Diapers 101: Diaper Sizes, Fits & Tips

Learn all about diaper sizes, fits and tips, plus get the correct size for your child delivered in 30 minutes by Gopuff

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Diapers are not complicated. After all, sleep-deprived new parents can figure them out immediately in the hospital. Yet diaper sizes and fits can be confusing for even the most seasoned parent (i.e., the one who steps barefoot on a LEGO and barely raises an eyebrow). That’s because unlike baby clothes, diapers are sized by weight and not age. Plus, there is overlap between sizes.

Having a properly fitting diaper should reduce blowouts and leakage, so it’s important to choose the right one. Our diaper size guide—complete with diaper size charts for the major brands—can tell you exactly which diaper your baby or toddler needs. Plus with Gopuff, you can get diapers delivered to your door in just 30 minutes. 

Diaper Sizes by Brand 

Pampers Diaper Sizes

Package of Pampers Swaddlers diapers size 2

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Child’s Weight Diaper Size
Up to 6 lbsSize P
Up to 10 lbsSize 0 or N (newborn)
8–14 lbsSize 1
12–18 lbsSize 2
16–28 lbsSize 3
22–37 lbsSize 4
27+ lbsSize 5
35+ lbsSize 6
41+ lbsSize 7 

Available Sizes for Pampers Diapers 

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Pampers has a wide range of diapers to fit a variety of needs. For instance, the popular Pampers Swaddlers line cradles babies with blanket-like softness and pulls wetness away from sensitive baby skin. It’s the No. 1 choice of hospitals according to hospital sales data collected by Pampers. Pampers Baby-Dry has 3 absorbent layers for up to 12 hours of dryness, making them especially good for babies who sleep through the night. Then there’s the Pampers Cruisers 360° Fit line, which is ideal for active older babies and uses an elastic band to keep diapers up instead of tape.  

Huggies Diaper Sizes

Package of Huggies Little Snugglers diapers size 1
Child’s Weight Diaper Size
Up to 6 lbsSize P (preemie) 
Up to 10 lbsSize N (newborn)
Up to 14 lbsSize 1
12–18 lbsSize 2
16–28 lbsSize 3
22–37 lbsSize 4
Over 27 lbsSize 5
Over 35 lbsSize 6

Available Sizes for Huggies Diapers 

Huggies’ large diaper roster includes the cottony-soft Little Snugglers line, which offers up to 12 hours of leak protection and has a pocketed back waistband to help contain poop and prevent blowouts. The budget-friendly Snug & Dry line also offers 12 hours of protection and features a Mickey Mouse design. And the Little Movers line keeps active babies covered with Double Grip strips and a contoured shape. 

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Luvs Diaper Sizes

Package of Luvs diapers size 4

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Child’s Weight Diaper Size
Up to 10 lbsSize N (newborn)
8–14 lbsSize 1
12–18 lbsSize 2
16–28 lbsSize 3
22–37 lbsSize 4
Over 27 lbsSize 5
Over 35 lbsSize 6

Luvs has one line of diapers, which features three absorption areas to keep away wetness for up to 12 hours. Luvs are super soft on sensitive baby skin and feature larger tabs for a secure fit. 

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How to Weigh Your Baby to Find Their Diaper Size

Although balancing your baby on a digital kitchen scale would be adorable, there’s a better way to get their weight using a regular bathroom scale. All you have to do is weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your baby. Subtract the second number from the first number to get your baby’s weight. For more accuracy, remove your baby’s clothes and diaper before you weigh them. 

How to Choose the Right Diaper Size

While choosing diaper sizes by weight is important, it’s not the only thing to pay attention to. You may have noticed in the diaper size charts that some sizes overlap. For instance, a 13-pound baby will fit in both a Size 1 and a Size 2 diaper. So how do you know which one to choose? 

There’s no magic answer, but there are a few things to consider: 

  1. How often does your baby pee and poop in a day? 
  2. How much does your baby move around? 
  3. Is your baby frequently leaking through their diaper? 
  4. Does your baby leak through their diaper at night? 
  5. Does your baby have chunky thighs that you just want to eat? Or does your baby have leaner thighs that you just want to eat? 

That might mean putting a 13-pound baby with a slimmer build in a smaller size or putting a 13-pound baby who leaks a lot in a bigger size. A lot of it is trial and error, but it helps to have the next size on hand when your child starts approaching the end of the weight range in their current size. 

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How Should a Diaper Fit?

A diaper that fits properly is going to go a long way to improving absorbency and reducing blowouts. So how do you know if your diaper fits? Pampers has this helpful chart:  

Diaper fit illustration: diapers should fit under belly button; leg cuffs shouldn’t gap; you should be able to fit 2 fingers under waistband; there shouldn’t be red marks
Source: Pampers

The 4 key takeaways are: 

  1. The diaper should fit under the belly button. If it’s looking more like the low-rise jeans you wore in 2005, it’s time to size up. 
  2. The leg cuffs shouldn’t gap. Run two fingers just inside the leg cuffs to make sure they’re in the proper position, which will help prevent leaks down the legs. 
  3. You should be able to fit two fingers under the waistband when the diaper is fastened. If that’s hard to do, size up. 
  4. The diaper should not leave any red marks. If you see red marks when you remove the diaper, size up. 

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How to Prevent Blowouts 

Blowouts happen, but they shouldn’t happen all the time. If your baby is constantly having blowouts, that’s typically an obvious sign that their diaper is too small. Try sizing up and see if that cuts down on the number of times you find yourself holding them away from you like they’re Simba meeting his kingdom for the first time. 

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Do You Need Newborn Diapers?

Whether or not you need newborn diapers depends on how much your newborn weighs! Again, newborn diaper sizes vary by brand, but they’re mostly designed for babies who weigh less than 10 pounds. So, if your new baby falls into that category, you might want to get some newborn diapers, especially because Size 1 diapers still might be too big on them (they typically fit babies who weigh at least 8 pounds). 

Newborn diapers also have a special notch cut out at the top to help keep the umbilical cord dry and prevent irritation—though you can always fold down the top of a size 1 diaper before taping it. 

If you haven’t met your baby yet, it’s probably safe to assume that they will fit into newborn diapers, because according to the University of Michigan, the average birth weight for babies is about 7.5 pounds. But, because Gopuff can deliver diapers to you in just 30 minutes, there’s no need to buy a package of newborn diapers until you’re absolutely sure you’ll need them. 

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Swim Diaper Sizes

Unlike regular diapers, disposable swim diapers typically come in small, medium and large sizes. That often equates to diaper sizes 3–6, but it’s important to check the sizing guidelines on the box because they often use different weight ranges than other diapers from the same brand.

Helpful Diaper Tips From Moms 

We interviewed a few moms on our team to see if they had any helpful diaper tips, and boy, did they deliver (again):

  1. Use a bigger diaper overnight. If your child is waking up with wet jammies, try having them sleep in a bigger diaper for better absorbency. 
  2. Use diaper booster pads. These are similar to maxi pads, and fit into diapers for extra protection. They’re especially good for toddlers. 
  3. Make sure you have one diaper in your diaper bag for every hour you plan to be away. You shouldn’t run out of diapers if you follow this rule. 
  4. Treat blowout stains with a Fels-Naptha bar. This old-timey laundry bar—it was introduced in 1893—gets out some really bad stains, making it a game-changer for blowouts.
  5. Don’t keep using too-small diapers just to finish the box. It’s not worth the blowouts or irritated baby skin. Save these leftover diapers for your next kid, give them to a friend with a younger baby or donate them to the National Diaper Bank Network. Many of their organizations accept open packs.  

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