They might look more suitable for a Bitty Baby doll, but diaper brand Huggies' new Little Snugglers Nano Preemie diapers were actually created for the smallest and most fragile babies — infants born extremely prematurely who weigh less than two pounds or 900 grams.
According to a press release from Huggies, the miniature diapers were developed with input from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses and neonatal therapists and designed to protect the particularly delicate skin of premature babies.
"Good-fitting diapers are important to the healthy growth and development of our smallest patients," said Anjanette Lee, an infant development specialist at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas, in the press release. Lee's hospital was one of nine Level III and Level IV NICUs that tested the new diaper. "In our experience, we found Huggies Little Snugglers Nano Preemie Diapers conformed to the baby's bottom without gapping or limiting leg movement."
In addition to being tiny enough for the teeniest of baby bums, the new diapers feature specially-sized fasteners and narrow, absorbent pads to fit flexibly so that babies can be comfortably positioned in a fetal tuck, with arms and legs close to the body, Huggies explained, as preemies prefer.
Fewer than 1.4 percent of babies born each year fit the definition of nano preemie, and before now, they did not have diapers designed specifically for their needs.
TODAY Tastemaker and child development expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa told TODAY Parents that meeting the diaper needs of these special newborns is more than just a medical accomplishment. "Having a diaper that actually fits these tiny, precious children helps parents get as much skin-to-skin contact as possible with their new babies," she said. "This helps both babies and parents to heal and grow after the traumatic experience of a too-early birth. And, for parents, knowing that this unexpected and terrifying entrance into the world was anticipated — not just by doctors and nurses, but also by companies that create baby products — normalizes their experience and helps the adults feel as supported as possible."