too many factors that go into this for one or two options to be the “be all, end all” solution for all parents alike.
With that being said, this list should give you more than enough options to forget about ever going back to those harmful disposable diapers you once used in the past.
So, without further ado, here’s what we believe to be the best non toxic diapers of today.
Earth + Eden Baby Diapers
These diapers are produced in a zero waste to landfill facility, and do not contain any of the following ingredients whatsoever: lotions, latex, fragrance, parabens, and chlorine bleaching.
As a matter of fact, here’s the list of ingredients as stated by the manufacturer: Sustainably sourced wood fluff pulp (Elemental Chlorine Free), Sodium polyacrylate (absorbent diaper pad), polyethylene/polypropylene (core wrap, inner and outer liners, leg cuff, moisture barrier, fastening system), cotton blend dryness layer, polymer based elastic film and strands – free of natural latex rubber (fastening system, waistband, and leg elastics), non-toxic water based inks (pigment based for external printed designs), adhesives.
As far as sizes are concerned, they’re available in all sorts of sizes: from newborn size, to size 1 and all the way up to size 7.
This is a huge plus in my book, because these days, many natural brands don’t have adequate sizing that’s suitable for bigger kids. With size 7 being available, that’s a problem of the past, though.
If you’re wondering about the prints that these diapers have, rest assured that they’re printed with non-toxic water-based inks.
All in all, they’re some of the most comfortable diapers for your baby to wear. They don’t feel too bulky, they’re lightweight, and they’re perfectly soft and silky both on the inside and outside.
Despite being on the thinner side of diapers, they’ve managed to maintain superior absorbency. As a matter of fact, you can even use them as overnight diapers.
If you have a little munchkin that stays active for long parts of the day, you can also rest assured that they stay securely closed throughout it all.
These are also one of the most affordable natural diapers you’ll come across today. Who ever said natural diapering has to be expensive?
Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Premium Baby Diapers
The new and improved version of the Bambo Nature baby diapers is now made from feather-soft materials that offer superior comfort for babies.
They’re also available in a wide assortment of sizes, ranging from size 1 to size 6, which – again – solved a huge headache for many parents who can’t find sized for their bigger kids.
As far as natural goes, know that these diapers are certified skin safe, and have been dermatologically tested and proven to be free from all known allergens, perfumes, dyes, parabens and toxic chemicals.
With that being said, you should know that they are not biodegradable, but are Chlorine free.
They excel as far as absorbency goes, and offer your little one excellent over night protection. Your child should wake up without having a soaked up diaper, and no rashes.
In fact, expect quality protection from pee through the night, for up to a very impressive 12 hours.
They’re equally as good for little kids who are always on the go. Even with a whole lot of roughness and toughness, you should still expect these diapers to keep up.
A word of caution if you plan on buying these diapers: make absolute sure that the wings that go around each of your baby’s legs are NOT tucked inside of the diaper. If you fail to get this part right, that’s just an invitation for leaks to happen!
That’s not just the case with leaks from these diapers, but leaks with any diaper, really. So, always remember that the ruffles should be released, NOT tucked in.
Here’s the ingredients list that went into putting this diaper together, as per the manufacturer: Non-woven backsheet (outer side) of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Absorbent of polyacrylate (SAP) and cellulose (ECF fluff). Topsheet of non-woven (PP). Acquisition layer of non-woven (PET/Co-PET). Hook tab fastening system of non-woven (PP/PE). Adhesive made of synthetic rubber—no optical brightener added. Wetness indicator. Elastication made from elastane.
Andy Pandy Eco Friendly Premium Bamboo Disposable Diapers
The Andy Pandy disposable diapers are made from thermal regulating bamboo that helps minimize the chances of irritations and rashes. They’re hypoallergenic and antibacterial, both of which help keep irritation and chaffing at bay.
They also have an aloe liner to keep your baby’s skin well hydrated.
They come in all sorts of sizes, so you’re sure to find a suitable option for your baby no matter how old they are. Available sizes are newborn, small, medium, large, and extra large.
As far as eco-friendly diapers are concerned, these ones are 100% free from all of the following: Chlorine, Phthalates, Latex, PVC, TBT, Alcohol, Preservatives, and Antioxidants.
They’re also gluten free, just in case you’re trying to stay away from any wheat (or corn) products.
Also, if you were to check the manufacturer’s website, they state that these diapers are 86.5% biodegradable.
If you’re specifically looking for newborn diapers, you should know that the newborn size of these diapers are a bit bigger than newborn size diapers of other brands, but not all that much.
Leaks are almost non-existent, and they do an excellent job at holding wetness.
There’s almost no night time leaks as well, even if your little one has this on for 12 hours a night.
All you’ll see is a huge diaper in the morning for you to care about, nothing more than that! Rashes? None of that! Marks? Definitely none of that!
The fabric on these diapers is super soft, and it doesn’t feel like stiff paper (a problem with lots of other natural and organic diapers out there), with the latter obviously being very problematic for a baby’s gentle skin.
They’re also super flexible and elastic in the waistband and around the legs.
Last but not least, there’s a wetness indicator that helps keep you on top of things so you can step in and perform a change whenever needed.
Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine-Free Disposable Baby Diapers
These chlorine-free, latex-free, dye-free and fragrance-free diapers made in Mexico are available in a wide range of sizes, from newborn size all the way up to size 6.
Each pack supplies you with 144 chlorine free disposable diapers.
If it’s super important for you to get biodegradable diapers, you might want to look elsewhere. Even though it’s stated on the package that they are made with renewable resources, it’s not stated that they are biodegradable.
With that being said, they’re super absorbent and chemical-free, which is excellent for babies who suffer from frequent diaper rash.
As far as looks are concerned, these diapers are design-free, which is perfect if you’re looking to stay away from all the other options that you might consider to be too “noisy” with how they look.
You only get a small bit of design and the company logo, nothing more than that as far as design goes.
Again, sizing seems to be a bit off, and they do seem to run a bit on the smaller side. So, a good tip would be to consider buying a size larger than what you know your baby wears from other diaper brands.
You don’t want to have your baby wear a size that’s too tight on them, as that’s a recipe for disaster, with all the pain, redness and itching that comes with a tight diaper.
Also, if you’ve got an exceptionally active little one roaming around the house, it would be best for you to consider a different option that doesn’t need as much time or effort from your end to keep closing it, such as the ones from Earth + Eden discussed above.
ECO BOOM Baby Biodegradable Bamboo Disposable Diapers
If you’re looking for one of the best biodegradable diapers out there (which you really should be, it’s the 21st century!), Eco Boom has a super soft and comfortable option that might be perfect for your needs.
They’re made from a 100% natural bamboo backsheet, are 100% chemical free, and contain absolutely no latex, PVC, TBT or antioxidants.
Also, the bamboo diapers come wrapped with a D2W bag, which will become completely biodegradable within a span of only 18 months.
You’ll especially love this if you cloth diaper and want to mix in a little bit of disposable diapering in your routine as well.
You don’t get any sort of nasty chemical smells (as you would with other options out there), which is obviously uncomfortable for both you and your baby.
Also, these should last your little one through the night perfectly fine as well, without any noticeable leaks.
With that being said, and if getting diapers that last your baby through the night is a very important priority of yours, a couple of options mentioned above might be a better fit for your needs, since those two can provide excellent protection for up to 12 hours.
Assuming you change your baby’s diapers frequently (even at night time), though, then you should be good to go and won’t have to worry about any leaks. At most, when you wake up in the morning, you’ll find a full diaper waiting for you to change!
Other than that, these can be the perfect bamboo biodegradable daytime diapers for your little one!
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Unbleached Diapers
These hypoallergenic disposable diapers are made without any use of chlorine, lotions, or fragrances.
As a matter of fact, the company prides itself in using 0% chlorine bleaching. Not only that, but it’s also the first ever FSC Certified Diaper in North America that’s also manufactured in the U.S.A.
One potential downside to it is that it doesn’t have a moisture indicator, unlike other natural diapers mentioned on this list.
That’s about the only thing it doesn’t have, though. Other than that, I love it. It does an excellent job at keeping babies dry overnight, and doesn’t irritate their sensitive bottoms.
In fact, if you’ve tried other natural diapers out there and were disappointed because of the rashes they caused (or made worse), you should really give these a try! That’s because the breath-ability on these diapers is beyond superb.
With all of that being said, you should know that these aren’t the most affordable natural diapers you can find. That’s just one price we should all accept to pay, though, because organic and natural products don’t come cheap!
What Exactly Is a Natural Baby Diaper?
Natural baby diapers are eco-friendly and made with plant-based materials.
They’re more environmentally friendly when compared to other disposable diapers, are safer on the skin, and are overall better baby diapers for sensitive skin.
That said, it should be noted that natural does not necessarily mean organic. Check the fine print very well first if buying organic diapers is a priority for you.
Natural baby diapers reduce:
- Risks of irritation and diaper rash
- Allergic reaction risks
- Exposure to harsh chemicals and fragrances
How Do I Know If What I’m Getting Is a Natural Baby Diaper?
Not sure if the brand of diapers you’re eyeing produces natural baby diapers? This is where reading the label fine print very carefully comes into play.
A number of brands are well known for their commitment to producing only the most natural diapers you can find. On the other hand, others may claim their product is ‘natural’, but a closer look at the ingredients list reveals the exact opposite.
A common trick brands utilize is related to chlorine-use. A huge ‘chlorine-free’ sign printed on the packaging does not necessarily mean that the diaper is completely devoid of chlorine use.
This may simply refer to the fact that the diaper does not contain elemental chlorine, but does involve chlorine dioxide. Total chlorine-free (TCF) is what you should be looking for on the packaging.
A diaper is truly natural if it uses only the safest and most eco-friendly materials. This means sustainable plant-based ingredients, including a bio-based core. A safe core ensures that nothing nasty gets in touch with your baby’s skin if the nappy breaks.
Unfortunately, diaper manufacturers are not required to disclose all the ingredients that go into producing their diapers. This means there is always a level of risk involved.
What Chemicals Should Be Avoided in Baby Diapers so They’re Deemed Natural?
Here’s a list of the ingredients you should steer away from while shopping for a non-toxic diaper:
We’ve already addressed the chlorine issue earlier on in this article, but let’s delve a little deeper.
The make up of disposable diapers includes wood pulp that’s bleached with chlorine. This bleaching process creates a by-product called dioxin.
Dioxins are environmental pollutants, belonging to the ‘dirty dozen’, a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants.
Dioxins have a high toxic potential and studies have shown they affect organs and systems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies dioxins as highly carcinogenic. They are also known to cause allergic skin reactions and irritations.
The organization also notes that once dioxins enter the body, they last a long time.
Everyone has background exposure and a certain level of dioxins in their body. While normal exposure is not expected to affect human health, their high toxic potential means that efforts need to be taken to reduce this exposure.
The developing fetus and newborns are most vulnerable to some of its effects.
In an article published in Clinical Pediatrics, “Common Diaper Ingredient Questions: Modern Disposable Diaper Materials Are Safe and Extensively Tested”, it is stated that parents should not worry about dioxin exposure, as the bleaching process has changed throughout the years.
But, what the article is ultimately stating is that elemental chlorine is no longer used. It does not negate the total use of chlorine. The study was also funded by Procter & Gamble, owner of the most popular diaper brand (on the planet?), so of course, it has to be read with this fact in mind.
While ECF might seem like a positive, there is a safer option out there, and that is Total Chlorine Free (TCF).
ECF means that the pulp was bleached with chlorine dioxide, in itself a hazardous substance. While this process does reduce dioxins, it does not fully prevent them.
There’s no refuting the fact that printed diapers are cute. Even if we’ll rarely get to actually see the print outside of the changing diaper chore, diapers with lovely prints just make us…. happier?
Regardless of how cute the print is, ensure that no dyes have been used to get the diaper looking as it does. Pigments are safer than dyes!
Lotion is placed on disposable diapers as a barrier ointment. It usually contains pharmaceutical grade petrolatum, stearyl alcohol and aloe.
Natural diapers are free from lotions.
‘Fragrance’ is often used as a blanket term to hide away any other ingredients that diaper companies do not wish to disclose.
For this reason, fragrances may contain endocrine disruptors known as phthalates.
Although fragrance is added in small amounts and located underneath the absorbent materials, it’s better to be safe and steer away from this ingredient altogether.
This chemical compound has only been used in diapers for the past two decades, so research on its long-term effects is still in its infancy.
With that being said, it’s believed that sodium polyacrylate can lead to skin irritations and respiratory problems.
This ingredient was actually removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns, but is unfortunately still present in many diaper brands today.
TBT is a toxic pollutant that’s extremely harmful to aquatic life and may also lead to skin reactions.
It’s a chemical that does not degrade, and hence remains in the food chain.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene, toxic chemicals often used in disposable diapers.
These can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, and even scarier conditions such as liver damage and cancer.
Why Should We Buy Natural Diapers?
The average price of natural diapers is somewhat higher than the price of other regular disposable diapers.
However, eco-friendly diapers also offer specific benefits that disposables don’t. Read more to see exactly what we’re talking about here.
According to the Clean Air Council, the average child will use anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 diapers before being potty-trained.
This means that each and every single year, 18 billion diapers reach landfills, an average of 49 million diapers per day.
Diapers are not only one of the largest contributors to landfills, but no one really knows how long it takes them to decompose!
Current estimates range from a scary 250 to 500 years. If you take a moment to think about it, we’re literally surrounded by dirty diaper mountains.
Disposable diapers also contain ingredients that could harm animals and the environment. Polyethylene, petroleum, wood pulp, gelling material, perfume, polypropylene and dioxin release harmful toxins in the environment.
Natural diapers are made from biodegradable material that is gentler on the environment, and thus on both animals and humans.
Safer for Baby
Natural diapers do not contain chlorine, latex, perfumes and dyes.
Chlorine is a harsh chemical that can easily cause irritation and skin rashes.
Latex, in turn, is well known for its allergy inducing properties. This happens when the immune system mistakens the proteins in natural rubber for harmful substances.
Rashes, swelling, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis, can occur.
All of this makes natural diapers a more viable options for babies with sensitive skin.
What Makes a Natural Diaper Great?
In short, here’s a quick list of what makes a non toxic diaper great.
Use this to guide to your advantage as a checklist of what you should look for when out shopping for the absolute best natural diapers for babies you can find.
- Free from chlorine – refer to the chlorine discussion above.
- Contains no phthalates, BPA, PVC, alcohol, TBT, dyes or preservatives – natural diapers decrease irritation and allergy risk, as well as safeguard health.
- Biodegradable – prevents adding a permanent resident to the diaper pile in landfills.
- Eco-friendly – safe on the environment, including on animals.
- Breathable material – this helps circulate air and keeps baby’s skin dry.
- Hypoallergenic – to prevent nasty allergic reactions.
- Antibacterial – great option for babies with sensitive skin.
- Does not contain heavy metals and carcinogens.
- No synthetic materials.
- Absorption! The holy grail of all – a leaky diaper is no one’s idea of fun!
- And a plus: certification from environmental organizations. This way, you can really be sure of their minimized environmental impact.
Wrapping it Up
Feeling overwhelmed at the many decisions that need to be taken in relation to parenting – and diapering – is not strange.
Truth is, there are many diaper options available out there for you to choose from these days, all advertising one benefit or other.
So, I know how complicated it can seem if you don’t have a tried and tested choice that’s gained your trust yet.
Coming to a decision about which option is best and safest for your little one will require research, and possibly some trial and error, too.
We hope to have helped you come to this decision feeling armed with all that there is to know about natural diapering with this guide, though! It’s really not all that difficult.
While they’re almost always going to be more expensive than their mainstream disposable counterparts, natural diapers are gentler and less invasive on your little one’s skin.
They also offer great peace of mind, knowing that you’re doing your part in minimizing the impact that toxic disposable diapers have on our environment.
Here’s to more sustainable parenting, one green diaper at a time!