A preterm baby can’t use the regular diapers because of their small size, and hence, they need the best preemie diapers. A preterm or premature baby is one who is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature babies weigh less and are comparatively smaller than full-term babies, which is why they need more care.
A baby usually passes a thick black and sticky waste called meconium in the first few days of life and may go hours or days between bowel movements (1). Premature babies may also have increased chances of constipation due to recurring infections and low muscle tone. While gently massaging your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction can help them relieve themselves (2), you need the right preemie diaper that fits them, keeps them comfy, and ensures hygiene.
If you need guidance on which preemie diapers to choose, check out our list and pick one.
6 Best Preemie Diapers For Your Baby In 2024
1. Best Protective Layers: Huggies Baby Diapers Size Preemie
Huggies preemie baby diapers have an absorbing liner for sensitive skin that provides a layer of protection, enabling softness and breathability. The back pocketed waistband prevents diaper blowouts and keeps the mess contained. They offer impressive absorbency with the leak lock system that prevents leakage for up to 12 hours, and the wetness indicator changes color to indicate when the diaper needs to be changed. These absorbent preemie diapers with soft and stretchy material are comfortable and free from fragrance, parabens, and chlorine.
- Double-grip strips
- Extra soft around legs
- Some might face size problems
- Might leave lint
"These diapers have been great for my baby's skin and offer better leakage protection and comfort. Also, they are gentle, fragrance-free, and fit snugly. I love that they work seamlessly through the night and let my baby get a good night's sleep."
2. Best Plant-Based Materials: Pampers Newborn Pure Protection Diapers
Made of plant-based material and polypropylene fibers, Pampers newborn protection diapers are infused with shea butter to help protect the skin. It features a breathable cotton exterior, which allows ventilation. The wetness indicator alerts you when your baby may require a diaper change. The specialized preemie diapers have no chlorine bleaching, fragrance, parabens, or latex and are hypoallergenic. Pampers Pure is distinguished by its gender-neutral design, which gives style and comfort for both baby girls and boys. Moreover, the pack is available in different size options to suit your little one’s needs. This video will help you make an informed decision about your purchase.
- Absorbent core
- Environment-friendly product
- Natural rubber used
- Easy to use
- May fold inwards at times
- May be non-biodegradable
"I love the fit and how gentle these diapers are on my baby's sensitive skin. They're a clean choice as they have fewer chemicals and are good for preventing wetness discomfort. They're not entirely foolproof against leaks but have been suitable for day use."
3. Best pH-Balanced Materials: Cuties Diapers
Cuties diapers are made of five layers of soft protection and provide a comfortable fit. This amazing diaper is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic. Natural cotton fibers are used to create the cotton-enhanced dryness layer, which is enriched with vitamin E, aloe vera, and natural botanical products. The pH-balanced absorbent keeps the baby dry for around 12 hours, making them one of the most hygienic and comfortable diapers available. These soft preemie diapers are free from dyes, synthetic fragrance, latex, and chlorine. Watch this video to get a detailed review of the gentle preemie diapers.
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Stretchable side panels
- Breathable outer cover
- Adorable designs
- Wrong size may lead to leaking
- May not have a wetness indicator
"I was pleasantly surprised by how absorbent these diapers are. They are gentle and chlorine-free, which is a big plus. The cute prints look adorable on my baby, and overall, they've been a solid choice for functionality."
Huggies Baby Diapers Size Preemie
Best Protective Layers
Pampers Newborn Pure Protection Diapers
Best Plant-Based Materials
Best pH-Balanced Materials
|3.35 x 5.35 x 9.33 inches
|3.98 x 11.46 x 6.38 inches
|12.7 x 10.3 x 7 inches
4. Best Breathable:Hello Bello Premium Newborn Diapers
Provide your little one with a cloud-like and ultra-soft experience using Hello Bello premium diapers specifically designed for newborns. Crafted using responsibly harvested fluff pulp, these hypoallergenic preemie diapers are breathable and prevent skin irritation and sweat. The diaper’s exceptional design imitates the feel of cloth and eliminates the discomfort caused by irritating plastic. Moreover, the stretchable side panels ensure a snug fit without causing red marks or discomfort for the baby. Lastly, the neonatal diaper’s plant-based core liner provides skin-friendly protection.
- Wetness indicator
- Free of parabens, latex, and phthalates
- Devoid of artificial fragrance
- Cute prints and designs
- May not be absorbent enough
- May tend to slip off upon aggressive movements
"I adore the cute designs and soft material; they have been great for my newborn. They don't irritate sensitive skin and seem to be working well overnight. Also, the design let his umbilical cord site heal quickly."
5. Best Liner With Air Channels: Pampers Swaddlers Diapers
Pampers preemie diapers are suitable for babies below six lb. They are two times softer than any traditional diapers and work overnight, keeping your baby dry and comfortable for up to 12 hours. Its unique liner pulls the wetness to reduce any mess. The presence of air channels keeps the baby dry and comfortable. These absorbent preemie diapers have a wetness indicator that suggests the time for a diaper change.
- High absorbing power
- Perfect for premature babies
- Breathable layers
- Cute design and prints
- Ensures uninterrupted sleep
- May seem slightly snug
- May have a chemical smell
"After trying various diaper brands, I'm back to praising these for their consistent softness and dryness. The wetness indicator is a real plus during night changes, and they keep my baby rash-free. Overall, a dependable choice for keeping my little one comfortable."
6. Best Soft Waistline: Huggies Gentle Care Preemies Diapers
The diapers from Huggies fit infants weighing up to six lb. They have a soft waistline that softly folds in toward the abdomen of the infant to protect the umbilical cord while it heals. The baby’s sensitive skin is protected by the soft, quilted cloth-like cover, which is easy on the skin yet tough on leaks. The waistline of the preemie disposable diaper is made of soft and stretchy material, and the fasteners are large for a comfortable fit.
- Extremely soft cotton material
- Trimmer and more tailored fit
- Easy to use
- High quality
- May run large
- May not suit overnight use
"These diapers live up to my expectations. The impressive absorption gives me peace of mind, and they fit my little one comfortably, working well both in the daytime and at night."
How To Choose The Right Premature Baby Diapers?
Here are some factors that you should consider before you make your purchase.
- Size and shape: Check the size and shape of the diaper and whether it suits the preemie. Most preemie nappies mention “preemie” or “P” on their packaging. Certain diapers for newborns may also work for premature infants. Therefore, do carefully check the size and shape before purchase.
- Design: Look for preemie-sized diapers with a hook-and-loop feature for easy closure and removal. This design also is easier for new parents to manage.
- Material: Newborns or preemies have very sensitive skin. Look for tag-less and cotton diapers that are soft and flexible made of non-woven textiles or naturally occurring high-quality materials.
- Don’t overstock: Babies grow fast. Therefore, do not overstock diapers. They will soon outgrow the size in a month or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can my premature baby wear newborn diapers?
No, regular newborn diapers are a bit bigger in size for preemies. So you need to consider newborn preemie diapers for your little one for proper fitting.
2. How many preemie diapers will my baby need?
A premature baby can go through over six to eight diapers in just a day. Hence, you should carry the required amount of diapers to avoid accidents and messes (3).
3. Do preemie diapers expire?
No, diapers are made of paper, polypropylene, and polyester material that last long. But manufacturers suggest using diapers within two to three years of purchase. After that, they show signs of discoloration and less absorbency.
4. Which diapers are best for preemies?
A good absorbency diaper with wetness indicators and one that is gentle on the skin is ideal for preemies, as they are more sensitive than newborns. You may also choose diapers with adjustable fasteners to accommodate the smaller size of preemies.
5. When can I use a preemie diaper?
You need to use a preemie diaper if a baby is weighing less than six lbs. As the baby grows, switch to other diaper sizes.
6. What is the smallest preemie diaper size?
A diaper size with P-3 is the smallest diaper. It fits a baby weighing around one lb. This diaper is ideal for babies born in the second trimester.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Vibha Navarathna is a product writer with a keen interest in baby, nursing, and pregnancy products. She has put together this list of the best preemie diapers after doing extensive research. Vibha has included high-quality diapers that are soft, comfortable, gentle on the skin, and absorbent. Besides, she has provided the descriptions of each product and included a buying guide mentioning all the important factors you should consider when choosing a preemie diaper.
Premature babies are more delicate and sensitive than full-term infants, and therefore, they naturally require special care and attention. Caring for them entails picking the right preemie diapers that allow you to keep your little one dry and clean while making the process of changing diapers more convenient. The best preemie diapers listed here are specifically designed to be gentle on their sensitive skin and prevent allergic reactions, so your little one can be comfortable all day long. Our top picks include the plant-based Pampers Newborn Pure Protection Diapers with wetness indicator and the dermatologically tested Cuties Diapers with a unique pH-balanced absorbent core for your baby’s optimal care.
Infographic: Tips To Choose The Right Diapers For Premature Babies
Now that you know the best diapers available for premature babies, let’s look at the factors to keep in mind when selecting the right one for your little one. Check out the following infographic to learn about picking the most suitable preemie diaper.
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