Diapers are a hot topic for parents. You’ll log onto Facebook, scroll to a parenting group, and inevitably find someone debating which diapers they should use for their little one.
Crunchy parents like cloth, parents in the middle want something natural (that they don’t have to wash), and busy parents want something convenient. All are good choices, but as many of us know, every family and parenting choice is different.
However, when you’re standing there in the diaper aisle at the supermarket, any parent can get overwhelmed by the number of choices staring back at them. They look the same, but different, but oh, this one has a cute print…
It’s a lot. We get it. That’s why we did a deep dive into two of the most popular diapering products, Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Cruisers. Have a gander at the table below and read on for a no-nonsense explanation of what each diaper offers!
Pampers Swaddlers vs Cruisers Comparison Table
|Features||Pampers Swaddlers||Pampers Cruisers|
|Colors||white print||white print|
|Features||umbilical cord notch|
dual leak guard barriers
gentle on skin
leak guard barrier
|Lock away channels||N||Y|
|Breathe free liner||Y||N|
When should you switch from Swaddlers to Cruisers?
Swaddlers only go up to size 6, so obviously, by then, you’ll have to switch. Cruisers start at size 3 and go up to 7. However, the time to switch diapers often comes much before that (both of my kiddos were potty trained before leaving a size 4, just for reference).
No, we generally decide to switch diapers based on milestones and movement more than sizing. As your baby learns to move and becomes more active, you may need to amp up the leak protection. Depending on your child, that may be 4 or 6 months of age.
Additionally, parents often switch as their baby’s build changes. Once they start filling out and gaining those cute baby rolls, they often need a diaper with enhanced elastic around the legs and back to prevent blowouts. Likewise, as they near toddlerhood, you might find yourself reaching for slimmer diapers that fit more like underwear.
Both diapers are hypoallergenic, gentle on skin, with sturdy velcro fasteners. They feature wetness indicators and lock-away channels to wick moisture away from delicate baby skin.
The Swaddlers are ideal for newborns as their material is blanket soft and the front is made with a notch to allow for umbilical cord stumps still attached. A BreathFree liner is also built into the Swaddlers for added moisture wicking. Dual leak guard barriers are also situated along the stretchy leg holes to contain even the worst messes.
Along with being hypoallergenic, the Swaddlers are also free of parabens and latex, making them a perfect choice for babies with sensitive skin.
As your baby becomes more mobile, he or she will require new levels of absorbency and comfort. That’s where Pampers Cruisers come in. They feature a 3-way fit that molds to your baby’s bottom, legs, and waist. So, they can crawl, scoot, and tumble without the worry of a leak. They also offer the same dual leak guards as the Swaddlers, along with a strong grip waist that won’t stretch out and fall down as your baby moves.
The Pampers Cruisers are also equipped with the dual leak guard and lock-away channels to keep your baby dry. They’re hypoallergenic as well.
Both diapers are fairly comparable in terms of price. However, Swaddlers come in a few dollars cheaper. Swaddlers are also easier to come by with more sellers and retailers stocking that product. It should be noted that you can expect to pay a little more as you go up in size, regardless of the product.
Swaddlers go from newborn (or 0) which ranges from <10lbs to 35+lbs. Cruisers, on the other hand, start at size 3 which goes from 16-28lbs. They go up to size 7, which is 41+lbs.
Stay Put Fit
This describes the strong velcro tabs and stretchy waistband that will prevent your baby from ditching the diaper mid-crawl. It moves with your baby rather than shimmying down their hips as they toddle and move.
This is simply a yellow stripe that turns blue when it meets moisture. It’s extremely helpful in the early days when you want to be sure you keep their skin as dry as possible to prevent severe irritation (newborns “go” a LOT).
Umbilical Cord Notch
The Swaddlers feature a dip in the front of their diaper. It leaves enough room for fresh umbilical cords to dry out without irritation and eliminates the need to fold the diaper down in the early days.
While the Swaddlers have dual leakguard protection and lock-away channels, the Cruisers boast up to 12 hours of protection. Swaddlers’ absorbency is ideal for newborns and smaller infants.
Both lock away moisture which will help with odor, but they’re also hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. The best defense against odor is to change often.
Lock Away Channels
They take on liquid with a divide & conquer approach by corralling it into the channels where it can be absorbed quickly and efficiently to leave baby’s skin dry.
This refers to a barrier (elastic leg/back) which cinches the diaper close to the skin. It helps contain messes that may otherwise leak out and down the legs or up the back.
Skin Sensitivity (Hypoallergenic)
Both are hypoallergenic products that have been tested by pediatricians and dermatologists. However, the Swaddlers are also paraben, latex, and rubber free. They’re definitely designed with sensitive newborn skin in mind.
For a visual look at the differences, have a gander at this video review from Oh dear Abbie on YouTube:
Speaking from a parent’s perspective, these are usually the first diapers they give you in the hospital. They’re soft, gender-neutral, and perfect for newborns. They aren’t as bulky around the waist and feature the notch for the umbilical cord, which is great because, while it’s gross, that cord can get sticky and irritated if it’s not allowed to dry properly.
These aren’t made for long overnight stints without changing though. Yes, they are extremely absorbent, but don’t expect them to hold the amount of liquid an 8-month-old would expel all night.
They are perfect for delicate skin and don’t add any of the “extras” that many parents don’t want. They’re scent-free, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens and latex. Overall, Swaddlers are a solid choice and widely available, a great feature for when you need a new pack in a pinch.
What we liked:
- Leak guards
- Lock-away channels
- Wetness indicator
- Umbilical notch
What we didn’t:
- Not as absorbent
Made for babies on the move, Cruisers hug your infant’s curves. They’re great for when you need something to stay up as they learn to lean, kneel, crawl, roll, and walk.
Toddling babies are notorious for finding the tabs of their diapers and taking them off. Cruisers help parents out by coming equipped with strong velcro and a stretchy waist that will give with movement, rather than tear away at the first sign of fidgety hands.
They also feature leak guards and lock-away channels. In fact, Cruisers claim up to 12 hours of dryness, making them a great choice for overnight diapers, because eventually, your infant will sleep through the night. You won’t want to have to wake them up for changes when you get to that point!
What we liked:
- Stretchy waist and legs
- Strong velcro
- Cute prints
- 12 hours of dryness
- Leak guards and lock-away channels
What we didn’t:
- They aren’t free of parabens or latex
Overall, Swaddlers are better for newborns as they cater to the umbilical cord and new skin that’s fresh to this world, diapers, and clothes. They’re free of material that can irritate skin and they’re blanket soft.
Cruisers are a better pick once your infant reaches about 5+ months. For one, they’re sleeping longer by then and Cruisers can handle that. Also, the stay-put fit is essential for babies that are learning to use their bodies and navigate space.
Both are good, but when you notice leaks in the morning or diapers slipping down in pants/sleepers, it’s time to switch!