Finding the right diapers is essential for your baby’s comfort and safety. As many as 7% to 35% of babies in the US may be suffering from diaper rash at a given time. The highest prevalence appears to be in babies 9 to 12 months old. (1)
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So, safety must always be your primary concern, but you also have to pick one that can help avoid leaks or blowouts.
Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers may be among the most popular baby diaper products. Can these two help prevent diaper rash? What are their features, and how do they differ from each other? Can they be ideal for mobile babies?
Choosing the right diaper may help prevent diaper rash, a common condition that causes red, inflamed skin on your baby’s bottom. It can be painful and may affect your baby’s mood. (2)
While some parents suggest using baby powder to prevent rashes from forming on your baby’s skin, diapers that keep liquids off your baby’s skin may be more effective.
But you should also consider other factors, especially if you want to avoid blowouts. It happens when your baby poops, but the diaper fails so that the poop leaks to your baby’s legs and back. You definitely want to avoid that mess.
That’s why it’s important to pick a diaper that has a comfortable fit and also meets these other factors:
- Wetness indicator
- Diaper sizes
- Leak protection
- Chemical-free to reduce the possibility of irritating your baby’s sensitive skin
But even the best overnight diapers can’t guarantee full protection from leakage. Still, choosing extra absorbent diapers may help provide longer hours of protection and keep your baby from waking up in the middle of the night because their diaper is wet.
Despite being produced by the same brand, Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers have different features.
Learn more about these diapers and their key differences below.
Pampers Swaddlers Vs. Cruisers: Similarities
- Both are disposable diapers made by the same brand, Pampers.
- These diapers are sold in different sizes and prints.
- They both have extra layers of absorbency.
- They also have air and wetness channels that can keep your baby’s skin dry for up to 12 hours.
- Both also have a wetness indicator for all diaper sizes.
- Both are free from parabens and latex (natural rubber). Parabens and latex may cause allergic reactions, which can lead to hives, rash, skin irritation, and breathing difficulties. (3)(4)
Main Differences: What Is The Difference Between Swaddlers And Cruisers?
What Makes Pampers Swaddlers Better?
- Swaddlers sizes are available from Size 0 (newborn, less than 10 lbs) to Size 7 (kids, 41+ lbs).
- It comes with a newborn notch (a special cutout area that may help protect your newborn baby’s umbilical stump).
- It’s softer and can be more comfortable for your little one.
Are Swaddlers More Absorbent Than Cruisers?
Because Cruisers contain more absorbent channels than Swaddlers, these diapers may have better a soaking capacity.
What Makes Pampers Cruisers Better?
- Ideal for active babies, it features a special three-way fit (bottom, legs, and waist) that can help provide your baby with the freedom to move while also ensuring a better fit to avoid leakage.
- It has extra-soft sides that may provide more comfort because they can flex along with your baby’s movement.
- It has easy-tear sides that can make removal easier.
- It costs less than Pampers Swaddlers. For example, a pack with 108 diapers in Size 6 costs $49.02 ($0.45/piece) for Swaddlers but only costs $$40.03 ($0.37/piece) for Cruisers.
Continue reading about each diaper below.
- Size 0 (newborn, less than 10 lbs); 140 diapers: $42.99
- Size 1 (infant, 8 to 14 lbs); 198 diapers: $47.07
- Size 2 (infant, 12 to 18 lbs); 186 diapers: $48.87
- Size 3 (infant, 16 to 28 lbs); 168 diapers: $53.11
- Size 4 (toddler, 22 to 37 lbs); 150 diapers: $53.44
- Size 5 (toddler, 27+ lbs); 132 diapers: $53.48
- Size 6 (toddler, 35+ lbs); 108 diapers: $49.02
- Size 7 (kids, 41+ lbs); 88 diapers: $53.44
Material: PP (polypropylene) and PET (polyethylene) fibers, super-absorbent gel, wood pulp, petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, and aloe vera leaf extract.
Product Safety: It’s free from paraben, latex, and chlorine.
What Size Do Pampers Swaddlers Go Up To? From newborn Size 0 to Size 7 (kids)
Fit: It has Soft Flexi-Sides that can be easily adjusted so you can find the perfect fit for your baby.
Absorbency: It features a special layer for extra absorbency.
Absorb Channels & Dryness: It has soft but absorbent layers with ‘heart quilts’ that can pull away wetness from your baby’s skin.
Wetness Indicator: It comes with a color-changing wetness stripe for all diaper sizes.
Leak Protection: There are dual leak-guard barriers that can seal around your baby’s leg to protect where leaks often happen.
Air Channels: BreatheFree liners
Umbilical Cord Notch: It has an umbilical cord notch that can protect your newborn baby’s belly button in a contoured fit.
Other Special Features:
- It’s marketed by Procter & Gamble Co. as the softest Pampers diapers.
- Hand-drawn animal prints can make Swaddlers diapers an attractive choice for your kids.
- Pampers claims that this diaper is gentle on your baby’s delicate skin and is hypoallergenic.
- In 2010, many parents launched a recall campaign after Procter & Gamble Co. updated its Cruisers and Swaddlers diapers with Dry Max. The parents claimed that these diapers cause diaper rashes, even chemical burns, on their children. (5)
- After the online petition went viral, Procter & Gamble Co. denied these allegations. (6)
- The company stood by its products and also shared safety data indicating that these diapers underwent rigorous safety tests. (5)
- The spokesman for its ’s baby care division, Bryan McCleary, claimed that there was no evidence that even one baby experienced serious skin safety issues while using the diapers. (5)
- They didn’t issue a recall. (5)(6)
Pros & Cons
- Pampers Swaddlers are hypoallergenic and may be gentle on delicate skin.
- They’re free from parabens and latex (natural rubber), which may cause allergic reactions such as hives, rash, skin irritation, and breathing difficulties. (3)(4)
- The BreatheFree liner can quickly absorb wetness to help keep your baby’s skin dry.
- The diapers may be easily adjusted to fit your growing baby.
- Many sizes are available (from Newborn to Size 7), providing you with options to find the right diapers to fit your baby.
- Some parents complained about this product causing diaper rash on their babies.
- Many parents have petitioned for a product recall over safety issues, but the company hasn’t issued any. (5)(6)
What Customers Say
“Baby diapers fill up with pee but when I open the diaper to change, viola baby’s skin is dry! After trying all other diapers I could find. This has worked so well. I call it a moms secret night time sleep. Because baby does not need a change at night because of pee diaper.” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
“My kid has been using these diapers since the day she was born. They are my absolute favorite. They’re so soft and absorbing and also has a yellow line that turns blue when she is wet. She s hasn’t gotten an diaper rashes with this brand. And I believe the swaddles are the only ones that have the wetness indicator on all sizes.” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
“My twin girls are 16 months old and in size 4. They are veryyyy active now! They have never had any leaks or blowouts with these and they even work well overnight. My girls are dry in the mornings. Also, these are super easy to put on during diaper changes when you have a wiggly toddler! These are the softest diapers I have found! I know a lot of people complain about the scent but my girls have never had a rash or reaction. Also there’s not a pee smell when full. I noticed a pee smell when I was using Huggies and especially Honest Company.” – Reviewer on Target.
“Unfortunately for us these diapers did not pass the over night test for my son. He wet through the pamper, his pajamas & his sheets. They leaked really bad.” – Reviewer on Walmart.
“These diapers adds so cute but they smell funny once they get wet. I don’t know if it’s just me but once my baby peed the diaper had a weird oder. Maybe they need some sent barriers. I buy the night time diapers and pampers pure but not sure if I’d buy the swaddlers. #pampersswaddlers.” – Reviewer on Target.
“ I tried these pampers swaddlers and I’m sorry to say I was not impressed. The diaper leaked over night, and there were even a few leaks during the day. I liked that they’re smaller than what I currently use, but I think the smaller is why it leaked for us. The velcro also wasn’t as secure as I would have preferred.” – Reviewer on Target.
- Size 3 (infant, 16 to 28 lbs); 174 diapers: $53.37
- Size 4 (toddler, 22 to 37 lbs); 160 diapers: $44.71
- Size 5 (toddler, 27+ lbs); 128 diapers: $50.99
- Size 6 (toddler, 35+ lbs); 108 diapers: $40.03
- Size 7 (kids, 41+ lbs); 88 diapers: $50.99
Material: PET (polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene) fibers, super-absorbent gel, petrolatum, wood pulp, stearyl alcohol, and aloe barbadensis leaf extract
Product Safety: It’s free from latex, paraben, and chlorine.
When Should Baby Use Pampers Cruisers? From Size 3 (infant) to Size 7 (kid)
- It features a unique 3-way fit that can adapt to your baby’s waist, legs, and bottom for freedom to move.
- It also has a stay-put waistband that the brand claims to be stronger and 2x stretchier vs. different diaper brands.
Absorbency: It has an extra layer for absorbency.
Absorb Channels & Dryness: It has absorb-away liners that can keep moisture away from your baby’s skin.
Wetness Indicator: It features a color-changing wetness stripe.
Leak Protection: It has dual leak-guard barriers.
Air Channels: It features Air Dry Channels.
Umbilical Cord Notch: None because this line doesn’t offer Size 0 (Newborn) options
Hours of Protection: The brand claims that this diaper can provide long-lasting dryness or up to 12 hours of leakage protection.
Other Special Features:
- The brand claims that it’s dermatologically tested to be hypoallergenic and gentle to your baby’s sensitive skin.
- The leg cuffs are made of polypropylene nonwoven fabric and spandex that’s free from natural rubber latex. These can ensure a proper fit to help prevent leakage.
- The back sheet covering is also made from polypropylene non-woven fiber covering attached to the back sheet film that can still feel soft on the outside of the diaper.
- The absorbent fluff pulp is made from soft, fluffy fibers derived from wood pulp that can help absorb liquids.
- The fastening system is made using polypropylene and stretch film to help ensure a customizable yet secure fit.
Pros & Cons
- Pampers Cruisers may be hypoallergenic. They’re free from parabens and latex (natural rubber), which may cause allergic reactions such as hives, rash, skin irritation, and breathing difficulties. (3)(4)
- These diapers can offer extra protection at sites where leakage usually occurs, such as on your baby’s legs.
- The diapers can also be adjusted to fit your growing baby.
- There are several sizes to choose from, providing you with options to find the right diapers to fit your baby.
- It doesn’t offer smaller sizes (newborn to Size 2).
- Some parents complained that this product caused diaper rash on their babies.
- It’s part of the Pampers’ controversy in 2010, with parents calling on Procter & Gamble Co. to recall Cruisers and Swaddlers with Dry Max for allegedly causing diaper rashes and possibly chemical burns. (5)
- But Procter & Gamble Co. denied these allegations, insisting that their products are safe. They also released safety data to show that the diapers went through rigorous safety tests. (5)
- Bryan McCleary, Procter & Gamble Co.’s baby care division spokesman, said that there was no evidence showing that a single baby has experienced serious skin safety issues after using these diapers. (5)
- They didn’t issue a recall. (5)(6)
What Customers Say
“I have used other brands with each of my kids when they were given as gifts or Pampers Cruisers weren’t available when I needed to buy diapers. These are the only diapers that do not leak for my girls or my boys. Their clothes all stay dry!” – Reviewer on Amazon.
“These are the only diapers that work for my heavy wetter, my daughter is also EBF and has blow outs in any other diaper but never these! Very soft and the prints are so cute! They are definitely pricier but I’m my opinion 100% worth it!!!” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
“Making the switch from swaddlers to cruisers has made such a difference!! There is more room for her to wiggle and play without her diaper coming loose. I always bumped up a size in swaddlers but then they would be too big. So swaddlers is what works for us!! They are very absorbent and that means less laundry which is definitely a mom win!!” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
“They get really saggy in the groin area after just a little bit of pee absorption. It makes the diaper look old, like it needs immediate changing but when you check it, it’s barely even yet. I also have leakage problems in new diapers that I’ll change the kids into right before they go to sleep at night. The babies will wake up in the mornings with their clothes covered in urine because it would come out from the sides somehow. It doesn’t happen all the time but it still happens.” – Reviewer on Amazon.
“While I love a daiper that is super absorbent, I would rather choose for my baby not to be hurt. My 8 month old baby has scratches and scraped on his belly and his legs from the tape of the daiper digging into his skin as hes learning to crawl. Very disappointed in this company for allowing the tape to be that rough and sharp. Yeah. The daipers are absorbent. But I will not purchase them again because of this problem.” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
“Not happy with the newer Pampers Cruisers Size 7. The previous version with geometric patterns and paper airplanes on the diaper was so much better. First the newer diaper has sharp and rough edges at the top and Pampers just changed the sides and they aren’t 2X’s stretchy. Now they fit as small as Huggies Size 6. Your sales will drop if Pampers doesn’t go back to the stretchy sides. Not happy. Will be looking for a different size 7 diaper as Pampers makes them with less stretch. Not happy.” – Reviewer on Pampers USA website.
Summary & Recommendations
Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers have plenty of similarities. Here are our recommendations to help you pick the right one for your baby:
Choose Pampers Swaddlers if:
- You want a softer, possibly more comfortable diaper.
- Your child needs a diaper with an umbilical cord notch, a unique feature for newborn babies.
- Your baby needs smaller diapers (from newborn or Size 0 to Size 2, infant 12 to 18 lbs).
Choose Pampers Cruisers if:
- You prefer a diaper with a special three-way fit (bottom, legs, and waist) that may help avoid leakage for active babies.
- You prefer value-friendly disposable diapers that can cost less than Pampers Swaddlers.
Pampers Diaper FAQs
How To Ensure That My Baby’s Diapers Fit?
No matter which brand or diaper type you pick for your baby, make sure that it fits well to help avoid blowouts and leakages. The right fit can also keep your child comfortable.
You can find the perfect fit by following these steps:
- Check the front portion. It must fit just under your baby’s belly button.
- Check if the leg cuff fits. Run two fingers inside the leg cuffs and check for any bunching or gaps.
- Check the waistband or fastening. Make sure you can run two fingers just inside the waistline.
Adjust accordingly if the diaper is too loose or too tight. You’ll know the diaper fits perfectly if your baby doesn’t have red marks around the waist or legs when you remove the diaper.
What’s Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash is a painful, bright red inflammation on your baby’s skin often caused by prolonged use of wet diapers. It may also be due to skin sensitivity, particularly to components used in your baby’s diapers. (2)
To help prevent diaper rash, you can do the following:
- Choose diapers with lock-away channels that can keep your baby’s skin dry.
- Frequent diaper changes may also help if the diaper doesn’t work well.
- You can also put baby powder in the diaper area.
- Choose hypoallergenic diapers.
Both Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers feature LockAway Channels that can absorb wetness and keep it away from your baby’s skin.
When Can My Baby Start Potty Training?
There’s no specific age or time for your child to start potty training, but most kids may be ready between 18 and 24 months of age. (2)
Younger babies may even begin potty training when they start sitting up on their own. But always make sure they’re supervised, especially if the toilet has access to water. (2)
Don’t force your child to start potty training. (2)
Starting it too early might actually make the training longer for your child because younger babies might not be interested or can’t understand it yet. (2)
Older babies can be easier to train, but each child has their own timeline. Some kids aren’t ready until they’re three years old. (2)
The following are some common signs that your kid is ready for potty training: (2)
- Having dry diapers for longer than usual
- Pulling at a dry diaper
- Pulling at a wet diaper
- Waking up dry after a nap
- Hiding to poop or pee, even while using diapers
- Copying older children’s behavior
- Showing interest in older babies using the potty
- Communicating that they want to go to the bathroom
Other Pampers Options
These are other Pampers variations that you can also try for your little one:
- Pampers Baby Dry Diapers
- Pampers Cruisers 360 Fit (pull up diapers)
- Pampers Easy Ups (pull-up pant diapers)
- Pampers Pure Protection (premium cotton)
- Pampers Splashers (swim pants)
- Pampers Swaddlers Overnight
- Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive
- Pampers Pure Protection Hybrid Diapers (mix of reusable cloth diaper covers and disposable inserts)