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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is a One-Sized Diaper Truly One Size Fits All?

I saw this question posed on a popular cloth diapering forum. It got a mixture of different answers from “yes, definitely” to “absolutely not.” So what’s the real answer? Who are these diapers made for? How is the size range chosen?

The real answer to this question is “yes, sort of.” There are a lot of factors to be considered when answering this question such as average weight in children of different ages, average potty training age, range of fit in one-sized diapers, etc.

According to the latest charts from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the average birth weight of a baby is 7.5 (girls) to just under 8 pounds (boys). And the average weight of a 36 month old child is 30.5 (girls) to 32 pounds (boys).

WebMD has an online article that says the average age for potty training to start is 22-30 months for most children. It goes on to say that most boys will be completely trained by 38 months and most girls by 36 months.

With all of that information in mind, I checked out a ton of different one-size diapers including Happy Heiny, Smartipants, bumGenius, Blueberry, Baby Kangas, and Fuzzi Bunz. I found that the majority claim to fit from 7-35 pounds. Blueberry and Baby Kangas both start at 10 pounds. So as you can see, a one-sized diaper DOES fit most babies from birth to potty training.

So what about all the babies that aren’t exactly average? What about the ones that are taller than most of their baby friends or those that weigh significantly less at birth? Well, sadly they may not fit as long or as well as you’d like. Those particular babies don’t fall within the “most babies” claim that each and every one of these companies has in their description of their one-size diapers.

I know that my oldest son has been in the 95th percentile since he was 1 month old. None of the one-sized diapers would have fit him to potty training, and he learned at 2 ½ years old. By then, according to my oh-so-accurate baby book (haha), he was already 35 pounds. Most of us know by now that while the manufacturer says it will fit to 35 pounds, it really only fits well to about 30-32 pounds.

My daughter falls on the other end of the scale. She’s been very tiny since birth, weighing just 6lb5oz at nearly 39 weeks (gestational age). One-sized diapers definitely wouldn’t have fit her for several weeks in the beginning. We would have needed newborn sized diapers. On the other hand, at 4 years old, she could likely STILL wear a one-size diaper if she needed it-she’s only 30 pounds-though she potty trained at just under 2 years old.

Having said all of that, I still love our one-sized diapers. They have a fantastic range for fit in both weight and height making it so you’ll buy less diapers. Additionally, they often have a better resale value than their sized counterparts. So, what do YOU think?



6 comments:

Lauren said...

I agree... our BG 3.0s didn't fit ours (both born 6 lb 12 oz) for the first couple of months. We used newborn sized on our second to fill the gap. He's three months old and just moved into BGs.

Jill said...

I just wanted to say thanks for this post, it was the perfect thing this morning to send to my DD-using friend, who is expecting baby #3 this August and is totally overwhelmed with choices, but sees how much trash her other 2 kids made, and likes the IDEA of cloth diapering, even if she isn't sure she could put it into practice! This will definitely help her think, well, do I want sized or one-size diapers..so.. anyway..thanks!

April said...

If you saw the difference in size between the FuzziBunz OS and the XS size... it is pretty significant. You can only get the OS's so small. Newborns have the skinniest legs those first couple of months.

Attila & Tamara said...

We started CDing our son when he was 21 months old. All of the one sized fit him great! Most of them still fit him well now at 26 months (he's over 30 pounds). I'm so curious to see how they will fit our little one who is due in July when s/he is a newborn. I admit I don't have high hopes--I have some prefolds and covers just in case!

Kristi26 said...

That first picture is of my son at around 1-2 weeks. There's also one of him at just 6 days old in a BG! They CAN fit in the newborn stage, it just depends on size, weight, and build. But the prefolds and covers are a good back-up plan. :D

Kristi26 said...

Thanks Jill! I'm so glad you liked it! A hint, check out this Friday's post for another good one to send to your expecting friend. :D