Kimbies ‘Baby-shaped’ vintage disposable diapers (1970s)

Vintage Kimbies - First mainstream disposable diapers

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Kimbies: How the diaper that’s shaped better absorbs better. (1974)

When it comes to diapers, all the absorbency in the world won’t help, if it’s not in the right place. That’s why we shaped our diaper like a baby, instead of making it square.

We shaped it with soft center folds that concentrate more of our absorbency in the middle — right where your baby needs it most. We made our folds fit nice and snug about his little legs. So there’s less chance for leaking. And less chance for accidents. Because we know how little ones love to kick and squirm, we fastened our folds securely, so they can’t pull out. So all our absorbent protection stays snug and secure, just the way it should, from change to change.

Of course, Baby-Shaped Kimbies have adhesive Safety Tapes to assure a perfect fit. And they’re completely lined, so no plastic touches your baby’s skin. But the best thing is the way they work. And Baby-Shaped Kimbies diapers work better.

Baby-Shaped Kimbies - early disposable diapers (1974)

Baby-Shaped Kimbies — Shaped better to work better

Kimbies and Baby-Shaped are registered trademarks for another helpful product from Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Kimberly-Clark enters disposable diaper category

From No more washing diapers: Disposable diapers story, posted on Kimberly-Clark’s site (retrieved 2014)

Kimberly-Clark had worked on disposable diapers for years before introducing the Kimbies brand in 1968. Kimbies featured several key innovations that became industry standards, including a triangular shape that was uniquely contoured to a baby’s body, a new absorbent material (fluff pulp instead of tissue pulp), a spun-bounded polypropylene liner and adhesive tape fasteners. However, the brand still wasn’t perfected, and many consumers complained that, when their child was upright or playing, the diaper sometimes leaked.

Vintage disposable diaper ads: Huggies, Pampers, Luvs (1980s)

Baby-Shaped Kimbies disposable diapers (1974)

Expanding into the premium diaper market

K-C’s leadership determined that Kimbies did not have a long-term future. They needed to do something completely new or get out of the business. K-C researchers had been quietly working on a rectangular-shaped diaper.

Introduced in 1977, the popular-priced line was called Kleenex Super Dry diapers. At the same time, K-C researchers were aiming for the emerging premium-priced market with a new product called Kleenex Huggies, which was introduced in 1978. It was an hourglass-shaped diaper that featured elastic at the legs.

By 1982, Huggies was distributed nationwide, and a year later, Huggies with refastenable tapes was the leading premium diaper.

Kimbies – America, we’re out to change your diaper (1976)

Kimbies - Out to change your diaper vintage ad

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