If you are a new parent, you might find yourself asking a lot of questions that start with the phrase, “How will I know...?” If that’s the case, you are certainly not alone! Many new parents wonder how they will know what their baby needs and when.
It can certainly be a daunting task to keep track of all the changes. Especially in the first few years as babies grow and develop at incredibly fast rates! It might seem like you are always adjusting naps, feeds, or sizing up your baby’s clothes or diapers.
In this article, we will focus on answering just one of the common “How will I know?” questions that many parents have: “How will I know when my baby needs a new diaper size?”
There are five things to look for when determining if you are ready for the next size of baby diapers, and a few more reasons that you might consider transitioning from diapers to training pants. Please note that in this article, we are talking about disposable diapers only, and not referring to cloth diaper fits.
Most brands of infant diapers have the weight range listed right next to the size. These can be a helpful reference for parents, but aren’t always perfectly accurate for every baby. Different diaper brands can even have the same weight range listed and still fit your baby very differently! Kids come in all shapes and sizes, making the weight range a good estimate as compared to a hard and fast rule.
If you are keeping track of your baby’s weight and growth, making note of the weight range for the size they are currently in can help you know when it might be time to start checking on some of the other factors on this list. However, don’t stress if your baby’s weight doesn’t exactly match up with the size that works best for them.
A diaper that fits properly will sit right below the belly button and will not have gaps around the legs or bottom. You should be able to fit a couple of fingers under the waistband of a properly fastened diaper, as it should be snug but not too tight.
If you are noticing that the tabs aren’t able to make it quite as close to the middle of the diaper, or that you are having to tug at the legs or back of the diaper in order to keep them on properly, it is probably time to give the next size up a try.
One tell-tale sign that it is time to size up the newborn diapers is frequent leaking. If you are changing your baby regularly throughout the day and their diapers are a proper fit, just about any brand should be able to do the trick the majority of the time, even if some work for you better than others.
If your baby is leaking through their diapers right away when they soil them, you might want to try sizing up. Too-small sizes sometimes just can’t keep up with the demands of your growing little one!
If you start to notice red marks around your baby’s thighs or waist when changing their diaper, that means the fit is too tight. Try going up a diaper size and checking for the proper fit of being able to fit two fingers under the waistband when fastened. While you certainly don’t want diapers that are loose enough to slide down when soiled, a properly fit diaper should not cause frequent red marks.
Signs of Discomfort
While diaper rashes can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, sometimes your diaper size may be to blame. Smaller diapers don’t always absorb as much as they need to, which can lead to moisture being held against the baby’s sensitive skin instead of absorbed and wicked away.
Some little ones may also pull or tug at their diapers if they are not the proper fit. Keep your eyes out for signs of discomfort, and adjust your diaper size accordingly.
Transitioning to Training Pants
As you are going up in diaper sizes, you may be wondering if it is time to transition your child to training pants instead. There are a few reasons that some parents switch to training pants instead of going straight from diaper pants to underwear.
They can help provide a bit more independence to toddlers who are getting started with potty training, while still providing the absorbency of diapers. Being able to put on their own “big kid diapers” can be a big incentive to some toddlers who need a nudge to potty train.
Training pants can also be a good option for curious little ones who have discovered how to pull the sticky tabs on diapers...and make messes that no one wants to have to clean up. Most brands of training pants are able to be put on like underwear but can be changed easily when needed by tearing the sides open.
Training pant sizes are listed by weight the same way that disposable diaper sizes are, and the signs of a proper fit are the same. Training pants should be snug around the waist and legs to contain messes, but not so tight that your toddler has red marks or discomfort when wearing them.
At the end of the day, chances are that the answer to a good majority of your, “How will I know...?” questions will not wind up being as big of a concern as you may have thought. As a parent, you often have to just remain attentive to your child and follow their lead!
Whether it is knowing when to size up in diapers or knowing when to let them have their first car, you can be confident that with a little attention and a lot of patience, you and your child will be able to figure things out together.