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A complete guide to diaper sizes

5 tips to keep in mind when choosing the right size diaper for your baby, and a diaper sizing chart for easy reference.
There is so much to stress about when becoming a parent -- diaper sizes should not be one of them!
There is so much to stress about when becoming a parent -- diaper sizes should not be one of them!petrunjela / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Becoming a parent can be the most exciting, yet overwhelming, time in a new mom or dad's life. Choosing the correct size of diapers for your baby does not need to be part of the chaos.

Diaper size is important, because a poor fitting diaper can cause messes, contribute to diaper rash, and discomfort for babies.

The problem? There is no universal diaper sizing guide for parents to consult.

Diaper size guide

Sizing varies between different diaper brands. After reviewing diaper sizing guides from Pampers, Parent’s Choice, Kirkland brand, and Hello Bello, the following diaper size chart gives approximate sizing references:

Preemie Diaper Size: Up to 6 pounds

Newborn Diaper Size: 10 pounds and under

Size 1: 8 -14 lbs

Size 2: 12-18 lbs

Size 3: 16-28 lbs

Size 4: 22-37 lbs

Size 5: 27-35 lbs

Size 6: 35 lbs and over

Size 7: 41 lbs and over

Once parents have determined the proper size, it may take some trial and error to find a brand that works best for your baby.

Weight references may overlap for sizes, so it is important to check the box and monitor the diaper fit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates that parents or caregivers will change a baby's diaper up to 12 times per day, and will go through nearly 3,000 diapers in the first year.

With so many diaper changes on the horizon, diaper fit is extremely important. Here are five tips to keep in mind when choosing the right diaper for your baby, according to AAP:

  1. Red marks on baby's skin may mean the diaper is too tight, or your baby is suffering from diaper rash, a common form of irritant dermatitis that occurs when the "diaper area spends much of the day in contact with two very irritating substances: urine and stool."
  2. Occasional diaper leaks are normal, but if the diaper is leaking with regularity, double check the diaper fit.
  3. Check the waist. A diaper should close easily without having to pull hard on the tabs. Tabs should be fastened straight across and be at the same rise in both front and back. It's important the diaper is not too tight, especially at night.
  4. The rise of the diaper should be around baby's belly button, so if the diaper's rise appears low, it's time to size up.
  5. The more absorbent the diaper, the better job it does of keeping the skin dry.

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