Pampers Swaddlers Newborn Reviews
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Pampers Swaddlers Newborn

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Pampers Newborn Swaddlers; A Real Pain in the Butt

Feb 21, 2004 (Updated Aug 15, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Umbilical cord cutouts; baby powder scent; velcro closures

Cons:Impossible to put on correctly; scent may be too strong for some

The Bottom Line: These diapers absorb wetness and keep messes contained, but don't fit the average newborn well at all. You just shouldn't have to fight with a diaper!


Long before our daughter's anticipated arrival, we began stockpiling the nursery with the most essential of baby needs - DIAPERS. Not only did we begin purchasing a package each week with the groceries, but we received several more as gifts - meaning that by the time our little one made her grand entrance into the world, we had quite the collection, encompassing all major name brands (and several store brands) in sizes from teeny-tiny through gargantuan.

The Subject
When we brought our new baby home from the hospital, she weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 21 1/2 inches long. A squirmy baby from the beginning, it didn't take us long to figure out that she did not appreciate diaper changes - therefore it was up to us to make them as quick and painless as possible.

The Diapers
We had about five packs of newborn-sized diapers squirreled away - we were expecting an 8 1/2 pound baby (which she was at birth, before losing a bit in the hospital) and most size one diapers begin at the eight pound mark. The first diapers we decided to try were the Pampers Newborn Swaddlers, which featured "umbilical care" - a notch cut out of the front of the diaper so as not to rub against baby's healing umbilical stump. (The package we opened first was a bright yellow and purple pack of 40 diapers, which came with six free wipes and a bonus size one Pampers diaper inside.)

At first look, the diapers looked like any other diaper - smallish, white, cushiony, with cute designs on the front (mostly different Sesame Street characters, and a few with the "back to sleep" reminder). I noticed as soon as I opened the package that these diapers have a distinct baby powder scent - a feature that I personally liked, but some people (and babies) may be irritated by the scent. I also noticed right off that the notch cut out of the top of the diaper didn't much resemble the diaper pictured on the package - the illustration showed a deep semi-circular cutout while the diaper itself had a long, shallow strip cut out of the top instead. Still, I thought since they're *PAMPERS*, they have to be good...

Ease of Installation
It didn't take long for every good thing I had previously noted about these diapers to fly out the nursery window. Although the elastic around the legs of these diapers is very good, it made folding the diaper open in preparation nearly impossible, thereby subtracting precious seconds from my goal time - that is, how quickly I need to remove the old diaper and replace it with a new one before my little girl screams herself purple. Once I had the fresh diaper placed under her bottom, I noticed that it seemed awfully short compared to the diapers she'd been using - instead of laying high on her back, this looked like some sort of newborn diaper hip-hugger.

Of course, this could be caused by the excessive material in the crotch area - the material from one leg opening to another measures 3 1/2 inches across - and who has a newborn with a crotch that wide? Even my OWN underwear isn't that wide across the bottom - how in the world are these supposed to fit someone that doesn't weigh quite eight pounds?! It took more bunching, tugging, arranging and muttered bad words than I care to mention to get this diaper properly positioned to be fastened. And while the sides of the diaper are a generous length and the velcro tabs easy to use, it was next to impossible to get the diaper fastened tightly because of the excess material around the bottom. Thank goodness Pampers did put the velcro tabs on these diapers - I must have fastened and re-fastened six or seven times before I was satisfied that the diaper wouldn't fall off when I picked the baby up.

New Mom Mistake?
This diaper was so difficult to get onto my daughter that I actually wondered afterward if I'd done something wrong - maybe Pampers came with some sort of special instructions for putting them on? After close scrutiny to the packaging and digging through the inner contents, I found absolutely nothing. Okay, so it's not just me after all...

Wear and Tear
True to Pampers' claim, the cutout along the front of the diaper didn't rub against baby's umbilical stump - although it certainly didn't miss it by much. She didn't seem horribly put out by this diaper after it was finally on and situated - and after a particularly long feeding, she gave it a run for its money. Serving its purpose well, this diaper contained every bit of the mess she left behind and absorbed wetness very well - I had to examine much more closely than I'd have liked to be sure she had a wet diaper at all. And while the diaper fit more loosely than I'd have liked around the waist (perhaps not a great bet for boy babies), it seemed much too tight around the leg openings - the heavy-duty elastic left red marks in my daughter's skin every time.

I did find something that disturbed me a bit during before-mentioned package inspection - but thankfully *not* in her diaper. The package states: "If you notice gel-like material on your baby's skin, don't be alarmed. This comes from the diaper padding and can be easily removed by wiping your baby's skin with a cloth." Umm...there are enough various and scary things that appear in her diaper from time to time without my having to worry about finding a gel-like substance there as well. Maybe Pampers could remove the gel from the diaper, reducing some of the bulk so these things actually FIT right? Just a thought...

Ingredients
Who knew diapers had ingredients? Not I, until I read this note on the package... "Pampers Swaddlers contains these mild ingredients which are gentle to the skin: petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, aloe extract." Okay. Now we know.

So What ARE They Good For?
Not for covering my precious little one's backside, that's for sure - fighting with these diapers is just too stressful for us both. It seems, however, that I read somewhere that diapers are great for dusting furniture. So I grabbed one of the offending creatures and headed for the dustiest thing in my home - Grandma's black piano. I wasn't impressed by their dusting ability either - they just shoved it around a bit, making it look even worse than before. Undaunted, I turned to the television...lo and behold, THESE DIAPERS ARE EXCELLENT FOR CLEANING YOUR TELEVISION SCREEN!! Still, Windex and paper towels are surely cheaper...which means that these diapers will certainly not be welcome in our home again anytime soon.

Contact Pampers
Pampers may be contacted via telephone at 1-800-PAMPERS or visited at www.pampers.com

Also By Pampers
Pampers Baby Dry Diapers
Pampers Lavender Baby Wipes
Pampers Swaddlers


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