The Pampers Controversy

A small group of moms is waging an online war with the diaper maker Pampers- and something's stinky.
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The Pampers Controversy

A small group of moms is waging an online war with the diaper maker – and something’s stinky.

-Mama Betty


There’s a storm a brewin’ – and once again, it involves moms and the Internet. A fairly small but virulent contingent of moms has started an online war with the new Dry Max diaper from Pampers, and it’s turned into a bone fide “Internet Wildfire” with major ramifications for Pampers and its parent company, Procter & Gamble.

Here’s the situation: In 2008, Pampers updated its Swaddlers and Cruisers line to be greener and more efficient – the diapers are supposed to be more absorbent and create less waste. Sounds great, right?

Well, not according to people like Rosana Shah, a stay-at-home mother in Denham Springs, La.. According to the Wall Street Journal, Shah says her daughter developed a “very red, very hot” rash after using one of the new diapers. Shah reportedly posted her complaints on the Pampers Web site, called the company and then decided to start a Facebook group called “Pampers Bring Back the Old Cruisers/Swaddlers”  to express her outrage over the new diapers. As of right now the page has over 9,500 members, some of whom claim in wall posts that the Dry Max diapers cause “chemical burns.”

Not one but two class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation.

Now that’s some mommy power!

Or is it?

The Wall Street Journal also reports that Procter & Gamble says that not only are the claims “completely false” but that they are bring “perpetuated by a small number of parents, some of whom support competitors’ products or cloth diapers.”

Hmm. Cloth-diaper supporters joining an anti-Pampers Facebook page? That’s a little, er, stinky, don’t you think? (No pun intended – ha!)

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0 thoughts on “The Pampers Controversy

  1. I personally used Pampers and loved them when my daughter was in diapers. I wouldn’t be surprised though if Pampers ends up having to settle the lawsuits even if they are totally in the right — that’s the way our crazy system seems to work. Right, lawyers?!

  2. Everyone knows babies and adults have different skin and sometimes have more sensitive reactions to certain things over others. That doesn’t mean its Pampers fault, unless it was happening to an overwhelming amount of babies, which, from this article, doesn’t seem like the case.

  3. I don’t understand why people go to such great lengths to start a huge protest or whatever. So what — your kid got a rash, buy a different type of diapers. Same thing goes — if I buy a face wash and it burns my skin, I’m obviously not going to buy it again, I’ll buy something else. Then end. Not going to get all fired up at the company.

  4. Oh man. Don’t mess with moms.

    I agree with Ann: Everyone has different skin, everyone has different reactions. That’s why there are so many different products out there. If something isn’t compatible with you, don’t use it. Buy something else. Right?

  5. I got to say that I have used Pampers for ALL my kids, and find them FAR SUPERIOR than any other diaper out there. They are far worth the slightly extra expense.

    We live in such a litigious society, and people will sue for ANYTHING – diapier rash!!! Give us all a break!

  6. THANK YOU! I thought I was going crazy. I was reading these articles everywhere about these outraged mothers and I kept thinking “just switch to another brand.” I mean, I understand getting defensive if you think something is hurting your kid, but Ann is so right. My friend recommended a new shampoo that made my forehead break out the other day–I tossed the remainder and bought my old brand. Doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great product for my friend. No harm, no foul, no lawsuit!

  7. So wait, are these moms trying to make the new Dry Max unavailable?!?! I’d never been able to use Pampers overnight before and now my daughter is leak free. I LOVE the new Dry Max. They can switch to something else if they want, but they better leave my brand alone!

  8. I agree completely with MamaDana… there’s nothing wrong with consumer choice. I just found out that the new Cruisers are more environmentally friendly, and with as many diapers as kids go through it makes a big difference to nurture the planet as well as our children!

  9. @ sugarpie, there is nothing wrong with cloth diapers, though they may be more work, many advancements have been made to make them much easier to use. These advancements include velcro or buttons instead of the old pins, lots of fun patterns and comfortable material, and even cloth diapers with disposable inserts. I hate when some women look down on others for using cloth and vice versa, it IS a personal choice and each mother has to do what is best for her and her baby. Keep in mind though, as convenient as disposables are they take a whole 500 YEARS to decompose, yikes!

  10. Wow. This is so sad to see so many moms selling each other out. Where is the compassion for other moms whose babies are suffering SEVERE chemical burns? My kids have had diaper rash – but if you’ve heard the actual stories and seen the pictures of these babies – this is WAY beyond diaper rash. Why should we give deep-pocketed companies who have their bottom line, and not our babies’ health as their ultimate goal, a free pass to hurt our children? Why should we just “switch brands” and NOT blame a company who makes a product that harms our children? Really? Are we that smitten with corporations that we can no longer hold them accountable for harming people?

  11. @ hdellarocca It’s not “selling other moms out” to not jump on a bandwagon. Have you had the problem with Pampers? I haven’t. And according to the numbers, most people don’t. Why should we just take on faith what these women say? Chemical burns…from a diaper? Come on! I’ll believe that when a qualified medical expert tells me it’s something more than simple diaper rash. The simplest answer tends to be right one, and a diaper mysteriously causing chemical burns on a few kids and no others seems a lot less likely to me than a litigious mom out to make a buck.

    I like the new cruisers. Leave my product alone.

  12. #hdellarocca What you’re saying would make sense, except that in this case our babies’ health impacts the company’s bottom line. So making safe diapers that moms are happy with IS in their best interest. On the other hand, think about all the times in the past few years that consumers have exaggerated injury claims to get money from corporations. I’d sooner trust Pampers than a few moms who thought they could benefit from attacking the company.

  13. @bcclong I’m with you… it is a personal choice to use cloth vs disposable diapers. Just like it’s a choice, if you use disposble diapers, which brand to use. I’ve used the new cruisers on my kids and have had no problems whatsoever. Maybe other moms don’t like them, but that’s why more than one brand exists!

  14. Maybe the whole reason more moms are seeing diaper rash is because they aren’t changing the diapers as frequently. I hardly believe that diapers that cause “chemical burns” on babies would ever be put into production. What a PR nightmare that would be! Our society is so litigious that people will look high and low for any way to make a quick buck. If your baby has normal diaper rash, don’t be a n00b. Use some white petroleum jelly on it, poof! gone.

  15. If you’ve had no problems with the diapers, then by all means, continue to use them.

    Have you seen the pictures of these diaper rashes? Bleeding, raw skin? Diaper rash??? How bad are the diaper rashes you’re used to? And if that is what your diaper rashes look like, why aren’t you madder about it?

    @LizelleD says “I hardly believe that diapers that cause “chemical burns” on babies would ever be put into production. What a PR nightmare that would be!” This IS a PR nightmare. And the lawsuits cropped up a couple of weeks ago after MONTHS of moms complaining to this company. I have no doubt that we are in an overly litigious society – and that SOME of the moms may have jumped on the bandwagon to get some cash. However, I’ve seen enough – and this is being reported ALL over the place, so there are lots of opportunities to get a REAL picture of what’s going on – to indicate that the majority of these moms are people just like us who were just using their diapers and then WHAM, they had this horrible trouble, which they spent tons of time and heartache trying to fix, only to find MUCH LATER, that lo and behold, they were not the only ones! And that’s where they came together to say WAIT, this isn’t right. Just because not EVERYONE has this problem doesn’t mean that A BUNCH of babies haven’t.

    Why is it so impossible to imagine that chemicals in diapers can cause chemical burns or EVEN just whopping diaper rash, if you’re so skeptical about calling them burns? Is it so far-fetched that human beings can encounter toxic chemicals and experience adverse reactions? Isn’t this why things like BPA were pulled out of baby items?

    And speaking of BPA, did the companies making these products think “oh, I need to make sure this BPA is SAFE because if it hurts babies, it might hurt my bottom line”? No. They figured they’d make the buck as long as they were allowed to. And it wasn’t until people COMPLAINED and it was investigated that this changed.

    So maybe you can cut these moms some slack, thank them for speaking up in face of a major corporation basically dismissing and publicly-belittling them (and in the face of many of their fellow mothers shaming them for daring to blaspheme “your brand”), and be glad that someone’s protecting your next child, who might have a little less resiliency against toxic chemicals.

  16. @hdellrocca There are so many assumptions in your diatribe, I don’t even know where to start.

    Yes, I saw the pictures, but I’m just not convinced. Who knows what people do to their kids, what kind of products they use on them, if the kids have skin conditions, etc. Tons of things can cause skin irritations on kids, and especially when they don’t all look alike and considering the relatively small number of kids that this is even happening to. I’m sorry, but all of these accusations are based on anecdotal information and I’m just not convinced. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: I’ll be outraged at Pampers when a qualified medical expert says I should be. Until then, my kid and millions of others haven’t had a problem.

    I think that your reaction is an example of the hysteria that these moms are perpetuating–throwing around terms like “toxic chemicals” and bringing in BPA. Even accusing those of us who are willing to think critically about the situation of betraying mothers everywhere. These women aren’t standing up for me and my daughter, they’re standing up for their wallets.

  17. @hdellrocca It seems like it’s true that, as @MamaDana said, this hasn’t happened to very many kids. Especially considering how many kids have been wearing these diapers (since Pampers made the switch not very recently.) Plus, like @LizelleD said, it could be that moms just aren’t changing their kids’ diapers frequently enough. Wouldn’t regulators have stepped in already if there was a legitimate problem? “toxic chemicals” are never as prominent in consumer products as the public is led to believe by activists.

  18. OK, I felt like I’d said my piece and I was just going to watch this debate play out, but I can’t let someone call that web site investigative journalism. That site is openly run by a couple with no formal journalism training and who have an unabashedly anti-corporate, anti-synthetic stance. I followed your link, which lead me to the author’s Twitter, spent five minutes there and found that out. That’s simply not unbiased journalism on its face.

  19. I believe that some babies are getting rashes. I believe that they can be horrible.
    I also believe that the ‘old’ pampers likely caused rashes to some babies too. But I suspect, because it wasn’t a new launch, that those parents just switched diapers at the first problem.
    I have twins that have, according to their doctor “very sensistive skin”. Happily they dont have a problem with Pampers. If they did, I would just switch diapers.
    Personally, I have a problem with one major brands ‘feminine protection’ products. They give me a horrible, horrible blistering rash. Guess what? I don’t use them. Its simple.
    I know of the facebook group. I have a friend who joined. I asked her what problems she had. She told me she didnt use pampers herself, but “had a friend of a friend” who did that didn’t like the switch. There are people who’ve joined the FB group who live in countries that don’t have Pampers.
    Again, I’m not saying there are no babies with rashes, but I’m saying that parents have a choice. If your child gets a rash, stop using the diaper right away before it gets worse. Change diapers.

  20. BUY SOMETHING ELSE IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT! Seriously. Get a life people. This is stupid. My baby will rock his HUGGIES until the day hes outta diapers thats for sure.

  21. Hi, just a few words here to clear up everyones questions about the controversy.
    I have been a really big fan of pampers even before the dry max has been released.
    I love their diapers and my daughter which is 10mths old never had an issue with them.
    I joined/liked the pampers facebook page and posted really good comments about these diapers and thank pampers also.
    But seriously ever since this protest against dry max, it has made me mad that a group of moms attacked this page and very rudely brushed me and other ppls “poistive” comments about dry max, these moms dont like anyone saying “yes these are great”.
    it came to a point that me and others in this page was defending our brand and these moms stupidly and dumbfoundedly accused us as in being “paid” from Pampers to defend them, which really hit me to the core on attacking back because this is an insult to me!
    I hate really hate these moms accusing pampers and also the fans who do use dry max of being abusive to them, which they started in the first place and these moms “banned” thats right BANNED!!! ME AND THE OTHER FANS from commenting any further from that page! I am furious and hope these moms get whats coming to them!

    Oh and about this “fake” group accusing pampers of causing burns, they all are fake!
    They are now assuming all pampers diapers have dry max in them, even baby dry!
    these mamas are psycho! NO baby dry dont have dry max, if ur baby has a reaction then move on! Cant move on cuz these are good diapers? too bad, at least they arent good for ur baby, so dont accuse a brand for not having a diaper suited for ur baby.
    Why be mad cuz all pampers diapers dont work for u? why are u so hung up on them?
    is it cuz its stated the “best” diaper ever and now its not working for ur baby it “has” to be working for ur baby?
    NO! every diaper and baby is different! move on!!
    So what if it “used” to work for ur baby, maybe the “new” quality isnt set right for ur baby, use something else!!
    Pampers wont, and never will change back to the old style! never!! so move on!! are u going to fight this until ur baby will be out of diapers? come on get real, in the end u will start thinking why u wasted time on something so dumb to sue or attack on!
    I even spoke to one of the moms from that group now has a petition to remove dry max from stores, and its up to 240 something ppl who signed it, out of 11,000 from the group! Now that says alot when the group is now seen as FAKE completely!!!
    i spoke to her and she states alot of ppl dont buy these diapers???!!! and no one wants them??? omg!! such rumors! these ppl in this group is being brainwashed to think NO ONE WANTS THE DRY MAX!!!!!!!!!!!! BEWARE OF THIS GROUP ITS VERY POISONING TO THE MIND!! KEEP AWAY! ITS A NEGATIVE GROUP, VERY NEGATIVE!
    And this woman is from UK who told me this.

  22. And that Zrecommends bull crap, those journalist isnt doctors fit for testing the diapers and how skin is build to react!
    come on ppl get more education! dont believe everything u hear and see!!!
    No one can beat pampers 20,000 test on babies! no one!!!
    I love dry max and these 300 mamas or how many those are who are against it need to find a new hobby and stop bullying other ppls favorite brands! Im sure u wont like us the “pampers” fans bullying huggies to take the diapers off the stores, it wouldnt be fair right????
    Ok then, SHUT UP AND MOVE ON!!!! because huggies do tend to give rashes too! even on my child!! so keep it shut before other mamas attempt to grow a brain and fight back against these anti-pampers mamas and bully huggies!

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