Mother and Baby

How to choose the best newborn nappies for your baby

Newborn nappies

When you have a newborn baby, you want to do everything to give them the best start in life and there are so many tips, advice, and methods that it can be overwhelming!

As a parent, you have to consider factors like the size of your newborn baby, skin sensitivity, disposable or reusable nappies, as well as affordability when choosing the right nappy, especially when your tot might end up going through 7-8 nappies a day.

Brands have your baby’s interests at heart, designing nappies to ensure the baby is comfortable, safe, and dry, with all the necessary features and benefits to ensure your precious arrival is as happy as can be. 

Brands featured in the newborn nappy guide:

  • ALDI Mamia Newborn Nappy
  • Pampers New Baby Nappies
  • Morrison Nutmeg Little Big Newborn Nappies
  • ASDA Little Angels Newborn Nappies
  • Tesco Fred & Flo Newborn Nappies
  • Bambo Nature Premium Eco Nappies, New Born
  • Kit & Kin Hypoallergenic Eco Nappies

How do I choose nappies for my newborn?

It's good to be prepared and that’s why it can be smart to buy in nappies before your little angel is born.

But every baby is different, so while it's super generous of family and friends to buy you a pack of nappies, they may end up going unused. If you find yourself with a surplus, consider regifting sealed packs to those in need, like friends, other expecting mums, or even check at your local food bank or other charity options where you can donate.

When your child is born, you will need to consider these factors when shopping for newborn nappies: 

  • Weight - you will need to know what your baby weighs to select the correct newborn nappy.
  • Material - newborn skin is super sensitive, so you want a nappy that is soft against the baby’s delicate skin. 
  • Leg and waist elastic - newborns lie on their back for a lot of the time, so runny poop can often creep up their backs, and you always want them to be comfortable.
  • Wetness indicator - newborns and new parents need their sleep, so you will want to avoid disturbing a sleeping baby at all costs. A wetness indicator that changes from yellow to blue when wet allows you to check if the baby needs changing without removing their nappy, meaning you can leave them to sleep soundly.
  • Affordable - nappies will need changing often when your baby is firstborn, so you’ll want a range that won’t break the bank.
  • Umbilical protection - For the first couple of weeks, your baby has added sensitivity around the umbilical cord.
  • Size-up guide - The main cause of dreaded leaks is being in the wrong sized nappy, so you’ll want to be sure when it’s time to move to the next size so the baby always gets the best protection.

What size nappy does a newborn need?

It’s impossible to know what size nappy your baby will need as every baby is different, to get the exact right size you will need their weight as many brands use this as a guide rather than age. 

According to Pampers nappy guide, nappy sizes start at size 0 for newborns (some other brands start at 1) and progress up to size 8 for tots weighing 17kg and above. It's best to check the sizing guide for each brand. 

Supermarket store, ASDA, offers parents the chance to refund or exchange any unopened bag of Little Angels newborn nappies if the size is incorrect. So that’s one less thing to worry about!

Check out our list of the best newborn nappies that you can buy for your baby:

The best disposable newborn nappies

Not only are these Aldi nappies ludicrously cheap in-store (we have included an Amazon link as they are sold out), but the absorbency is excellent and there were no leaks reported. The material felt thick and strong, and the fit is flexible so that babies never feel hemmed in or restricted in their movements. They do come up a little bigger than other nappies on the market, but overall, they are of a fantastic quality and have an unbeatable price.

The nappies were awarded Gold in the Mother&Baby Awards 2018, read our full review of the Aldi Mamia Range here.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 1 

Material: Cotton | Lining: Cotton 

Pack contains: 24 nappies | Hypoallergenic

Wetness indicator: Yes

Tested by mum Katie Roast for the Mother & Baby awards 2018: "We would definitely recommend Mamia nappies to our friends and family – the nappies are affordable as well as comfortable for baby. I find them very easy to use as the sticky tabs enclose all the mess inside the nappy, which is useful when you have a very wriggly baby. They are very absorbent so there have been minimal leaks! They feel soft to touch and I would assume they are comfortable for baby to wear. It's very clear which is the front and which is the back too, so there's no worry about putting it on the wrong way round in the middle of the night."

Tested by mum Sasha Bell for the Mother & Baby awards 2018: "I would certainly recommend the Aldi Mamia nappies to my friends and fellow mums as they are so affordable and excellent quality. They are designed well and have exceeded my expectations of a good quality nappy. They are easy to use and very absorbent for those longer periods of time during the night and my little one never seemed uncomfortable."

Tested by mum Natalie Betts for the M&B Awards 2017: "These are really good value for money but the quality matches that of Pampers - in fact I prefer Aldi nappies as they don't have that horrible nappy smell. They fit my little boy really well and we haven't had any leaks. I compared these with Pampers and Aldi nappies are the same thickness if not thicker. My little boy hasn't suffered with nappy rash wearing these nappies."

Pampers is the only brand approved by the British Skin Foundation. Pampers New Baby Nappies might not be as competitively priced as some other brands on the market but they are unequivocally reliable – absorbent, comfortable and easy-fitting. The nappies aren’t bulky and the frills around the legs are smaller than usual, meaning the nappies don’t poke out of bodysuits. The nappies are designed to make space for a newborn’s umbilical cord, dipping slightly at the waistband and the wetness indicator is another useful feature (especially at night). The number-size of the nappy is printed on the waistband and the gender neutral aesthetic is also a plus.

The Pampers New Baby Nappies were awarded Silver in the Mother&Baby Awards 2015. 

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 1 (2-5kg/4-11lbs), Size 2 (3-6kg/6-13lbs), Size 3 (4-9kg/9-20lbs)

Material: Cotton pH-Sensitive Material | Leg cuffs: Polypropylene nonwoven fabric and spandex (free of natural rubber latex)

Wetness indicator: Yes

Pack includes: Jumbo pack 144 nappies

Parent review: "Love these nappies, absorb really well and my little girl seems very comfortable in them compared to other nappies. We have also had leak issues with other nappies but not with pampers. I would highly recommend these nappies to anyone."

Mum review: "I have tried these nappies for 6 weeks before leaving a review just to find out exactly how good they are. All I can say is wow! My little boy is 6 weeks old so at the beginning it was trial and error with different branded nappies. With the many poops and large amount of urine my little boy can produce (I was very surprised) I have had leaking and being very uncomfortable and unsettled with all the other brands but with these pampers nappies I have not had one leak or explosion thank god. I even put it right to the test and was out and couldn’t change my son straight away. What can I say when his nappy came off you could build a wall with how heavy and solid it was but he was not bothered at all and there was no leaking at all. I am so impressed and it gives you that extra piece of mind and one less thing to worry about with having a newborn. All I can say is pampers are worth it and even if they are a little more money than other brands your little ones bum is worth it. No rashes no leaking and no fussing... WORTH EVERY PENNY."

Morrisons Little Big Newborn Nappies have a great soft feel - not too plastic-like. They were Shortlisted Best Product for a Newborn in the Mother&Baby Awards 2015.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: 1 - 2-5kg/4-11lbs, 2 - 3-6kg/6-13lbs, 3 - 4-9kg/9-20lbs 

Material: Unknown | Anti leak leg cuffs: Yes

Wetness indicator: Yes | Pack includes: 50 nappies

Mother&Baby review: "The nappies are very inexpensive, absorbent and a good fit - no leaks. Just as good as more expensive brands. They are quite thick, the frills were large and could protrude from bodysuits, but they performed perfectly well. A wetness indicator helps new mums to ensure their little one has weed, especially in the early days. The design could be more fun and interesting however. While the design doesn't affect the effectiveness of the nappies, when you are changing 10 nappies a day it is nice to have something colourful to look at." 

ASDA Little Angels Newborn nappies are wonderfully soft and breathable for your bundle of joy. Accredited by the Skin Health Alliance, feather-soft materials and SmartFlo™ absorbency ensure sensitive skin is cared for and moisture is absorbed quickly and evenly for comfort. Gently elasticated leg cuffs and a super-stretchy waistband help prevent dreaded explosions and a wetness indicator allows you to check if baby needs changing. A special contoured design helps prevent umbilical irritation and a handy size guide shows you when it's time to go up a size... all from 3.6p per nappy, and also available in affordable jumbo packs.

ASDA Little Angels Newborn Nappies was awarded Silver in the Mother&Baby Awards for Best Performance Disposable Nappy or Nappy Range and Gold in the Best Value Disposable Nappy. Read our full review here.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 1 

Material: SmartFlo™ absorbency | Flexi-fit and contoured for comfort

Wetness indicator: Yes | Pack includes: 70 nappies

Real mum tester Laura said: The Little Angels nappies fitted my daughter perfectly around her legs compared to other supermarket nappies we had tried. They held in, even the most explosive of poos, which made our life as first time parents much easier, the last thing you want to do is be doing is constantly changing and rinsing clothes out due to leaksThe little angels nappies didn’t leak at all, and I felt that they really let my daughters skin breathe, she wasn’t clampy and didn’t have nappy rash at all whilst using these. I would definitely recommend these nappies to a friend as the price is great and a good quality.

Real mum tester Carley said: I would recommend this product to a friend/fellow mum because it displays many features that are outstanding. The nappy can tell you if it needs changing without having to look inside- it will display a blue line on the front to tell you its wet. This is a time saver for any mum, undressing and redressing any baby is a challenge! It's also super absorbent, which prevents leakages. This reduces baby’s outfit changes on a day to day basis – again a great time saver! The products features definitely reflects the price, as the nappy is super cheap making it affordable to most mums on the market.

Real mum tester Margaret said: I would recommend the Asda Little Angels newborn nappies to a fellow mum/friend. These nappies are very affordable at only 89p per pack which is fantastic as you go through a lot of nappies in the early stages. These nappies are made from feather soft materials which is great for sensitive newborn skin. They also have a guide on the nappy to help identify when to go up a size which is really helpful, especially when you are in the sleep deprived newborn stage. These newborn nappies have a secure but comfortable waistband. We have not had any leaks or blowouts with these nappies which is great.

Tesco's Fred & Flo Newborn Nappies range is made of using soft, breathable materials with a super absorbent core to help keep baby dry. The wetness indicator shows when the nappy needs to be changed to help avoid discomfort. All Tesco Fred & Flo nappies have been dermatologically tested. The Newborn and Mini nappies feature soft cord protection which is gentle against baby's delicate skin for added comfort. The Newborn range comes in sizes 0-2, with a specially designed re-sealable fastening which is not only secure but tells you when you need to move to the next size.

Tesco Fred & Flo Newborn Nappies Shortlisted Best Value Disposable Nappy or Nappy Range in Mother&Baby Awards 2021. Read our full review here.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 0 (1kg 2.5kg, 2lbs 5lbs) and Size 1 (2kg 5kg, 4lbs 11lbs)

Material: Cotton soft | Wetness indicator: Yes

Pack includes: 24 nappies | Comfort: Navel cut out

Real mum tester Alison said: "I wouldn't recommend these nappies to other mums as they weren't as soft as some I have used although my son seemed comfortable in them, with no adverse rashes or discomfort. The design is also quite plain and I have struggled with their fit and absorbency. They are good value for money, however, in comparison to others."

Real mum tester Anika said: "For someone not going down cloth nappy route this is a lovely nappy. Slim fit, soft, helpful with wetness indicator and helpful to know if baby needs the next size up. We did go through the nappies rapidly. Unfortunately, there were quite a few poo leaks out of the sides. They weren’t made of special material (not advertised anywhere). I wouldn’t recommend them from an eco side. Comfort-wise they are fine although by the end of the nappies my little one had developed a few nappy rashes which I wonder if the nappy dried out the poo so fast that it stuck to babies bottom more."

Real mum tester Caroline said: "I have already recommended this product to friends for the following reasons – (1) neutral design and not too many dyes or unattractive/sexist pictures (2) great fit including the fit indicators (3) very easy to use – no tearing as I have experienced with other nappies including more expensive brands (4) good hygiene – no overnight leaks and only one poo leak incident. The nappies are also much cheaper than other brands. I have already bought them again (and I don’t shop at Tesco so it was a special trip just for the nappies!)."

Bambo Nature nappies are soft, comfortable, and keep even the most sensitive skin dry. The nappies are designed with a super-absorbent core, including latest channel technology that leads moisture away from baby's skin and holds up to multiple wettings - even overnight. The convenient wetness indicator changes colour and makes it easy to see when a change is needed. The flexible waistband and latex-free leg cuffs help the nappy stay in place for baby's comfort and freedom of movement.The nappies are dermatologically tested and certified according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Asthma Allergy Nordic, the FSC™ and the EU Ecolabel.

Bambo Nature Premium Eco Nappies won Bronze in the Mother&Baby Awards 2021 for Best Performance Disposable Nappy or Nappy Range. Read our full review from real life mum testers here.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 1 (4-9lb/2-4kg)

Material: Free of parabens, perfume, lotions and preservatives

Comfort: Flexible side panels with latex-free leg cuffs

Wetness indicator: Yes | Pack includes: Pack of 132 nappies

Real mum tester Georgina said: "I liked the fact the product was made from the sustainable resource of bamboo and was therefore more environmentally friendly. So I would recommend it to a mum who wanted to make a small change to be more eco conscious. The wetness indicator is good for when you need to know for sure if your child is passing urine like when they are unwell. Pack size is reasonable, fit is good and the design is minimalistic."

Real mum tester Nikki said: "I would choose the Bambo nappies above others in the market due to their eco-friendly credentials. Where possible, I will opt to use environmentally friendly products and these nappies are kind to both the delicate baby skin and the environment."

Real mum tester Kelly said: "It is a no fuss nappy that is designed with the environment in mind, which I am all about so yes. It is made with no ingredients known to be harmful to health or the environment and they are very soft. I also love the simple plain design and the cute image on the front of each nappy which changes with each size."

Kit & Kin's hypoallergenic eco nappies feature adorable animal designs and are approved by dermatologists. Containing no harsh chemicals, they use gentle, super-soft materials to be kind on delicate skin. The flash dry layer instantly absorbs and locks away wetness, while the patented channel technology evenly distributes liquid around the nappy. This means no sagging and up to 12-hour leak protection, keeping your baby’s bottom comfortable at all times. The nappy is made from sustainable, plant-based materials to help conserve our planet's natural resources and protect the future of your baby's world. Every nappy gives back through the Kit & Kin Foundation, helping to protect acres of precious rainforest and support the communities living in these areas with educational scholarships and healthcare clinics.

Kit & Kin hypoallergenic eco nappies shortlisted in Mother&Baby Awards 2019 and 2021 for Best Performance Disposable Nappy or Nappy Range. Read our full review from real mum testers here.

Suitable for: Newborn | Size: Size 1 (2-5kg, 4-11lbs)

Material: Plant-based sustainably sourced, FSC certified fluff pulp and bio-based gels

Wetness indicator: No | Pack includes: 40 x 4 Packs, 160 Nappies

Mother&Baby real mum review: "For daytime use, most definitely. The cute designs are fun, the nappy doesn't sag, they are soft and kind on the skin and easy to get on and off. On the downside, we did find that a couple of times the nappies wouldn't last the night and my son woke up wet which wasn't ideal, especially as he wasn't leaking at all in the Sainsbury's nappies we were using previously. If we were to continue to use these nappies, it would be for daytime use only."

Real mum tester Amy said: "This product makes my life easier as a mum as it is convenient and disposable, so no cleaning needed. It can be used and thrown away after and thanks to its innovative design of using disposable aspects to the nappy, it is better for the environment. This nappy does the job and keeps my baby comfortable even when she is wet. It is absorbent so no leaks although does not get her through the night."

Real mum tester Georgia said: "They are very compact so I could fit a few more than other brands in my changing bag. They went a good number of hours through the night without feeling too full and didn’t cause any leaks. They had a good structure to them, unlike some nappies on the market, which meant it was much easier to put on a wriggly baby, making my life a lot easier! I found that the nappies fold really well once used too, meaning less mess which was great."

Disposable vs Reusable nappies

When you become a parent, you may want to think about eco-friendly options when selecting nappies. If your baby was to wear nappies daily until they were around two and a half (the age when many tots are potty trained), it's likely you will have used around 900 nappies, which take hundreds of years to decompose!

Some parents will still pick disposable nappies for their newborn, some only reusable nappies, while others opt for a mix of both. It's entirely up to you as a parent what you decide and there is no right or wrong choice. Here are some pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision. 

Disposable nappies 

Disposable nappies are often the go-to for new parents, they are more convenient and save you a lot of time if you are busy trying to juggle taking care of your newborn along with a whole load of cloth nappy laundry. 

Although you are producing more waste, when you're out and about you can throw away a disposable nappy rather and carry it around with you until you get home to wash it. They vary in price points depending on which brand you choose to buy, so for some parents, it's easier to manage on a smaller budget - but don't forget, it adds up in the long run. 

Disposable nappies use harmless chemicals to lock in wetness, which is a plus so that your baby doesn't leak, but some parents may be concerned about any chemicals near their baby.

Reusable nappies

Not only are they better for the environment, but reusable nappies are also said to be softer on your baby’s skin, less likely to spill and help make potty training easier.

However, while it's assumed reusable nappies are more eco-friendly because you are sending less waste to landfills, they need to be washed and dried at 60 degrees - the recommended temperature from the Department of Health. 

You will need to check whether your washing machine and tumble dryer are energy-efficient, as you will be producing higher amounts of carbon emissions if they are not, depending on how you choose to wash and dry your cloth nappies. 

Cloth nappies are cheaper than disposable nappies, but initial costs are higher. However, because you won't need to keep buying more, they are considered a more affordable option. 

Baby nappy change

How many nappies will I need? 

This depends on how many nappies you get through in one day and how often you plan on putting a wash on. For example, if your baby gets through around 10-15 nappies per day, plus around five changes in the night, you might want around 20 nappies. 

How to change and wash reusable nappies

While reusable nappies are much better for the environment and your pocket, cleaning them is a lot harder than wrapping a nappy up and throwing it in the bin. 

When it comes to washing them, a top tip is to add a nappy liner between your baby and the nappy which acts as a permeable layer to stop any non-liquid waste from getting to the nappy. This makes the washing process a whole lot easier, as all you need to do is wrap up any poop in the nappy liner and pop it in the bin before washing the pee out of the reusable nappy in the washing machine. Most nappy liners on the market are 100 per cent biodegradable or compostable, so you don't have to worry about creating waste through the liners. 

If you want to give reusable nappies a go, we've also put together a step-by-step guide on how to change your baby's reusable nappies here

Read next: 

 
  • Author: Natalie Corner Natalie Corner
  • Job Title: Deputy Commercial Content Editor

Natalie Corner is the Deputy Commercial Content Editor for Bauer Media, working across brands such as What’s The Best, Yours, Mother&Baby, Heat and Closer.

With more than a decade of experience in the media, Natalie has worked for Mirror Online, Daily Mail and OK! Magazine and specialises in showbiz, TV, fitness and lifestyle.

With a growing collection of gym gear for her home workouts, Natalie is more often than not doing an online HIIT class or weight training in the living room. She loves to walk her cocker spaniel Dash and is a Yorkshire lass.

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