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Best Way to Choose Baby and Youth Diapers

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Jan 16th 2020

Tab-style diapers aren’t just for one age. That’s why we offer protective underwear for all ages and sizes - newborns all the way up to bariatric adults.

Learn about:


What are baby and youth diapers?

Baby and youth diapers are absorbent products that wrap around the belly, rear and crotch area of babies and children to protect against urine and bowel movements. Featuring an absorbent core, soft front and back panels, and stretchy sides that fasten over the front, these come in a wide range of sizes from newborn babies all the way up to 36-inch waists.

Has your loved one grown out of our youth diapers? We offer a full range of diapers with tabs for adults, with options for almost every body size and shape.


Who should use baby and youth diapers?

Baby and youth diapers are great for:

  • Babies and small children that aren’t yet potty trained
  • Children and teenagers that can’t make it to the bathroom every time
  • Immobile children and teenagers
  • Children and teenagers with developmental disabilities that cause incontinence
  • Very small adults that need a better fitting diaper

Who shouldn't use these products?

Baby and youth diapers are not a good fit for:

  • Adults with waist sizes larger than 32 inches - look to adult diapers with tabs instead
  • Parents looking for pull-ups or training underwear
  • Children or teenagers with waist sizes larger than 32 inches

How do they work?

Baby and youth diapers are full of tiny beads called polymers that soak up moisture and keep it away from the skin.

How to put on baby diapers

  • Rest the baby on their back
  • Slide the diaper under the baby, with the inside pointed toward the skin
  • Lift the front panel over the baby’s belly
  • Pull one side tab over the belly and fasten to the front panel. Make sure the fit is snug but gentle
  • Repeat the last step with the other tab

How to put on youth diapers

  • Start with the child resting on their side
  • Fold the diaper lengthways and slide it between the wearer’s legs, front to back. It can be helpful to rest a towel between the wearer’s legs
  • Spread the back panel over the buttocks
  • Gently roll the wearer onto their back
  • Lift the front panel and spread it out
  • Pull the side panels over the body and fasten to the front panel, one at a time
  • Make any adjustments so that the diaper is centered on the body

What features exist?

Refastenable straps

If a diaper has “refastenable straps,” that means you can stick and unstick the side panels as many times as you need to ensure a perfect fit

Leg gathers

Some of our baby and youth diapers have “leg gathers,” “leg guards,” or “leg cuffs.” These are strips of fabric that run along the leg hole of the diaper to ensure everything stays in the diaper

Wetness indicators

Some of our diapers come with “wetness indicators,” or strips of fabric on the back that change color once the diaper has reached capacity. These are especially useful for parents or caregivers trying to decide if it’s time for a change.

Amount of tabs

Some youth diapers come with four tabs, instead of the typical two. Typically, extra tabs are a little sturdier, while fewer tabs are easier to put on.

Sturdiness of tabs

Some baby and youth diapers will say they have “strong tabs” or “sturdy tabs.” Stronger tabs are less likely to rip, and are typically more comfortable. These are great for very active children or babies.

Backing material

Baby and youth diapers can be either plastic-backed or cloth-backed

  • Cloth-backed diapers are quiet, breathable, and comfortable. They won’t make crinkling sounds, and are much better for your skin, since there’s more airflow.
  • Plastic-backed diapers are thought to be more waterproof, but the plastic actually traps in harmful vapors, leading to skin damage. Plus, they’re less comfortable and make sounds, so they aren’t discreet.

Juvenile prints

Some diapers - baby diapers in particular - come with youth designs, like cartoon characters.

Umbilical cord notch

Some newborn diapers feature an umbilical cord notch that makes the fit more comfortable for newborns that still have their umbilical cord.


How do I choose?

  1. Consider which features from the list above are most important to you. Have a very active child or teenager? You’ll want to look for sturdy tabs, and you may even want to look for four tabs instead of two.
  2. Decide what absorbency you want. For babies or fully incontinent children and teenagers, you’ll want a higher absorbency. For children that are potty training and can make it to the toilet sometimes, a lighter absorbency is fine.
  3. Figure out which size you need by measuring the wearer’s waist and hips, then using that number to reference our sizing guides
  4. Still not sure? Call us at 855-855-1666 and our friendly Care Team will be happy to help.

Carewell Recommendations

Our customers love baby and youth diapers from brands like Abena, TENA, Cuties, and Tranquility

For babies, we recommend:

With refastenable straps, an absorbent core, and hypoallergenic materials packed with aloe, natural botanicals, and Vitamin E, these diapers have all the features you’re looking for. With sizes from newborn all the way up to 41 pounds, these diapers grow with your baby.


For children and teenagers, we recommend:

Some of the most absorbent youth diapers we offer, these have all your favorite features like a wetness indicator, cloth-like backing, an extra layer of absorption, and refastenable tabs. Plus, they’re dermatologically tested, so you know they’ll be soft on your loved one’s skin.


Brittany's Pro-Tip

Is your loved one getting too large for youth diapers? Our extensive line of adult diapers with tabs has everything you need to keep your loved one dry and confident! They’ll work for waist sizes up to 106 inches, so our products can help your loved ones all the way until adulthood.

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