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Best newborn nappies 2024: Give babies the best start with comfortable and dry options

Choose the best newborn nappies for your little ones with these leak-proof, comfortable-fit and eco-friendly options

Newborn bottoms are extremely sensitive and need to be properly looked after, which is the reason careful consideration is important when selecting a nappy for your tot. To keep your baby’s skin smooth and rash-free there are a few factors to consider when thinking about which nappy brand to settle on.

Trial and error will be the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to which nappy is best for your newborn. However, it’s a good idea to get familiar with what is available on the market and to know how certain nappy brands perform according to other parents.

So which newborn nappies are best? With a vast array of biodegradable, eco-friendly, lightweight, and budget nappies to choose from, it can be tough knowing what to settle on, especially if this is your first time on the parenting train. We’ve reviewed some of the best newborn nappies around and also provide a brief guide about what to look for when shopping for them.

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How to choose the best newborn nappies for your baby

Each baby’s needs, as well as a parent’s, are different. So, selecting nappies is a personalised choice. If your baby has particularly sensitive skin and keeps breaking out into a rash, you may have to try a few different nappy brands to find one that suits them.

Disposable nappies are undoubtedly the most popular type and are typically made from polyethylene, a thin, waterproof plastic. When your baby does a number one, the liquid is absorbed by small hydrogel crystals in the nappy called hydrogel. Disposable nappies are the most common option as they’re easily accessible, affordable and are available in a variety of options and sizes.

Though all nappies are tested and cleared before going on the market, there are some disposables that can cause nappy rash on particularly sensitive skin. This is due to some of the bleaching agents, dyes and latex found in the core of the nappy’s material. These aren’t technically harmful, but some babies could be allergic to certain brands.

Here are some other key factors to consider when trying to find the best nappy for your baby.

What size nappy does my newborn need?

While baby scans can give you a good indication of a baby’s weight before they’re born, there’s no chart that will let you know exactly which nappy size to buy for your newborn. Once your baby is born and you become aware of exactly how much they weigh, you can use the nappy size charts from your selected brands to decide on the best fit. Some nappies start from size 0, while others start at size 1, but there are also ‘tiny baby’ and ‘newborn’ baby variations to choose from that run a bit smaller than nappies for the average newborn.

While having a packet of Size 1 nappies is probably the safest bet for those first few days, it’s always a good idea to have a few Size 0s and 2s in case the 1s don’t fit. A lot of supermarkets offer a refund or exchange policy for any unopened packets, so you can always buy one of each size to be on the safe side, returning any unused packs. As a rule of thumb, nappy sizing charts look something like this (size of nappy against weight of child):

  • Size 0 = under 6 pounds
  • Size 1 = 4–1 pounds
  • Size 2 = 9–18 pounds
  • Size 3 = 13–22 pounds
  • Size 4 = 20–31 pounds
  • Size 5 = over 24 pounds
  • Size 6 = over 29 pounds

Some brands offer “plus” sizes. This often indicates that they’re more absorbent, making them especially great for night-time use.

What material nappy should I buy?

Since the skin of a newborn is so sensitive, it’s wise to choose a nappy that’s soft, hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. Some common nappy options that you’ll come across are latex-free, chlorine-free, and fragrance-free, eliminating known irritants and keeping baby bums safe, while reducing the chance of rashes and allergic reactions. Most disposable nappies are made from elastane and polypropylene. These make up the stretchy parts of the nappy along the waistband and leg cuffs. Since babies are wriggly little things, a good stretchy waist and leg band is important to avoid the soiling of clothes or bedding.

How do I know when it’s time to change my baby’s nappy?

Apart from the obvious factors (squishy bottoms and a funky smell), it might not always be easy to know exactly when to change your baby’s nappy, especially if they’ve only done a wee. Some of the more affordable nappies will require changing more often than others, especially in the newborn phase of your baby’s life when they’ll be more sensitive. On the other hand, premium quality nappies have super-absorbency technology that keeps your baby drier, meaning you can go a bit longer between changes.

There are also a lot of nappies with handy wetness indicators that change from yellow to blue when they’re wet to let you know it’s time to change the baby. This wetness indicator is especially handy in the middle of the night, when you don’t want to risk waking your baby to check their nappy status.

How we test nappies for newborns

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. We test all the nappies for newborns we review by using them as directed and noting how well they perform. Where newborn nappies are recommended for a particular skin type or use, we test the nappies on children on that skin type or scenario to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.

In addition, we measure the absorption of each nappy and evaluate the overall risk of leakage, the strength of the closure, and the overall quality of the nappy. We also note how well the materials suit newborn skin. Finally, we confirm the measurements of the nappy and the number included per package.

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The best newborn nappies to buy in 2024

1. Pampers New Baby Size 1: Best newborn nappies for first-time parents

Price when reviewed: From £4.50 (24 pack) | Check price at Boots

As the only newborn nappy brand to be approved by The British Skin Foundation, Pampers knows a thing or two about protecting baby’s delicate skin, and these feather-like New Baby nappies will keep your little one’s bottom wrapped in softness. The nappy’s unique top sheet layer actively pulls moisture away from the skin to prevent irritation, promising protection for up to 12 hours. These nappies should be your first port of call for babies who suffer with nappy rash, or if you’re looking for a great night-time option.

Pampers is almost always a brand that will come recommended by experts and countless parents, too, in part because its nappy designs deliver for comfort, fit, and protection. We also found that the wetness indicator on the New Baby nappies was one of the clearest out there, and our tester had very little issues with leakage, thanks to the soft and stretchy flexi-side wings and double leg cuffs.

This design also has a naval-friendly shape for a contoured fit around the tummy and umbilical cord.

Key detailsMaterial: Polypropylene non-woven fabric and spandex, regenerated cellulose; Sizes: 1-3 (2-10kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Approx 17p

Check price at Boots

2. Kit & Kin Eco Nappies Size 1: Best eco-friendly disposable nappies

Price when reviewed: £8 (38 pack) | Check price at Kit & Kin

Founded by former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Kit & Kin is a certified B-Corp nursery brand whose award-winning, plant-based nappies have taken the UK by storm, thanks to their high-quality performance and how kind they are to baby’s skin and the environment.

Much like Pampers, these promise 12-hour protection thanks to a patented channel technology that absorbs and locks away dampness and evenly distributes it to prevent sagging. The nappies offered a truly brilliant fit and effective absorbency in tests – and the animal prints on each one not only look super cute, but they’re a great reminder of which way round the nappy needs to go on.

This is a company that somehow manages to perfectly balance convenience with a dedication to sustainability. Plus, the option to purchase these via a subscription means you’ll never forget to buy nappies ever again. Pair with the brand’s biodegradable, hypoallergenic wipes, and biodegradable nappy bags, and you’re on to an ethical winner. They even come in recycled paper packaging, which we loved.

Key detailsMaterial: Natural cellulose, sustainable plant-based materials, bio-based gels; Sizes: 1-3 (2-10kg); Wetness indicator: No; Price per nappy: Approx 19p

Check price at Kit & Kin

3. The Cheeky Panda Eco Friendly Bamboo Size 1: Best lightweight newborn nappies

Price when reviewed: £40 (192 pack) | Check price at The Cheeky Panda

Using plant-based ingredients and aloe vera, The Cheeky Panda offers another monthly subscription with its eco-friendly bamboo-made nappies that are soft to the touch and have a convenient and clear wetness indicator that the Kit & Kin nappies (above) do not. Although they’re on the pricier side, these premium-feel nappies are suitable for super-sensitive skin and leave babies with dry and soft bottoms.

There are some nappies on the market that can have a very plastic-like, heavy feel to them; but these bamboo nappies are super light and allow little ones to flex, stretch and comfortably wriggle around, allowing them to learn the world around them while keeping dry.

The packaging is (recyclable) plastic, but they’re still one of the more ethical choices on the market when it comes to disposables.

Key specs – Material: Bamboo; Sizes: 1-3 (2-11kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Approx 27p

Check price at The Cheeky Panda

4. Mama Bear Ultra Dry Size 1: Best value newborn nappies

Price when reviewed: From £14 (96 pack) | Check price at Amazon

Amazon brand Mama Bear created the Ultra Dry nappy range for newborns, incorporating double elastic leg cuffs, soft embossed layers, and breathable lines to ensure your baby stays dry and comfortable day and night. One particularly clever feature is the indicator on the side of the nappy that lets parents know when it’s time to move up to a larger size.

It’s easy to think that, due to their light weight and low price, these nappies may not be any good – but don’t be fooled. This is one leak-free and comfortable product for babies. Team these with the Mama Bear wipes that are neither too wet nor too dry for a great, affordable, and effective combo to add to the nappy changing station. They score 10/10 for the uber adorable designs, too.

Key specs – Material: Polypropylene nonwoven fabric, cellulose fibres, polyester; thermoplastic polymers; Sizes: 1-3 (2-9kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Approx 12p

5. Eco by Naty Size 1: Best newborn nappies for sensitive bottoms

Price when reviewed: From £4.50 (25 pack) | Check price at Boots

Eco by Naty is the most affordable eco-friendly nappy brand on our list, proving that sustainable nappies don’t have to cost a fortune. The brand’s nappies (as well as its range of other products) are made with certified natural, biodegradable and renewable materials, with no nasty chemicals floating around. They’re also a great fit and remain leak-free.

The Eco sits flat on the baby’s body and doesn’t create a bulge when the nappy has filled up. Make sure the frilly bits are pulled out to keep your baby drier for longer, though. Multiple parents have praised these nappies for their tots showing no sign of nappy rash after wearing them, saying they were perfect for their babies’ sensitive bottoms.

Key specs – Material: Certified natural and biodegradable plant-based PE, cellulose; Sizes: 1-3 (2-9kg); Wetness indicator: No; Price per nappy: Approx 18p

Check price at Boots

6. Fred & Flo Newborn Nappy Size 0: Best budget newborn nappies

Price when reviewed: £1.20 (24 pack) | Check price at Tesco

For parents after a real bargain, the Fred & Flo brand by Tesco is one of the best you’ll get. The nappies are soft, come with a wetness indicator (which is surprising given that some nappies costing four times the price do not) and a navel cut-out, which is super useful for when the umbilical cord is still attached. This newborn range goes from size 0-2, providing support to infants, babies and toddlers, from the very first day to the toilet training phase.

The size 0 is useful for premature babies, offering great support and a good fit. They’re also dermatologically tested to give added support to sensitive skin, especially in those first few days. With this extremely low price tag, and all the care that has been put into their design, you can’t really ask for more when it comes to nappies on a budget.

Key specs – Material: Polypropylene nonwoven fabric, PEFC-certified pulp; Sizes: 0-2 (1-6kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 5p

Check price at Tesco

7. Aldi Mamia Newborn Nappies: Best supermarket newborn nappies

Price when reviewed: £0.85 (24 pack) | Check price at Aldi

Competing with Tesco for the best supermarket nappy brand – and cheaper at that – is Aldi’s Mamia. You can’t really go wrong here. Dare we say they feel a bit like one of the top leading nappy brands, but without the price tag.

Mamia’s range is highly absorbent and comfortable. They fit well and hold moisture away from the skin, allowing it to breathe. They’re resealable a good few times over – a feature that comes in handy, especially when dealing with wriggly little ones. According to many parents, babies were left dry around the waist and leg area in these snug-fit nappies, and sans nappy rash too. The whole Mamia range (nappies, wipes, nappy sacks) makes us feel like we’re getting a bargain – and with some darn good-quality products, too.

Key specs – Material: Polypropylene nonwoven fabric, cellulose; Sizes: 1-3 (2-9kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 4p

Check price at Aldi

8. Mum & You NappyChat Premium Performance Nappies: Best newborn nappies for leak protection

Price when reviewed: £11 (44 pack) | Check price at Amazon

Nowadays, nappies come with excellently developed technologies incorporated into their designs. The Mum & You range uses “Smart-Tube” technology to evenly disperse baby pee around the nappy to protect babies’ nether regions as best as possible from leaks: say goodbye to saggy-looking baby bums, too. These nappies come complete with all the necessities, such a wetness indicator, hypoallergenic qualities, leak-proof features, and are available in an array of adorable designs.

Designed and manufactured in the UK, many parents were impressed with the nappies’ soft, cotton feel. The materials are breathable, offering up to 12 hours of protection, and we’d even argue they’re serious contenders for being the most absorbent nappies on the market.

These are our mid-range, go-to nappies, and we love that they protect sensitive bottoms while also being considerate to the environment.

Key specs – Material: Chlorine-free, PEFC-certified wood pulp; Sizes: 2-3 (2-3kg); Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 25p

9. Nora’s Nursery Reusable Nappies: Best reusable newborn nappies

Price when reviewed: £63 (7 pack) | Check price at Amazonbest newborn nappies Noras Nursery Resusable NappiesYou can use all the eco-friendly chemicals and biodegradable materials you like, but at the end of the day a disposable nappy is still a disposable nappy. They still have to be produced continually in huge numbers, which is never going to be great for the environment. So, if you really want to lower your baby’s carbon footprint, the best thing you can do is use a reusable nappy like these ones from Nora’s Nursery instead.

These reusable nappies come in a pack of seven and are fully adjustable to fit every size from newborn to toddler. The popper design makes them incredibly easy to use, especially for first-time parents, and the four-layer bamboo inserts are super absorbent and soften nicely with repeated washes.

Key specs – Material: Cloth; Sizes: Adjustable; Wetness indicator: No; Price per nappy: N/A

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