Parents who want a soft, hypoallergenic diaper for their newborn without turning to cloth should consider Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive, a longtime favorite for smaller babies. The diapers' umbilical cutouts and wetness indicators are nice conveniences for nervous first-time parents, and most say absorbency is good. While Swaddlers Sensitive diapers come in larger sizes, many reviewers are less complimentary of sizes 3 and up, which use Pampers' controversial Dry Max technology.
Cloth-like softness with convenient features. Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers earn raves for their softness and absorbency. Reviewers like their cloth-like feel, with some calling them a good disposable alternative to cloth diapering. Parents also have good things to say about the diapers' fit, and they like the newborn umbilical cord notch and wetness indicator, included through size 2. Swaddlers Sensitive performed well in an expert absorbency test against 19 other diapers. While the diapers aren't as thin as others, parents don't find them overly bulky. There have been a few complaints of gel leaks and broken tabs.
May not be sensitive enough for some. Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers are a traditional disposable that contain petrolatum, stearyl alcohol and aloe barbadensis leaf extract, among other ingredients. The diapers are hypoallergenic, but not biodegradable or compostable. A few reviewers say they dislike the diapers' light scent, especially in a supposedly sensitive product, and an expert blasts Pampers for using latex and chlorine in a product marketed as sensitive. While the boxes may not specifically say so, Swaddlers Sensitive in sizes 3 and 4 contain Pampers' Dry Max technology. Dry Max uses the same superabsorbent polymer (SAP) as other disposable diapers (though Pampers calls it "absorbent gelling material") and it is the source of much discussion in the reviews. Despite some parental complaints that Dry Max may be causing diapers rash and pressure to recall the product in 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission disagreed, and complaints have abated over the past couple of years.
Review Credibility: Excellent In lab tests of 20 disposable diapers, Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive were ranked seventh --second to normal Swaddlers among traditional disposable diapers. Juliet Spurrier says there are "not a lot of compelling differences" between Swaddlers and Swaddlers Sensitive except price and packaging. Though Swaddlers Sensitive are hypoallergenic, she says, the use of latex and chlorine means they aren't truly sensitive. However, she does like the umbilical notch, wetness indicator and absorbency.
Review: The Battle for the Best Disposable Diapers, Juliet Spurrier, Nov. 15, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers earn 4.3 out of 5 stars in more than 500 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the softness, absorbency and plainer design, and many report no problems with rashes. They also like the umbilical notch and wetness indicators on smaller sizes. However, many reviewers dislike the use of perfume in a sensitive product. Many negative reviews reference size 3 and 4 diapers, which have Dry Max. Other reviewers report gel leaks and broken tabs.
Review: Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers earn 93 points out of 100 in more than 350 reviews on Viewpoints.com. The diapers are voted "best for newborns" and "best for preventing diaper rash" among disposables reviewed on Viewpoints.com. The diapers also earn 5 out of 5 for ease of use, leak prevention, comfort and absorbency. Reviewers like the cloth-like feel, wetness indicator and fit. A few do report leaks.
Review: Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Newborn Diapers Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of February 2013