Baby diapers as we know them haven’t always been around. In ancient times, infants were wrapped in animal skins, leaves, and, eventually, strips of linen cloth. By the late 1800s, babies were introduced to folded cloths secured with diaper pins. The first disposable absorbent pad used as a diaper was created by Paulistróm in Sweden. Then, in 1946, a housewife named Marion Donovan created the “Boater,” which was shower curtain plastic with a cloth diaper inserted into it. She also created snaps to replace the dangerous safety pins. Finally, in 1947, George M. Schroder created the first disposable diaper made with disposable nonwoven fabric.
Since then, diaper design has come a long way. Diaper manufacturers have added in adhesive tabs, then a fabric fastened tabs. Fade-away cartoon images have been added in to help parents determine if it’s time for a change. Manufacturers have increased absorption, reduced smells, and have made leg openings more comfortable for active babies.
What does this mean for today’s diaper manufacturer? The answer is simple: innovation never stops.
According to a recent article in Nonwoven Industry, diaper manufacturers have developed a patented powder system built into the diaper plus a pouch containing three baby wipes on the back of the diaper. Another company has created a diaper that will grow with the baby to eliminate sizing concerns.
The global disposable diaper industry is enormous at over $25 billion. What will the next Big Idea be? Where is the diaper market headed? Will it be a diaper that changes itself? The answer is out there somewhere. And it may be right there in your company. What is the next big idea in diapers? And where will it come from? You?
Blog image courtesy stuartmiles/freedigitalphotos.net