For first-time mums and dads, and experienced parents alike, finding the right-size nappy to avoid leakages may seem almost impossible. Read our advice on finding the perfect fit for newborns through to potty-training toddlers.
Choosing the right nappy size can help avoid leakages and skin irritation, but may seem easier said than done. Babies come in different shapes and sizes, so if your little one is between two sizes, consider the smaller size if your child is fairly long and slim and the larger size for a shorter baby of the same weight.
But first things first: any good nappy will be highly absorbent so as to draw urine (wee) and stool (poo) away from the skin and into the core of the nappy as quickly as possible to minimise the risk of chafing and nappy rash. A good nappy should also be breathable because baby's skin will be wrapped in a nappy almost 24 hours a day except for at bath time and nappy changes.
So, let's take it step by step: how do you choose the right size nappy for a newborn?
First-time parents often eagerly buy too many nappies before baby arrives, which is quite understandable. But those first nappies may well be too big or too small. This is why we recommend only buying one pack of nappies before baby arrives, or even better, picking up some sample packs in different sizes based on baby's expected birth weight, but bearing in mind that pre-birth size and weight predictions are a guide only.
If you find nappy samples, you can try out the different sizes while in hospital, and then dad or perhaps grandparents can buy the right size nappies before you get home. Typically, newborns weighing about 3-3.5 kg (7-7.7 lbs) start with nappy no. 2 (3-6 kg), and first-time mums with full-term babies are usually recommended to choose this size. Nappy sizes no. 0 and 1 are intended for premature babies and twins, as these numbers are suitable for birth weights of 1-3 kg (2-7 lbs) or 2-4 kg (4-9 lbs).
How should a nappy be put on to minimize the chance of leakages?
Before putting on the nappy, make sure that the leakage protectors inside the nappy are “standing up”. You may need to straighten these first. Also, check that the leg cuffs are pulled out around your child’s legs and bottom. Tip: for a boy, make sure that his penis is pointing down before fastening the nappy (this goes for pull-up nappies too!). Otherwise, baby might wee out of the top or the sides.
Place the nappy underneath baby, fold the front over the base of baby's tummy and fasten the sticky tabs. The nappy should be placed at waist-level and with a snug fit – you should be able to insert your finger at the waist of the secured nappy.
When should you go up a size?
Are you experiencing leakages, even though the nappy size should be the right fit for your baby’s weight? One of the most common reasons for leakages is that the nappy is too small. Since babies are all shapes and sizes and there is no one-size-fits-all, if nappy leaks keep happening despite the nappy size being correct based on charts and baby weight, try going up a size, but making sure the nappy is not too loose. As with many other aspects of parenting, finding the right nappy and the right size is a “try as you go along” experience.
What if the nappy leaks at night?
We always recommend open nappies rather than pants for your baby or toddler at night, as these can be adjusted for a snugger fit for added night-time protection. However, your little one might also just be between sizes, or drinking a lot before bedtime. If your child is very thirsty before bed time, the best thing might be a night-time nappy change, as each nappy can only hold a certain amount of wetness. You could also use a mattress protector, like our Bambo Nature Protective Bed Mats. The disposable bed mats have sealed edges for optimum leakage protection and are made of breathable material to minimise the risk of skin irritation. The tape at the sides allows you to easily secure them under the bed sheet.
Bed mats are also ideal to use when your little one reaches potty-training age. At this point, nappy pants are a great alternative to traditional nappies, as the child can pull them up and down themselves, like normal underwear, when they start learning to use the potty or toilet. The pants have no sticky tabs for securing them like with open nappies, so it's important to find a size that provides a snug fit and absorbs enough. Use the size guide on the packaging or try out different sizes to find the right fit.
Experienced parents know that avoiding leakages completely is virtually impossible. Most likely, you'll have the occasional mishap when your child is between sizes or if you have simply put the nappy on wrongly. But if you follow these tips, you're likely to experience fewer leakages.
Are Bambo Nature nappies suitable for sensitive skin?
In general, everything you put on your baby’s body – especially nappies, as they are in contact with the skin almost 24 hours a day – should be as skin-friendly as possible. Bambo Nature nappies are dermatologically tested, certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel as well as recommended by Asthma Allergy Nordic, and they contain no fragrance. The fluff – the wood fibres in the absorbent core – in our nappies is Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) and the material comes from sustainable, responsibly managed FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified forests, where no more trees are felled than the forest can naturally regrow.
So yes, our nappies are suitable for sensitive skin – and so are our other products, from wet wipes to skin care.
- Any good nappy should be extremely absorbent to draw wetness and soiling away from the skin quickly, and should be breathable, too. This helps prevent skin irritation.Bambo Nature nappies include the latest channel technology that draws away moisture into the super absorbent core very quickly.
- Look for samples of different sizes and try them on your baby before buying a wrong-size nappy in bulk.
- Use size charts and kg/lbs recommendations as a guide – but bear in mind that babies come in all shapes and sizes so there's no one-size-fits-all.
- Place the nappy correctly for a snug fit around the legs and waist.
- If you experience repeated leakages even though the nappy should be the right fit based on child weight and size charts, try a larger size, but make sure the nappy is not too loose.
- If you experience recurring leakage at night, your little one might be between sizes, or drinking a lot before bedtime. Try night-time nappy changes, avoiding big feeds before bed, or using Protective Bed Mats. We recommend open nappies for night-time wear, as they can be adjusted and tightened.
- When your little one reaches potty-training age, try nappy pants instead of open nappies during the daytime. These are easier for toddlers to pull up and down. We still recommend open nappies for night-time wear.
- Nappies should be as skin-friendly as possible – look for dermatologically tested products with no fragrance and Totally Chlorine Free (TCF), certified according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel as well as recommended by Asthma Allergy Nordic.