Best newborn nappies 2022: Give babies the best start with comfortable, dry bottoms

Maria Cruz
20 Jun 2022

Choose the best newborn nappies for your little ones with these leak-proof, comfortable-fit and eco-friendly options

Newborn bottoms are extremely sensitive and need to be properly looked after, which is why careful consideration is important when selecting a nappy for your tot. To keep your baby’s skin smooth and rash-free there are a few factors to consider when thinking about which nappy brand to settle on.

Whether you’re choosing a disposable or a biodegradable option, trial and error will be the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to which nappy is best for your newborn. However, it’s a good idea to get familiar with what is available on the market and to know how certain nappy brands perform according to other parents.

So which newborn nappies are best? With a vast array of biodegradable, eco-friendly, lightweight, and budget nappies to choose from, it can be tough knowing what to settle on, especially if this is your first time on the parenting train. We’ve reviewed some of the best newborn nappies around and also provide a brief guide about what to look for when shopping for them.

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Best newborn nappies: At a glance

How to choose the best newborn nappies for your baby

Each baby’s needs, as well as a parent’s, are different. So, selecting nappies is a personalised choice. If your baby has particularly sensitive skin and keeps breaking out into a rash, you may have to try a few different nappy brands to find one that suits them.

Disposable nappies are undoubtedly the most popular type and are typically made from polyethylene, a thin, waterproof plastic. When your baby does a number one, the liquid is absorbed by small crystals in the nappy called hydrogel. Disposable nappies are the most common option as they’re easily accessible, affordable and are available in a variety of options and sizes.

Though all nappies are tested and cleared before going on the market, there are some disposables that can cause nappy rash on sensitive baby skin. This is due to some of the bleaching agents, dyes and latex found in the core of the nappy’s material. These aren’t technically harmful, but some babies could be allergic to certain brands.

Here are some other key factors to consider when trying to find the best nappy for your baby.

What size nappy does my newborn need?

While baby scans can give you a good indication of a baby's weight before they’re born, there’s no chart that will let you know exactly which nappy size to buy for your newborn. Once your baby is born and you know exactly how much they weigh, you can use the nappy size charts from your selected brands to decide on the best size. Some nappies start from size 0, while others start at size 1, but there are also ‘tiny baby’ and ‘newborn’ baby variations to choose from that run a bit smaller than nappies for the average newborn.

While having a packet of Size 1 nappies is probably the safest bet for those first few days, it’s always a good idea to have a few Size 0s and 2s in case the 1s don’t fit. A lot of supermarkets offer a refund or exchange policy for any unopened nappy packets, so you can always buy one of each size to be on the safe side and give back any excess packs you might have acquired. As a general rule of thumb, nappy sizing charts look something like this (size of nappy against weight of child):

  • Size 0 = under 6 pounds
  • Size 1 = 4–1 pounds
  • Size 2 = 9–18 pounds
  • Size 3 = 13–22 pounds
  • Size 4 = 20–31 pounds
  • Size 5 = over 24 pounds
  • Size 6 = over 29 pounds

Some brands offer “plus” sizes. For instance, Size 4+ is designed for babies within, or slightly over, the same weight range as the 4s, but are perhaps taller than average.

What material nappy should I buy?

As the skin of a newborn baby is so sensitive, it’s always wise to choose a nappy that’s soft, hypoallergenic, and dermatologically-tested. Some common nappy options that you’ll come across are latex-free, chlorine-free and fragrance-free that will eliminate known irritants and keep baby bums safe, while reducing the chance of rashes and allergic reactions. Most disposable nappies are made from elastane and polypropylene. These help make up the stretchy parts of the nappy such as the waistband and leg cuffs. As babies are wriggly little things, a good stretchy waist and leg band is important to avoid the soiling of clothes, sleep bags or bedding.

How do I know when it's time to change my baby’s nappy?

Apart from the obvious factors (squishy bottoms and a funky smell), it might not always be easy to know exactly when to change your baby’s nappy, especially if they’ve only done a wee. Some of the more affordable nappies need changing more often than others, especially in the newborn phase of your baby’s life where they’ll be more sensitive. Premium quality nappies, however, have super absorbency technology that keeps your baby drier, meaning you can go a bit longer without having to change the nappy.

There are also a lot of nappies with handy wetness indicators that change from yellow to blue when they’re wet to let you know when it's time to change the baby. Though you’ll likely always know when your baby needs a new nappy, this wetness indicator is a brilliant invention, and one you’ll want to opt for when possible. It’s handy especially in the middle of the night when you don’t want to risk waking your baby up to check their nappy status and can simply look at the nappy to see if it’s time for a change.

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The best newborn nappies to buy in 2022

1. Pampers New Baby Size 0: The best newborn nappies for first-time parents

Price: From £4 (24 nappies) | Buy now from Boots

Recommended by the British Skin Foundation, Pampers New Baby nappies are lined with “Heart Quilts” and are made from feather-like materials to keep your baby’s tush wrapped up in ultimate softness. These nappies are comfortable, leak proof and come recommended by the pros. A great bonus for new parents is that the wetness indicator line on these nappies is clearer than that of most other brands on the market.

The double leg cuff feature and naval-friendly shaped design help to offer a great fit and optimal protection. These are one of the best nappy choices to support babies and keep them dry during the day, and at night when nappy changes are often less frequent. Countless parents feel that these nappies are the best on the market and they can last 12 hours at night with no complaints of nappy rash. We love that Pampers also offers a variety of sizes that are equally as efficient: as your baby grows out of their size 0s, they can move onto Pampers New Baby Size 1, which will cost £7 for 50 nappies (14p per nappy).

Key specs – Material: Regenerated cellulose and polypropylene or polyester; Size: 0 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 24 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 17p

Buy now from Boots

2. Kit & Kin Eco Nappies Size 1: The best eco-friendly disposable newborn nappies

Price: £48 (240 nappies) | Buy now from Amazon

Founded by former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, the Kit & Kin brand offers a hypoallergenic eco nappy from size 1. These nappies are all about protecting the environment, all the while keeping our babies’ bottoms protected. The award-winning nappies are constructed from plant-based materials and offer 12-hour leak proof protection. They’re ethically sourced and use 100% sustainable packaging.

Kit & Kin’s Eco Nappies offer superior absorbency with overnight protection and a great fit. The animal prints are not only cute, but also a great reminder which way round the nappy should be put on. The company’s dedication to helping the environment is an added perk, as is the option to buy these on a subscription plan that can have them delivered to the house, making sure you never forget to buy nappies again.

Key specs – Material: Sustainably sourced fluff pulp and bio-based gels; Size: 1 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 40 nappies; Wetness indicator: No; Price per nappy: Around 20p

3. The Cheeky Panda Eco Friendly Bamboo Size 1: The best lightweight newborn nappies

Price: £57 (192 nappies) | Buy now from The Cheeky Panda

Using plant-based ingredients and aloe vera, The Cheeky Panda offers another monthly subscription with its eco-friendly bamboo-made nappies that are soft to the touch and have a convenient and clear wetness indicator that the Kit & Kin nappies above do not. Though they’re a bit on the pricier side, these premium-feel nappies are suitable for sensitive skin and leave babies with dry and soft bottoms.

There are some nappies on the market that can have a very plastic-like, heavy feel to them but these eco-friendly bamboo nappies are super light and allow little ones to flex, stretch and comfortably wriggle around, allowing them to learn the world around them while keeping dry. The packaging is plastic, but they’re still one of the more ethical choices on the market when it comes to disposable nappies.

Key specs – Material: Bamboo; Size: 1 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 48 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 29p

Buy now from The Cheeky Panda

4. Mama Bear Ultra Dry Size 1: The best value for money newborn nappies

Price: £10 (48 nappies) | Buy now from Amazon

Amazon brand Mama Bear created the Ultra Dry nappy range for newborns, incorporating double-elastic around-the-leg cuffs, soft embossed layers and breathable lines to ensure your baby stays dry and comfortable day and night. One particularly clever feature is the indicator on the side of the nappy that lets parents know when it’s time to move up to a larger size.

It’s easy to think that, due to their light weight and low price, these nappies may not be any good, but don’t be fooled. This is one leak-free and comfortable product for babies. Team these up with the Mama Bear wipes that are neither too wet nor too dry for a great, affordable, and effective combo to add to the nappy changing station. 10/10 for the uber adorable Disney designs, too.

Key specs – Material: Petroleum-based plastic; Size: 1 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 48 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 20p

5. Naty Newborn Eco: The best all-round performing newborn nappies for sensitive bottoms

Price: £4 for 25 nappies | Buy now from Boots

Eco by Naty is the most affordable eco-friendly nappy brand on our list, proving that sustainable nappies don’t have to cost a fortune. The brand’s nappies (as well as its range of other products) are made with certified natural, biodegradable and renewable materials with no nasty chemicals floating around. They’re also a great fit and remain leak-free.

The Eco sits flat on the baby's body and doesn’t create a bulge when the nappy has filled up. Make sure the frilly bits are pulled out in order to keep your baby drier for longer, though. Multiple parents have praised these nappies as their babies did not show any sign of nappy rash after wearing them and said they were perfect for their tots’ sensitive bottoms.

Key specs – Material: Natural, biodegradable and renewable materials; Size: 1 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 25 nappies; Wetness indicator: No; Price per nappy: Around 16p

Buy now from Boots

6. Fred & Flo Newborn Nappy Size 0: The best budget newborn nappies

Price: £1.05 (24 nappies) | Buy now from Tesco

For parents after a real bargain, the Fred & Flo brand by Tesco is the best you’ll get. The nappies are soft, have a wetness indicator (which is really surprising given that some nappies four times the price do not) and a navel cut-out, which is super useful for when the umbilical cord is still attached. This newborn range goes from size 0–2, providing support to infants, babies and toddlers, from the very first day to the toilet training phase.

The size 0 is useful for premature babies, offering great support and a good fit. They’re also dermatologically tested to give added support to sensitive skin, especially in those first few days. With this extremely low price tag, and all the care that has been put into their design, you can’t really ask for more when it comes to nappies on a budget.

Key specs – Material: Cotton; Size: 0 (2–5 pounds); Pack contains: 24 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 4p

Buy now from Tesco

7. Aldi Mamia Newborn Nappies: The best supermarket newborn nappies

Price: 79p (24 nappies) | Buy now from Aldi

Competing with Tesco for the best supermarket nappy brand, and a penny cheaper at that, is Aldi’s Mamia. You can’t really go wrong here. Dare we say they feel a bit like one of the top leading nappy brands, but without the higher price tag. Mamia’s range is highly absorbent and comfortable. They fit well and hold moisture away from the skin allowing the baby’s skin to breathe.

They are resealable a good few times over—a feature that comes in handy, especially when dealing with wriggly little ones. According to many parents, babies were left dry around the waist and leg area in these snug-fit nappies, and sans nappy rash too. The whole Mamia range—nappies, wipes, nappy sacks—makes us feel like we’re getting a bargain and with some darn good quality products too.

Key specs – Material: Cotton; Size: 1 (4-11 pounds); Pack contains: 24 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 3p

Buy now from Aldi

8. MUM & YOU Premium Performance NB-2: The best newborn nappy for ultimate leak protection

Price: £10 (44 nappies) | Buy now from Amazon

Nappies nowadays have excellently-developed technologies incorporated into their designs. The MUM & YOU range uses ‘Smart-Tube’ technology to evenly disperse baby pee around the nappy to protect babies’ netherregions as best as possible from leaks: say goodbye to saggy-looking baby bums, too. These nappies come complete with all the necessities, such a wetness indicator, hypoallergenic qualities, leak proof features, and also come in an array of adorable designs.

Designed and manufactured on UK soil, many parents were impressed with their soft, cotton feel. The materials are breathable, offering up to 12 hours of protection, and we’d even argue they’re serious contenders for being the most absorbent nappies on the market. These are our mid-range, go-to nappies and we love that they’re made with the environment in mind while protecting sensitive baby bottoms.

Key specs – Material: Chlorine-free wood pulp; Size: 1 (7-13 pounds); Pack contains: 44 nappies; Wetness indicator: Yes; Price per nappy: Around 22p

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