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The Best Diapers for Crawling, Walking, Climbing, Active Babies

best diaper for active babies




Written by:

Dahlia Rimmon

When my baby became more active around 9 months old, his whole lifestyle changed. He started crawling, walking, and engaging in all sorts of activities that demanded a diaper that stayed put. His diapers would wriggle around, shift lopsided, and we'd often pick him up only to discover leaks. And don’t get me started on how difficult diaper changes become with a wiggly little one.

As a mom to 3 kids under 5 and a writer focused on reviews and research (usually behind the scenes at New Modern Mom), I decided to put my reporting skills to good use, and search for the best diaper for active babies and toddlers. Here’s my comparison of Coterie The Pant, Pampers Cruisers 360, and Huggies Little Movers.

TLDR: Coterie is my clear winner! Get 20% off your purchase with code: NEWMODERN24

Test #1: Ingredient Safety

Coterie The Pant

Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, free of over 200 chemicals commonly found in other diaper brands, including: fragrance, lotion, latex, rubber, dyes, alcohol, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, pesticides, chlorine bleaching, VOCs, and optical brighteners. Third-party tested with a publicly shared Diaper Safety Report. 5/5

Pampers Cruisers 360

Hypoallergenic and made without parabens, BPA, elemental chlorine, latex, disperse dyes, dioxins, ethanol/drying alcohol, lead and mercury in printed inks, organotins, pesticide residues, phenol, and PVC. *Note there is a strong, overwhelming scent reminiscent of baby powder, which I personally found quite nauseating. 2/5

Huggies Little Movers

Labeled as hypoallergenic, but there is no specification which substances or chemicals they are free from. Huggies claims their materials are tested for allergens and irritation, but it's unclear which products undergo testing, and they don't share the results publicly. 1/5

Ingredient Safety Winner: Coterie

Test #2: The Fit

Coterie The Pant

What makes The Pant stand out is its versatility – you can put it on two different ways. You can either pull it up and down like underwear or use the resealable waistband to open and close it like a traditional diaper. Having two options is great for little wigglers like my son, who just can't sit still on the changing pad. It also gives him the chance to practice his fine motor skills by pulling it up and down, which is a great step towards potty training.

Also, something I never really considered until trying The Pant is how babies’ and toddlers' bodies change throughout the day. Their stomachs are flat when they wake up because they haven't eaten, and their bellies are rounder after meals. Fortunately, the wrap-around pleating ensures a snug fit regardless of his belly size.

The materials used in The Pant are incredibly stretchy, providing my son with the freedom to comfortably move around. Whether he's climbing on the jungle gym or rolling around in the sand at school, I don't have to worry about him feeling restricted. 5/5

Pampers Cruisers 360

The Cruisers 360 are Pampers version of pull-ups or transitional diapers. They feature a stretchy waistband to help diapers slide on, and have tear tabs on both sides to remove it like a traditional diaper. I struggled with the tearing feature, especially while my toddler was squirming on the changing table. Trying to remove the diaper like underwear resulted in a messy and smelly diaper change that was far from pleasant. Also, while The Pant is geared towards gentle potty training, the Cruisers 360 provide a less flexible fit in order to keep them from removing their own diapers. 3/5

Huggies Little Movers

Huggies Little Movers are basically just a regular diaper, and must be put on using velcro tabs like a typical diaper. They come with curved elastic and a contoured pad to minimize any gaps around the legs and have double grip strips to provide flexibility. Overall, I was not impressed and would not recommend them for active toddlers. 2/5

The Fit Winner: Coterie

Huggies Little Movers, Coterie Pants, Pampers Cruisers 360 (left to right)

Test #3: Absorbency

To thoroughly evaluate absorbency, I conducted three tests. 

  • Test A: I poured water directly onto the diaper liners to see how quickly they absorbed it.
  • Test B: I poured 1 ounce of water into each diaper to simulate urination. I waited 30 seconds before assessing dampness by touch. 
  • Test C: After about 90 seconds, I checked the diaper exteriors.

Coterie The Pant

Coterie instantly absorbed the liquid when poured, and remained dry to the touch both on the interior liner and the exterior. 5/5

Pampers Cruisers 360

Pampers noticeably did not absorb the liquid for some time, but once absorbed felt slightly drier than Huggies, but nowhere near as dry as Coterie. These diapers also felt damp on the exterior. 3/5

Huggies Little Movers

While Huggies absorbed the liquid right away, they felt the wettest after water was poured onto them, and were a bit damp on the exterior. 2/5

Absorbency Winner: Coterie

Test #4: Cost

Coterie The Pant

One-time purchase of 156 Pants: $105.50 ($0.68 per diaper) or Subscription of 156 Pants: $95.00 ($0.61 per diaper).

Pampers Cruisers 360

144 Cruisers: $53.14 ($0.40 per diaper).

Huggies Little Movers

156 Little Mover: $49.36 ($0.32 per diaper).

Cost Winner: Huggies Little Movers

IMO the best diapers for active babies and toddlers are Coterie Pants.

Coterie Pants stand out for their superior ingredient safety, comfortable fit, and excellent absorbency. I'm happy to spend a few extra cents per diaper for the added value Coterie provides.

✅ Ingredient safety: free of 200+ harmful chemicals

✅ Brand transparency: third-party testing and published results

✅ Stretchy fit: these diapers stay put on the wiggliest of babies

✅ Resealable waistband: personalized fit for maximum comfort and makes it easier to dispose

✅ Top-notch absorbency: tested and proven as the the most absorbent and driest 

Get 20% your purchase with code: NEWMODERN24

And while you're testing out Coterie's Pant, I highly suggest you try the wipes. They won the top non-toxic baby wipe in our research.


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