The best preemie diaper

Preemie diapers are designed especially for babies who are born before 37 weeks of gestation.
Preemie diapers are designed especially for babies who are born before 37 weeks of gestation. (BestReviews)

Preemie diapers are specially designed for those babies prematurely born before 37 weeks of gestation. They are necessary if your baby is born early to fit your baby comfortably when compared to regular diapers. A diaper that fits your baby well means that you don’t have to clean up after blowouts, allowing your baby to stay asleep longer.

Pampers Swaddlers Preemie Diapers are a solid choice for diapers for your little new arrival who isn't ready for regular-sized diapers yet.


What to know before you buy a preemie diaper

Diapers come in a variety of sizes, patterns and thicknesses but all have one goal: They keep your baby comfortable and dry until they are old enough to use the restroom. Finding the right preemie diapers for you and your baby will give you both peace of mind day and night.


Preemie diapers are best for babies who are smaller than 6 pounds. Diapers made for the littlest babies come in negative sizing and are designed for the smallest preemies who weigh as little as 1 pound. You will want to consider your baby’s weight when you select their diapers, because diapers that are too big may not be comfortable for your infant and diapers that are too small may lead to rashes and blowouts.



Perhaps surprisingly, not all diapers are the same in terms of ingredients. Some diapers include ingredients that are known skin irritants. Because preemies have extra special needs, you may want to be mindful of the ingredients you put next to your baby’s skin because some could cause irritation or discomfort. Choosing a preemie diaper made without certain harmful ingredients will help prevent skin irritation on your baby.


The choice between cloth diapers and disposable diapers is one that every new parent faces. You can purchase preemie diapers in both cloth and reusable styles, and which one you choose is ultimately a personal choice. Cloth diapers may be a big investment at first but they might cost less in the long run. They are also better for the environment even if they do cause you to run your washing machine more frequently. Disposable diapers are easier if you are on-the-go and don’t require any additional washing, but they sit in landfills for a long time after your baby soils through them.

Preemie diaper features

Wetness indicator

A wetness indicator is usually a strip or patch of fabric on the front of your baby’s diaper that changes color when it is wet. This is nice when your baby is first born: The wetness indicator on a disposable diaper lets you know when your baby is ready for a fresh diaper.

Tab closure

Most diapers feature a tab closure and adjustable waistband to secure the diaper onto your baby. Tab closures are nice on disposable diapers because they can easily be done and redone if they come loose. They can also be made looser or tighter to accommodate your baby.

Cute design

Many diapers these days come with cute patterns or designs that can be fun for new parents to pick out. Some preemie diapers include well-known cartoon characters while others include whimsical drawings or patterns. Picking out a fun preemie diaper can be a neat way to accessorize your baby’s outfit.

Preemie diaper cost 

Preemie diapers cost about the same amount that regular diapers do. A preemie diaper will typically cost you between 25-75 cents per diaper.

Preemie diaper FAQ

Can my preemie wear newborn diapers?

A. If your preemie seems comfortable in newborn diapers then you can absolutely keep using newborn diapers. However, if your preemie seems uncomfortable or you are having a hard time getting newborn diapers snug enough on your preemie to prevent blowouts, then you might want to try preemie diapers.

How many preemie-size diapers will my baby need?

A. It is hard to say how many diapers you will need in any given size. When they are first born, most babies go through between 10-12 diapers per day, although that number could be more or less depending on your baby. One thing to keep in mind is that many big retailers will allow you to swap unopened packages of diapers for a different size from the same brand. So, if you find yourself overloaded with preemie diapers, head to your local big box retailer and ask to swap for the next size if your package of preemie diapers is still sealed.

Which preemie diaper should I get?

Best of the best preemie diaper

Pampers Swaddlers Preemie: available at Amazon and Buy Buy Baby 

Our take: Made with mild ingredients, Pampers Swaddlers preemie diapers are designed to keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours.

What we like: Featuring air channels to allow your infant's skin to dry as well as tab closures for a secure fit, these preemie diapers are soft and comfortable for your baby. These diapers also feature a wetness indicator.

What we dislike: These preemie diapers are not as small as preemie diapers from other brands and may not work for very small infants.

Best bang for your buck preemie diaper

Huggies Little Snugglers Preemie: available at Amazon and Buy Buy Baby 

Our take: Free from parabens and fragrance, these soft diapers prevent leakage for up to 12 hours.

What we like: Featuring a wetness indicator and tab closures for a secure fit, these diapers will offer your baby superior wetness protection. The allergen-resistant fibers are perfect for sensitive skin.

What we dislike: Some parents complain that these diapers don't absorb wetness very well.

Honorable mention preemie diaper

Bambo Nature Diapers: available at Amazon

Our take: Thin and breathable with adjustable side panels, these natural diapers are soft and absorbent.

What we like: These diapers are free from harmful ingredients and designed to be extra gentle on your baby's delicate skin. These diapers are better for the environment and made with sustainable pulp.

What we dislike: Size one diapers from Bambo are intended for babies weighing 4-8 pounds. They might be too big for extra-small preemies, and some parents say that they run wider than other brands.

Stephanie Jarrett is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.


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