Lifestyle | Parenting

Pampers Dry Max, My Thoughts

If you are a regular visitor to My Organized Chaos and converse with me on Twitter and Facebook, you’ll know that last week I had visited the Proctor & Gamble Baby Care Headquarters in Cincinnati. Aside from the wonderful opportunity to visit the Headquarters and meet with the key players behind a brand that I have used for almost 5 years, the main reason for my trip was to discuss the new Pampers Dry Max Diapers. There has been a lot of debate and conversations about this new line of disposable diapers, yet in a nutshell it boils down to how they are made, with what they are made of and the biggest question of all: Is Dry Max Safe To Use With Babies? Since I felt that I going as a voice for any parent, I asked for my readers’ opinions, suggestions and concerns regarding Pampers products before I went, and took all of your questions with me to Cincinnati.

Now, I have an abundance of information that I’d like to include in this post, and though it’s long –  it’s all very relevant. So, I do hope you read carefully and think about what I have to say. The thing to remember is that everyone is entitled to their own educated opinion, and I have to stress the word educated. And that is exactly why I agreed to go to the P&G Baby Care Headquarters, since I wanted to know all the factual information before I jumped in on the debate myself. So, this post is written with collective facts and also my own opinion based on my own first-hand experience of the diapers in question.

The two days that I had at the Pampers Headquarters were full of tours and meetings. I was able to see how Dry Max diapers were made, right in front of my eyes. There are Pampers staff that seriously hand-make diapers all day long {which, on a side note, is pretty amazing to witness}.
Myself and the other bloggers and Moms that were invited to Cincinnati, were able to speak with internal lead personnel within the Pampers Company, as well as external Medical experts.

The Story:
In August 2008, Pampers started including their new design, the Dry Max diaper, in the ‘old’ Cruisers packaging. Now, I don’t agree with this move on Pampers’ part, since I believe that consumers should have been notified about new product in an ‘old’ package. Yet, 2.4 million Dry Max diapers were phased into consumers’ hands well before the ‘official’ announcement and before changes were made to the packaging {this change came in January 2010}. Shortly after the official launch, complaints started to emerge, mostly from social media sources {Facebook, Message Boards}. Pampers was prepared for this backlash, since each and every time any product is changed, doubt is raised and people get a little cranky that their trusted brand is ‘different’. I get this, as I have oftentimes complained to family and friends that, say, my favorite soap’s scent was changed. Yet, we are now living in the ‘Facebook Era’. So that means that peoples’ {ie. consumers’} voices aren’t just going to their neighbor across the fence anymore – their opinions now land on millions of ears, all over the world. Back to these parents that were not pleased with the new Dry Max diaper – first someone complained that they didn’t fit right, then another said they leaked, and then the term ‘chemical burn’ was tossed out. This has now resulted in a class action lawsuit against P&G.

If a parent were to take their child to the doctor or Pediatrician and it has been diagnosed that their condition is anything more severe than basic skin dermatitis {or diaper rash}, an official report must be legally made to either Health Canada or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission {CPSC}. I am a parent and my kids are my top priority. I know for certain that if I felt that a diaper was cause in burning my babies’ bums – I would seek a medical professional immediately.

So, I have to stick in my two cents when I say – PLEASE, if you have such huge allegations about any product on the market – and the health and safety of your child – seek medical attention.

~~~

Now that you know some of the background information and history,
here’s what I learned about the Dry Max diaper:

What makes up a Dry Max diaper?

~ The Dry Max diaper is made of THE SAME ingredients that are in the ‘old’ cruisers! There is no difference in ingredients except that some of the pulp has been taken out and a bit more of the gel added {Pulp is the bulk of the diaper, and is less effective at locking in wetness than the gel}. Key to the effectiveness of the Dry Max diaper, is that this time they strategically placed the gel where they want to, according to the absorbing needs of children. In other Pampers diapers, the gel is randomly placed throughout the diaper, and not placed specifically where children need it most. This ‘new’ change comes in the form of the Dry Max Pad, which is still placed under many layers, just like the ‘old’ cruisers. And, the lotion strips that keep bottoms moisturized, is the same lotion that is in the other Pampers diapers as well.

The gel I have been referring to is a polyacrylate, and it’s in every single disposable diaper on the market and has been used for many years, by every diaper company. Though you shouldn’t eat diapers for lunch, this polyacrylate gel is totally safe, even when ingested. I was interested to learn that this is the same gel that coats medication capsules. And, the amount of gel in each diaper depends on the size, since older children urinate more in one ‘session’ than younger children.

Also something to note, other diaper companies also claim the safety of polyacrylate gel on their websites. The gDiapers website says,
“The scientific name for super absorber is sodium polyacrylate (SAP). SAP has been rigorously tested both in the US and it has been concluded that it is completely safe and non-toxic. In fact, MBDC, which is the leading US-based design chemistry firm, has assessed SAP as GREEN, which is the safest assessment a chemical or material can receive. Safe for your baby, safe for the planet. We wouldn’t settle for anything less.”

I also asked about fragrance of the diapers, since some parents feel that the scent may have been altered for the Dry Max diapers. In the U.S. and Canada, a touch of ‘baby powder fresh’ fragrance is added to Pampers diapers, to help mask the smell of urine and feces. This is the very same fragrance that was used in the old cruisers, and has not changed. The scents used for all Pampers diapers, varies based on surveyed preference of users in that country. For example, unscented diapers are found n some countries that prefer the smell the urine.

Since Pampers takes every claim and complaint seriously, they have exhausted all resources in trying to see if there is one single correlation between Dry Max diapers and a possible safety issue in children. Based on a numbered code that is on every single diaper, Pampers can trace each diaper to the day they were made, the machine it was made on and even down to the whom could have been in contact with the materials. When asked if it’s possible that materials were harmed in any way before production, Pampers stated that each and every product coming into their production is is very securely sealed and protected for top safety reasons. As well, Pampers has sought outside sources to test the diapers, and find plausible reason for some peoples’ concerns. I could go on and on about the research and testing that Pampers does on a daily basis, like their ongoing patch tests, yet that could be a whole other post in itself.

Dry Max is the result of a breakthrough technology nearly 10 years in the making. It allows diapers to be more effective in staying drier for longer periods of time, yet are thinner in size. This reduction in pulp material and packaging thus reduces the carbon footprint made by disposable diapers. We had a chance to see the research behind their innovation, both in their testing labs and the computer simulated ‘children’ that provided them with information on where to place the gel in exact position. I was blown away by their extensive research and design methods, it’s way beyond what I could have imagined. I spent a great deal of time talking with Director and Associate Director of Research & Development, Liza Sanchez and Kerri Hailey. They have spent the last 5 years designing the Dry Max technology, and are beyond thrilled about their new product. There is a sparkle in their eyes and a outpouring of enthusiasm when they talk about Dry Max – the same impression I got from all the people at Dry Max. Many years of vigorous design and efforts went into the Dry max diaper, and it all was done with a pure drive to better diapers. They have succeeded in their attempts to produce the thinnest, driest diaper on the market. And, by no means do I think anyone at Pampers is out to intentionally burn any babies’ bums! The people behind Dry Max do have compassion and concern for all complaints, yet they do stand behind their product and believe without question that it is safe for use.

As a parent myself, I understand these parents’ concerns regarding Dry Max and my heart goes out to these children. Please know that I have been there myself. The Twins both got very severe diaper rashes from a certain flavor of Toddler Food about 8 months ago. The rashes they experienced were the worst I have ever seen, yet I knew that it was a food sensitivity in my girls, and not feeding them this food prevented those rashes.

Due to a sale I could not pass up, I recently tried another popular brand of diaper. Though I don’t normally use this brand, I thought I’d give it a try. About 4 days after introducing this brand to my Twins, the rash that one of my Twins got is the kind where she screamed and held her breath at every single move. The raw reddened areas affect her daily life as a child. As of today, these reddened areas have opened to a blister-like sore, some areas peeling and others bleeding. As easy as it may seem for myself to blame XYZ brand of diaper, since it’s the first thing to come to mind when looking for a cause, I have to admit it possibly could be exacerbated by food she may have eaten this past week. Yet, to try and heal the sores that she currently has, I will be watching what she eats, double-checking her soaps and creams and also discontinuing use of this particular brand of diaper. As well, I will be taking her to the physician tomorrow. I have included a photo of my daughters’ bum rash, only to show clearly that this looks like a similar rash which others are saying is caused by Dry Max. Yet in my case, I have been using another brand.

My point? Though my daughters’ skin irritation may possibly be a direct cause of this particular diaper product, one must evaluate of any other possible causation such as medication, other food introductions etc. In my case of the toddler food and XYZ diaper, I don’t feel that either brands should pull their products off the shelves. Knowing that millions of other children use these products without cause of concern, my solution was to switch brands and carry on – coming to my own conclusion that each child is different, and a product may not necessarily agree with some children. Approximately 2.5 million children who are wearing diapers in the US, experience diaper rash at any given point in time. That means that 10 million children who wear diapers {or 25% of them} right at this very moment, suffer from some degree of a rash. So, regardless of brand used – diaper rash {skin dermatitis} has a possibility to occur in any child, at any given time. Unless medically and legally proven that the product is indeed an unsafe one – why single out one brand, when obviously it can happen with use of any?

Bottom line as I see it, Pampers Dry Max diapers works wonderfully on my Twins. In fact, it has been the best brand of diaper that I have used on them – in way of comfort, fit and effectiveness. By no means did my experience at the P&G Headquarters alter my perception of the diaper in any way. Though I am very impressed with the entire teams’ enthusiasm toward their design, love for their jobs and the thorough methods to which the diapers are designed and tested – I had a personal preference for the Dry Max diaper way before my trip to Cincinnati.

I will conclude in saying that each parent must make their own decisions when it comes to which diaper or baby care product works for them. And, I disagree with any parent who has the ‘one size fits all’ mentality and thinks that their experience or parenting style should be a true representation for all. Again I stress that if you feel any product is putting your child at risk, PLEASE seek medical attention. As painful it is to hear the stories that are currently in the media, I personally won’t make my parenting decisions based on a peoples’ comments on a Facebook group. Myself, I will continue to use Dry Max on my Twins until my own experiences as a parent changes my opinion, or a court of law can tell me otherwise.

Respectful comments are welcome!

~

P&G provided my airfare, accommodations for one night and all meals while I was in Cincinnati, OH. I received no other products nor monetary compensation for my visit. All opinions are 100% my own, and only my own. I was not asked nor did I ever feel obligated to write about my experiences. This account is written by myself, with no outside influence nor opinion. My experience should be taken as mine alone, and by no means should be taken as a representation of a whole.

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19 Comments

  1. You really covered everything in this post. There are so many combinations of things that cause diaper rashes. My daughter still gets them and she isn’t even wearing diapers anymore. Which makes me wonder if it should be called something else.

    From what I have seen and heard Proctor and Gamble is working hard to determine what is actually causing the widespread diaper rash on certain children. I hope they find an answer and that everyone can be taken care of here. I agree with you about one thing though, take your child to a doctor if you have a persistant diaper rash before it gets bad or ASAP.

  2. I have used Pampers 12 Hour diapers for the last 2 years and my son has never had a rash or any reaction ! I will continue to use Pampers Products till my son is diaper free!!!

  3. How cool that you were able to go to their HQ and experience everything that you did!

    Sounds like they are doing their job. I’ll admit, I had no idea what was going on in regards to these rashes, as I don’t use Pampers. I sure hope that this puts some people’s minds at ease.

    1. Just seeing the extensive research, design and testing that goes, on – it cleared any of my own doubts. I mean, they have a room that resembles a fun daycare, and they PAY parents to bring in their kids, let them eat and drink and play, give them diapers and monitor closely the shape, fit and absorption. They go way beyond what I would have imagined!!

  4. Thank you for the complete update on Pampers – I agree with previous comments – very thorough. I have always used pampers for my kids – they fit best and I like them. For my son who’s never had a rash (knock on wood) we’ve always used Pampers Dry. One day my husband put on him a cruiser by mistake (we use cruisers for my daughter) and when I went to change his wet diaper an hour later – his butt was all red and looked sore but nothing serious that butt cream couldn’t fix. This may have been a coinsidence or perhaps dry max isn’t for him.

    1. Could have been Leslie, Some don’t ‘agree’ with my girls either. But again, all kids are different and each has their own temperament – in personalities and skin!

  5. Well stated. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this matter. I really wanted to try out the Dry Max when it first came out because I love trying out new, innovative products. But because of the reports, I refrained from doing so. After reading your post, I will reconsider purchasing a pack to try out the next time they’re on sale. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Let me know your experiences if you do, Diana!
      I love hearing what all Mom’s have to say!

  6. Very well written Tammi.

    I have gone through some pretty bad rashes with my kids over the diaper years. I hope your daughter’s clears up quickly…it is heartbreaking.

    1. Hi Pam,
      I do have an update for you.
      The next day I put her back into Dry Max and by that night her skin was clear of any redness and irritation.
      Seriously, I have the complete opposite experiences with Dry Max than some of the other parents’ stories out there. That is why I don’t feel there is anything hazardous about them…but again, that’s my personal opinion and experience.

  7. Louise, your daughter’s rash could be caused my yeast (maybe your daughter’s rash as well Tammi). If I were you I would look into giving her acidophilus which promotes healthy bacteria internally.

    Tammi, I had to laugh “unscented diapers are found in some countries that prefer the smell the urine.”! lol…

    1. My daughters have had yeast too – my doctor has said once that you can tell the difference b/w yeast and a rash just by noting if the redness is in the creases. Doc said that yeast will appear in the creases, whereas a usual bum rash won’t. So, I have gone by that advice!

  8. I never knew about the change, and being a new mom when this product rolled out, I was more focused on my new baby than anything. That being said, when my husband brought home a box of the Dry Max, I noticed a significant change in smell. I kept smelling an ammonia type substance every time I held my baby, even when she was dry. It wasn’t until I got on one of my mom forums that I figured out that it was a change in the diaper.

    They stunk! The diapers didn’t give her a rash or cause anything else, but they stunk and actually leaked in a way the old design didn’t.

    That’s just my own experience, though. I’ll use Pampers, just not the Dry Max.

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