The 8 Best Diapers For Sensitive Skin, According To A Pediatrician

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by Lauren Beach
Originally Published: 
Diapers placed in a drawer

If you’re reaching for the diaper cream again because your baby’s bottom is irritated, red, and rashy, you may be wondering if it’s ever going to get better. For chronic cases of diaper rash, or irritation-prone skin in general, you may want to explore trying a new diaper. The best diapers for sensitive skin avoid using dyes, fragrances, and preservatives — all ingredients babies can have reactions to when exposed. Scary Mommy spoke to Board-Certified Pediatrician Jean S. Moorjani to learn more about how to choose a diaper for babies with sensitive skin.

The Expert

Jean S. Moorjani, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Moorjani earned her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. She’s an expert on all things pediatric medicine and is a mother of two.

How Can I Tell My Baby Needs Diapers For Sensitive Skin?

Diaper rash is not an uncommon predicament; half of all babies deal with diaper rash in infancy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Explains Dr. Moorjani, “Babies’ skin barrier isn't as strong, so their skin can lose more water and become more prone to develop[ing] irritation.”

While frequent diaper changes are key to preventing diaper rash, according to Dr. Moorjani, she says if you “still notice that your baby's skin is irritated, it may be worth it to try a diaper for sensitive skin.” Be sure to give it time: the AAP recommends giving any new product a two-week trial to determine if the change has been helpful.

How To Choose A Diaper For Babies With Sensitive Skin

There are no regulations for what makes a diaper optimal for babies with sensitive skin, according to Dr. Moorjani, although she notes they tend to be “produced without products that are known to irritate a baby's sensitive skin, [like] fragrances, dyes, or bleaches.”

She also suggests parents steer clear of diapers containing preservatives and notes that choosing fragrance-free diapers is important. She recommends avoiding fragrances in all diapering products you use, including baby wipes and creams as well.

For babies that have eczema, Dr. Moorjani says, “Diapers that are made for sensitive skin would usually be good diapers for eczema as well, since it should hopefully irritate a baby's skin less than a regular diaper.”

What About Chlorine-Free Diapers?

While many diapers proudly claim to be chlorine-free, this is one ingredient Dr. Moorjani says shouldn’t be a dermatological concern. “[While] chlorine may not necessarily be harmful to a baby's sensitive skin, [...] there are some concerns that the use of chlorine to produce diapers may be harmful to our environment over time,” she says.

With all that in mind, it’s time to find a new kind of diaper to toss in your diaper bag.

1. The First EWG-Certified Diaper

This organic cotton diaper is a favorite among parents looking for gentle diapers for sensitive baby skin. Designed and made in Europe, this soft diaper is lightweight yet absorbent, providing overnight leak protection. It boasts the most certifications of our picks — Environmental Working Group (EWG) verification that indicates it’s free of concerning chemicals, FSC certification for its sourcing from responsibly managed forests, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX because it’s been tested for harmful substances, B Corp Certification in part for its demonstration of high performance and transparency.

Helpful Review: “I was incredibly impressed with the absorbency of the diaper. I currently use another sustainable/organic brand that I also love, but am making the switch because of the EWG certification, absorbency, and softness of the diaper. 10/10 would recommend!”

Available Sizes: Size 1 — Size 6 | Free Of: Parabens, phthalates, fragrances, optical brighteners, chlorine, latex, lotions, 4,400+ other banned ingredients (per EWG)

2. These Eco-Conscious Diapers That Reviewers Say Are Super Absorbent

Earth + Eden is a cult-fave brand for parents whose babies have sensitive skin; the brand recently re-launched and the reviews on this pick are full of relief that these sensitive skin-friendly diapers are back on the market. The hypoallergenic inner layer is made of cotton and these diapers are free of lotions, latex, and fragrances while providing up to 12 hours of leak protection. The leg cuffs and sides are stretchy to avoid leaving red marks and irritating sensitive skin. The brand uses all hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested materials. The absorbent core is made using SFI-Certified sustainable fluff (that means it comes from recycled materials) and the diapers are made in the U.S. in a zero-waste-to-landfill facility. Plus, the leftover materials from making the diapers are upcycled into other eco-conscious products.

Helpful Review: “I did so much diaper research before my firstborn and Earth & Eden are hands down the best diapers you can get. I’ve been using these diapers for 3.5 years for both of my children and they are everything parents, children, and the earth needs! Soft and comfortable for your child, insanely absorbent (seriously its mind blowing how much these can hold), no questionable ingredients (fragrances, etc). And the price point is just right. I have gotten all my mom friends hooked on Earth & Eden!”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Lotions, latex, fragrance, chlorine

3. These Danish Diapers Made With Wind Power

These eco-friendly diapers are made in Denmark and have been around for more than 35 years — reviewers say these diapers worked so well for their baby’s skin that they didn’t even need to use diaper cream. Their special three-layer design and breathable backsheet keep babies dry and comfortable with up to 12 hours of leak protection. This pick is free of known allergens and chemicals including fragrances, phthalates, lotions, parabens, and preservatives. They also have a color-changing wetness indicator, latex-free leg cuffs, and are made using 100% wind power.

Helpful Review: “My daughter has very sensitive skin and she needed extra room in the hip area. Really wish we would have found these diapers sooner! They are soft, absorbent, never had a leak even through the night. She has never had a rash with these diapers. I highly recommend for parents who want high quality products for their babies.”

Available Sizes: Size 1 — Size 6 | Free Of: Fragrance, chlorine, lotions, preservatives, phthalates, parabens, latex

4. These Cult-Fave Diapers That Parents Love For Babies With Sensitive Skin

With a seriously impressive overall 4.8-star rating after 53,000 reviews on Amazon, the Huggies Little Snugglers diapers with gentle skin protection are a tried-and-true favorite for babies with sensitive skin. These hypoallergenic diapers provide leak protection for up to 12 hours, and they’re tested by dermatologists. They are free of a slew of potential allergens including fragrances and lotions, and you’ll appreciate a wetness indicator and that they have a proprietary line for absorption.

Helpful Review: “I personally like Huggies the best. Not sure why but these were easier to put on compared to pampers and no problems with my baby’s sensitive skin. Even though this is Huggies’ standard style, they still are more natural/have less contaminants than other mainstream brands. This is what they used in the hospital too and they seem like good quality (not so plasticky feeling). Tried several other natural brands and like these the best.”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Fragrance, lotions, parabens, chlorine

5. These Breathable, Plant-Based Diapers With Responsibly Sourced Materials

Seventh Generation’s baby diapers are dermatologist-tested and designed for sensitive skin. They’re free of fragrances and lotions, and these diapers feature a patented breathable layer to reduce the build-up of humidity in the diapers, keeping skin dry and protecting from leaks for up to 12 hours. The plant-based core of these diapers is made using wood pulp that is FSC-certified, which means it is sourced from responsibly managed forests. This pick is also Leaping Bunny certified, so you know it wasn’t tested on animals.

Helpful Review: “We absolutely love seventh generation diapers. Our 7 month old has extremely sensitive skin and we use free and clear soaps and detergents to help reduce [flare] ups so it only made sense to use a diaper with the same benefits. They have adorable prints but on top of that Seventh Generation creates a top of the line diaper with natural products that’s just as absorbent as all the competition. These diapers do feel slightly stiffer compared to some of the name brands however they are softer than other ‘natural’ diapers on the market.”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Fragrance, lotion, chlorine

6. A Fragrance-Free Diaper Enriched With Shea Butter

‌These hypoallergenic diapers come in whimsical prints and feature a liner enriched with shea butter to help protect sensitive skin. Pampers Pure Protection Diapers are free of fragrances, parabens, and latex, and they do not use chlorine bleaching. The core has mineral-based odor control, offers 12-hour leak protection, and a polymer helps locks wetness away from the skin. The adhesives and dyes used in the diapers are tested to ensure they’re non-sensitizing. The cotton in the skin-friendly inner liner is FSC-certified, meaning it’s responsibly sourced, and grown in the U.S. They also use 100% certified renewable electricity at their manufacturing facility.

Helpful Review: “I’ve now used these with two kids and I have tried every clean option out there. I will always go back to Pampers Pure. Excellent leak protection, great for sensitive skin (my daughter has severe eczema), and sweet, minimalist designs. Best option on the market.”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Fragrance, parabens, latex, chlorine

7. These Botanical-Enriched Diapers That Parents Say Are Gentle On Sensitive Skin

These dermatologically-tested diapers designed for sensitive skin are hypoallergenic and free of fragrances, dyes, and latex. The inner liner that is in contact with the baby’s skin has aloe, vitamin E, and other natural botanical ingredients that moisturize and soothe irritable skin. The outer cover is made with a breathable material to reduce uncomfortable humidity, and the core is absorbent enough for up to 12 hours of use without leaks. They’re made in the U.S. in a zero-waste-to-landfill facility using sustainably harvested fluff that’s free of elemental chlorine and dioxins.

Helpful Review: “I use these diapers for my son who is 2 and my daughter since she was a newborn. They are so great! My daughter has had an allergic reaction to every brand of diapers in stores this is the only kind that doesn’t hurt her skin! My son pees so much that no other kind really hold the pee in and not have leaks all the time. I will buy these from now on!”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Latex, fragrance, dyes, chlorine

8. These Hypoallergenic Diapers That Are An Amazing Deal

You may not recognize these beloved hypoallergenic diapers because they are from an Amazon-only brand, but they’re a shopper fave with over 30,000 five-star ratings. While they are extremely affordable, they don’t skimp on quality. These dermatologist-tested diapers work wonders for sensitive skin thanks to being free of perfumes, lotions, parabens, and phthalates. They are also free from chlorine bleaching. They offer 12 hours of protection and a breathable outer layer to keep skin dry. Additionally, they go all the way up to size 7 to fit toddlers 41 pounds and up.

Helpful Review: “I absolutely love these diapers! Compared to all the overpriced brand-name diapers they definitely take the cake! The absorbency is unbelievable, and they don't cause any problems or irritation to babies with sensitive skin. Been loving these for my son and will be also using for my little girl when she decides to come join the world and family in a couple months. Highly recommend and will definitely continue purchasing.”

Available Sizes: Size N — Size 7 | Free Of: Lotion, parabens, phthalates, perfumes, chlorine

Nice To Have: The Best Baby Wipes For Sensitive Skin

Now that you found diapers that don’t irritate your baby’s bottom, it can help to make sure you’re using a wipe that’s just as gentle. These water-based wipes from Huggies are cushy soft and 91% of reviewers gave them a five-star rating. They are pH-balanced and made with water that has been filtered three times, plus aloe and vitamin E to soothe baby’s skin. They are also accepted by the National Eczema Association.

Helpful Review: “Huggies are the best wipes I’ve ever used, for durability, thickness & the fact that my children have allergies & Huggies is the only wipe that doesn’t cause them to break out in rashes.”

Free Of: Fragrance, lotions, parabens, alcohol, dyes, chlorine

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