The history of diapers

The history of the diaper starts very early. How did the diaper develop into the diaper we know today? Here you will find a short review!


In ancient times, animal sheets and leaves were already used to absorb the stools of babies. Various documents have been found from, the ancient Egyptians, the Romans and the Aztecs showing that they made use of something that looked like diapers.

The beginning of the 20th century

The origin of the diaper we use starts in the beginning of the last century. Back then diapers were made of cotton cloths that were kept together with safety pins.

The first half of the 20th century

In the first half of the 20th-century people learned more and more about bacteria and the diseases that caused them. More and more people started to wash their baby's diapers by cooking them. This was a lot more hygienic but it took a lot of time and energy. Diapers were used like this well into the 1960s.

Parachute dust

Meanwhile, the new diaper was already "invented". In the early 1950s, an American mother created a pair of pants made from parachute fabric on her sewing machine. She replaced the safety pins with push buttons. When she put this product on the market it became a great success!

This success inspired the woman to continue developing diapers. Quickly after she thought that a disposable diaper would be ideal. Because of this, she would no longer need to cook diapers and so she could save time. She wanted to use paper that absorbs moisture. The problem was that the paper manufacturers saw no future in this. The development of the diaper paused.

The first Pamper

After 10 years, Procter & Gamble became interested. The company bought a paper factory and the paper pulp was extremely suitable as a filling for plastic disposable diapers, this was because of the large moisture-absorbing capacity. Procter & Gamble developed the first Pamper in the early 1960s, which was a great success.

The second half of the 20th century

After this, the fire started burning. More and more companies saw the money in disposable diapers and the competition was increasing. This helped the development of the product. The thick and heavy diapers are replaced by lighter ones, the adhesive strip makes its appearance and the moisture-absorbing capacity became higher. Because of the use of elastic materials, the shape of the diaper was getting better.

The diaper continues to develop

The diaper that we use today is still developing. Companies continue to make the diaper better and more user-friendly. Examples of this are replacing the adhesive strip with Velcro, the anti-leak edges against leakage and the use of a lotion against diaper rash.

The diaper will continue to develop in the coming years. We expect that in addition to user-friendliness, a great deal of attention will also be paid to environmental friendliness.

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