Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank: Prenatal Stockpiling (Guest Post)

Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank

Guest Post by Jessica Fisher from LifeasMom.com

When my first son was born, I was teaching high school full-time. Living on two incomes had allowed us to live pretty luxuriously. However, we knew that I was going to stay home for at least the first year, so we began to economize during my pregnancy to pay off my student loan and to create an emergency fund. That was a nice cushion for a time, but things were still tight living on one income.

One year has become twelve and one child has become six. I’ve been more than blessed to be home with my children. Yet, with each new addition to our family, I have felt a little squeeze of pressure. Or should I say, our budget felt the squeeze? How could we accommodate one more mouth to feed? And though the births of each child has always been surrounded by happy moments, I often became stressed by the vast amount of supplies that were needed, particularly in the early weeks. How was I going to fit diapers, wipes, and extra feminine products in the budget?

Now twelve years and five children later, we still try to economize. But I am pleased to report that with the birth of our sixth child last summer, I did not feel the squeeze. Neither did our budget. Did we have a huge income in comparison to years past? Did we win the lottery?

Quite the contrary. I simply applied what I knew about stockpiling to the purpose of preparing for a new little one. Not only did I spare us some change but I also saved time and energy in not shopping for these items in the busy hormone-induced daze after the baby arrived.

Here are my suggestions to help you ease the squeeze on your budget.

– Put out a call for coupons. Let friends and family know that you are looking to collect coupons for baby and other post-natal products. Keep your eyes open for coupon fliers in all the free stuff you receive from your doctor’s office or hospital. Keep these coupons with you at all times in an envelope in your purse or wallet. You never know when you’ll find a good deal; coupons will make a good deal great. Don’t limit yourself just to baby items. Consider the other needs a new mom has, such as feminine pads, Tucks, Advil, etc. and collect those coupons as well.

– Learn to play the Drugstore Game. I learned almost everything I know about CVS-ing from Money Saving Mom® and following along with other bloggers who report here every Saturday. Drugstores like CVS or Walgreens often feature great prices on baby and feminine products as do Walmart and Target. Choose a drugstore that is close to home and learn how their sale system works.

– Keep track of prices. In order to stockpile effectively, you need to know what a good deal is. You already know that Money Saving Mom® regularly reports on great deals. Baby Cheapskate also keeps track of diaper and formula prices each week. Check to see where the deals are so that you’ll know a good one when you see one.

– Buy low even if you don’t need it right then. This is key to creating an advance supply before your baby is born. Keep your eyes open for good sales and clearance opportunities. Last Spring I happened to find jumbo diaper packages for $2.25 each because the manufacturer was changing their packaging. I bought all that I had room in the budget for and that kept us in diapers for quite some time.

As long as you will use it in the next few months or so, it is probably worth buying multiples of an item, provided that you can pay cash for it and still meet your other household needs. If you’re going the disposable diaper route, you know you will be using them. Buy diapers, wipes, and baby toiletries at low prices and store them up.

– Protect your investment. Your stockpile is not just worth what you paid for it. It also represents time and energy spent to hunt and capture the good deals. Don’t leave it where it can be damaged. Paper products should be protected from excessive temperatures and rodents. So, be wise where you store these items. Top closet shelves and under beds and cribs are great places to keep your stock safe.

There is so much joy in welcoming that new little one–live it to its fullest, without being worried about how you’ll pay for it all. With a little clever maneuvering, you, too, can have a baby without breaking the bank.

Jessica Fisher, happy wife and joyful mom of 6, regularly writes about fun, frugality and the pursuit of a clean house at
Life as MOM. Join her on “the Road to Joyful Motherhood”–because no one wants a crabby mom.

From Crystal: We have lots of soon-to-be new mommies reading here who have asked me for specifics on diaper stockpiling. If you have some experience in this area, I’d love to have you share your thoughts on how many diapers (and in which sizes) you would recommend stockpiling ahead of time, how long you think it takes to build up a good stash, and where you find the best diaper deals. In the near future, we’ll have a counterpart post and discussion on cloth-diapering.

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Comments

  1. Roxanne says

    I have had two babies. Both had opposite growth patterns.

    My firstborn has always been a slow grower. She wore size 1 and 2 daipers for about 4 months each. Then size 3 for 1 year, and size 4 till she potty trained. She was a breastfed baby with about 6 bowel movements a day – even past her 2nd birthday. We went through SO many diapers with her, especially the smaller sizes. She was still going through at least 8-10 diapers/day when she potty trained.

    My son grew super fast. He was in size 4 before his 4th month of life. He was breastfed, but only 1 bowel movement/WEEK. We went through so many less diapers with him. I has several too many packs of sizes 1, 2, and 3 diapers that I has stockpiled. I gave them away to as many new moms as I could find. The rest I gave as baby shower presents as shower invites came along.

    Now, being more experienced of a mom, I recommend only two packs of sizes 1, 2, and 3. Stockpile wipes and size 4 diapers. It’s easier to buy more size 1 diapers after the baby arrives than to try to return something you purchased 6 months prior.

  2. agirlsmom says

    i have three diaper tricks:
    1) while you are pregnant, rather than buying your monthly supply of tampons or pads, buy a pack of diapers or wipes instead.
    2) go to babies r us and sign up for their diaper program… every 10th box is free… they also run great deals where if you stock up on diapers, you get a $15 gift card that you could buy more diapers with!
    3) watch amazon… they typically have free shipping on big boxes of diapers/wipes and their prices are generally really good too!

  3. Janet Yates says

    I’ve always stockpiled diapers before having a baby and often even when one isn’t expected. If you match coupons and sales, you can get things a lot cheaper. I also am always on the lookout for baby products like wipes, lotions, shampoo, etc. My youngest is now five and I don’t know if we’ll be blessed with any more or not. However, it seems like I am always needing a baby gift and am always ready due to my stockpiling. Also, our church often has donation drives for shelters, etc. and I have used my stockpile to bless others. Janet

  4. says

    I’d be careful about stockpiling too many diapers before the baby is born– you never know which brands will just not work for your child. Every time my daughter wore a Huggies there was a huge mess. Even if I saved money on the purchase, it was wasted when I tried a handful and couldn’t use them.

    I’d recommend one pack of newborn- some babies are huge and don’t ever wear them (we of course went through 3 cases…) and a case or two of size 1s. Now wipes on the other hand, buy millions of those!

  5. Teresa says

    If it your first, it is hard to know how many. My first baby was almost nine pounds when she was born so we only used about 3 packs of newborn size before she grew out of them. Then she was in size one for a few months. Didn’t even get through a 60 pack of size 2 before she grew out of those. Size 3 you lasted a few months. Size 4 you can never have too many of. Most kids are in those for about a year or more. My last has been smaller and she is still in size 3 at 15 months.

  6. says

    I have 5 children, and in my experience, size 3 diapers are the ones they are in the longest, so if you get a chance to stockpile ahead of time, go for 3’s!!
    Also, if we were asked what we needed for baby by any friends, we always said “diapers”. My youngest just turned 5 months old and I still haven’t bought any diapers for her b/c of what she was given. If your baby happens to outgrow a certain size before you use your packages, you can either take them back and exchange for the next size up or you can save them to use as gifts for other expectant moms.

  7. Jamie says

    I am expecting #3 in October and have already stockpiled almost a years supply of diapers. I calculated my needs based on what my last two children weighed at different ages and granted they were big kids and didn’t spend very much time at all in sizes n-2 so here’s what I’m planning to buy:

    Size Newborn-2 packs
    Size 1-3 packs
    Size 2-9 packs
    Size 3-38 packs
    Size 4-35 packs
    Size 5-25 packs

    I also find the very best deals on diapers at CVS and most of the deals have been for the Huggies brand, which is great because you can get an additional $0.75 per pack back through care giver’s marketplace. If I have miscalculated the sizes I’m not too worried most places will do an exchange with out a receipt and I’ve only paid on average about $4.50-$5.50 per pack and I could sell them on Craig’s List if I had to. I also refer to leaked CVS ads via http://www.iheartcvs.com to see if there are any upcoming diaper deals and if I don’t have enough diaper coupons it gives me enough time to buy some extras on ebay.

  8. Sherri says

    I have only one child so far (3 months) and the church threw me a diaper shower before he was born so we are still using those. I got every brand of diapers. Once he was born and I figured out that either huggies or Pampers worked fine (Parents Choice and Luvs werent so good for us), I went to Wal-Mart to swap out all the diapers and was actually able to leave with more than what I went with. I returned them at customer service and was given a gift card. By combining the gift card with several coupons and caregivers marketplace, I was able to leave with about 3 more packs then what i went with. Wal Mart was very helpful when i explained i had a shower and just needed to swap them out. They did suggest swapping all out at once since there is a maximum dollar amount you can return without a receipt and it required manager overide.
    All that to say that for next baby, I will stockpile as much as i can with coupons and rebates while pregnant and just exchange as needed after the baby is born. you could even save receipts to swap out at other stores if it was done with in 3 months or whatever the cut off is.

  9. says

    Good post. All four of my children were tiny so stockpiling worked for me since I followed the pattern of each child prior. On the rare occasion I had “extras,” and no babies on the way, I always have someone to pass them to.

  10. says

    I was able to stockpile a good amount of diapers prior to both of my daughters being born. I think part of this was due to the fact that we did not find out ahead of time the gender of our babies, so we tended to get more gift cards as shower gifts and were able to use those towards buying diapers and wipes. While I could be less brand-specific when the girls were very small, as they got older Pampers diapers worked best for us. I would recommend stocking up on size 3’s; it seemed like my girls were in those forever! Hope to pass this series along to my sister who is expecting her first in September.

  11. Tara says

    Thanks so much for the post! I am four months pregnant and had a nightmare last night that I had a baby but no baby items! Now it’s time to stockpile!

  12. says

    I made it a point to stockpile diapers and wipes before my son was born. So far, it has worked well!

    I didn’t buy newborn sized diapers when I was stockpiling, becuase I wasn’t sure if I would need them. Turns out, we went though close to 300 newborn sized diapers for him! He was only 6 lbs. 5 oz. at birth, and size 1s just swam on him.

    I would suggest stockpiling lots of wipes, too.

    I did a few post on the topic. Link: http://sensetosave.com/2008/07/21/stocking-up-on-diapers/

  13. says

    Great post! Thank you for all the tips! I would also agree with the other posters about trying different brands of diapers.

    With my first, we found that some brands of diapers fit her well and others always leaked (regardless of name-brand or generic). We ended up finding that Target brand and Pampers were the best fit for her.

    I guess diapers are like blue jeans- they don’t fit everyone the same! :)

    So if you see a deal on an unfamiliar brand, don’t be afraid to give it a shot. You never know when you might hit on an inexpensive brand that works for your baby!

  14. says

    I had followed the advice of others and not gotten many Newborn and size 1’s, and it turned out my daughter grew slowly and stayed in those sizes for quite some time. She was born 7.1, so was not tiny or premature. Then she caught up and then some, and blew through size 2 and 3 in a matter of minutes, it seemed. She’s now 28 months old and has been wearing size 4 for a year and a half.

    What I did was after each prenatal visit, to celebrate the joy I bought a pack of diapers so that I had different brands, and in different sizes. We also received many as gifts. I like the previous person’s idea of buying diapers monthly during pregnancy in place of pads and tampons!

    And to that end, I have switched over to mostly cloth menstrual pads, and when my daughter was about 6 months old, I received a large supply of cloth diapers and training pants. So that really helped us out, and I have saved them for when we have our next child.

  15. says

    I primarily cloth diaper, so I am no expert, but I just want to add that if the diapers are kept on hand for too long (I’m talking maybe 3 years or longer) then they lose some of their absorbancy. My SIL gave me some of her unused diapers and they were basically useless. Also, CVS did accept two returns of unopened diapers for the next size up. And for the opened ones, my poor son had to endure some pink Dora diapers that my older daughter no longer wore! I didn’t want them to go to waste and all of my friends had boys so we used them.

  16. says

    Roxanne — Even stockpiling Size 4 is not foolproof. I don’t think my petite 2-year-old will ever make it out of 3s before she’s potty trained. If I stockpile anything for the next baby it will be 3s — but I am also lucky enough to have a bunch of cloth diapers to save for the next kid too.
    By the way, if you overbuy diapers, they will never go to waste. They make great shower presents and donations to the needy.

  17. trisha says

    I think we used more size 2 and size 3 diapers than anything else. Huggies did NOT work for us at all. Leaked horribly. They just weren’t made for my skinny bottomed kids. We found the cheap kind fit best. I would say if you’re not sure which brand you’ll like to pick up several brands.

    I admit I had virtually NO diaper/wipe stash for my 4th baby. Bought ONE bag of newborn diapers and ended up stopping at the store on the way home (she was less than 12 hours old) to pick up the kind with the cutout for the umbilical cord. I don’t know why I forgot how handy those were and didn’t make sure what I had bought had that.

    Wipes, well our 4th baby ended up being too sensitive to disposible wipes for use all the time. HORRIBLE rash. Didn’t matter what brand. Luckily I had some cloth wipes already, but you can pick up washcloths inexpensively that would do just fine. So we use cloth wipes at home. This has saved an ENORMOUS amount of money for us.

  18. says

    My children have all been small-wasted and we’ve never needed more than a size 3 in diapers. Well, let me restate that: We’ve never needed more than a size 3 in HUGGIES diapers. We found that the money we saved with coupons on size 3s was worth the switch from the money we saved buying off-brand size 4s (less stretchy).

    We have 3 children under 5 and I am pregnant with our 4th, so here is what I have tried to stockpile in the past:

    Newborn diapers – 2 pkgs

    You usually get a package or two at the hospital to take with you when you leave, so two is usually plenty.

    Size 1 diapers – 6-8 pkgs

    All of our children have worn size 1s for AT LEAST 4 months, so this is usually far less than we need, but you just never know when you’ll get a chunker! :)

    Size 2 diapers – 6-8 pkgs

    Again, our children have all worn these for at least another 4 months, so another underestimate here.

    I don’t typically buy any bigger than that unless I find a REALLY good deal or I have an expiring coupon and they are out of the smaller sizes.

    We typically try to buy a package of diapers every time we go to the store when they are on sale (with coupon) from the time we find out we are pregnant, so there isn’t a mad rush at the end of the pregnancy.

    Also, since we have clothing for both genders, we ask our curious friends and relatives to purchase diapers and wipes for us instead of other things we don’t need. They are usually more than happy to help us out where we need the help the most!

    I also wanted to add that, if you’re breastfeeding, you don’t want to forget about nursing pads. Disposables are extremely expensive but handy if you’re out and about. Some women hardly leak at all, while others gush extra milk throughout the day (and night). I suggest buying some of the reuseables (at least 1-2 boxes) prior to baby’s arrival, but leaving them unopened with the receipt attached to the box. That way, you have them if you need them, but if you don’t, you can simply return them at your convenience.

  19. dawn says

    I stockpiled as I went along. once I determined which brand of diapers fit the best (pampers, luvs, esp. for baby), I’d watch for them on sale. then, I’d buy at least 1 case of the current size and 1 case of the next size. (unless we had just gotten into the current size, then I’d buy all the current size). we used mainly 3s and 5s with kiddo #1, while kiddo #2 has ben wearing 4s forever.

    I bought most of my diapers from sam’s, but also found good deals at target (buy 2 luvs, get a $5 gift card) and babies r us (esp. the $10 a case diapers and wipes the day after thanksgiving! I wish I’d figured that one out years ago!)

    also, if your state does a tax free weekend/week, check and see if diapers are included. my state, texas, does not charge sales tax for diapers on tax free weekend, so you can save 8.xx% just by buying them tax free.

  20. says

    P.S. If all else fails, most stores don’t have any problem with exchanging diaper sizes (as long as they carry the brand), so if you wind up with too many of one size you can simply exchange it for another (or save for a baby shower)!

  21. Tara says

    I am a big fan of stockpiling diapers (or anything for that matter!). If you can’t use it all- give it away as gifts! Or put an ad on Craigslist or save them for around Christmas time and you can donate them to the boxes they have a Wal-mart or homeless shelters. I think there plenty of options if you have too many stockpiled. Or maybe you will be become pregnant again and use them for the next baby. Or here is an idea- tape the receipt to each package you buy and if you have too many you will be able to return them. One think about stock piling wipes though is that they will dry out so be careful.

  22. says

    I disagree with buying 2 packages of newborn diapers, unless your baby is going to be 7 lbs or smaller. I used the newborn size for my 1st son and we only used half the package as he just was too big. I just used size 1s for the rest. They aren’t too big when you have an 8 lb baby and they won’t go to waste. Stock pile on all sizes (AT LEAST 6 PACKAGES OF EACH) Even buy size 6s as a size 5 baby will need 6s at night or eventually day and night. I find using the next size up for nights a useful tip (especially if you are using the cheapies)!

  23. Heather Snyder says

    My husband and I discussed stockpiling diapers for a long time. We are expecting our first in August. We live in a tiny apartment and as of right now we don’t really have room for them. We are not sure how many diapers we will get from friends either. So we are saving coupons that will last until then and setting aside money each month to buy diapers. Does anybody have any other tips?

  24. Andrea says

    You can stock up on cloth diapers too– sales are rare but they do happen. I combined website discounts with magazine rebates (where you can opt out of receiving a free subscription and get about $15 instead), and ended up with 12 brand new BumGenius diapers for an average of $8 each (impressive for an item that the manufacturer doesn’t allow discounts on typically). All said and done, after I bought a couple more cloth diapers and a couple of packs of newborn disposables, I paid about $175 to diaper my baby for two and a half years, with plenty of wear left in the diapers for baby number two (I figure that to replace a couple of the diapers and buy my next some newborn sizes, I’ll be looking at adding $50 to that total).

  25. says

    A word about excess: If you find you have too much, I’ve seen people sell disposable diapers on Craigslist! Might be a great way to make back your money.

    You can always donate them to your favorite charity, shelter, or the local Ronald McDonald house.

  26. says

    My son is 11 months old and we are still using wipes that I bought ahead of time at CVS. I bought the Playskool wipes, and I bought like 10 of them. And since then, I have seen good sales here and there, like at Meijer. And diapers, I was stocked enough to have 5 months worth. I got them at CVS also. Whenever I saw a sale with EBC’s attached at CVS, I bought. Even if I had to burn a few ECBs on the stuff, because it was worth not having to pay money for them in the end!

  27. Elizabeth says

    I didn’t really ever stockpile diapers because I didn’t discover the “coupon world” and CVS until my daughter was about 9 months or so. But I had a 2yo in diapers as well so I needed lots. I now spend almost no money on diapers thanks to CVS. I try to grow my ECBs with every moneymaker and $/$$ coupons. Then I do every diaper ECB deal. I am not picky with brands and my kids do Ok with them so that greatly helps. My CVS card lately has given me $10/$50 almost every week which I use to get diapers. I roll $40 or so ECBs with deals (if possible) and add a pack of diapers to get to $50. I also save all my free item coupons to use at CVS if possible. I end up buying some things I don’t need like blood glucose monitors, Lol, but I see it as the Lord’s way of providing for us!!! We have a small income so every bit helps! Dig into the world of CVS/Walgreens if at all possible and it will save you big money!!!

  28. Heather says

    I am expecting our third child in June and began stockpiling for this little one last summer. (before expecting!) I currently have a variety of diapers nb-size 6 in:
    Pampers
    Huggies
    Kroger
    Walgreens
    Luvs

    I picked up some size 5 and 6 at Kroger for my 2 year old to wear at night. Just couldn’t pass up 60 pk. diapers for $0.49!!! (Clearanced to $3.49 and $3 peelie! :) So if you see great deals on bigger sizes-their great for potty training.

    I am also stockpiling wipes, baby toiletries, feminine products, nursing things, etc. I have done this with my other girls as well. Buying ahead has saved us a lot of money. It definitely makes adding another little one easier on your budget. :)

  29. says

    If you and your husband are tall and big, I would stockpile on size 3s and 4s. If you are tiny people, most likely your baby will be tiny too so stockpile on 2s and 3s.

  30. Aimee says

    If this is not your first child and someone wants to throw you a shower, ask for a “diaper shower”. Somebody did this for my sister-in-law when she was pregnant with her twins (children #3 and 4) and she had diapers for months after the babies were born.

  31. Julie says

    First of all, I love this blog!

    I just wanted to add that I’ve tried many store-brand and generic diapers and my experience is that most of them are not very good. But I was VERY HAPPY with the CVS brand diapers and also the Playscool diapers found at CVS. I thought they worked great for both my daughter and son. I would highly recommend them. Much cheaper!

    I tried other brands, such as the Walgreens brand, and just found myself washing more clothes, changing diapers more frequently, etc.

    PS. I agree with the previous poster that said that you use the most of size 3. I found this to be the case with both my kids.

    Have a blessed day,
    Julie

  32. Rachel S. says

    Hello everyone,
    I cloth diapered my littles because of HUGE sensitivites to the absorbant gel in disposable diapers- Pampers brand were horrid to their tiny bottoms! I also had read (not kidding) hours and hours worth of info on the hazards of chlorine bleach found in disposables, the leaching of it into the skin of babies via wet absorbancy gels and the physical effects from it. Asthma being the major concern. I for a while used Seventh Generation’s disposables and like them and also another brand I found at a health food store- but YIKES how pricey! It was then that I purchased A dozen FUZZI BUNZ cloth diapers and also made my own fitteds and bought 6 proraps classics. What a difference- to our budget and littles skin. Now however- I would suggest the wonderful BUMgenius cloth diapers- they are completely adjustable- you only will ever buy one set! Plus I have sold all of my USED cloth diapers on eBay for almost 3/4 of what I paid for them! I was shocked! It isn’t for all people- but it worked very well for us!

  33. says

    I would suggest truly stockpiling from size 3 on up – though every child is going to be different, so it’s not an exact science!!

    One thing I found with my second son is that all the size 1 and 2 packs of diapers I had bought for him that he outgrew before he could wear, I turned around and resold them on craigslist for a profit on what I’d paid for them.
    He’s been in size 3 for a few months now and still has a lot of that size to go through, but I have a large amount of money from the earlier sizes stashed away waiting for another great deal, and then I’ll stock up on some of the larger sizes.

    With my first born we kept things really simple as far as materialistic items, so when our church wanted to throw a shower and asked what they could buy the only thing we truly needed was diapers, and they blessed us with them! We didn’t buy him diapers until he was 9 months old!!
    The sizes didn’t all match up, but Walmart was very generous with me and I told them straight up that I didn’t know WHERE the diapers had come from, but if they sold the brand/size they would give me the money for them and I’d get the proper size.

  34. Amy says

    I have 6 kids and I’ve found it impossible to predict what size they’ll need. I currently have a 2 year old and 1 year old in diapers. The 2 year old wears 5’s and has for a well over a year. My 1 year old well I think he may potty train in 3s. He’s got a small butt and tummy and if diapers are too big they leak on him. Birth weight is not the greatest predictor either. He was my largest baby at 8.5 pounds. The 2 year old weighed 3.5 pounds at birth. She’s just built different. She’s got a pudgy belly and bottom. She did spend several months in newborns and size 1s though and then blew through sizes 2-4 pretty fast.

    I usually buy diapers at CVS but it’s hard when the ECB deals are usually limit 1. With 2 in diapers (plus 2 in pull ups at night) it’s hard to buy enough diapers that way. I even use some cloth diapers too. I’ve been lucky lately and get $10/$50 out of the scanner machine. I load up on free after ECB so most of the $10 coupon can go towards diapers.

  35. says

    I’ve been stocking up recently on the Kroger Comforts brand because of the incredible prices – size 6 for my 22 month old (because we haven’t even mentioned potty training with her yet, thought it best to get the new baby here before we worry about that), and as I had 12 pound babies in the past, I haven’t even bothered to buy newborn diapers (although my daughter throws that pattern off too – she was only 7 lbs. 14 oz! It was like half a baby to us). So with no way of knowing whether this next baby will be a large or a small one, it has limited what I can/can’t buy. I have bought about three packages each of sizes 2 and 3. Not knowing what size this baby will be or how it will grow (first grew EXTREMELY fast, second not nearly as much, third hardly at all), it makes it difficult to know how many to buy of each diaper.

    I do have to say that I don’t understand how the CVS deals are so great on diapers – from what I can see their sale prices are more expensive than what I can get them for regularly at some place like Wal-Mart.

  36. Shelly Morrison says

    I am a mom of soon to be 10 kids. I started doing this by my 4th child and it was great to know i had everything all ready.
    here are my recomendations:

    newborn 5 pks
    size 1 – 7 packs
    size 2 – 8 packs
    size 3 – 20 packs
    size 4 – for my childrens started about 7 months and usually went in the 2’s
    baby wipes plan for at least 1 per week but remember you could use several per week especially if you have older kids. (they work great for messy faces and hands so you can never really have to many)
    formula: my question to new parents does or did you your husband or any other child have allergies? if not they are gonna start you out on regular formula with iron a good rule of thumb for this is about 1- 25oz can per week. if you have allergies then it might be a good idea to wait or talk to the ped. most peds are willing to exchange formula with you if you bought something you cant use due to allergies.
    baby food cereal will last and you can buy early just make sure to pay attention to dates.
    for mom i always buy my pads( you cant wear tampax for the first few weeks after birth) tyneol, motrin, tucks or preperation H pads work well. for this one i got coupons(3.00 off) from their web site and meijers had to 10pk for 3.23. the best thing was there was no limit to the coupons i could print. therma care menstrual are also great for afterpains. i sew my own breast pads they are washable and soft i get material for them at walmart for 1.00 a yard.
    dont forget to use the coupons to pack the hospital bag as well. they wont give dad anything even tyneol for a headache so remember his needs to. in my opinion better to overpack then not have what you need. you can always leave a bag or 2 in the car and send him out for it should you need it. i pack dvd’s dvd player chords remote batteries. I pack a suitcase full of snack food and non perishable microwavable dinners and silverware. – you will be hungry afterwards. you can drink clear pop in labor so grab your favorite kind and take with, bottles work better since you can drink some and close it up. i also take my own blankets and pillows for dad to. sounds wierd but that little bit of comfort makes a world of difference.
    plan for easy made dinners for the first couple days home even if you make and freeze your own food.

  37. Brooke says

    I think you have to be careful since you don’t know what brand will work for your baby or how big they will be or how fast they will grow. I had a few packs from gifts and a few we bought ahead of time but I was glad not to be stuck feeling like I had to use a bunch of diapers we didn’t like. We blew through newborn and size one but have been in 4’s for a year now. I would rather just have money set aside so you can up your budget if needed after the baby comes. We set aside like $500 extra the first few months just to cover us if we needed anything big and for diapers. Once I knew what brands we liked I could start stock piling.

  38. says

    I only have one child, but I did learn a little bit about stockpiling diapers while I was pregnant with him. I bought a pack here or there in size 1 when I had a coupon and it was a good deal. My mom also did this for me. The fire station where my hubby and I volunteer at, the members of the ladies auxillary threw me a diaper and wipes shower. At my other showers I got several packs of diapers at each one. I think I had about 20 packs of diapers before the baby was born.
    He was thin-waisted, so I used newborns for quite a while. I had so many size 1’s that I had to actually exchange a few for size 2’s. Now he is in size 3 and has been since August.
    I agree with the “guest post” person, in that carrying diaper coupons with you all the time is a good thing. You never know when “the deal of the day” will come along!!

  39. Christy says

    Thanks for this post! I just found out I’m expecting, so how much do you all think is a good price for a pack of diapers in order to stockpile? I’m kinda new to all this and have never bought diapers before so I don’t know what a great price is yet! Thanks!! :)

  40. Sarah says

    I began buying diapers about halfway through my pregnancy and am so glad that I did. I only bought Huggies and Pampers because I didn’t know which store brands would work for my baby. I also only bought when I could get a jumbo for less than $4 after coupons, rebates, and other incentives. At that price I felt good about donating any packs that would go unused in the event my son had a reaction or outgrew the size.

    My son is now almost five months old and I have gone through 3 packs of newborns, 14 packs of size 1, and am working my way through 18 packs of size 2 (I’ve used about 13 of them). I have about 20 packs of size 3 ready to go and a few size 4. Stockpiling worked well for us because I had more time for shopping before he was born than I do now, he has been “average” sized since birth, and has gotten along well with both Huggies and Pampers. Hope our experience helps someone who is trying to navigate their way through!

  41. Christy says

    Instead of stockpiling diapers (which we didn’t have the space to store) my husband and I decided we would put money on a shopping card every time we went to the store during my pregnancy. We shopped at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club a lot, and their shopping cards are interchangeable at each store so we decided on an amount and put that amount on the card each time we went shopping at one of those two stores. Our baby is now 6 months old and we haven’t had to buy a package of diapers with our own money yet. We’ve been using the shopping card this long and still have a way to go before it’s empty. One disadvantage is not being able to buy them on sale like you can when you stockpile the actual diapers, but we always have coupons to use to help with the cost. And, we don’t have to buy the small packages because we don’t have money for the big boxes. We can buy the big boxes since there’s so much on our card and save money that way. Just another idea!

  42. says

    From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I started buying baby necessities. This helped me get used to the extra expense while also allowing me to wait on sales and good deals b/c the baby was not actually here yet. By the time, our baby was born I had a huge amount of diapers, wipes, baby medicine (make sure to watch exp date), diaper rash cremes, baby wash/lotion etc, even baby food (again check exp dates) This has helped so much with expenses b/c since I started before she was born I could wait on sales and not “have” to buy. I did this by utilizing CVS mostly and their ECB’s and also Target. We are a “Pampers” family and I average around $4-$6 dollars per pack of pampers diapers with using ecb’s, coupons etc….whatever the case may be. I try to keep it on the $4 end but sometimes it’s just not possible. I also have never paid for wipes. I get those free with Food Lion’s baby step coupons ( for lack of time, I blogged about that on my blog) My little girl is 7 months old and so far, all wipes have been free. This has been a huge help as you parent’s know, those little wipes add up! I also utilized Food Lion’s baby steps coupons to get free baby food. I’ve never paid for baby food so far and this has been a huge blessing to my family!

  43. says

    My baby was born in August and in size 3 diapers by his first Christmas. AT his second Christmas, he’s size 4 diapers — and looking to stay there a long time.

    He didn’t wear any more newborn diapers than the ones we were given at the hospital and 1 pkg as a baby shower gift.

    Not very many packages of size 1. A box plus a bit of size 2. And then it was all size 3 or 4.

    Target would not exchange diapers even just for a different size. I ended up giving away size 1 diapers because I couldn’t find anyone else that sold that size of Huggies diapers and I didn’t want to store something that bulky for the next kid.

    Also Babies R Us brand and Pampers turned out not to work for our baby. So I was glad not to have a huge stockpile of diapers that did not work. Personally, I’d mostly stockpile money on a gift card. I am not finding it that difficult to find diapers for cheap enough prices to use. (And its even easier now that we are using a hybrid cloth/disposable method so the disposables are gone through slowly)

    For example, right now I’ve got a $10 off $30 purchase at CVS. The boxes of size 4 diapers (60 diapers each) are $16 with a $3 ECB back (effectively $23)

    I buy 2 boxes – -that’s $32. Use the coupon. That’s $22. Get $6 back. So that is $16 /120 diapers = $0.1333/diaper. It will actually be even cheaper because I have some ECBs already I’m going to put onto the purchase. And that will last us long enough for the next sale. (CVS diapers seem to regularly go on sale)

  44. Alison says

    I think this is a great topic and I look forward to the upcoming cloth discussion too. My thinking is that there is a HUGE difference in package sizes, and so while some might be buying the small packs for next to nothing at CVS on so super deal, many of use use the larger boxes offered at Target etc. I personally found that Target w/q’s on a sale was a good place to shop. At the time I was not a CVSer or walgreens shopper and could kick myself, however next time right? I agree with most comments that it is hard to judge how fast they will grow, and I would hesitate to stock up too heavily on any one brand in any size larger than a 2 before they are born and you know what works best. I used more newborn sizes than I had planned (I think 4-5 packs) and then ones we outgrew by 10 weeks. He was in 2s for a while, but I really liked the size 1-2 and the 2-3 that pampers had at Target in the cases on their special deals. My son was a fast grower until 9 months and then it reached a stand still almost. He was in size 3 from 9 months until 2 years. At 2 we went up to size 4, although 5 would have fit too, and also cloth diapers. By 2.5 he was potty trained and I never used the pull-ups and size 5s I had for him (thinking we would be in diapers a bit longer)

  45. Sheri says

    Well, it looks like just about everyone has something to say about this – so I might as well add :)
    My first son was 9lbs 3oz and my second son was 9lbs 9oz. I did not buy any newborn diapers in advance because I had a feeling they would be large (my husband and I were both 9 lb + babies). In the hospital the nurse had to go and find a package of size 1 diapers for us to use since they were too big for the newborns.
    My first was in size 3 by 6 months and I would say he was in sizes 3 and 4 (at least 9 months each) for the longest period. Although he has a skinny waist we usually have to move up a size because they start to leak. At around age 2 we changed to size 5 and began potty training him.
    My second is only 4 months old. He was in size 1 for only a few weeks, size 2 for 2 months and in size 3 at 3 months old!
    I would recommend, stockpiling size 3, and of course many, many wipes! I also registered on the Pampers and Huggies websites and they send out a ton of coupons during your pregnancy and afterward. That way I always had coupons on hand for buying the size I needed. It is also easier with the second to convince people that all you really need for gifts are diapers and wipes :)