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Parasol Master Class: The History of Diapers

We’re going to take you back to school and revisit the past. We take pride in the quality of our diapers, but there was a time when babies didn’t have it as good as they have it now. Believe us, they’ve got it real good. 😉

Parasol Co DiapersTwo babies with kiss marks Parasol Co

To recognize how far baby diapers have come, we have to start from the very beginning! Diaper development has, well, developed–and it has developed in an interesting way. Diapers were first used centuries ago, so we’ve decided to break down their history on a chronological timeline, discuss when were diapers invented, who invented diapers, and cover all the interesting events that led to its big, bright future.

The History of Diapers: Pre-diaper era

Ancient Times: Yes, you read the header correctly. Sounds scary, right? But, in ancient times, people actually used grass, moss, and other natural or raw materials to diaper their littles. Others actually didn’t use diapers at all… yeah, we’re gonna take a hard pass on that!

Medieval Times (up until the 15th Century): Parents of the Medieval period wrapped swaddling cloths around the limbs and body, leaving an opening at the bottom for easy changing.

18th Century: Safety pins made an entrance in the mid-1800s, and they were used to secure fabric in place. Everything worked out with the reusable cloth nappies–for a while. There was a big red flag, though; up until this point, diaper changes only occurred every few days. Now THAT’s a recipe for disaster. Disease and sickness could’ve easily been prevented… if only they had a disposable option instead of their reusable nappies.

Before the 1900’s, some parents didn’t want to fuss with diapers, and they held their children over a toilet whenever they had to use the bathroom. A little crazy, right? Mom or Dad needed to anticipate when to head for the bathroom. There was a need for a better solution, something that would be so much simpler for everybody involved. This turning point is what led to the invention of disposable baby diapers. 

The disposable diaper’s beginning

During the early 1900s, parents used numerous diaper methods. From rubber baby pants to flour sacks, developments continued during this time because there was a need for it. To add on to it all, there were also diaper services, which would pick up dirty diapers and supply clean ones. Mamas needed their diapers, and they needed them ASAP.

Many of the available options irritated baby bums, leaving behind terrible rashes. Plus, during the early decades of the century, parents needed to get rid of bacteria on their cloth diapers.  There had to be a way to prevent skin diseases besides boiling diapers, which took so much time—and fussing around with pins and buckles had to be pretty annoying. So, you’re probably asking,When were disposable diapers invented?”

Two babies with kiss marks Parasol Co

The rise of disposable diapers

Seriously, it was a long time coming, but the disposable diaper finally made its first appearance in the early to mid-1900s. Wondering who invented disposable diapers? Finally in 1946, a woman by the name of Marion Donovan finally solved the diaper dilemma. During the heat of the Baby Boom, Marion Donovan crafted a waterproof covering for cloth diapers. She used plastic from a shower curtain to create a model similar to a modern disposable diaper. Plus, she knew that if she could add a paper liner to the model, it would become disposable and absorbent.  Although imaginative, Donovan’s plastic diapers were super uncommon at the time, so at first, stores didn’t invest in her product. Plus, diapers were a luxury that only the rich could afford, which is pretty wild considering how accessible they are now!

It wasn’t until almost ten years later that companies decided to make their, piggybacking off of Donovan’s idea. “The Boater” truly became a modern invention, and several diaper brands (like P&G, the creator of Pampers and Luvs) launched their own products.

Of course, it wasn’t just the USA that was experimenting with diapers. Around this time, several countries around the world were attempting to construct the perfect diaper. It was definitely a process in itself!

The early disposable diapers were very problematic, though. They held little moisture, and they weren’t very secure–but parents loved them! Through the sixties, disposable diapers were very popular. At this time, the industry finally knew what mothers were looking for. About time, right?

 

Refining disposable diapers

The ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s saw major improvements. The entire globe demanded diapers, so change needed to happen quickly! With elastic waistbands, fastening tapes, more sizes, super absorbent polymers (SAPs), and a thinner, layered construction, diapers began to fit babies better than ever before. Yep, no more safety pins, rough materials, or bulky shapes. Plus, companies began including bold designs, which pleasantly surprised both littles and their parents. Some manufacturers even created cloth diapers and wetness indicators, making everybody’s lives much easier!

Many companies competed against each other to be the best, resulting in the famous Diaper Wars between P&G (Pampers and Luvs) and Kimberly-Clark (Huggies). The world saw various improvements all at once as these two companies competed against one another. There wasn’t necessarily a win between the two—and, in the end, customers were the real winners. However, there was an undeniably bright future for diapers, and diapers became more absorbent, featuring a comfortable fit and better protection.

Parasol Diapers Package

Diapers today and beyond

After entering the new millennium, diapers became a total gamechanger. Really, now is the best time to get diapers; there are so many different diaper brands to choose from, and there are so many different types of products as well—including diapers for sensitive skin. Having a choice is huge, considering several decades ago, parents had limited options. You can find more than just the big names; in fact, small companies and entrepreneurs are making huge strides, whether they offer cloth or disposable options!

Even though diapers have come a long way since their initial inception, it’s common knowledge that most modern designs feature chemicals and fragrances that little ones definitely shouldn’t be exposed to. Today, companies (including Parasol!) have made the switch to sustainable modern diapers, which is a huge achievement.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the history of diapers–we know we were very intrigued while doing our research! Your first “homework assignment” is to find the right diapers for your little (hint: they’re Parasol diapers).

Parasol knows you love your baby. Your little deserves the softest, most absorbent diapers out there, and we’re the future. Our products make a difference. We don’t let a single harmful ingredient go into our diapers or wipes–ever. We only use what’s gonna be good for your little and the planet!

Celebrate modern diapers by trying ours for yourself. You can order your monthly diaper and wipes subscription now and have everything shipped to your front door!

X

Oh, before you cancel your diaper subscription…

Can you please share your reason for canceling?

Can we make that all better?

Just for you, 15% off your next order.

We’re sorry that your experience with our diapers didn’t meet your expectations and hope you’ll give them another try to see why so many parents are devoted Parasol fans. As a thank you, enter the Discount Code 15OFFCART to receive 15% off a one-time entire cart purchase (no product limits, no expiration date).

To help us be our best, we’d appreciate hearing your feedback in a quick survey. And please be honest, we really do listen.

Potty trained, yes!

(And you thought it would never happen…)

Congrats on graduating from diapers to big kid undies. You (both) did it! Tag this milestone @parasolco and give other parents hope that their day, too, will come.

Upgrade to a membership and save (big time).

If you haven’t joined our new membership program, you’re missing out on our best value, biggest savings and free perks exclusively for members. You can upgrade your subscription to a membership just by ordering a 3-pack box of diapers. With each 3-pack box, you’ll receive 4 free packs of baby wipes, plus two diaper gift packs to share, one each for two friends. You’ll also save 20% off all future orders, enjoy lifetime savings, can apply extra promo discounts, and can cancel or change diaper delivery service at any time. Ready to upgrade?

Need to take a timeout?

One of the conveniences of a Parasol diaper subscription or membership is being able to hit Pause. Maybe you’re traveling, maybe someone just gifted you a month of diapers, whatever the reason, you can pause your diaper orders and come back when you’re ready. Just go to your account, select Edit Subscriptions and make your choice. And when you’re time out is up, we’ll always be here for you (that’s called unconditional love).

We can make the switch without a hitch.

Maybe it’s time to graduate to a new diaper size? Or to go from diapers to diaper pants? Or from diaper pants to wipes? Some customers think the only option they have to change products is to cancel a subscription and then start a new one (we can all agree that seems rather complicated). The good news is our Customer Service team can change your choice in the system, easy peasy. Just reach out to us at hello@parasolco.com (we never nap), and we’ll take it from there.

X

Oh, before you cancel your baby wipes subscription…

Can you please share your reason for canceling?

Can we make that all better?

Just for you, 15% off your next order.

We’re sorry that your experience with our diapers didn’t meet your expectations and hope you’ll give them another try to see why so many parents are devoted Parasol fans. As a thank you, enter the Discount Code 15OFFCART to receive 15% off a one-time entire cart purchase (no product limits, no expiration date).

To help us be our best, we’d appreciate hearing your feedback in a quick survey. And please be honest, we really do listen.

Potty trained, yes!

(And you thought it would never happen…)

Congrats on graduating from diapers to big kid undies. You (both) did it! Tag this milestone @parasolco and give other parents hope that their day, too, will come.

Not all baby wipes are created equal.

Baby wipes aren’t all priced the same...because they’re not made the same. Our new plant-based Clear+Pure™ baby wipes are dermatologist-certified and formulated with only the purest ingredients. They’re stronger to prevent tearing, more effective at getting baby really clean with fewer wipes...and they dispense one wipe at a time. At the end of a long day of changing diapers (and at the bottom of your baby’s bum), that is all clearly the best value we know.

Need to take a timeout?

One of the conveniences of a Parasol diaper subscription or membership is being able to hit Pause. Maybe you’re traveling, maybe someone just gifted you a month of diapers, whatever the reason, you can pause your diaper orders and come back when you’re ready. Just go to your account, select Edit Subscriptions and make your choice. And when you’re time out is up, we’ll always be here for you (that’s called unconditional love).

Before you swipe left on our wipes…

As you shop and compare wipes to find the one best for your baby, it’s important to do your homework because all baby wipes are not created equal. Our new plant-based Clear+Pure™ baby wipes are dermatologist-certified and formulated with only the purest ingredients.They’re stronger to prevent tearing, more effective at getting baby really clean with fewer wipes...and they dispense one wipe at a time. At the end of a long day of changing diapers (and at the bottom of your baby’s bum), that is all clearly the best value we know.

X

Oh, before you cancel your diaper pants subscription…

Can you please share your reason for canceling?

Can we make that all better?

Just for you, 15% off your next order.

We’re sorry that your experience with our diapers pants didn’t meet your expectations and hope you’ll give them another try to see why so many parents are devoted Parasol fans. As a thank you, enter the Discount Code 15OFFCART to receive 15% off a one-time entire cart purchase (no product limits, no expiration date).

To help us be our best, we’d appreciate hearing your feedback in a quick survey. And please be honest, we really do listen.

Potty trained, yes!

(And you thought it would never happen…)

Congrats on graduating from diapers pants to big kid undies. You (both) did it! Tag this milestone @parasolco and give other parents hope that their day, too, will come.

Upgrade to a membership and save (big time).

If you haven’t joined our new membership program, you’re missing out on our best value, biggest savings and free perks exclusively for members. You can upgrade your subscription to a membership just by ordering a 3-pack box of diapers. With each 3-pack box, you’ll receive 4 free packs of baby wipes, plus two diaper gift packs to share, one each for two friends. You’ll also save 20% off all future orders, enjoy lifetime savings, can apply extra promo discounts, and can cancel or change diaper delivery service at any time. Ready to upgrade?

Need to take a timeout?

One of the conveniences of a Parasol diaper subscription or membership is being able to hit Pause. Maybe you’re traveling, maybe someone just gifted you a month of diapers, whatever the reason, you can pause your diaper orders and come back when you’re ready. Just go to your account, select Edit Subscriptions and make your choice. And when you’re time out is up, we’ll always be here for you (that’s called unconditional love).

We can make the switch without a hitch.

Maybe it’s time to graduate to a new diaper size? Or to go from diapers to diaper pants? Or from diaper pants to wipes? Some customers think the only option they have to change products is to cancel a subscription and then start a new one (we can all agree that seems rather complicated). The good news is our Customer Service team can change your choice in the system, easy peasy. Just reach out to us at hello@parasolco.com (we never nap), and we’ll take it from there.

X

Oh, before you cancel your baby lotion subscription…

Can you please share your reason for canceling?

Can we make that all better?

Just for you, 15% off your next order.

We’re sorry that your experience with our lotion didn’t meet your expectations and hope you’ll give them another try to see why so many parents are devoted Parasol fans. As a thank you, enter the Discount Code 15OFFCART to receive 15% off a one-time entire cart purchase (no product limits, no expiration date).

To help us be our best, we’d appreciate hearing your feedback in a quick survey. And please be honest, we really do listen.

Potty trained, yes!

(And you thought it would never happen…)

Congrats on graduating from diapers to big kid undies. You (both) did it! Tag this milestone @parasolco and give other parents hope that their day, too, will come.

Not all baby lotions are created equal.

Baby lotions aren’t all priced the same...because they’re not made the same.

Need to take a timeout?

One of the conveniences of a Parasol lotion subscription or membership is being able to hit Pause. Maybe you’re traveling, maybe someone just gifted you a month of lotion, whatever the reason, you can pause your lotion orders and come back when you’re ready. Just go to your account, select Edit Subscriptions and make your choice. And when you’re time out is up, we’ll always be here for you (that’s called unconditional love).

Before you swipe left on our lotion…

As you shop and compare lotion to find the one best for your baby, it’s important to do your homework because all baby lotion are not created equal.

X

Oh, before you cancel your baby shampoo - body wash subscription…

Can you please share your reason for canceling?

Can we make that all better?

Just for you, 15% off your next order.

We’re sorry that your experience with our shampoo - body wash didn’t meet your expectations and hope you’ll give them another try to see why so many parents are devoted Parasol fans. As a thank you, enter the Discount Code 15OFFCART to receive 15% off a one-time entire cart purchase (no product limits, no expiration date).

To help us be our best, we’d appreciate hearing your feedback in a quick survey. And please be honest, we really do listen.

Potty trained, yes!

(And you thought it would never happen…)

Congrats on graduating from diapers to big kid undies. You (both) did it! Tag this milestone @parasolco and give other parents hope that their day, too, will come.

Not all baby shampoo - body wash are created equal.

Baby shampoo - body wash aren’t all priced the same...because they’re not made the same.

Need to take a timeout?

One of the conveniences of a Parasol lotion subscription or membership is being able to hit Pause. Maybe you’re traveling, maybe someone just gifted you a month of lotion, whatever the reason, you can pause your shampoo - body wash orders and come back when you’re ready. Just go to your account, select Edit Subscriptions and make your choice. And when you’re time out is up, we’ll always be here for you (that’s called unconditional love).

Before you swipe left on our shampoo - body wash…

As you shop and compare shampoo - body wash to find the one best for your baby, it’s important to do your homework because all baby shampoo - body wash are not created equal.

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