Just one stroll through Target can be enough to make an expectant parent run back to the car and lock the doors. The world of baby gear is intimidating to say the least, and the plethora of options for diapers alone is enough to make you question every decision you've ever made. So how do you select one brand or style from a veritable sea of possibilities? What's the difference between the different kinds of diapers?
First things first: it's time to break down the most obvious category, that of cloth diapers versus disposable diapers. For this particular purpose, disposable diapers are the main focus, but if you're looking for a guide through the labyrinth of washable diaper options, you might want to start here instead.
When it comes to disposable diapers, you wouldn't think there would be too many ways to reinvent the wheel, but big companies seem to think otherwise. Pampers alone has three styles of diapers: Swaddlers, Cruisers, and Baby Dry, and according to their website each is intended to meet a different need. Swaddlers are said to be the softest and best fit for newborns, Cruisers are designed for babies on the go, and Baby Dry has three absorbent layers for a better chance of making it through the night without a diaper change. Is it excessive? Possibly, but Pampers isn't alone. One look at the Huggies website, and you'll find comparable styles dubbed Snugglers, Movers, and Snug & Dry.
One thing's for sure, booming diaper companies have figured out that their customers want options. Even at the expense of your sanity.
If you'd rather just keep it simple, there are companies who mostly go by size alone: Target's Up & Up brand gets consistently positive reviews and environmentally conscious companies like Seventh Generation and The Honest Company have only two styles each — although prepare to be sucked into a rabbit trail of cuteness with all of The Honest Company's darling designs.
When it comes to diapering, there's something for everybody, but try not to overthink it. Keep in mind that companies often produce more options to get you to buy more, not necessarily because they are actually needed. If the first style you try keeps leaks away, feel free to stick with it as long as it's working and tune out the noise of the other options. After all, you have enough new noise in your life now you can't tune out.