31 Weeks to a Better Grocery Budget Video Series: 3 Ways to Save on Diapers

What are your best tips for saving money on diapers? I’d love to hear!

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  1. Sarah says

    Our walgreens has kept photo copies of their baby IVC booklet at the checkout for the $2 per pack. It came out in Feb/March and doesn’t expire til Dec. 31. 2011. It’s been a lifesaver- when they put them on sale for 7.99 or buy one get free- it’s made the diapers the cheapest around! they also let you buy a whole box at at time and keep them in stock!! love it!

  2. Debi B says

    We have a newborn foster baby and I was clueless this time around….lol. However, got onto Amazon’s mom’s club and now get them for .09 piece for either Huggies or Loves and I’m happy with that, unless I can find a cheaper deal in the stores. :)

  3. Mandy W. says

    I find diapers the cheapest on Amazon. My target price is 10 cents for size 1-2, and 15 cents or less for sizes 3 & 4 (for Huggies or Pampers). I have a hard time finding sizes 3 & 4 for less than that, even with Amazon Mom. I would love ideas on how to get them cheaper. If you end up with “leftovers” from a big package, there is always a new mom who would be happy to use an opened package. You can also save them for your next baby.

    • kerrie says

      I do find diapers sometimes in size 3/4 cheaper then 15 cents but it is not often so my price point for 3/4 size is about 15 cents as well.

  4. A says

    Regarding exchanging diapers, my Rite Aid will only reimburse your money with a receipt; they will not allow exchanging a pack of diapers for another pack. However, Walmart will exchange any that they carry (even if you did not buy them there).

    Also, when considering your diapering costs, don’t forget cost of disposal (we pay for trash removal here) or cost of laundering cloth diapers.

    Thanks for your tips!

  5. says

    I cloth diaper… I dont have to worry about coupons and sales because I never run out! At first I thought I would hate it but its easier than it seems an they’re all so cute!

  6. Melodie says

    Big dittos on the cloth diapering! It’s not as much trouble as most people think. You can do it for pretty cheap if you use cut up old flannel sheets and make your own diaper covers and diaper liners from fleece blankets from goodwill. Just make sure you are careful to use the right kinds of cloth diapering friendly detergents and diaper creams to avoid trouble with your washer or with rashes. For the most part, cloth diapering done right will help your baby avoid diaper rashes and be healthier over all, but care needs to be taken to make sure this is true for your little one. It helps in the potty training later on too!

    And don’t listen to the folks who say that the energy spent in washing/drying them negates the money saved in buying disposables. NOT TRUE!!! Check out this article to help you see the difference it can make to cloth diaper including the energy expenses. http://greenbabyguide.com/2008/01/31/how-much-money-do-cloth-diapers-save-a-cloth-vs-disposable-cost-comparison/

      • says

        I loved the video. What a great idea and most people probably have almost all the supplies lying around at home anyway. We saved money cloth diapering by buying off Craigslist. I spent a little over 150 bucks for about 20 gdiapers, waterproof liners, and cloth inserts.

    • Erin says

      If anyone has seen the documentary “No Impact Man”, he explains that the argument that cloth diapering has the same impact on the environment as disposables came from a study funded by a disposable diapers company! Wish I had seen this sooner.

  7. says

    What a timely post! I need to start thinking more about the cost per diaper. My youngest is 16 months now, so I really can’t wait until we are done with the diaper stage!

    Cloth diapers are also a great way to go. Ask for them as shower gifts, and then you will pay very little to diaper your child. (I did this for my oldest, but the youngest two were diapered in disposables.)

    I recently wrote a post about how to get diapers for cheap or even free if you financially qualify.

  8. Stephanie says

    I love the money I save with cloth diapering. I do simple prefolds with bummi covers and it is so easy and saves so much money. I still use disposables when I go out.

    • Emily says

      Same here! Amazon mom coupled with subscribe & save and the occassional coupon = good deals. I was rolling in the diaper deals when Amazon had the 20% off coupons out in the magazines. I was really getting good deals!!!! But as soon as I purchased a subscription to Parents, the coupons disappeared. Go figure.

      • Rae says

        same happened to me lol. I have tons of magazine subscriptions (all free) but the only one I had paid for before Parents was All You. But I figured it was worth the investment for the coupons (I paid $2 for a 2 year subscription) and they stopped right away I was so bummed

        • Emily says

          I just paid $1 for a 1 year subscription, but still it is a dollar they have now and I don’t. I wouldn’t have bought the subscription if I had known this was going to happen. The other coupons and the articles are not very helpful to me.

          Parents and Amazon had this planned. Suck us all in, get us addicted, and then cut off the supply. lol They still benefit because we paid for the subscriptions and still use Amazon because of the Amazon mom benefits.

  9. Kayla says

    These are really great tips! Learning to price each diaper instead of the whole package really helped me to understand exactly how much I was spending.

    My son was just potty trained at 25 months and it was truly a blessing. He also never grew out of size 3 diapers, so our diaper costs were much lower than some people. I took the cold turkey approach to potty training and he trained very quickly. It is such a relief not to have to figure diapers into our budget, I am so thankful he was so easily trained!

      • Cami says

        To me it is where you take them out of all diapers and put them in underwear – no pull ups….nothing. They pretty quickly learn and decide they don’t like something wet running down their legs. The other takes a little longer to learn than being wet. There is more cleanup involved, but it’s pretty short lived.

        • Dani says

          I also did what she referred to as the “cold turkey approach”. I put my daughter in underwear instead of pull ups and in a week she was fully potty trained. She hated being wet! Not too mention I saved money by not buying pull ups!

        • Megan says

          We’ve been doing this since July and are still having way more accidents than successes. We’re not going back to diapers, but just beware that it can take way longer than a week for some kids! Our son is 2 1/2 and has been showing interest for a while so we weren’t off the mark for starting to potty train.

        • Melodie says

          I had heard that this works pretty well over all, so I tried it with my son. Mega FAIL!!! He played in the puddles and liked being wet. If I turned around for a moment, he’d pee and have it smeared everywhere in no time flat. Yuck!!!

  10. Jenn says

    Do you still think 10-12 cents/diaper is reasonable when you get into the bigger sizes (3-5)? I’ve been aiming at 15 cents, and I’m wondering if I should be trying to pay less (we can also only use Pampers, so that is an issue too).

    • Kara says

      If you can find the bigger sizes for .15 please let me know where. I can usually find size 4’s (pampers) for $5.99 per jumbo pack (around .22/diaper) every 4-6wks at various stores.
      We can only use Pampers as well, to make it even worse only the Cruisers, other wise Ds breaks out in a rash. We are potty training, which has its good days and bad days, plus counting daddy coming home, moving out of our house and into a hotel and getting ready to move into a new house has not helped any.

      • Jenn says

        Kara – I would say, go with Amazon. I, too, had been scrounging up the monthly deals at drugstores, etc., and after ordering a big box (192 ct of size 4) on Amazon for $32 (this was after 15% Amazon Mom discount and 15% subscribe and save discount, plus a $1 coupon they had available), I don’t think I”ll ever go back to buying the jumbo packs. That brought them to about 17 cents each, so not as good as it could have been, but we were almost totally out, so it was fine for me! Of course, that was Baby Dry. You will expect to pay more for the Cruisers, but I’m not positive how much. I totally understand though–right now my kiddo has only been able to use Pampers Baby Dry, or he breaks out in terrible diaper rash. He’s got a bad one now, so I’m hoping it’s not the diaper, or we’ll really be stuck, since that’s the last kind we’re able to use!

    • says

      The least expensive I’ve seen Pampers since the death of the Amazon coupons is $0.14 per diaper (for the larger sizes). I realized I should have mentioned in the video that the $0.10-$0.12 per diaper rule of thumb would be for those who are able to use any brand of diapers and can just stock up on whatever is the best deal that month.

      • Emily says

        You did a good job with your video!

        I feel like such a brand snob, but we only use Pampers. We have never had a leak, blow out, or other catastrophe with the diapers. We use the Baby Dry and tend to get very good deals on them through Amazon. I have noticed that the Baby Dry Pampers are the cheapest of the Pamper lines and they are the best, in my opinion. I like them way better than the Swaddlers (and Huggies) we used in the hospital.

        Of course, my daughter is just 6 months old and I haven’t tried the Pampers Cruisers or anything. I doubt we will switch from the Baby Dry though….they are just that good.

  11. says

    Wow, my eyes have been opened. I thought my target price of 17 cents a diaper for size 4 was pretty good since that’s the price for the WalMart’s Parent’s Choice brand (the one we actually prefer anyway believe it or not, they just fit better!) but this has inspiried me to check into using my Swagbuck Amazon gift cards! Thanks Crystal! My little guy should HOPEFULLY start potty training soon so don’t think I’ll put the energy into cloth ones, but more power to the Momma’s out there doing that:)

  12. Katie says

    Thanks for the tips. I am unable to cloth diaper my 2 year old, and am in the process of potty training her, but the tip about cost PER DIAPER I never thought like that. Truthfully I like Walmarts Parents Choice diapers they are just as good as name brands and a lot cheaper.
    Thanks for always having good advice!!

    • Rae says

      With couponing, I always get Pampers, Huggies, or Luvs cheaper than Walmart. I don’t have a problem with Walmart diapers but have only bought them once in an emergency because of the higher cost.

  13. says

    Crystal- didn’t realize that you cloth diapered your first two. I’d love to read about your experiences, why you stopped, what brand you used, etc. I know cloth diapering isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think reading honest reports helps each family make the right decision for them.

    • says

      I used Fuzzi Bunz exclusively with our first and loved them. We were living on a very tight budget at that time (and I didn’t know about drugstore shopping yet!) so it was a huge blessing that some friends gave us a set of Fuzzi Bunz for free.

      I was completely expecting to exclusively cloth diaper our second, too, but she has severely sensitive skin. After much trial and error and many bad, bad rashes, we finally discovered that only Pampers don’t break her skin out. Thankfully, I had discovered the drugstore game by that point so I was able to work the Pampers into my weekly deals and basically never pay for them.

      I gave my cloth diapers away to a friend who really wanted to use them since I was no longer using them. With Silas, I guess I got lazy (!) and never even considered cloth diapering. We’ve used Swagbucks to buy all his diapers. He’s in the middle of potty-training right now, so it’s looking like we’re almost done with diapers here–which is a weird feeling!

  14. says

    SWAGBUCKS –> amazon.com gift cards –> free diapers
    I have used many, many amazon.com gift cards to help offset the price of diapers. Couples with the “subscribe and save” option, as well as coupons that you can “clip” and add to your order… you can save major money on diapers.

  15. Becky says

    I disagree with stockpiling the smaller sizes. My daughter was in Newborn size for only two weeks or so— and we had gotten enough of that size at our shower.
    I would say make sure you stock up on the bigger sizes first.

    Also, find a mom who’s kids are bigger or smaller than yours, so if you have a few leftovers from one size (I always find a random one or two in a diaper bag) and trade up or down depending on size. My niece was bigger than my daughter, and my nephew was younger, so it worked out well.
    Even if you only get a couple of those sizes, it still helps in the long run.

    • Shelah says

      I agree with Becky.

      I find that I am continually “stuffing” my baby into a smaller-sized diaper just to finish the big boxes I bought from amazon. We have never needed newborn for any of our 3 children.

      I’m only stockpiling size 3 or 4.

      Good tips in general.

    • Becky says

      I agree, I had to return several packs of newborn diapers when we brought our son home from the hospital already wearing size 1 diapers.To new mommies I will suggest resisting the urge (unlike me)to tear open a pack of the newborn diapers and filling your diaper hanger until you know your baby will need that size.If you have open packs, but don’t know anyone needing them, ask around about charities in your comunity.In my town we have a charity that will give the open packs of diapers to the foster parents of newly placed babies.

    • Krista says

      You just never know. My daughter went through so many newborn diapers. She used at least 10 a day and was in newborn size for over a month, so I wish I would have had more stocked up. We ran out a few times and had to pay full price. But, the newborn stage is a perfect time to stock up and save receipts because if your child outgrows them quickly, it should easily be within most store returns periods.

      • says

        My first was also in newborn diapers for over a month. She was small and then grew very slowly in the beginning. Every baby is so different that it’s hard to know exactly how to plan, isn’t it?!

      • Dani says

        My son was small (premie) and in newborn diapers for two or three weeks. We only had a few diapers of that size left and gave them to my diaper for her babies! :)

  16. says

    I don’t know about anyone else, but store brand diapers save me more than amazon or couponing. I looked into cloth diapering and from what I found it required quite a chunk of cash up front and it really only saved you money if you used them for multiple children (as in, reusing them for subsequent children) … in April we’ll be having our second (yay!) and I just can’t see myself cloth diapering two kiddos at once (our first will be 19 months in April), I’d rather be playing with them then washing their poopy diapers:)

    I buy Target brand (up&up) diapers and wipes – and I can usually find a Target coupon to use on them. The diapers come to be 8 cents each and the wipes are about 1 cent each. I know there is HUGE brand loyalty when it comes to diapers, and I’m a really big fan of Huggies, but I find that the Target brand diapers work just as well for us. And I’d never use another kind of wipe, I love up&up wipes hands down over anything else I’ve used. So I’d suggest just buying a small package to see if you like them, it could end up saving you a lot!

    • Becky says

      We love the Up & Up diapers too, and I’ve gotten all of my friends/cousins/neighbors hooked on them.

    • lyss says

      Where do get target diaper coupons? And how do you get them that cheap…I thought up & up diapers were around $7? Do you get yours in store or online? Thanks!

      • says

        I get target diaper coupons either online at their website, or when I purchase a box I sometimes get a diaper coupon printed out with my receipt. And I buy the diapers in store, I guess they’re cheaper in our area….or I did the math wrong:/ totally possible with a squirmy baby in the cart! Either way, they’re cheaper then what I can get with coupons/sales on name brands. I know they sell up&up diapers on amazon, so I’ve recently started using swagbucks and I’m going to try to get them with gift certificates I get for free! :)

    • Christina says

      Littlemama,
      My first 2 were 17 months apart and we’re little bitty when I started cloth diapering. Now we have a third (he’s 19 mos also) and my oldest is 5. We’ve started homeschooling him and sissy this year. I too was hesitant about cloth diapering, and everyone thought I was crazy when I considered it. I took the plunge and have found that it’s not bad and there really isn’t that much extra time involved. I do prefolds and covers and it has saved a TON of money!!! My advice is to always leave yourself an out. Bummis has a new cover for $10 (and I love it) so start up isn’t too expensive. I have both cloth and ‘sposies on hand. We use cloth whenever we leave the house and on days that I feel too overwhelmed. The sooner you start the more you save!

    • sarah says

      I actually cloth diapered my first two at the same time for a year (they are 15 months apart). It was probably easier than just doing one baby at a time. Now I only have one in cloth, and it takes longer to make a whole load of diapers. When I had two in cloth, it seemed more “worth the effort” because we were using so many, and it just became part of my nightly routine to dump all those diapers in the washer. I suppose it’s kind of like cooking, where it seems like a hassle to cook for one or two people, but when you are feeding a larger group, it just makes sense. (Weird comparison, I know, but that’s how it seemed to me). =)

  17. Danielle says

    What if you don’t qualify for Amazon Mom? I used it back when it was first offered, especially with all the 40% off coupons found in Parenting magazine, but then I didn’t use it for quite a while (found other deals) and it expired. We qualify for free Amazon Prime because my husband is a student, but doesn’t Amazon Mom give you an extra percentage off just for being a participant? And that’s what really makes the diapers so cheap, right?

    • Sarah Richardson says

      Anyone can sign up for Amazon Mom…grandparents, Dads, etc. Just sign up someone new and click on the Amazon Mom tab and they give you many options for who can sign up!

    • jen says

      You just have to be a caregiver to a child to “qualify” for Amazon Mom. And they do not check your ‘credentials’ that I know of. Dads, grandparents, older sibilings, etc should all qualify. How you know it expired? I have not heard of that.

    • Emily says

      You can open another Amazon account. We’ve had one for years and years in my husband’s name and I just opened one in my name to get the extended benefit since we are expecting twins and I NEED the 30% off savings! I wouldn’t find it ethical to open more than 2, but I thought that one in each of our names would be okay. My sister-in-law also told me that I could open one in her name because she doesn’t use Amazon Mom for diapers and I could just have them shipped to my address, so maybe you have a friend who would be willing to let you do that?

    • Rae says

      Amazon Mom doesn’t expire (the 15% extra off) but the 3 free months of Amazon Prime that comes with it when you sign up does (it is extended 1 month for every $25 that you spend in the baby store up to 1 year). If you are buying a bigger pack that qualifies for the free super saver shipping (over $25), it won’t matter though :)

  18. Becky B says

    I’d love to know how to make Cloth Diaper Wipes. I am looking into cloth diapering for our next kid.

    • says

      I just took a flannel receiving blanket (I had too many anyhow) and cut it into wipe sized squares. I have a serger, so I used that to finish the edges. You could zigzag them instead. If you don’t sew, you probably have a friend who does, and you could trade something for the job. It’s pretty quick and easy, really.

      You might even be able to just cut them with pinking shears, and use that, but with the heavy use they would get, I suspect that wouldn’t last long.

    • Beth says

      I took old t-shirts and cut them up. I took two layers and just sewed them together. They’re not pretty, but really… they’re just for wiping rear ends and that’s what they do!

    • Megan says

      I cut pieces of flannel into rectangles that fit in a wipes box and zig zag sewed the edges since I don’t have a serger. 2 years later they are still fine and we will be using them with baby #2. You can google wipes solution for different solutions people use. We do 1 cup water, 1tbs baby soap or castile soap and 1tbs olive oil and store it in a squirt bottle, then wet the wipe before using with the solution.

    • Victoria says

      I had to go to your next page to see the full drop menu. Now I am ready for my Walmart trip :))) Thanks.

  19. Marie says

    I agree with someone who posted about the Walgreens diapers. We were able to get them for around $2 a package. We way over bought but the good news is I’ve been able to exchange them for bigger sizes and haven’t been out of the money I invested. We also got some through Amazon. However, Target can be a good place when there’s a decent sale and you can stack a TQ and a manufatureer coupon.
    For those mom’s who are pregnant now register at Target and Babies R Us, even if it’s your 2nd, 3rd or 10th baby. They give you gift bags that usually have high value coupons in them plus an additional saving like 10% or so once you have the baby.
    All my diapers I have gotten for under .6cents per diaper!!! We are stocked through size 3 now.

  20. says

    Glad to know I did it right! With my second baby, I started buying while pregnant and we have yet to buy any diapers at the 6 month mark. (We got about a years worth before she was born…needed to save room in the budget for all that expensive formula!) I order my diapers and wipes from Amazon’s subscribe and save and earn months of free shipping…they are the cheapest I’ve found anywhere. P.S. Love your site- the BEST frugal blog out there!!

  21. Ashley says

    Cloth diapers! http://www.earthbums.com/ Getting ready to use them again for my second baby. We use disposables at night and use Seventh generation. Amazon mom with subscribe and save is usually the cheapest for them and use swagbucks. Otherwise Kroger or babies r us have sales and you can use coupons.

  22. Kelli says

    Today is my son’s 2nd bday and we have been in size 5 days for 1 year now..but with big plans to start potty training over Labor Day weekend, but if it wasn’t for Amazon.com I’m not sure what I would have done.

  23. Carla says

    It’s been a long time now, but I cloth diapered and loved saving the money. It was no big deal! I have 4 kids (all grown now) and did it almost exclusively. I think if I left them with a babysitter or in a church nursery I took the disposable ones. Really, it worked so well, but I know it is not for everyone and I liked Crystal’s video on choices!!

  24. says

    With my 3-year old son, I did both cloth diapering and disposable diapering. I am expecting our 2nd child next month, and plan on continuing to do the mix of cloth and diapering.
    I wanted to tell all the ladies here that cloth diapering is really EASY. I worked outside the home when my 1st child was a baby and if I can wash and dry diapers, ANYONE CAN. I went through so many of those all-in-one styles, but ended up using just the cotton pre-folds (ok, I am realizing I’m writing too much in the comments…I have a productivity blog but let me write up a bonus post on this topic if you want to read more visit me over at http://www.makinitsimple.com) I honestly can say that it takes NO longer to put on a cloth diaper than a disposable one, and plus cloth diapers can double as burp clothes, and really a lot of other things. Disposable diapers can’t do that. Thanks Crystal for the great tips!

    • Becky says

      Yes, it is so easy and worth a try!

      I’ve also cloth diapered while working. (Grandma was the babysitter and was willing to change the cloth diapers because that what she did with all 3 of her kids way back when.) I didn’t want to use cloth with my first child because I thought it would be difficult and gross, but it’s not that bad. I like using pre-folds, too. Pre-folds with a diaper wrap are a low cost way of determining if cloth would be a good idea. It’s worth a try. I’ve diapered 2 children in cloth at a time and find it works for me. I still do the same amount of wash loads per week with 2 children as I was doing with 1 child.

  25. Jessica says

    As I nurse I want to add you should check with your doctor before trying to potty train too early. Often their bladders just aren’t developed enough and this can even lead to bedwetting later on!

    • alicia says

      Huh? I must admit that I don’t understand this. Can you explain what you are basing your medical advice on? Thanks.

      • says

        A child needs to be able to understand the cues that their bladder is giving them. As an adult we know that when we feel “full” it’s time to go to the bathroom. A young child’s bladder isn’t as developed and they have a harder time recognizing those cues. Our pediatrician also warned us against potty training too early because young kids don’t understand the cues that say “I need to go potty”. When you “potty train” an 15 month old by sitting them on the potty every hour you’re just training them to sit on the potty and go if they have to. They aren’t learning to listen to their body. I think that’s what Jessica is refering too based off of having the conversation with our doctor.

        • alicia says

          I disagree that a young child can not understand the cues that he or she needs to use the bathroom.

  26. says

    I’m so glad you mentioned cloth diapers!!! I’m a little partial since I have an online cloth diaper store (www.sweetlittleblessings.com),
    but they really do save money in the long run. Especially if you have more than one child. I also agree with cloth wipes….I find they work so much better than disposable!

  27. Anonymous says

    If you have open pkgs of diapers please think about donating to your local Pregnancy Center. A non-denominational facility that gives out diapers, gently used clothing and other things. Thanks!

  28. Emily says

    I find that Amazon has the best price on diapers and it’s hard to beat their price with coupons at the store. Plus, I don’t have to use gas to go buy them and end up with only a few small packages. Amazons are delivered to my door and in HUGE boxes! I am expecting twins any day now and have 1,700 diapers stockpiled already for them! I tried my best to guesstimate how many diapers I would need in each size without buying too many. 1,700 diapers will last me about 3 months. How insane is that!?!

  29. Mandy says

    Thanks for discussing this topic !!!!! It’s very nice to hear you are having trouble with potty training and that you decided not to cloth diaper silas- sometimes it seems like people only wanna share their good stories instead of their struggles :) It’s nice you felt comfortable sharing with us. I tend to use you as a role model in my grocery budgeting and I am starting to pick up couponing thanks mostly to your blog and advice!!!!

    • says

      Oh do I ever have struggles! Potty-training my children is one of the areas I seem to be the least talented in as a mom. Gratefully, two down and one to go. :)

      • Rae says

        He is much younger than my son and my son still has accidents almost every day so trust me, you are not doing that badly ;)

  30. Jen says

    Funny that you mentioned your struggles with potty training. Back when you did the “how we taught our kids to drink from a big kid cup” video, I was thinking I wish you would do a video on how you potty train. I look up to you as a mom and I was struggling with both the big kid cup and potty training my 2 year old at the time. He has the occasional accident but is pretty much trained now, except overnight. But the youngest is just 6 months so we won’t be diaper free for a while longer yet!!

  31. Becca says

    Potty Train Early!!! I read an article about this when my twins were 10 months old- I laughed at the thought of it, but when they woke up from their nap, I decided to put them on the potty. And low and behold, they both went!!! So at 10 months I start them on the potty. I just move my diaper changing station into the bathroom so whenever I change their diapers, I put them on the potty first, they go, and then get a clean diaper. (At first I got a warm wash cloth and squeezed it on their bottoms so they figured out the sensation to go. Also do this at the same time every day – like 15 min after a meal, after bath, before bed, etc) At 10 months I get down to 3 diapers a day. By the time they are 12 months, all #2’s are done in the toilet because as soon as I see them start pushing, I run them in there and they go (and eventually they end up doing it the same time every day so it is easy to get them to do it on the potty). I have 5 kids and it has worked every time (4 girls and 1 boy). At 22 months, I wrap up a pack of panties, and they don’t go back (just diapers at night)!! It take only a few days and we are potty trained! They need no bribes or anything, because going on the potty is just normal for them. The excitement is just wearing the panties! Best diaper saver there is!!

    • Becky says

      I have come to believe that our society has a lowered expectation of children’s ability to be potty trained early. I’ve had a long and difficult time potty training one of my children because he is a very high-needs child, so I understand that early potty training isn’t possible in every case. However, I think the big disposable diaper companies have created in us a perceived need to use diapers and disposable training pants for a longer period of time than was natural in the past. As well, most of us live in homes with wall-to-wall carpet and the thought of early potty training isn’t pleasant. Maybe it would be good for us to challenge our thinking regarding how long a child needs diapers and thus save money that way.

      This idea really hit home with me when I was going through some things from my husband’s grandparent’s home after they entered a retirement facility. I found what amounted to the take home papers given to grandma when my mother-in-law was born in 1947. It was a booklet on the care of babies issued to new moms by a major insurance company. The potty training methods recommended were similar to what you describe. In fact, the advice encouraged what some would call EC today. (There were pictures of holding a pan to a baby’s bum at only several months of age.) In the book there was a page to record milestones and, sure enough, my mother-in-law was potty trained before age two. (It’s been a while since I looked at the book, but if I remember correctly it was around 18 months.)

      I’m sure there were probably accidents after that, but the point I’m making is is that society’s expectations years ago was for a much earlier potty trained age that what we accept today. I guess if your only option was cloth diapers (like it was back in 1947), you’d find a way to optimize and get yourself out of the diaper changing routine as soon as possible. :)

  32. says

    I think we’ve tried most options of diapering our children that for all our experiences we are eager to follow the same route (or as close as we can) as we did for our first child.

    We exclusively cloth diapered our first child except the first two weeks. I gave birth almost three weeks before my due date and we hadn’t been able to order the set of cloth diapers we wanted from Mother-ease.

    I prefer not to use the words “potty train” for our taking them to potty when they were infants because indeed they were communicating with us their need and so we did. My husband did this for our first when she was a week old and she did have a bowel movement and peed too. We still have that photo (film one) because we were so amazed. We took a break after about a week to learn more about our newborn (as first-time parents) and nursing.

    We started listening to her cues more around the three month old time frame and used little potties for her. Would you believe that around that three-month old time period was the last time she stopped pooing in her diapers for good? We even cloth diapered her on our halfway-around-the-world flight, at least 21 hours of time in the air. It was work but it was blessed.

    I didn’t teach her to twist in my arms, pat us on the back when slinging her, crawl to me and tug on my skirt, pull drawers to get my attention when she was so very little but she did and we’ve learned from all our children all the different cues that little ones make from the time they are days old and older of when they need to potty. There’s less crying in our home when we can understand their cues to nurse, burp, potty, etc. and that has been another blessing in our parenting. This first child took herself to potty when she was walking and old enough to realize how to take off (but not back on..lol) her larger cloth diaper which really acted as a panty. She was doing so well that we placed her in panties long before she turned two.

    Someone mentioned about damage or something like that to the bladder and a child having problems later on. We have not experienced this for any of our children and also a host of other children from different parts of the world whose cues are taken into account. We’ve read some books on elimination communication and infant potty training after our main experiences with our first child. Those books have doctor accounts and many testimonials.

    We cloth diapered our third and fourth children (boys) until they had a strange rash that would hardly go away right around the ten and eleven month old mark. Switching to disposables (and the right ones) then helped us with our lack of knowledge. By the time we had our fourth we found out from our holistic pediatrician that he was probably having a yeast issue and he was. We did things to treat him naturally (through food, specific kind of probiotics, etc.) and myself (since I was nursing) and he was cleared from his “mysterious” rash. When we’d cloth diaper and he’d urinate, his rashes would run down his legs where the cloth diaper was wet against it. This was not a problem with our first two (girls).

    I got lazy with our taking our fourth to the potty because of homeschooling, my husband gone a lot for work, and cooking from scratch and whole grains due to some intolerances.etc. that I thought for sure it wouldn’t matter. The time that we’re spending trying to get this fourth child (two next month) out of diapers is much harder, taking more time, and getting costly with disposables. It really motivates me to not be as lazy about listening and carrying out cues with our fifth so that we can go through less unneeded work and expenses again. :-)

    Our fifth (now a little over a month and a half old)

  33. says

    We hardly had money with our first child that we could hardly afford disposable baby wipes. From leftover cheap white washcloths from our homebirth, I made simple cloth baby wipes from those. I cut them into four little squares and did a rough zig zag stitching on the ends to help them to last. I have one of those cheap wipes still after almost eight years of having made it. :-) For other cloth wipes my favorite is taking two layers of muslin squared and sewing that and turning them inside out, like a coaster. They are soft and inexpensive.

  34. blaire says

    Sorry if someone already asked this, I didn’t see it in the comments I read through (but I didn’t read through EVERY single one). How do you stock pile diapers for a new baby when you have a baby in diapers? Our daughter is 13 months. We are planning on starting potty training early, but I don’t know how that will go and would imagine I will be buying pull-ups for a while still. I would like to starting stocking up diapers for our next baby, but I don’t want to run out of diapers for our munchkin we have now. Thanks for any tips!!

    • says

      To do this I would definitely combine coupons with Register Reward or Extra Care Bucks deals (or whatever the rewards program is at Rite Aide, we don’t have one of those here!). When you can get diapers for $4 or less per pack after coupons and rewards then buy two, one for your current munchkin and one for the new one. Then you’ve gotten two packs for the price of one without coupons.

  35. Dawn says

    I looked into cloth diapers when I had my last child and was APPALLED at the price…most of them I saw were around $20 each. With a baby going through 10 diapers per day average, that meant I would need to spend AT LEAST $200 up front just to have enough for a single day. $400 for 2 days worth. Environmentally friendly, yes…pocket book friendly, no. That doesn’t count the ones that come in different sizes.

    I spend about $10 a month on disposable diapers for my baby. I am able to do this by using my Swagbucks and turn them into Amazon gift cards. I earn an average of about $15 a month in Swagbucks. If you sign up for Amazon Mom you automatically get 30% off a gigantic box of diapers. Most large boxes contain 200 to 300 diapers, depending on size. I only use one box per month, sometimes a little more.

    Average retail price on Amazon is $38 for a box of Luvs diapers – 30% for using the “subscribe and save” option = $26. Then I take my $15 in Swagbucks which brings my box of diapers down to just $11 for 204 diapers (size 4).

    I could not find any cloth diapers that compared to the price of buying from Amazon (even without the Swagbucks it would still only be $26) with Free shipping also.

  36. Shaneya says

    I try to catch good deals at any store then take the ad to walmart get that price and use a coupon.. we paid 5.97 for a pack of size 5 diapers today!

  37. Andrea says

    I have exclusively used cloth diapers with both my children and bought a good amount of them used. With my second child, I practiced part-time elimination communication which saves money by not using diapers at all! Since I only did it part-time we did still use the cloth diapers. Some sites refer to this as early potty training but it is anything but that. It is developing communication and staying in tune with a child’s natural intuition not to use the bathroom on himself (from birth) and offering a suitable receptacle for the child to potty in. It has been a godsend for our family and little girl who has so many sensitivities.

    • Shaneya says

      what sites? i would love to try this my daughters were hard to potty train my son is 2 and we are working on it.. i also have a 3 month old and diapers are killing us even when i find good deals!

  38. Andrea says

    I did not mention in my previous post but the cloth diapers I use were about $1 each off of eBay, and they are very useful for other household chores after no longer being used as diapers. I spent less than $40 for three dozen diapers which have lasted through two children. It was a big savings financially for our family.

  39. says

    One thing to consider when you have extra diapers left after your child has moved on to the next size is donating them to a woman’s crisis center. When a woman is fleeing a violent situation with a small infant/child they often don’t have time to gather up diapers and the like. All woman’s crisis centers will accept donations of diapers, formula and baby food, as long as the packages have not yet been opened. Most food pantries will take them also. No mother should ever have to worry about being able to put a diaper on their baby so donating those extra packages we don’t need anymore is a great way to give back!

  40. says

    I have not read all of the comments, so please forgive me if this has already been said.

    As a mother of 8 children, I have learned a lot about the cost of diapers. I began using cloth diapers (the old fashioned prefolds w/ pins and an overpant), which was fine when we didn’t have a lot of laundry. However, as we have added children, and the laundry is a big enough task w/o adding cloth diapers, I now use disposables.

    When my babies are newborns, I used a diaper that was a bit bigger for them (especially at night). This way, I didn’t have to change the baby as frequently…this would be an option if your child doesn’t have diaper rash issues. Obviously, if baby had a soiled diaper, it would be changed, but if it were wet, disposables wick the moisture away from the skin. In a nutshell, fewer diaper changes equals less diapers used.

    Also, my children would tend to soak through store brand diapers at night, so I would buy a better brand (usually Luv’s) and use those only at night. Store brand for daytime, Luv’s for night.

    Lastly, I have rarely used pull-ups for a toddler. Even while the child is graduating to potty use, they would wear a diaper. Pull-ups were just too expensive for my frugal taste.

    My last baby is now 2 years old. Our diaper journey is nearing its sunset. It will be nice to have that extra $35.00 back in the budget each month!

    Blessings,
    Camy

  41. says

    Hi Crystal. Just wanted to say thanks for one little comment you made during this video. You said to stock up “as soon as you know you are pregnant or adopting.” I have homegrown and adopted kids, and sometimes it feels like adopting mommies are forgotten. Thanks for remembering to mention the other wonderful way families are made!!