What Happens When Diapers Are Too Small? The Complete Guide 2023

If you’re a first-time parent, you probably have limited experience selecting diapers for your newborn. You likely purchased some that are too small for your child’s size and didn’t realize it.

What happens when diapers are too small? There will be some signs such as blowouts or leaks, red marks along the thighs, or loose tabs.

Waiting any longer! Let’s dive into this article to figure out the signs showing that the products aren’t right for your baby. 

What Happens When Diapers Are Too Small? 

In general, it’s not too hard to notice a too-small diaper because you may find out one of the following signs: 

Blowouts Or Leaks

One of the most evident indicators of small diapers is when your newborn constantly leaks or has blowouts. 

Leaks may appear because the diaper does not fit properly or its size is insufficient to accommodate the volume of urine or poop your kid is producing currently. It results in a messy leak or even a rash explosion.

Some parents may blame the matter lies in the brand they are using. In reality, if you buy a too-small product, it can’t contain your baby’s messes, regardless of brand. 

This unpleasant situation frequently occurs during nighttime, so it’s better to choose the larger one at night. For the remaining ones, try to use them throughout the day. It could also help your baby sleep for extended periods!

Red Marks

If your baby’s thighs have red marks or rash on them, it’s an indicator that the product is excessively tight. 

Normally, the part around the baby’s thighs and legs usually have a certain elasticity. If it’s too snug, it may cause discomfort, rash, or red marks on your newborn’s thighs. 

Moving size up is absolutely a good idea!

It’s Hard To Connect The Diaper Tabs At The Baby’s Waist.

If you find it difficult to connect the tabs at the waist of your newborn, which might be a sign of a small diaper. This product should close without requiring a lot of tugging and pulling.

What’s more, take into account its rise. A good-fitting one should sit just under your kid’s belly button. If it’s a bit low, it’s a great idea to purchase a larger one!

A proper fitting diaper

A proper fitting diaper

What Is The Best Way To Determine Your Baby’s Diaper Size? 

It must be challenging to buy the correct size for your baby right the first time! There are many ways to figure out the proper one for your kid.

Below are some easy and useful ones. Let’s take a look! 

By Weight

Weight alone isn’t a reliable method of selection, but it’s a good place to start.

Obviously, this way will vary depending on your infant and the diaper’s design, but this is a general guideline.

These sizes will also differ depending on the brand, but it is a decent baseline of sizes amongst brands. 

Size Baby weight (lbs)
Newborn 6 – 10
Size 1 8 – 14
Size 2 13 – 28
Size 3 22 – 36

If you are unsure how to weigh your newborn, you can watch this video:

By Age

Though it’s not ideal, you could get a basic idea about when you’ll need to go size up based on the age of your child. This will also vary depending on your kid and the brand or style of diaper like the above way, but it still works effectively. 

Size Baby age (months/years)
Newborn Small newborns
Size 1 Larger newborns (up to 3 months)
Size 2 2 – 6 months
Size 3 5 months – 2 years

What To Do With Diapers That Are Too Small? 

Here are some solutions to dealing with too-small diapers instead of putting them in the landfill: 

Exchange For New Ones

Most retailers will let customers exchange the product for another new one as long as the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The packages have not been opened yet.
  • You’re familiar with the store.

That’s why it is not a good idea to unpack diaper packets in advance. If your kid hasn’t grown to a bigger size, open them one by one.

Exchange the products

Exchange the products

Store For The Next Baby

If you’re planning on getting pregnant soon, it’s best to save any leftover diapers. Although diapers do not have an expiration date, their effectiveness declines as they age. There are some methods you can do to make them last longer.

  • Keep them somewhere cool and dark.
  • Try squeezing out the air by wrapping them in plastic bags.

Give To Your Friends

Ask your friend if their child’s size is similar to yours. Or, you can give them to pregnant women. It could be a significant help and blessing.

some product for baby

Give to expecting women.

Make A Donation To A Diaper Drive Near You

Do you want to give unused diapers but are unsure where to donate them? Then check whether your local town hosts or knows about a diaper drive.

Take Them To The Nursery At The Church 

A church nursery, like a childcare center, may have set procedures for collecting diaper donations. 

A church nursery, like a childcare center

Donate them to nursery church

Ask The Nearest Homeless Shelter

Giving spare diapers to nearby homeless shelters is another fantastic option. 

Call or email any homeless shelters in your area. They’re almost certainly going to take your unused items.

Donate Them To A Women’s Shelter

Although it is a women’s refuge, the moms frequently arrive with their babies. Also, among the most basic needs for all parents is diapers.

Check With Your Daycare 

Daycares have rigorous rules for collecting diapers. Cloth ones are allowed in certain places, but not all.

If they refuse to let you give diapers, offer to check with other parents at the childcare to see if anyone is receptive.

the daycare center

Give to the daycare center.

When Is It Time to Change Your Baby’s Diaper Sizes? 

There are a few signals that your kid is ready for a larger diaper:

  • The waistband’s fastening tapes do not touch the middle.
  • Two fingers are unable to comfortably enter under the attached diaper’s waistline.
  • The diaper doesn’t fully cover your kid’s bottom.
  • Your newborn frequently experiences diaper rash.

In A Nutshell

To sum up, this article has eventually got to the bottom of the question: What happens when diapers are too small? All in all, your baby may get uncomfortable and experience red marks, leaks, or blowouts. 

When you notice one of these above signs, it’s best to purchase the larger diapers to bring the most comfortable sense for your baby. Thanks for reading!



I'm Rosaura, five years worked as Nurse in NY. I'm also an avid writer, seeking to share knowledge to take care your family's health through this blog.