Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Zero Diaper Brand Loyalty

When my first baby was born and we were still enjoying the lovely double income that rolled in through my eight weeks of paid maternity leave, there was not a single diaper but Pampers that touched our little boy's skin. I tried a Huggies sample once when he was a newborn and it leaked so, I figured, those wouldn't suffice at all. And, in fact, even after those eight weeks were up, we continued to buy Pampers diapers because, well, they worked! But I'm almost ashamed to admit that we continued to shell out for those pricier diapers for almost a full year...

It was actually necessity that caused me to try something different. Living away from home at the Ronald McDonald House, still unable to drive after surgery, and out of diapers during a nasty bout of Rotovirus, I turned to the helpful volunteer staff at the House. They kindly gave me an entire box of diapers for my son. In his size. They were Kroger Comforts.

Hmm. I certainly wasn't going to complain! So I slapped that diaper on my baby's bottom and, you know what? It worked just fine. Even with a tummy bug. As time went on, we tried more and more brands and discovered that there were many, many that worked just dandy.

Lesson learned. We started switching up diaper brands much earlier on with our preemie daughter. Just as soon as she got out of the newborn size, in fact! I plan to do the same with this next baby.

Here's what I know now:

  • Newborns are notorious for having leaky diapers. High-priced premiums may serve you better through those early days, especially at night.
  • It is not uncommon for younger infants to be very sensitive to diapers and break out into rashes if you change. These same babies often do just fine with other brands once they're a little older, say six months or beyond.
  • All store brands are not created equal- you owe it to your pocketbook to try more than one variety. Consider networking with friends who have babies about the same size as yours and trading a diaper or two to try it out. Samples are also great for this purpose. Baby Cheapskate and Freebies4Mom are great sources for finding these!
  • There are "Huggies people" and there are "Pampers people". (Oh, and also "Luvs people"...) Likewise, different people will love different store brands. I'm partial to CVS and Kroger myself...
  • If you truly MUST use a premium diaper (and some people really, truly must), never buy them without a coupon. And a sale. You can save a bundle by observing those simple rules.

Brand loyalty? Not one my best-known traits. :) But it works for me.
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LANA said...

I love Pampers....(not Huggies)! Pampers always absorb and never leak. I buy them about 1/2 the time as they are so darn expensive. I buy them when they are almost 1/2 price or with a good coupon. I find that the knock offs are getting better, however!

Taylor at Household Management 101 said...

I am totally with you on the use of various (generic) diaper brands. We generally use the Swaddlers (I forget which non-generic, way expensive brand that it) when my kids are first born, just because it seems it is hard to find generic diapers in newborn sizes, but as soon as they grow into bigger sizes I switch to generic.

Fortunately, I have not had any kids that have broken out with a particular brand of diapers, but I have heard of that.

My favorite brand is Kroger Comforts, but if I need diapers and am not going to Kroger than I use Walmart generic and they work well too, although they feel a bit papery (is that a word?), but my kids don't mind.

I do buy one non-generic type of diapers though, night time diapers. Seems my kids pee a lot at night, so I buy Huggies Overnights, but I just use one of them a day, and that is easier than washing sheets every morning because of leaks.

Heather Benza said...

I must admit I am loyal to Pampers swaddlers through size 2. They are soft and my NICU used them for the micro preemie and preemie size. It was just an automatic thing to buy newborn and 1-2. After that we switched to Huggies at Costco because they are about 1/2 a penny per diaper cheaper than the costco brand. And we'll likely do the same routine for baby2.

Stacey said...

I was like you. First baby was in papers for atleast a year. But I too switched later on and "experimented" with different brands. We don't have a Kroger here, and we just recently got a CVS. I do know that my favorite is Walmarts "Parents Choice". They are a little less than 1/2 the price of pampers. $5 per regular size pack. And they are unscented which I LOVE! No unnecessary chemicals. Targets brand SUCKS!!!!
I also like, and agree, with you other tips...great post.