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Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan – Pampers, Merries, Moony, GOO.N, Genki!

Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan

Added to the stress that comes with a new baby comes selecting the right diaper to suit your baby’s needs.

Any advertising catchphrase will tell you “__ percent of moms love xx brand!” So, how do you chose the right brand of diapers for your baby? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer such a question.

The best diaper should keep your baby’s skin dry and protected from rashes and irritation. While fit is a very important part of choosing the right diaper, blowouts and leaks unfortunately are nearly impossible to avoid.

Many seasoned moms will be quick to tell you to avoid buying large quantities of diapers before baby is born as your baby may quickly outgrow the sizes. Additionally, the diapers may not be the best fit or may irritate baby’s skin.

Diaper Etiquette

Before we get into the different types of brand available in Japan, let’s go over Japanese diaper etiquette.
Firstly, diapers must be disposed of according to your municipality’s rules. As a general rule, diapers are burnable trash, (燃えるゴミ or 燃えやすゴミ) but must be disposed of separately.

Take diapers home to dispose of them if you are out with your baby. The exception is if you are at a facility that has a specially designated trash can for diapers.

You may be surprised to know that Japanese moms often flush baby’s stool before disposing of diapers. Given the strict rules of Japanese garbage disposal, this is not unusual. Understandably, this task is difficult for a milk or formula- fed baby, so it is not done regularly during the newborn stage.

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Types of Diapers

  • Diapers can be divided into two types: tape (テープ ) type and underwear/pull-up (パンツ) type.
  • You may notice a yellow/green line or several stripes running down the middle and up the back of baby’s diaper. This stripe will turn blue when wet, indicating that your baby’s diaper should be changed
  • Tape-type diapers have the benefit of adjustable sizing thanks to the fasteners on either side.
  • You may want to switch to underwear/pull-up type when your child can hold up their head, roll over, and crawl.
  • Pull-up type diapers can tear at the sides for easy removal.
  • Even if your baby has not reached any or all of those milestones, if you find that their leg movements during diaper change are a bit too much to handle, then perhaps a switch to underwear type diapers will make a difference.
  • You may also find that some underwear-type diapers have tape on the back, which is to be used when rolling up a soiled diaper.

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Diaper Sizing

Sizes tend to be expressed by letter sizes and correspond with a baby’s weight and all are written on the bottom of the package in a kilogram range. Sizes may also be determined by your baby’s developmental milestone. Please keep in mind that sizes may vary by brand.

テープ (Tape type)
新生児小さめ (Preemie): Up to 3.5 kg (8 lbs)
新生児 (Newborn): Up to 5 kg (11 lbs)
S (Small): 4-8 kg (9-18 lbs)
M (Medium): 6-11 kg (13-24 lbs)
L (Large): 9-14 kg (20-31 lbs)

パンツ (Underwear/pull-up type)
S (Small): 4-8 kg (9-18 lbs)
M (Medium): 6-10 kg (13-22 lbs)
L (Large): 9-14 kg (20-31 lbs)
ビッグ (Big): 12-22 kg (26-49 lbs)
ビッグより大きい (lit. “Bigger than ‘Big’”) 15-28 kg (33-62 lbs)

Sizing by developmental milestone
ねんね: lit. “Sleeping;” these tend to be for newborns
ねがえりor 寝返り: Can roll over
ハイハイ: Can crawl
おすわり: Can sit
たっち: Can stand
一人歩き: Can walk unassisted
トレーニング: Potty/toilet training
卒業: Graduation (from diaper use)

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Japanese Diaper Brands

Now that we’ve covered the basic information, let’s look at the top five popular brands in Japan — Pampers, Merries, moony GOO.N, and Genki!.

http://amzn.to/2qMYJ1DPampers
It’s said that Pampers are used in some seventy percent of the country’s hospitals, giving it a favorable reputation among mothers here.

Pampers prove great breathability and are designed in such a way to keep the levels of acidity with in a diaper low, reducing the risk of diaper rash. Pampers have very elastic tape to give the best fit around the waist and fit well around the legs without hampering a baby’s movement. They are also highly absorbent.

Guide to Baby Diapers in JapanMerries
Merries are produced by a domestic company and are considered to be the most breathable brand of diaper in Japan and leaves baby’s skin feeling smooth and dry. If your baby suffers from diaper rash, a switch to Merries may help.

The brand is so popular that several years ago it routinely made the evening news for constantly selling out due to the demands of Chinese tourists whose bulk purchase led retailers to limit the sales of Merries diapers to one pack per person.

As Merries remain highly favored in Japan, it’s not unusual that in-store stocks are limited, making online shopping the best bet for this brand.

moonyGuide to Baby Diapers in Japan
If leakage is your biggest concern, consider moony diapers. They are produced by Unicharm, a company that also produces sanitary napkins and adult diapers.

moony’s newborn diapers have a special cut designed with a newborn’s belly button in mind. Their diapers are known for their snug fit, perfect who babies who are starting to explore their world.

GOO.NGuide to Baby Diapers in Japan
If you are having trouble finding diapers in a particular size, you may want to consider GOO.N. They feature an impressive size range, from preemie all the way to 35 kg (77 lbs).

The lining of the diapers contain Vitamin E, making then suitable for babies with sensitive skin. GOO.N diapers also tend to give baby’s bottom a smoother silhouette compared to other brands.

Genki!Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan
Genki! are manufactured by Oji Paper, the same company that makes Nepia tissues. Their product line up is simple and affordable, featuring the animated character Anpanpan and his companion Melon Panna.

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Here is a quick recap of diaper brands:

Elasticity: Pampers
Breathability: Merries, moony
Size range: GOO.N
Price: moony, Genki!
Leak prevention: moony

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Buying Diapers:

If giving birth in Japan, find out what amenities and gifts, if any, are sent home with the baby on discharge day. It’s very likely that a sample of diapers or even a package of diapers will be sent home with you and baby.

If you are looking for samples, many Japanese moms suggest contacting the manufacturer directly, signing up for monthly campaigns, or events at shopping malls and hospitals. Unfortunately, neither of these methods are guaranteed to give you samples.

STORES

  • Costco, is a wonderful option for those seeking to buy in bulk.
  • Brick and mortar stores like Akachan Honpo, Nishimuraya and Babies ‘R Us/Toys `R Us  are worth an in-store visit if you wish to examine diapers in person.
  • Drugstores, department store baby & kids` floor and some supermarkets (limited supply) stock diapers.

ONLINE with Discounts

  • Given their bulky nature, it’s best that diapers are bought online. Existing Amazon and Rakuten members would be pleased to know that each online merchant offers several perks.
  • Amazon Prime members can sign up for Amazon Family, where diapers can be purchased for 15 percent of retail price with free shipping.
  • Rakuten has Mama Wari, which offers ten percent discounts on diapers, point rebates, and various bonus point campaigns.

*** Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan ***

Point programs

Merries, Pampers, and GOO.N all offer some sort of point rewards program. If you find a brand that suits your baby, consider registering for the brand’s corresponding reward program to use the collected points for items and services.

Tips:

If you are on the go and need extra diapers, don’t rely on your local convenience store. Opt for drugstores, department store baby & kids` floor and large supermarkets. If you are able to find a pack of diapers in a convenience store, be prepared for a limited size range (M or L) and a pack of 4 or 5 diapers.

Trash receptacles are hard to find in Tokyo. Carry a small plastic bag as you may have to take a dirty nappy home with you.

Where to Change Your Babies Diaper in Japan

Download Mamapapamap – an app that allows you to find nursing rooms and baby changing rooms quickly anywhere in Japan. It`s absolutely free! If you are unable to download the map here are a few options below:

  • Brick and mortar stores like Akachan Honpo, Nishimuraya and Babies ‘R Us/Toys `R Us have a baby room with changing tables, hot water machines and nursing areas.
  • All major department stores with a baby and kids` floor.
  • Roppongi HillsTokyo Midtown, Daikanyama T-site and have excellent nursing facilities.
  • Municipal Offices (ward: kuyakusho, city: shiyakusho)
  • Train Station restrooms (vary depending on the station)

If you have a question please leave one in our comments section below.

P.S. Visit our Top Recommended Baby & Kids` Posts

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Guide to Baby Diapers in Japan

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Written By: Teni Wada – Originally from the Southeastern United States, Teni Wada now resides in Tokyo, her home of ten years. She writes about her experiences as a new mom on her blog
babykaiju.com.

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