Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is a One-Size Pocket Diaper Truly One Size Fits All?

Retailer Contributed Article by Kristi of WeeLittleChanges

I saw this question posed on a popular cloth diapering forum.  It got a mixture of different answers from "yes, definitely" to "absolutely not."  So what's the real answer?  Who are these diapers made for?  How is the size range chosen?

The real answer to this question is "yes, sort of."  There are a lot of factors to be considered when answering this question such as average weight in children of different ages, average potty training age, range of fit in one-size diapers, etc.

According to the latest charts from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the average birth weight of a baby is 7.5 (girls) to just under 8 pounds (boys).  And the average weight of a 36 month old child is 30.5 (girls) to 32 pounds (boys).

WebMD has an online article that says the average age for potty training to start is 22-30 months for most children.  It goes on to say that most boys will be completely trained by 38 months and most girls by 36 months.

With all of that information in mind, I checked out a ton of different one-size diapers and found that the majority claim to fit from 7-35 pounds.  Knickernappies has a range of 8-40 pounds.  So as you can see, a one-size diaper DOES fit most babies from birth to potty training. 

So what about all the babies that aren't exactly average?  What about the ones that are taller than most of their baby friends or those that weigh significantly less at birth?  Well, sadly they may not fit as long or as well as you'd like.  Those particular babies don't fall within the "most babies" description of the fit of the one-size diaper. However, you'll still get a lot more use from them than the sized option which fits a much smaller range of sizes.

I know that my oldest son has been in the 95th percentile since he was 1 month old.  None of the one-size diapers would have fit him to potty training, and he learned at 2 ½ years old.  By then, according to my oh-so-accurate homemade baby book (haha), he was already past 35 pounds.   

My daughter falls on the other end of the scale.  She's been very tiny since birth, weighing just 6lb5oz at nearly 39 weeks (gestational age).  One-size diapers definitely wouldn't have fit her for several weeks in the beginning.  We would have needed newborn sized diapers.  On the other hand, at 4 years old, she could likely have STILL worn a one-size diaper if she needed it-she was only 30 pounds-though she potty trained at just under 2 years old.

Having said all of that, I still love our one-size diapers.  They have a fantastic range for fit in both weight and height making it so you'll buy less diapers.  Additionally, they often have a better resale value than their sized counterparts.  And having used them daily for the last 21 months, I can honestly say they've got a lot of life left in them and they've been so easy to use.  I would definitely buy more of them (and have, lol).

Kristi Stokes has been the mom behind the Wee Little Changes blog for nearly a year now.  She is a stay-at-home mom to four awesome kids and started cloth diapering 3 years ago.  You can visit Wee Little Changes, a Knickernappies retailer, at and enter to win a Knickernappies diaper each month at



Jackie said...

Great post! I too have 95 percentile baby. She is 5 1/2 month, probably weight 20lb, 28+inch tall.

You mentioned that one-size diaper didn't last till your son was potty trained.

Here is my question - What did you use when he was too big to use one-size diaper. Any suggestion?

Kristi26 said...

Jackie, many companies offer a larger sized option. You can also get larger prefolds to use. You'll just have to shop around for the larger toddler options. I'd also suggest trying to make your own covers out of wool yarn by crocheting or knitting. This way you can get a custom fit that works for your child. If you aren't into wool, you can try fleece as well. There are lots of free patterns for crocheting, knitting, and sewing. HTH!

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