Did Babies Have Diapers in Ancient Times?

It’s hard to imagine life without the convenience of disposable diapers, but have you ever wondered how parents took care of their babies’ hygienic needs in ancient times Let’s explore the history of baby diapers and how they have evolved over time.

Ancient Times:

Believe it or not, babies did not wear diapers in ancient times. Instead, parents used a variety of materials to wrap their infants, including animal skins, moss, and even leaves.

In ancient Greece and Rome, infants were wrapped in long strips of cloth known as “swaddling.” Swaddling was thought to keep the baby warm and secure while also restricting movement. Parents would change the cloth when it became soiled or damp.

Medieval Times:

During the medieval period, babies were still swaddled but with a few improvements. A rectangular piece of cloth was folded into a triangle shape and placed under the baby’s bottom. The two sides were then brought up over the baby’s hips and tied together with strings or pins.

This method was effective for containing waste but required frequent changing as there was no absorbent material used.

18th Century:

In the 18th century, parents began using a type of diaper made from linen or cotton fabric. These early diapers were reusable but still required constant washing. However, they were more absorbent than previous methods and provided better protection against leaks.

20th Century:

The 20th century saw significant advancements in diaper technology. In 1947, an American housewife named Marion Donovan invented the first disposable diaper made from waterproof nylon fabric. However, this early version was not very comfortable for babies and was not widely adopted.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that disposable diapers became a popular choice for parents. Modern disposable diapers are highly absorbent, comfortable, and convenient. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit babies of all ages.


In conclusion, babies did not have diapers in ancient times. Instead, parents used various materials to wrap and contain waste. Diapers have come a long way since then, with modern disposable diapers providing optimal comfort and convenience for both babies and parents.

  • Key takeaways:
  • Babies did not wear diapers in ancient times
  • Swaddling was the most common method used to wrap infants
  • Reusable cloth diapers were introduced in the 18th century
  • Disposable diapers became popular in the 1970s and are now widely used


  • “The Evolution of Diapers” – Huggies.com
  • “A Brief History of Diapers” – CNN.com
  • “The History of Baby Diapers” – Pampers.com