With all the Huggies coupons currently available, I thought it was only appropriate to tackle a question on diapers for Q&A Tuesday! Here’s Margaret’s question:
I am newly pregnant with my first baby and I have a question about diaper stockpiling. I’m trying to stock up now since I know I have months before the baby comes and get the best deals as they come along and not be stuck running out and paying full price because we’re desperate. However, I’m not sure how to gauge how many of each size to stockpile. Do you have any advice as to how quickly your kiddos went through different sizes or any other advice on stockpiling diapers (or other baby items!)?
Congratulations on your pregnancy, Margaret, and thanks for asking such a great question! I believe one of the smartest things a mom can do is to plan ahead now for what she’ll need those first few months after Baby is born. It will likely be a busy time of adjustment, tiredness and lots of snuggling with a newborn… the last thing you want to spend it doing is making lots of trips to the store for necessities like diapers.
It’s hard to gauge exactly how many diapers in each size you’ll need since every baby is so different. Some babies are born big and don’t even wear Newborn diapers — they just jump right into Size 1 diapers! Other babies, like my first, are small and grow slowly and wear Newborn diapers for six weeks!
My personal rule of thumb is that I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. Namely, I’d rather have a few packages of diapers leftover when my baby moves up to the next size, than to run out of diapers in one size and have to make an extra trip to the store (For some reason, in those first few weeks after having a baby, I never seem to realize we’re out of diapers until we’re pretty much completely out!). I can always find a home for extra diapers I can’t use — either giving them as a shower gift, passing them onto a friend or donating them to a crisis pregnancy center.
When Silas was born last year, I had enough diapers stockpiled to last for the first 3-4 months. I bought seven packages of Newborn diapers, since my babies tend to be smaller and slow growers (Silas has sort of shattered that pattern, though, with his rapid rate of growth — that boy can eat like you wouldn’t believe!). And then I had around eight packages of Size 1 diapers and a few packages of Size 2 diapers.
From my experience, babies tend to go through about eight to ten diapers a day for the first two to four weeks. By the time they are around a month old, they usually using somewhere around six to eight diapers per day.
As I said earlier, all babies are different. But for your first baby, here’s what I’d suggest you stockpile:
::3-4 week’s worth of newborn diapers (around 200 to 250 newborn diapers),
::4-6 week’s worth of Size 1 diapers (around 250 to 300 Size 1 diapers)
::A few packages of Size 2 diapers
If you get overly ambitious, you can also stock up on a few packages of Size 3 diapers, as well!
Now, those numbers aren’t an exact science, but if you have that many diapers on hand, I guarantee you that you’ll at least be in pretty-good shape for the first few months when it comes to diapers.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all brands of diapers work for all babies. I’m very partial to Pampers just because my children seem to break out in rashes with other brands. I’ve also found that Pampers seem to be the least prone to leaking. However, that’s only my opinion; I know some moms who think Huggies or Luvs or Parent’s Choice diapers are the best diapers ever created. Since you’re a first-time mom, you might consider stocking up on different brands to help you determine what works best for you and Baby.
When looking for good deals, I’d suggest a good target price would be less than $5 per package. Now granted, if you live in an area with only a Walmart, this is going to be harder to accomplish (and it might be good to take advantage of a deal from Diapers.com). But if you live where there are drugstores like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, it’s pretty easy to often find diapers for less than $5 per package — especially with all the Huggies coupons out right now!
For more suggestions on what to buy for Baby, see my Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank series.
Have you stockpiled diapers before? If so, how many do you think Margaret should have on hand? What’s your diaper stock-up price?
Have a question you’d like me to answer for our Q&A Tuesdays feature? Email it to me and I’ll be glad to consider it for a future post.
Jen Knox says
One more thing: if you have a super-pee’r at night like my son was when he was under 2 years old, there are two things you can do.
1. Use a diaper one size larger than they actually wear and put more of the fabric of the diaper up the tummy (if a boy) so it collects more at night. This way you don’t have wet tummies in the morning. My size 5 kiddo wears a 6 at night right now.
2. My husband came up with this idea: take a small diaper (size N or 1) and fold it backward and insert it into the front of the regular diaper as an extra absorbent pad. Before you go to bed, check on your kiddo and just slide it out the top front and then the rest of the diaper (the regular one) soaks up the rest of the potty the rest of the night. It extends the life of the regular diaper and instead of changing two size 3’s or 4’s at night, you’re only “wasting” an N or 1 which are cheaper per diaper anyway. We didn’t want to waste an extra 3 or 4 changing our kiddo in the middle of the night so he’d stay dry all night, so this was a great way to save some money and keep him dry (and asleep longer in the morning). All credit to my husband…it was his idea and it worked great!!
Jen Knox says
I’m an advocate for diaper stockpiling, personally. I also agree with the advice to be careful with purchasing too many Newborn diapers since my kiddo was in N’s for only a week and then he was in size 1’s. He was nearly 10 pounds when he was born, so it wasn’t hard to move into that next size.
The only thing about stockpiling and returning is the receipt expiration date that stores, especially Target has. I’d get a pack of N’s and only stockpile 1’s and 2’s in advance. By the time you leave the hospital you’ll know whether to continue buying N’s or not.
When I see diaper sales, I don’t worry about the size on the shelf though. If it’s a good deal and they’re out of ‘s (my son’s size) I buy 5’s, 4’s or whatever and go back the next week and exchange for the size I actually need so I can “lock in” that sale price with my purchase. Walgreens and Target especially have been great with that.
For N’s…I highly recommend Pampers Swaddlers. They’re super gentle and seem to be best for newborn skin in my own experience with my son. But every kid is different. For older babies, I found that the generic Walgreen’s diapers were utterly fantastic and cheap when they’re B1G1 free. My son lived in those for probably eight straight months and they were fantastic! The only thing is the tabs are not as stretchy and they run a little small so I’d purchase the size up from where your baby is if they seem on the brink of a new size. Walgreen’s diapers are HANDS DOWN my favorite generic diaper and when I was stockpiling them I was getting them for less than $3 per pack at one point which saved us a ton of money.
We chose to go the cloth diaper route, primarily to save money. I expected it to be a huge hassle, and have come to love it! We are now cloth diapering our second daughter and have saved several thousand dollars!! We do cloth wipes too – bought 3 ,12 packs of cheap, white washrags at Target for $2 each and they’re still going strong on our second child – which as far as I can figure has saved us about $300-500 per child. (That would be buying wipes on sale, with coupons). If you buy diapers from a place like Babyworks.com, who offers a 30 day money back guarantee used or unused, no questions asked, you are completely risk free and only are out the shipping if you do not live locally and can take things back in person. You can also buy diapers on Craigslist, and this is also a good way to resell the ones you have after your kids are done with them!!! There are also tons of free patterns online for making your own if you sew!
We occasionally use disposables for vacations, and also bought a bunch to take with us to Ethiopia when we traveled to pick up our newly adopted daughter. I found Craigslist was a GREAT place to pick up good deals on packages that maybe had one or two diapers missing. I’ve also picked up disposables at garage sales (full pack of Huggies for $0.25!!!) and thrift stores!
Instead of stockpiling disposable diapers… I recommend finding a good, one size reusable diapering system. The new Flip system runs between $200-300 and will get you through potty learning… and chances are, it will still be good enough to use with a bit of replenishment for the next baby. Even if you get killer deals on disposables, say $10/wk (assuming $5/pk, two packs a week), you are still looking at $520 in the first 12 months. Since most disposable diaper babies aren’t trained until age 3, that’s a lot of wasted cash! With a simple diaper system (like Flip, which all my friends are adoring, I don’t have one in diapers now), it’s easy enough to toss a bucket of diapers and covers in the wash every 2-3 days (and not even noticeably more work!). This system also has disposable insert options for traveling, etc… although they aren’t cheap.
I just wanted to agree with those who mentioned not to buy to many newborn diapers. When my son was born, he didn’t fit newborn size at all and went straight to a 1. Luckily I had only 1 bag of newborn size in my stockpile that I gave to an expecting friend.
I have 4 kiddos, 3 of which are in diapers. I don’t mean to brag, but I think I have diaper savings down to a pretty good science. I am an unashamed Huggies Momma. I have found, (based upon my store availability) that Rite Aid is the best place for diaper savings. They often have Huggies on sale for $8.99, and they offer one or 2 single check rebates of $1 off, per month. In addition, sometimes (like this month) they sweeten the pot with promotional offers. The one they have going right now is when you buy 5 packs of diapers, they give you a coupon for 1 free pack. In addition, they have wipes on sale BOGO at least once a month, usually. If that weren’t enough, Rite Aid offers store coupons all the time, including $5/$25 purchase coupons. Rite Aid also offers long-term savings with their new Wellness+ Rewards. Once you buy $1000 worth of products, the rest of your purchases for the whole year are 20% off the top. Here is the breakdown for a trip I plan to take this Friday. I will buy: 4 boxes of wipes @ 2/$5. I will buy 5 bags of size five diapers (27 ct) @ $8.99/ea. (getting 1 bag free). I will use a $5/25 purchase coupon that I received for signing up for Wellness+. I will also use (2) huggies wipes $2/2 coupons from coupons.com. Then I will use (5)- $3/1 coupons (all printables). Then after all of that, I will enter my receipt info into the Single Check Rebate offer page from Rite Aid’s website, to save another dollar. SOOO, I will get 6 bags of diapers
(162 diapers), plus 4 boxes of wipes– for $28.95 plus tax, and I will have accumulated $71.45 toward my $1000 Wellness Plus goal for the year. (remember it’s based on the VALUE of what you purchased– not what you actually SPENT) Not too shabby! I have heard women say that they don’t buy Huggies or Pampers because they can only afford the store brand. Couponing, I pay 14-18 cents per diaper– on a regular basis. Show me a store brand that cheap, and I’ll buy it!
I’m due with baby #5 tomorrow, so you know I’ve already been stocking up! My babies have all been over 8 lbs, so I didn’t buy any newborns (the hospital usually sends you home with some which tides us over till the size ones).
I have 7 packs of size 1, 12 packs of size 2, and 7 packs of size 3. (I’m still using size 4 for my current youngest.)
Another suggestion–keep your receipts because many places will let you even-exchange a package for a different size (don’t return it, ask to exchange it since the price is the same for different sizes).
I have never had a problem exchanging diapers (when the size is wrong) at a store, regardless of where I bought them from. Because all the same brand diapers are generally the same price, even months later without a receipts, stores have always swapped them out for me.
My kids were average size 6 and 7 lbs but they grew and gained weight super fast so they both only wore newborn size diapers for 2 weeks. They were also nursed which meant really runny, frequent bm’s so you will have to consider that as well. We definitely went through at least 10 diapers/day for a few months. With my daughter I like Pampers better but with my son I only liked Huggies Supreme (they were the only ones I could get snug enough and absorbant enough up front).
Maria Miller says
Maybe this has already been said, but some stores will let you return or exchange diapers for a different size. I believe this is true with Walmart.
Stacy C says
I highly suggest this method instead of stockpiling diapers.
Get an envelope, label it diaper fund. Each week put in a contribution of $5 – $10. By the time the baby is born you will have a nice amount of $ for diapers for your child.
When you know what kind of diaper works for your baby. Then collect coupons and go on a stockpile frenzy.
When my son was born, I had a package of Pampers and Huggies and sure enough the Huggies caused a major rash. We are a Pampers family due to sensitive skin. Thankfully we did not waste that much $.
Wipes too… senitive skin, gentle we still use at 2 1/2 years old.
One word of advice if you will stockpile: There seems to be very little difference between size 1 and size 2 – I think only about 4-5 lbs difference at the higher end of the weight range for most brands. My daughter went almost directly from size 1 to 3, only wearing size 2 for maybe a couple of weeks. Costco brand diapers (and perhaps some other brands) combine size 1 and 2 calling their smallest size 1-2.
I never bothered buying newborn size diapers. My daughter was 9 lbs at birth and I doubt she would have fit in them past her first week of life, and while my son was smaller (7 lbs. 9 ozs), I would rather use diapers that are slightly too big than risk diapers that are too small.
If this is your first baby and you are having a shower, you may also get diapers as gifts (probably in sizes newborn or 1) so keep that in mind. You may only need to find one large box of size 1 diapers at a really killer deal (like the suggested $5 a box ceiling) – that’s all I would buy in size 1. I wouldn’t go crazy unless the diapers are free.
Like Laura Martin’s kids, my daughter was also in size 3 forever. My son hasn’t gotten to size 3 yet. He’s almost 10 weeks old. As of last Friday he weighted 10 lbs. 12 ozs. I’m still using size 1. I’m hoping I can use the remaining 30 size 1 diapers I have. I don’t plan on buying any more size 1 diapers. I have 1 large box of size 2 (like over 200), and 1 smaller box. Based on my experience with my daughter I hope I don’t have too many size 2 diapers.
I will only buy diapers right now if they are a super deal (like nearly free or under $5 for the largest box) and I will buy size 3. I have also requested sample diapers in size 3, which seems to be the smallest size samples offered anyway.
Buying size 1 diapers rather than newborn size is the smart way to go. Most baby will be in size 1 quickly. Newborn size and size 1 overlap.
Laura Martin says
I stockpiled mostly on size 3 diapers… all 5 of my babies were in them FOREVER!!!!! 🙂 In fact.. we never really had the need to move on to size 4’s. I had larger babies.. didn’t wear any newborn.. size ones for about 1 month, size 2 for only about 1-2 months.. and then size 3 FOREVER!! 🙂
I suggest cloth diapers, but of disposables, target brand is best when the baby is a big bigger (Pampers Swaddlers are best for newborns). Babies tend to stay in size 3 and 4 the longest. The sizing on diaper packages are overestimates. Ex: it’ll say 22-30 lbs, but if your child is 28 lbs you should go ahead and move to the next size up or you’ll have lots of leaks.
Corrina at Eternity On A Budet says
I’m one of those few who had a baby born into size 1. My daughter was 12lbs at birth. Wore size 1 for 2 weeks, then wore size 2 for a while. She is now in size 3, wears size 4 at night (she pees a lot and still leaks through size 4 Pampers if we don’t change her during the night). My son was 10lbs at birth and only wore newborns for about a week (we only used what the hospital gave us) and size 1 for 3 weeks. He was in size 2 for almost a year. Then he almost skipped over size 3.
We buy what’s on sale, and we stockpile during those sales too. We use store brand during the daytime and Huggies/Pampers at night.
I got the following from a Costco Household Almanac:
Size 1/2 Average usage: 921 diapers
Size 3 Average usage: 1271 diapers
size 4 Average usage: 1401 diapers
size 5 Average usage: 716 diapers
I think it’s a good starting point when wanting to stockpile. I know I birth giant babies, so I adjust accordingly.
I hope this helps =)
I am partial to Huggies, although preferred Pampers Swaddlers when my son was in the newborn size. They’re just so soft! I find that less than 10 cents per diaper is a really good price.
My mom was kind enough to buy one package of diapers and wipes each month of my pregnancy per child with each pregnancey. Very nice when I had twins! I also signed up for coupons at every available opportunity.
Also, don’t forget about yourself. Be sure to stock up on feminine products for all stages. Will you nurse? You may want nursing pads (be sure to keep the receipt on these, just in case). Washable nursing pads are more economical, but sometimes you just want to be able to ditch them, so some disposable are nice, too.
Congrats and best wishes!
We just had baby #6 in Feb. He weighed in at 8 # 14oz, but he was long and skinny! I only used Huggies Snugglers because he seemed to go quite a bit. The back of the diaper has a nice flap to prevent leakage. I compared reg. Huggies to their Snugglers and they really worked for me.
This is what I used so far:
3 small pkgs of newborns,
3 small pkgs. of size 1 and 1 large box
6 small pkgs. of size 2 and 2 large boxes
1 large box of size 3 because I ran out of size 2
I have on hand 10 small pkgs size 3 and 4 large boxes so far of size 3 because they seem to be in these forever! PLUS you can exchange the unopened pkgs. The leftovers I made Diaper Cakes for my friends.
Just wanted to throw in this idea, when my baby shower was being planned by my sister, I suggested to do a raffle, by bringing in a pack of diapers you get a ticket to enter to win a prize (making it of course optional) The prize being a set of tickets to a baseball game. Doesn’t necessarily have to be tickets to a game, can also do a gift card from a store or what not. We were lucky enough to have a sister-in-law who gets free tickets from time to time from her job. Also being in a desperate time then, a lot of our guest participated and we got a bunch of diapers ranging from newborn to 2 months old. I would say we got about 20 packs or so that lasted for the first few months. And plus being that my daughter was born with a congenital heart disease she was in the hospital for the first couple of months, so we sure did have to make a few trips to the store which wasn’t a problem. Just thought I shared this with new moms. It was a fun game to include for the baby shower. But again we made it optional and did mention it in the invitation.
Liz G says
Dont’ forgt to check Craigslist for diapers! I got 12 jumbos of size 1 Walgreens diapers for $30-ish from a lady who did not need them, (for very sad reasons). Many times, moms in my area will sell their extra diapers on craigslist. I often see a lot for sale in the size 1 and 2 range. It’s also something to keep in mind if your baby outgrows a size and you are stuck with several packs. You won’t get full retail for them, because obviously people want a deal! But you’d get some of your money back.
Another option is to try to exchange any extra diapers at the store for the size you need. Sometimes the stores are pretty friendly about that.
We cloth diaper, which is a great money-saver and makes it easy to be prepared in advance! We bought 24 diapers before our first was born, and for the first couple of weeks (with the umbilical cord and all) we used disposables that we were given by the hospital and on two diaper cakes. I’m figuring out the best way to supplement our cloth diaper stash at a low cost to have enough for baby #2 soon, but I may actually be making some simple ones for around home for $6-8 apiece (vs. the $17-18 for the nicer, manufactured ones — which are absolutely worth the price, but we anticipate child #1 will potty train within the next 6 months so we wouldn’t get our money’s worth buying more).
I loved Pampers Swaddlers for my first born, so I stocked up when 2nd baby was on the way….turns out she was allergic to Pampers! For that reason I will not stockpile again. There are also good deals on diapers.
Just a thought for everyone who was talking about “overstock”. I’ve heard, and seen people selling un-opened packages at their garage sales. Potentially, if you snagged a really good deal…. you could make money on your overstock to pay for the diapers you really like/want/need.
I didn’t read all 100+ replies, so someone may have already mentioned this….the Babies R Us brand of diapers, Especially for Baby, runs a full size smaller than all other brands we’ve used.
Kathy S says
I found that we never used that many newborns. My babies (girls and boy, both “early” and late”) didn’t even stay in size 1’s too long. 1/2 are a great size and then my kids got stuck at 3 and 4… so when in doubt, and there’s a good sale, but a 3 or 4. If you save receipts, you might be able to exchange the smaller sizes for larger ones if you have too many. So keep the receipts for diapers in a special place –maybe even in an envelope in the baby’s dresser drawer. Just make sure of the store’s policy. One year I got a great deal at Babies R Us on Black Friday — $10 for a BOX — we bought 15 boxes because we had 2 in diapers and one on the way. I went to exchange them in February, and found out their policy is 90 days AND with a receipt. I went on day 91! 🙁 At least I had the bigger size (I could have had more diapers if I was allowed to exchange for a smaller) and my daughter just wore a little bit bigger until she grew out of them!
Kathy S says
Also remember that if there are “great deals” now… there will be great deals LATER! Sometimes I think I have money sitting on the shelf that was a SUPER deal, but was in excess, so not necessarily the best (unless it was free!).
shannon p says
The stores will let you exchange unopened packages of diapers so if you have 2 packs that he has outgrown just exchange them for bigger ones, no problem!
Julie Orr says
We have 2 sons (a 3 year old and a 1 year old). We were blessed by our church family with wonderful baby showers that stocked us up on the smaller sized diapers – newborn to Size 2. Our entire laundry room was stacked with diapers. By about the 3 month mark for both boys, we were ready to be in Size 3 diapers. If you are going to stock up on a specific size, I would highly recommend Size 3. My first son, never outgrew Size 3. He wore them from the time he was about 3 months until he was potty trained at 2 1/2 yo. My second son just turned 1 the first part of April and he is still in Size 3 as well. I know that all children are different, but from talking with a bunch of other parents, they seem to all have the same story – Size 3 seems to be worn for the longest amount of time. When my second son moved into Size 3, we still had TONS of smaller sized diapers. We filled 3 huge trash bags full and took them all to Walmart. We didn’t have receipts from any of them and they were all different brands. Walmart took them all and gave us a gift card for like $187. Talk about a pretty sweet deal! As far as brands that we like… we really liked Pampers swaddlers for the small sizes – newborn, and Size 1. Starting at size 2 and 3, we really like Huggies. If you live near a CVS – take advantage of their deals. You can get really cheap diapers there. Just this past week, I bought 6 jumbo packs and paid $20. Can’t beat that! Hope everything goes well for you! Enjoy being a mommy – it’s the most wonderful thing in the world!!!
Thanks for all the advice. Baby #1 is due in less than 5 weeks, and I have been stockpiling, but I have always wondered what the best way to do this is.
I have been buying a few size 2-3 diapers lately because I can get the best deals with my coupons on those. I think I will continue doing that because I probably already have enough Newborn and size 1:)
Size N are more expensive than size 1, so as long as your baby is not tiny use #1 instead. Also huggies little snugglers have a poop catcher in the back of the diaper for the up the back accidents. That is why i stock pile huggies and use them when we are out. my sons were too big for size N when they were born and used #1 for only a month, and #2 for 2 months. Also different brands and sizes are a little different. Little snugglers huggies are smaller than snug and dry huggies and pampers swaddlers. And you might want to use different types of diapers on you baby as they get bigger and eat different. After they start more solid poops, the poop catcher thing is less important.
Another moneysaver is to consider cloth diapers. The average baby goes through $800+ in disposables PER YEAR. With cloth, for the very nicest, you would spend around $600 for your baby from birth to potty training, and you can use them on ALL your children. Great info at http://www.clothdiaperblog.com. I use Rumparooz one size pocket diapers.
The hospital will send you home with some diapers as well. They usually keep your “baby cart” of supplies full so as you deplete them, they’ll refill. So use those diapers and whatever you have left in your cart at the end of your stay, take home. I don’t think they can give those to other babies. All that stuff is yours actually.
I make big babies. My husband and I are fairly average (I’m 5’7″ and he’s 5’10”) but our first daughter was 8 lbs 13 oz. I’m due to have another baby really any day now (and don’t have any stockpiled diapers yet!). I’m only going to buy one jumbo pack of New born diapers and the rest size 1.
It’s also not like babies switch from size N one day & size 1 the next you can sort of stretch things if there aren’t a ton of extras. I know I never ended up with any extra diapers.
Congratulations to all the new moms out there! Just reading about doing 200-250 diaper changes in the first few weeks is an exhausting thought! Even if Dad or Grandma helps out, taking care of Baby is a big job! It is so wise that you are stockpiling while you can. Many blessings!
Lindsey Swinborne says
I don’t think you should buy any newborn diapers Margaret! Usually a few people will give you packages of them and it’s been my experience that my babies grow out of them in a week. I always buy gals size 2 diapers at showers because my babies were in newborn diapers for 1 week, size one diapers for 1-2 months, and size 2 diapers for 6 or more months.
Also, something that should definitely be mentioned is that Walmart will exchange any package of unopened diapers for the next size up. So, when I got overwhelmed with size 1 diapers at my first child’s shower, I took them in, without a receipt, and Walmart will give you the same brand of diaper in a larger size. So, this is a great option for moms who have over-prepared or been given too many of one size.
We never needed Newborn diapers. They seems to stay in Size 2’s and 3’s (and maybe 4’s) the longest. Doesn’t help much for stockpiling the early days.
I stockpiled a little , but not a huge amount. My son was born at 8 pounds, so he could jump right into size 1 diapers. I didn’t stock up on any Newborn size, since if you have a bigger baby (like me) they won’t fit or be worth it. I did receive a couple of packs as a gift when my son was born and did use one pack, but only really to try them out. I still have the second pack. My son was in size 1 for a couple months, then into size 2 for a while. He has been in size 3 for a long time!
It does depend on your baby’s body, too. If they have chubby legs or stomachs they might move up sizes faster, since the sizes do overlap weights for that reason.
I also used many different brands – Huggies (every style), Pampers (every style), Luvs, Parent’s Choice, Whisper Soft, Nature’s Own, Fisher Price, and a couple others. My son didn’t have a reaction to any of the diapers, but we found that the Luvs and Fisher Price leaked. (Although my friend only uses Luvs!)
I would recommend maybe stocking my on one or two of each brand in size 1 and 2 and maybe a package of NB (your doctor can even give you a guess of how big your baby will be – to see if NB will even be needed).
That way you can see what you like and go from there.
Karen Rucker says
I’m just skimming the comments, so someone may have already written this, but KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! Most stores will let you exchange one pack of diapers for another of the same brand in a different size if they all cost the same. You can even exchange one brand for another or just return them for the cash IF you have the receipts to show that you bought them at that store. A diaper fund is a great idea, but it may not allow you to get the most for your money if the coupons and sales aren’t as good at a later date. Saving the receipt will allow you to shop the deals now and still be able to get your money back if you need later.
Keep in mind that you will probably receive diapers as gifts. I didn’t have to buy diapers for about 2 months because people were so gracious with giving me diapers. I used that time to test out different brands (since I was given different brands). It would also be a good time to put money toward a diaper fund, or stockpile for the next few months.
personally i wouldn’t stock up a lot on diapers ahead of time. I would do what one person suggested, putting the money away each week while pregnant instead of actually buying the diapers.
My son was a Pampers boy and my daughter was a Huggies girl. So, what works for one kid may not work for the other. Huggies run smaller than Pampers so it saved me money with DS to buy Pampers for him since he was a BIG baby and with the “smaller size” i could get more diapers per pack. DD, on the other hand, had HUGE issues with Pampers leaking especially at night but Huggies were great!
http://www.babycheapskate.com each week tells the diaper bargains that are out there and other baby items. That is the website I used when the kids were younger to save myself time and money.
Andrea Q says
I really, really like the idea of making a diaper fund instead of stockpiling. I have four children with very different shapes. Some diapers just don’t work for some babies. We actually used the Costco storebrand the most.
I honestly never bought more than two packages of diapers ahead. Instead of purchasing a ton of diapers that might not work out, I built up a stockpile of toiletries, mama pads and household items I knew we’d need. I also worked on filling our freezer as cheaply as possible before each baby arrived. Making healthy meals for our family was always a lot more stressful for me than buying diapers!
One thing I would suggest is that if you find out through your ultrasound that the baby is registering small or large, it will help you know how many of the smaller sizes to get. My son was 5lbs when we left the hospital ( I was 40 weeks when I had him) and due to his small size I ended up spending over a $100 for two months of preemie diapers. Then we were in newborn diapers for another 2 1/2 months before we got to go to size one. Now at 2 he wears size 4. Also he was extremely allergic to any generic brand diapers and luvs, I only could use pampers and huggies for him. I would caution to be careful buying cheaper brand diapers if you are unsure about allergic reactions.
I would suggest stockpilling a couple in each of the smaller sizes if you don’t want to get alot. If you wanted to get more if you have extras you can store them or donate them. I always store the extra diapers in rubbermaid tubs so they are out of the way.
I would also suggest stockpiling on the baby shampoo, wash, diaper cream, laundry detergent, personal hygiene items for you and those in your house. This helped as I didn’t have to shop much after I got home from the hospital and could spend more time with my baby.
LJ's Mom says
When I was pregnant for my shower’s I received every diaper brand under the sun. My daughter broke out with most “store brand” diapers. Target did alright, but seemed to leak. Pampers and Huggies are the best. But I am a little afraid to use the Pampers with the DryMax technology – but we love Huggies! They do the job, unless she just uses it too much too fast then they will leak. And we honestly cannot complain with all the coupons they always have available! We have almost a 2 month supply right now, at least!
Rebekah Walker says
I definitely stock up on diapers, and try not to spend more than $6/pack. I think I have close to ten packages of diapers, maybe more, in the closet right now!
I haven’t really paid enough attention to know how many of each size, but my boys went through all the sizes pretty quickly, until size three. They seem to stick to three’s for quite awhile.
For newborns, I love Pampers Swaddlers!! That is what our hospital uses and I have found them to be quite reliable for those first weeks.
Something to keep in mind is that you can go exchange diapers for a different size. I have found that CVS is especially good about this. As long as you are exchanging brand for brand, it is an even exchange and they don’t usually give me any problems. I have had a few dirty looks trying to do this at Walmart and Walgreens, so I stick to CVS now. They are wonderful about working with me. The diapers I take in are able to be sold, so the store is not losing out. If I have an open package, I usually pass it on to another mother who can use them…it’s a great way to bless others!!
Pamela O. says
Answer: Cloth Diapers. I just had my third baby about 5 months ago and started using cloth diapers with her when she was about 3 months old (after the disposables I had been given ran out). I wish I would have started using cloth on my first child, talk about SAVING money! You can end up spending around $1000-$1500 per child from birth to potty training. Invest in One-size cloth diapers that will grow with your child and you could spend a total of $400. You can use them on multiple kids and even resale them on Craigslist to make some money back. You are not only saving money but major amounts of waste in the landfills. GroVia cloth diapers are all the rage right now and are so easy for someone new to the world of cloth. Seriously, check it out, these are not like the diapers of yesteryears!
I printed out a TON of huggies coupons! I work at kmart and I did a huge layaway. The diapers there are 9.99 and then I get $1 off per pack for my discount and then I used all the $3 off coupons. I ended up Putting 12 packs of diapers on layaway, 6 boxes of wipes and 3 refills. I have a 17 month old and a baby due in august. It cost $5 to do the layaway but i figured this way I can use all my coupons without having to pay all the money up front and they wont expire. I have everyone I know printing me coupons so I will probably do about 2 or 3 more layaways =) Happy diaper buying!
I have three babies and I have NEVER used newborn diapers. They are just way too small for my babies. The last baby went straight into size 2 diapers at birth (born 12lbs). My first was in size 1 diapers for a month and the second was in size one diapers for a week. I personaly wouldn’t get newborn diapers mostly likely the hospital will send you home with some. And only a couple packs of size 1 and 2 diapers. All of my kids were in size 3 by 4 months of age and stayed in them for a while. It all depends on what kind of babies you have. My babies are born on the bigger size (over 8lbs). We always take back newborn clothes as well and exchange it for 0-3 months or 3-6 month clothing.
I have three babies and I have NEVER used newborn diapers. They are just way too small for my babies. The last baby went straight into size 2 diapers at birth.
I’m not sure what everyone said as my 1.5 year old hit my keyboad and I lost my place… but I’m on baby #4 now and have about 40 packs on hand. Rite Aid and Huggies had some great match ups last month and the jumbo packs came out to just under $2 per pack when all promos were stacked. With my two now potty trained children they were both in size 3 when we switched to pull ups and my 1.5 year old is in sz 3 now – so I’ve purchased 5 packs NB, 8 sz 1, 8 sz 2 and about 20 sz 3 – and I figure we go through about 45 packs of diapers/year/child so I’ll continue to buy sz 3 as the sales line up.
As for brands I honestly prefer Pampers for NB and sz 1, but HATE them when they start crawling – but $2/pack for Huggies Swadlers/Movers vs a best price of $6 for Pampers I’ll use the slightly stiffer yet still absorbent Huggies!
rachel vaughn says
for saving money and many other great things, we do a combo of cloth and elimination communication. we all love it. definitely worth considering.
We were given a lot of diapers for my shower with my second son. We ended up with too many of some of the sizes, but I was able to exchange them for the bigger size at Target and Kroger without a receipt. So, don’t worry if you stock up a little too much. 🙂
I was just about to suggest the same thing as Angela (#86). We’ve had to exchange diapers before, due to size changes. As far as what brand your baby can tolerate, some places will take them back with the receipt and let you have a store credit. All they are going to do is send it back to the manufacture for credit as well. If your baby is intolerant to a certain brand, I would just try to return them, even opened. What will it hurt?
Michelle M says
I had that “big baby” that never wore newborn anything (11lbs 6oz and 23″), no I didn’t have G.D.
So my diaper stockpile didn’t start out so well. My big guy wore size 1 diapers (and 0-3M clothes) for 2 weeks and size 2 diapers (and 3-6M clothes) for 3 weeks.
As you can imagine I did alot of exchanging of diapers (and clothes). Target has the worst return/exchange policy. No receipt you are out of luck, even if you are just exchanging for a larger size (or at least that was what I ran into at my Target store). Also my son couldn’t wear pampers or luv’s (made by pampers) anything. If they even brushed his arm he would get a blistery rash (and pampers swaddlers were the baby diapers everyone got as presents for us).
I totally understand the logic of stockpiling at a good price and if you have stores that are friendly to exchanging it is a wonderful idea. But if you are surrounded by stores that don’t like to process returns or exchanges then just saving the money is a great idea (have a diaper fund, like a x-mas club account). Diaper deals come around frequently. Especially if you are flexible to brands (ie no skin allergies).
I’m partial to huggies, they worked best on all three of my kids. Huggies overnights are the only thing that makes it thru the night without leaking once they start sleeping in our house.
If you do decide to stockpile tape the receipt to each pack of diapers (or keep some sort of file for them). Then if/when you have to exchange life will be much easier. I still tape the receipts right to the package until I’m physically opening it. It never amazes me how fast a growth spurt can happen (and I’m on my third kid).
Just keep your receipts. Tape them to the package so you don’t have to worry about losing the receipt.
we did wear size 3 for quite a while! Size 4 hardly at all. I ditto (and same goes for all my friends) what was said about Pampers. When my little one was little, he could only wear Pampers because the others leaked so badly (we tried many multiple brands) As he got older, I think the Huggies actually fit better and generally he can wear any brand. This has also been true for many of my friends.
christina taylor says
I have 3 kiddos. First baby was big! No newborns for him, and could only wear pampers. Second and third were tiny (7lb), and huggies worked for them. I tended to stick with brand due to good coupons, but I will say for the first baby you will go through more diapers than later babies. When it is just you and one baby, you watch everything they do and react very quickly, so you change their diapers more frequently. Subsequent babies share their mama’s time with older children, so have wetter diapers.
I found that the store brand/ less expensive diapers do leak with chubby legs, but during the day if you are changing frequently, not too big a deal.
I do wish I had cloth diapered from the beginning, but my only excuse is I am way crunchier now than I every fathomed I would be.
Bottom line, get some good deals in multiple sizes, in multiple brands for the earlier months when things are still hectic. Then once you figure out yo out your favorite brand, continue to buy that one once your baby is born. If you are the one buying the packages, you will know where they come from (keep piles for each store or use sticky notes), and then you can exchange if needed. Keep it simple, don’t stress about the diapers.
god bless your pregnancy and your baby
I agree with the amount of diapers listed. Another fun way to get rid of extras are diaper cakes for baby shower presents. All of my friends and I agree that Pampers Swaddlers are the BEST for newborn and size 1, after that we don’t necessarily agree. I also find that my kids stay in size 2 until about 6 months and size 3 for a long time. My friend’s 18 month old is still in size 3. It just depends on how much they weigh and how big around they are. So if you’re really going to stock pile, sizes 2 and 3 are good ones to go for.
Cloth diapers! No stockpiling needed…:)
I cloth diaper, so I really can’t give you much input on how many disposables you would need, but I would be hesitant to buy a closetful of any one brand of diapers, you might end up with diaper sensitivities to your chosen brand. If you want to use cloth, I have found 3 dozen to be plenty, now that my kiddo is a year old I only wash diapers once a week! Even in the early days, I think I washed every 3-4 days, so very manageable for me.
HEY I AM STOCKPILING RIGHT NOW FOR BABY #3 THE SECOND TIME AROUND IT CROSSED MY MIND BUT PROBABLY HAD 2-3 PACKAGES..I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAD GOOD DEALS COMING TO ME BUT YOU DONT WANT TO BE RUNNING AROUND TO GET THE DEALS? RIGHT? SO THIS TIME I AM STOCKPILING FOR AT LEAST 3-4 MONTHS WORTH OF DIAPERS..ONLY 3 NEWBORN PACKAGES FOR ME..I UASUALLY GET SOME SAMPLES AND MAYBE A PACKAGE FROM THE HOSPITAL..SO I THINK ITS GOING TO BE ENOUGH…BUT I WOULD SUGGEST NOT TO STOP THERE.. DO IT IF YOU CAN WITH BABY FORMULA,BABY POWDER,BABY LOTION, BABY WASH,QTIPS, COTTONBALLS, ALCOHOL AND DIAPER RASH CREAM!..BUT IF YOU CAN ALSO TRY TO STOCKPILE WITH THE ESSENTIALS SO YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO ADAPT TO NEW BABY AND YOURSELF! SO AT LEAST STOCK UP ON THE ESSENTIALS LIKE TOILET PAPER,PADS! (WE KNOW WE ARE GOING TO NEED LOTS OF THOSE THE FIRST MONTH), SHAMPOO ,SOAP,DETERGENT,PAPER TOWEL, ETC ALSO SOME FOOD ITEMS WOULD BE NICE!HOPE THIS HELPS!
I think Pampers swaddlers are the BEST diapers out there for newborns (I wish they came in bigger sizes). With my first I did not stockpile at all until he was in size 3s. It was just so hard to guess what size he would be in when. I would suggest having a few packs of newborn diapers, a few packs of size 1s, several 1-2s, several 2s and several 2-3s. That is what I am planning for my next baby. Once my baby hit size 3, it was so much easier to stockpile.
JL Gosey says
I was confused by the $5 per pack also, but after reading the comments I think I understand what size pack you meant. It seems like each diaper company has a different way of labeling their diapers, so to compare apples to apples, I figure the price per diaper. I have a 2.5 yr old in size 5, and I don’t buy diapers unless they are .24/diaper or less and I have a 4 month old in size 3 and I don’t buy them unless I can find them for .18/diaper or less (the full price at Sams). I have a few brands that I know work for him, and then just look for a deal that is cheaper than Sams. Honestly, most of the Huggies deals are still more expensive than Sams when you look at cost per diaper, but I keep the coupons in case we run out in the middle of the week and I have to stop at the grocery store for diapers.
My 2.5 yr old was leaking out of his size 5s almost every night, so we bought a pack of size 6 and just use them at night since they are more expensive per diaper, and we use the 5s during the day.
I don’t think I would do much stock piling before the baby comes, I would just have a couple of size 1s on hand, and then you can buy more once you see how big the baby is, and how sensitive his or her skin is. My boys were both large and skipped the newborn size and basically skipped size 2. With boy #2 we got so many diapers as gifts that we didn’t buy any diapers until he was 3.5 months old.
@JL Gosey, it’s funny that you say you’ll only pay .24 or less for size 5 when I think that is expensive! by combining store sales and great coupons (likes the Huggies $3/1 that are out), I will pay less than $4 for a jumbo which is .17 for size 6 for my 2.5 year old or .13 for size 4 for my 1 year old.
I am a firm believer in stockpiling diapers before baby is born (cloth or sposies) and by being prepared to exchange or return if necessary. I have also sold extra packs on CraigsList for twice what I paid for them. I have not paid full price for diapers ever and will continue to stockpile for my girls.
I think a lot of great advice has been given thus far. I would just like to pop in a little concern. To those that are stockpiling…I would be hesitant to stockpile Pampers at the present time. If you have please please please keep your reciepts and watch your little ones carefully in them.
I don’t want to start a debate about the current problem with them, I can only say what happened with us. Pampers were the ONLY brand we ever used with both of our kids until this past week. My daughter is recovering from a chemical burn right now, that was caused by her diapers.
@Brynn, I think that is what happened to my baby! When she was newborn, we used the Pampers swaddlers that the hospital gave us, but not only did she leak through them constantly (even worse than the parent’s choice brand) but she got this really horrible burn like rash. It took over a week for us to get it to go away, she was miserable and crying the whole time and it looked like somebody had set her bottom on fire. If what happened to my baby is what happened to yours, you have my sympathy 🙁
Stephanie Smith says
@Brynn, Just wanted to say that I have heard of this happening to lots a little ones, but my little guy has been in Pampers since birth. He is 19 months old now, and has been in the new Dry Max Pampers for two months, with NO problems at all.
I am not sure if it was a ‘bad batch’ of diapers or if it is just that some babies are more sensitive to the new formula that Pampers are using now. Either way, just wanted to state that not all babies are experiencing this reaction, so don’t let it detur anyone from purchasing them! I LOVE PAMPERS! And they are the only diapers I didn’t have problems with!
But with ANY diaper purchases, especially before birth, KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! Unfortunately diapers aren’t a ‘one size fits all’ item, and all babies are different!
Like you say, every baby is different and grows at their own rate. For my first baby, I bought one package of newborn diapers, possibly for my second born as well, because I was naive. By my third baby, I skipped the newborn size all-together, even though my baby was only 7 lbs. 3 oz. at birth. One of the biggest things I have learned is that I would rather have my baby in a diaper that was slightly too big, than be forcing them into one that was too small, just because I had to use them up. As soon as my babies start blowing out of their diapers, it is time to move up a size, irregardless of their weight and the weight listed on the package. Blowouts are a sure sign that the diapers are getting too small. Moving up a size seems to eliminate that problem for me.
We had our first baby 7 months ago and we didn’t stockpile enough! You are smart to stockpile several months ahead of time before pregnancy brain gets a firm hold on you : ) Anyhow, our daughter was 8 lbs, 9 oz at birth and we only used 2 packs of newborns. Size 1 she was in the longest (this seems to be a theme with our family and friends). I’d say stockpile the most of those. Just for brand input — we used all kinds and Pampers seemed the best (Baby Dry is good for after size 1). Huggies left the liquid gel balls all over baby even if she was changed every hour. Best wishes!
I HIGHLY suggest stockpiling! I have 2 girls and Pampers or Huggies work best! They just fit well and don’t leak. I use less diapers per day with these brands than any other brand. I have tried them all! So in the end they are about the same price, or CHEAPER if you get them with a good sale and coupons!!
I didn’t read through all the comments so I apologize in advance if these were things already said. IMO, you don’t need many newborn diapers stockpiled at all unless you are expecting a very small baby based on family history. The size ones were always very easy to fold over the front to help fit better the first few weeks. And I would rather them be in a bigger diaper then smaller to avoid the risk of leaks. 🙂
Also, as you buy, tape all the receipts to the appropriate packs of diapers. If you really end up in a pinch, most stores seem willing to exchange for a different size instead of you just being out of money.
Almost any store will exchange diapers straight across for a different size. My one year old and 3 year old (at night only) have been in size 4 Huggies for a long time. I’ve needed that size by FAR more than any other.
I stockpiled, and man, was it worth it! I had no clue what I was doing, and bought 10 packages of newborn diapers. My friends (after I’d bought them, of course, told me that there was no way I’d use that many. Turns out my little one, was, well, little, and he needed newborn diapers for the first 6-7 weeks! I ended up needing to buy more! This was by the far the smartest thing we did. I used a ton of the $5 off Huggies coupons they issued last year in the spring, and we went to town at Walgreens and CVS whenever they had sales. One day I bought 12 packages of Huggies for $0.98 each! (after the Caregivers Marketplace rebate). So… I advise strongly to stockpile. Since this is your first, you may have another, and any unused diapers will be used in the future.
Charlene does the same thing I do for my friends/family when I throw a shower. I always throw a raffle for everyone that brings diapers. But I request Huggies. I personally think they are the best, I just don’t bother with store brands. And our Walmart is pretty good at accepting returns/exchanges. Even without receipts. So, if you get the diapers from Walmart you should be able to return them if you have too many.
I was lucky, my work had a diaper shower for me so I got all kinds of diapers in all kinds of sizes. My little guy used size 1 for a very short time and I think we went through 3-6 big boxes size 2 6-10 big boxes size 3 he is still wearing. We had parents choice/pampers/Luvs and Seventh Generation (i really liked these ones) but overall, I have been happy with Luvs. I seriously didn’t buy diapers for almost 6 months. I had cloth diapers but he was not allergic and he outgrew them before I got to use them.
My son weighed a whopping 10 lbs 7 oz! (And no, I’m not overweight nor is he, and no, I did not have GD…this is just what runs in my family!)
Anyhow, he was in size 1’s AT THE HOSPITAL. We never used a single newborn size! When it came to my daughter, I worried more about stockpiling the larger sizes (2-4). We received newborn diapers at the hospital and as gifts. We never had to buy a newborn pack of diapers for her, either.
Whatever you do…enjoy!! And CONGRATS!
Hmm… I see lots of people talking about blow-outs and diapers not holding the amount of pee (from breastfed babies), etc. My (first) baby is 10 weeks, and we’ve never had a blow-out. She’s only leaked a tiny bit (poop) 3-4 times. She’s only had the start of a rash once, and that was when we were driving 2 hrs and she pooped soon after we got on the road.
I stockpiled NB, 1’s and 2’s before she was born, and we got quite a few NB and 1’s as gifts. I think we went through maybe 6 packs (mostly jumbo) of NB, changing her diaper after each feeding, about 9xday. The day after I paid full price for another pack NB, I realized she’d grown out of them. So I’m going to return them.
I am using any brand I get for cheap (Huggies Supreme, Huggies Snug & Dry, Target, Pampers, Luvs, Kirkland are all brands I’ve used), and so far the only brand I didn’t like was Walgreens (a gift) b/c the velcro on the tabs wasn’t glued on. I put a little Desitin on her bottom EVERY diaper… I don’t know if this is why she hasn’t had any rashes, or because I almost always changer her as soon as she poops, or if she just isn’t a rashy kinda girl 🙂
I LOVE disposables. I thought I was going to cloth diaper. Our income fluxuates and I didn’t think we could afford to regularly shell out $ for disposables. Yes, I could consider it a “waste of my money” and “bad for the landfills”… I’m a frugal girl who does not like to throw away money. But, this is one (of a very few) area where I allow myself the luxury of not having to mess with cloth. IF I had to pay full price, I would be cloth diapering the whole way! We can’t afford to pay full price for disposables. But by stockpiling when they are cheap, we’re doing just fine.
Congratulations, and remember… your baby is going to be his or her own size, grow at their own speed, and won’t be like anybody else’s 🙂 I like what one person said already… they stockpiled one size until it looked like enough, then they moved on to the next size. I currently have 6 pks of 1’s, and have 3-4 pks of each 2’s and 3’s. I’m going to start stockpiling the larger sizes (2’s +), and if I need some more 1’s, I’m sure another sale will come around. And if I don’t use them all… I’ll save them for the next baby or give them to my sisters who are having babies 🙂
Emily Kay says
@Miriam, Amen! Being a frugal girl too, the idea of “wasting” so much money on disposables drove me insane also. But my husband was DEAD SET against cloth diapering, and since we will soon have three in diapers I couldn’t imagine losing his help with changing diapers! So I only pay $6 or less for Jumbo packs and stretch them as far as I can. It doesn’t calm my frugal twitches completely (I think we spent $40 a month on diapers) but it helps!
You can always exchange a smaller size diaper for a bigger size. You can keep receipts to make it less of a headache, but pretty much any store will exchange diapers. I had over 50 packs stockpiled for my lil guy, and then the Walgreens diapers I got weren’t the best for him. So I just sold them for $3 a pack and then went and bought a bunch from Harris teeter when they had pampers and huggies on sale for $6 and I had $1.50 qs that doubled, so $3 a pack and I broke even once I sold the Walgreens brand. I still have rainchecks for about 18pks so if ever I run out of a size I can just go get whatever size I need.
I have found that if you have an unopened pack of diapers in the brand that Walmart carries, they will let you exchange them for the exact same kind of diaper in a different size with no receipt. They don’t even care if the diapers have come from Walmart since they just resell the diapers that you exchanged. That can be helpful for when you stock up and end up not using all your packs of newborn or size one diapers.
Also when I had my son, I knew we would have at least one more baby, so I just packed the extra diapers away with his baby clothes, and I had quite a nice little stockpile once I got pregnant with baby number two. Since I think she is my last, I am making sure not to have that happen again. Especially with partially opened packages, because you can’t exchange them anywhere.
I stockpiled some for my son (almost two years old now, and is daytime potty-trained). I already have a good stockpile for our (hopeful) next baby, even though I’m not pregnant yet. I loved stockpiling. I had to exchange some for bigger sizes, but I had about a three-month supply on hand. After I made the exchanges, I gained another 4-6 weeks. I think my son was around 4-5 months before I had to actually pay my own money for his diapers. That was nice!
Brand preferences are very individual. I found that I liked one brand when he was little (sizes 1-2), then was COMPLETELY neutral – anything worked – for size 3 and some of size 4, then I became brand-loyal to a different brand when he moved into size 5/Pull-ups. I was fortunate enough to also participate in market research studies – where a marketing firm pays participants to try and rate unmarked diapers of various brands. These were usually size 4, and the company would supply 20-24 diapers of one or two brands, plus would pay $20 for participation. All I had to do was use the diapers on my son and complete a survey online, rating how well (or poorly) the diapers worked. I’m in the metro Atlanta area – Gwinnett, specifically. If anyone is interested, I’d be glad to pass on that info. They’re always looking for people to participate. We had a couple runs of 3-4 studies in the course of a couple months.
Thank you so much for this post! We’re expecting our first baby in December, and I’ve started stockpiling on diapers. I’m so glad someone gave me at least an idea of how many I might need! Thanks again!
I would agree with many people posting here – cloth diapers and wipes!! An initial higher out of pocket but it saves in the end. My husband always comments how he loves that he never makes those emergency runs to the store for diapers and formula (like many of our friends complain about!) It took a bit to get the hang of it but now it’s just part of the routine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My best friend just had a baby in the beginning of May and had about 4-5 months of diapers stocked up. She called me 2 days ago in tears, begging me to teach her how to cloth diaper. Turns out her little one has reacted badly to every diaper they had (several kinds) and her peds recommended she try cloth. She is devastated she spent all the time and money stocking up. Is hoping to return it all and be able to invest in cloth instead. I would love to see a post on cloth diapering! (Would even be willing to write it!) We really struggled at first (skinny baby who didn’t fit any that we had!!) but love it now!!
@Mary, I’m a committed CD, but I draw the line at wipes… Good for you! 😉
I found we kept putting the disposable wipes in the CD container (and making a mess in the laundry!!) so it was an easy transition. Just throw them all in with the diapers. Got CD flannel from Joanns and just cut them into small squares. Then just make my own solution with tea tree oil, lavendar oil, and a drop of baby wash. Has been really easy to do and haven’t had a rash yet! I would highly recommend it, especially if you already CD.
@Mary, I have them, and I have used them, but I find that I don’t keep up with it. You should feel proud!
I will be having my 3rd child in a few weeks, and my diaper stash has grown to over 2500 diapers. Because I am having a boy (I already have two girls), I figured most people would be giving me clothes, and I was right. I probably only got 5 packages of diapers at my shower, mostly size 3’s. I have a running list categorized by size of the brand, store I bought them at, and number of diapers so I know what I have. I have large children (both have been over 9 lbs, one a week early), so the 1’s and 2’s I only have about 6 packages each of. I mainly have 3’s and 4’s, because my 20 mo. old can also wear either size, so I think I’m set for both at the moment. When my sister-in-law saw my stash, she was amazed. She has a 9 mo. old, and her stockpile has now run out. I’ve been passing all my diaper coupons on to her now, and teaching her (she’s becoming a stay-at-home mom next month) how to buy groceries including diapers within her budget. She was amazed that she walked out of CVS last week with 2 packages of Huggies for $6.50, then got her $4 back. I have been fortunate that none of my children have had any reactions to any diapers or haven’t leaked, so any brand works for me.
Crystal – you say not to pay more than $5 per pack, but what size are you talking about? I consider $20 per pack for my 180+ a pretty good deal, and I can’t imagine finding them for $5. Can you please clarify how many diapers one should be able to get for $5? Thanks!
@Kristen, She’s talking about Jumbo packs which are the ones on sale the most. So if you are buying the bigger packs, just figure out how many jumbo packs yours is. Like most jumbo packs of size 3 are 29-33 diapers depending on whether they are the basic or premium version.
Thanks for the clarification! Then I know I am getting a good deal – I got pampers swaddlers 186 packs for $20 a week or two ago.
@Kristen, yes depending on the size that is a good (to possibly great) price. I think size 1 in jumbo has 50 something and size 2 I’m guessing has about 40. If you buy different brands or size packages, you might want to break down how much you are paying per diaper (in different size diapers) that way when you see them go on sale, you’ll know if it is a good deal for you 🙂
Jessica @ This Blessed Life says
I don’t have the time at the moment to read through all of the comments here, so if this is redundant, I apologize. I actually DON’T think it’s a good idea to stockpile, and I’ll explain why. I received package upon package of Huggies and Luvs for my showers, and only one package of Pampers. Guess which brand my son didn’t leak out of? That’s right, the Pampers!
I have since managed to sell the rest of the unopened packages of Luvs and Huggies at yard sales, but only at a fraction of their selling price in the store. So personally? I would buy a small package of Huggies and a small package of Pampers, test them out on your baby, then start stockpiling once you know what’s going to work for you. Additionally, you may have a preemie or just a tiny baby and may end up needing newborns for a long time, or a large baby and never need newborns or size 1s.
Hope that was helpful, and congrats on your baby! 🙂
@Jessica @ This Blessed Life, This is what I think works the best, too. Stockpiling after the baby gets here and after you find out what diaper works best seems like the best idea to me. My baby did poorly with the Pampers that the hospital gave us (we got several packs of them from the hospital, probably half a dozen or so) and she did poorly with the Parent’s Choice that we had stockpiled before she was born, but when we bought Huggies and Luvs she did great with those (and I was getting some serious deals on the Luvs @ Winn Dixie, so I’m glad she did well with those!) We also figured that she would be a bigger baby, because both me and my husband were bigger babies, but she came out so tiny that she needed newborn sizes for the first two months!
I would definitely stockpile! You can always return/exchange if you need to later. I’ve done that many times. Just don’t open them all, and you’ll be fine! Also, many hospitals have amazing diaper deals (newborns and size 1 usually) for their employees. If you know of anyone in that position, you could get cases of diapers for dirt cheap! Lots of luck!
As mom to a new little 3 week old I can say that all brands I’ve tried so far have worked for me, even though he has gotten a rash. All babies are vastly different though – my little one cannot STAND a wet/ dirty diaper so we blow through diapers quickly, and he was only in size NB for about ten days. So I say let the diapers come as gifts, take advantage of an amazing deal if you see it, and otherwise enjoy the pregnancy. I think cloth is a great idea for when you’re home, but since my son freaks out in an absorbent disposable, my plan to use cloth hasn’t worked so well. God has a specific personality for your little one right down to how they like their diapers!
Just want to chime in on the cloth diapers!
I’m cloth diapering my first, now 3 months old. We bought gently used (diaperswappers.com and babycenter.com have great forums to find them). When he grew out of the newborn size, we resold them.
Total cost to diaper his first few weeks: $7! Can’t beat that!
We now have about $300 in diapers that will last him until he’s potty-trained, then we can resell them. Even if we only get half of what we paid, it’s hard to beat $150 for diapers all the way from birth to potty-training!
Added bonuses: less diaper rash, fewer leaks, fewer chemicals on his “tender” parts, and fewer dipes in our landfills. I LOVE cloth diapering!
Andrea Q says
@Kelly, Don’t forget to add in the cost of the laundry soap, water and electricity for laundering the diapers. I totally agree with cloth being the better choice, but you do have to factor in the cost of laundering them.
Lisa H says
@Andrea Q, We CD’d our first and our now CDing our second, and I have to say, the cost of laundering just isn’t an issue for us. We never noticed our water go up at all – it’s an extra load every 4 days or so, and with a baby you wash an extra load or two each week anyway thanks to spit up, etc. We line-dry when it’s warm. And I buy any brand free and clear on sale with coupons, so that just isn’t a real cost factor either. I love not *having* to worry about diaper sales and coupons, and I’m reusing all dd1’s diapers for dd2!
@Andrea Q, I agree… we use less than 2 T of soap a week, and line dry. Unless we’ve had a blowout, I wash on warm and rinse in cold– we’ve seen no difference in our water bill or electricity.
Andrea Q says
@Elizabeth, My point was that the cost of cloth diapering is *more* than just the initial purchase. It may only be a few bucks more each month (or more depending on where you live), but the other costs are real.
Both of my kids were completely different. My son was born average size but grew VERY quickly. He was in newborns for a couple of days and then right into size 1’s. We noticed that our hospital doesn’t even USE newborn size…they just put them right into size 1’s and fold them down. By the time he was 6 months old, size 3’s were tight on him! He eventually got into size 7’s and we basically had to force him to potty train because he just outgrew the biggest diaper we could find!
My daughter on the other hand was in newborns for at least 3-4 weeks until I just got tired of buying them (since they only come 40 to a package most of the time!). So I put her in 1’s around week 4 and she wore those until she was at least 4 months old. She’s been in 3’s now for about 2-3 months. She’s 14.5 months old and they still fit her great (except for occasionally leaking out at night).
I definately agree with stocking up on different brands. I hated Luvs for my son, but loved them for my daughter when she was tiny. But now, the only brand she doesn’t leak out of is Huggies. But Huggies gave my son SEVERE diaper rash and could only tolerate Pampers Cruisers.
I am VERY surprised you said to stockpile so many newborn diapers. You get more diapers in a pack of size 1 than you do in a pack of newborns. My advice is to buy 1-2 packs of newborns just to have the itty bitty diapers because they are cute especially for the first baby, but size 1 isn’t much different at all and you will get more out of the pack.
@Mindy, Actually, it just depends on the child. My twins were 6#8 and 6#5, and stayed small and skinny for quite a while. I’m as cheap as they come, but those size 1’s just didn’t work for us. Had to use NB size for at least 2 months.
I am having my 4th baby on Friday. So this was perfect timing…. I do stockpile diapers when I can get them under $5. My babies have weighed everything fro 5 1/2lbs to 7 lbs 12oz. I am guessing this baby will be some where in the middle. I only use Huggies size 2s and up. Pampers are my favorite when they are super small. My stockpile currently has 3 packages of newborns, 5 packages of 1s and 2 packages of 2s. My last child wore preemies for 2 weeks but the hospital nicely supplied me with 5 packages the day we took him home. That same child (almost 2) is still super small so he wears size 3 or 4s. I have personally used almost all the Huggies coupons on his diapers. I have 10 packages right now for him. I know they will not be wasted if he suddenly hits a growth spur b/c baby #4 can wear them.
I have also returned unopened diapers to Walmart and Target without a problem.
When my kids started growing out of one size diaper, I switched to the bigger size at night and used up the smaller size in the day. For long naps I used a cloth diaper cover to protect against leaks. If baby was an explosive pooper, I used diaper covers then too, just in case. That way, I got through all the diapers I had stockpiled. Actually, I like putting them in diapers that are a little too small. Put the diaper cover on them and the explosions are not an issue. The smaller the diaper, the more you get in a package. Maybe that’s a little over the top OCD about saving money, but it makes a difference to us.
FYI: My kids grew out of newborns in a week, but hovered around size 2 for 2 months. Then they stayed in size 3 forever. And then size four forever. DS #2 is the only one that has ever made it to size 5 for daytime use. DS #1 potty trained before using them. Size 6 is only for nighttime use for my kids. Everybody’s kids are different!!!
I stockpiled Huggies because of deals like the ones going on now. I didn’t pay more than $4.50 a pack. I had way more newborns than I needed with 6 packs. I think I have 2 1/2 packs leftover. I had about 8 packs of size 1 and i have about a 1/2 pack left and about 8-10 size two. I had to buy a couple extra size two. I’m just to the point where I might have to buy size 3’s. I have about 10 size 3 diapers left. I had about 12-15 pks and a costco box and have 12 packs of size 4. I’m going to buy a few packs of 3’s and 4’s with these coupons!!
If you’re having a shower though, I’d skip buying newborn diapers until AFTER the shower. That’s why I ended up with extra!
Congrats & Good Luck!
My husband is the Pastor of a very large church and for baby #2 I only asked for diapers and wipes for my shower…. Well I got over 200 packages of diapers and a lot of them were small sizes. Wal Mart let me return any brand that they carried for store credit. (I returned them all at one time). The ones I got that I didn’t know where they came from I donated to a crisis pregnancy center.
I stock piled at my baby shower. For every pack of diapers a person brought they got a ticket for a raffle prize. All we had to do was get a nice gift card to a resturant!
when you do those numbers and find out that your baby will use thousands of diapers before potty training, do you feel a twinge of guilt over using throw-aways? How much simpler and cheaper it is to use cloth diapers! So much healthier for the babe and God’s green earth.
@Holly, I completely respect anyone who uses cloth diapers both for economical purposes and for “green” purposes. However I think that saying they are simpler is misleading. After giving it a good try and finding that it was a lot more inconvenient, I do not feel guilty for using disposables 🙂
@Rae, Ooh, good point. I didn’t mean simpler as in “easier for you”. I meant simpler in terms of what in the world they’re made of. If you could see the list of chemicals and stuff in the throwaway kind and compare to the list of what’s in my cloth diapers (cotton, and um… cotton), you’d probably agree that the cloth diapers are simpler.
Andrea Q says
@Holly, Except for cotton that is organically produced, cotton is actually one of the worst crops for the earth. The growing process uses a lot of dangerous insecticides (more per acre than any other crop). http://www.ota.com/organic/environment/cotton_environment.html The amount of pesticide used to produce one item of clothing is sickening.
Many cloth diapers are made of other materials (PUL, wool, fleece, etc).
I’m not saying that cloth diapering is bad; in fact, I think it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. It’s just important to know the pros and cons of whatever products we choose to use!
@Holly, No guilt. Sorry!
Not simpler for me. I save the earth in other ways.
@Heather, It is good to remember that cloth diapering does use a lot of water for washing, the washing soap goes into the water stream, etc. It’s not a black and white “one is absolutely better than the other” scenario. I use disposable diapers, and I’m extremely mindful of how I affect the environment….I try to stretch the diapers as much as I can, only change when necessary, etc. Cloth definitely did not work for me either.
@Meghan, it’s also good to remember that the disposable diapers don’t just mean throwing away diapers. It’s also the boxes (and sometimes bags within boxes) that they come in. It’s the gas for the trucks to deliver them to the store, and for the consumer to go get them. It’s the trash bags they’re thrown away in. It’s all the stuff that’s used (including energy) to make them. And that’s for each kid! Unless you live in an incredibly arid area, saying that throw-away diapers are more green seems a bit disingenuous.
@Meghan, If people don’t want to cloth diaper, that is their choice, but it is not reasonable to claim that one is not absolutely better than the other. Clearly cloth diapers ARE better for the environment than disposables. I bought all of my cloth diapers used, use less than 2 tablespoons of non-toxic, phosphate-free detergent a week, and air dry, and will reuse them for any future children or sell them to be used on another kid. Sorry, but there is just no way to compare that to the environmental impact of 3000+disposable diapers manufactured, transported, and thrown in a landfill.
I’m glad you at least tried cloth diapers– so many people don’t even try. And we all make choices about what things we are willing to do and not do. But in this debate, there is a clear winner for environmental impact.
@Heather, simpler may have been a poor choice of words — sorry. I mean simpler in the same way that home-made bread is simpler than store bought. (ie., flour, water, oil, honey, salt and yeast versus the loooong list of stuff that’s in the store bought kind) Not necessarily simpler in the easier-for-you meaning of the word.
@Holly, I did not say disposable diapers are more “green”. I said it is not so simple as “one is absolutely better than the other”. I agree there are costs to everything we do, buy, choose, etc.—in diapering and in all aspects of life!
As someone who’s spent an hour on the phone with Babies R Us just this afternoon, please keep in mind that as of December they DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS WITHOUT RECEIPTS. That goes for store credit, as well.
Sucks, but that’s how it is now. They treat their clients like thieves.
I stock piled for both of my kids but especially my son (my second child) cause my daughter was only 10 months when he was born so I knew it would be harder to “run & grab” diapers real quick. With my oldest, she only went through one pack of new borns and two or three packs of 1’s. Not until she got into a size 4 did she really use tons of one size. My son was a premie and we only used 2 packs of newborns, but we rolled over the tops of size ones just a little and they worked for the extra week or so we would have needed newborn diapers. I had stock piled so much, I wanted to be sure to use them. I mainly stock piled on 3’s and 4’s because I knew we would get so many at the baby showers, especially my son’s sincr we already had all the baby equipment we needed and then some! When asked what I wanted for the shower, I always replied with diapers and wipes! ( my immediate family was already purchasing the bed and other big items needed like car seats and swings). I didn’t have to buy diapers or wipes for either kids for months! It was very nice! I do recommend stockpiling though, whether it be size 1 or size 4. As far as not every kid being able to wear each diaper brand, I will say my kids both have eczema, so their skin is more sensitive and Luvs have worked best with us. Thats considering price, leakage, and their sensitive skin. Maybe try and work with two brands on stockpiling so you have an option just in case. I had purchased too many size 2 diapers for my second (he got big quick) and I took them back to the store and they let me exchange them for a larger size. ( I recommend trying to keep track to some degree of where you bought them and maybe trying to return them if you have too many) Good luck with everything Margaret and Congrats!!
I have 2 boys and luckily they both could wear any type of diaper, but Pampers are my favorite. It seems like my boys were in size 3 and 4 the longest, so if you think you have enough of the smaller sizes, buy size 3 and 4, you will need the most of those ones. My target price is under $4 a pack. However with both of my boys I had to use Huggies Overnights at night, they both sleep a good 12 hours at night and they would soak themselves and their cribs in regular diapers. The Pampers Extra Protection DO NOT work like the Huggies Overnights! You also have to look at the Pampers and Huggies online rewards. I have gotten a lot of free stuff through these sites including coupons for free packs of diapers, wipes, and little swimmers!
@Kelly, My boys are both sleepers too and let me tell you that I’ll take having having to use the overnites while getting to sleep in as I’m sure you’d agree lol. We got lucky 😀
Oh yea – I am the sleep police (what my hubby calls me) with my kids, I love to sleep too much, so I trained mine early to sleep and stay in their beds all night! Well that is another topic!
@Kelly, lol I love to sleep too 😛 People think I’m crazy when they find out that my little one doesn’t go to bed until 9:30 or 10 but I tell them that I’m a night person so this still gives me a bit of “me time” and he doesn’t get up until 10-11 in the morning 😀
I think all have valid points….
No rash problems with any brand with any of my 3 kids and I found that I like Pampers, Sam’s Club store brand, and Huggies the best. Huggies tend to be slightly larger than Pampers so when my children were on the verge of switching to the next size, I found that Huggies worked for a bit longer in the smaller size which equals more diapers per pack. 🙂 I also found that my kids only stayed in newborn for a couple weeks and breezed thru size 1 fairly quickly too. My kids stayed in size 3 for the longest time as they were growing taller and thinning out at about that time.
Sarah G. says
I’m stockpiling diapers right now, even though I’m not even married yet! That is because I want to use cloth diapers when the time comes, so I’m entering blog contests to try out different brands, as well as sewing my own stash. Sewing your own is the most economical way to go…I’m only paying about 2.50 per pocket diaper in material, compared to $15+ for most brands. And they can all be used over and over and for several children! Think of the savings!
Anyway, that probably doesn’t really apply to the question, but I’m obsessed with all things cloth diaper so I had to comment. 🙂
Seth @ Boy Meets Food says
@Sarah G., Where are you finding instructions on going the homemade route? We are pretty handy with crafting type things, and are starting to look into cloth diapers. I’d like to give it a shot.
Sarah G. says
@Seth @ Boy Meets Food, I researched a lot on different websites and forums – one being Diaper Sewing Divas, another being this blog post. Some great links and info and experienced people ready to help you out are all there on the forum. There are lists of free diaper patterns, as well as the paid patterns. I decided to buy one called Darling Diapers, as it was very thorough with great pictures – which I needed, not having done any diaper sewing before. It also has many different options for you to choose from.
I’m making waterproof pocket diapers, and some of the resources I’ve found at good prices are: PUL and elastic at Kids in the Garden, snaps from Sew Many Diapers, a pair of snap pliers from Notion Supply (which also carries snaps), suedecloth available at Wal-Mart, and big packs of microfiber cloths from Costco are perfect for inserts!
I hope this helps you out a little – the sewing forum I linked to has some great FAQ topics as well. 🙂
Seth @ Boy Meets Food says
Thank you so much for this post. The timing is great, as we are expecting our first.
I have been reading about all of the diaper discounts, but hadn’t thought about stockpiling them, because we are still about 4 1/2 months away.
Susan J says
Personally, I’d recommend that Margaret consider what size baby she’s likely to have. DH and I both have big babies running (literally from birth, it should seem from their sizes!) in our families, and sure enough – we’ve had a ten pounder and a ten-and-a-half pounder (both born at home…but that’s a subject for a different post! =P). We never even considered newborn sizes, but bought ahead for size 1 and beyond. If Margaret’s family has small babies, or she isn’t sure what to expect, a couple of newborn packages would probably be nice to have around. I agree with the folks who say you can use a diaper size before the baby technically reaches the weight range, as well as after the baby has passed that range.
@Susan J, I agree with the weight range comment. My son use certain sizes WAY past their weight ranges because he’s a very solid kid, but not fat. He’s got VERY muscular legs and is a tall boy, but could still wear different sized diapers past the weight range.
I had the exact opposite experience with my one very slender child. He need the rise of a bigger size so he started wearing 4’s when he was only about 17 lbs.
First, I’d suggest to sign up with every diaper company to get extra coupons. I did stockpile diapers. I got only Pampers and they were great for my daughter until she started crawling. I tried Huggies and liked those, but only the Snug and Dry, not the Little Movers. Every child is different. I think you’d be fine with stocking up on Pampers Swaddlers size Newborn, 1 and 2. Good luck!
@Leigh, Pampers were AWFUL for my baby, especially the newborn ones. She was constantly leaking and she wound up with a horrible rash, it looked like she had been burned.
My older son (now 2) was allergic to wipes, my younger son needed sensitive diapers. They both outgrew the sensitivies by 4 mos. My current motto for stockpiling diapers is: When in doubt buy size 4. My 2 year old has been wearing them forever (almost a year!). My 6 month old is getting ready to switch to size 3 and I still have a mega pack of sizre 2 to get through.
I stockpiled for my daughter who is now 10 months old. I bought about 5 packs of newborns, 7 packs of size 1, 10 packs of size 2, 55 packs of size 3, 20 packs of size 4 and 10 packs of size 5. I ended up buying a few more packs of size 1 and 2 after she was born. I did have to exchange some because huggies didn’t work so well when she was really little. Wal-mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens were all great with this-even without receipts. I just ran out of size 3, so we moved her up to the 4’s. They are a little big, but no problems with them. I occasionally add to our stock when I can get them for 3.00-5.00 per pack. I’m so glad we stocked up before she was born!
@Julie, Just wanted to add that most of the packs I bought were the jumbo size. I did also buy some of the boxes which are equal to about 2 1/2 jumbo packs, so I counted the boxes as 2 1/2 packs in my figures.
@Julie, I can’t imagine that you’ve gone through 77 + packs of nb-sz 3 in just 10 months! I did the math on my 2 girls and figured we went through about 45 packs each the first year…
@Lea, That is only about 10 diapers a day. My daughter is breastfed and would poop after almost every feeding before she went on any solids. We also change her pretty quickly after she wets because you can still feel the wetness against your skin even though the diaper pulls a lot away. So, yes I go thru a lot of diapers, but it’s worth it to me to know she is comfortable.
I was also going to chime in with cloth especially if you have a washer in your dwelling. I am not sure I would want to cloth diaper and run to the laundrymat.
I found cloth diapers to be way better than any paper diaper at holding in that newborn breastfeed baby poo and you end up with fewer blow outs all over your babies clothes.
Also a cloth wipes. My DH was never the biggest fan of cloth diapers (he changed them just fine, but it was not his preference/first choice). He could not stand disposible wipes. If you buy a couple packs of cheap washclothes for wipes you can save lots of money and if you don’t end up using cloth forever you still have washrags. You would only have to use them about 10 times to get your money out of them.
When stock piling diapers, I learned to keep the reciepts with the diapers I bought. We ran into this problem last year when Christopher was born. A lot of Huggies coupons were coming out, where I could buy diapers for $6 or so at Walmart (this was before I discovered CVS). Turns out, Christopher leaked through every kind of Huggies. I had to go back through all my reciepts and find which pack went to which diaper pack.
I bought size 1 and 2 to start with.
Go with cloth! they are super easy and if you pick one-size diapers, that’s all you need from 8 to 35/40 lbs. You’ll need about 24 cloth diapers and some accessories to get you start. but it’s great.
*note, i did not start cd until my son was about 4 weeks old (part-time) and about 6 weeks for full-time. He was small and didn’t gain weight fast. We also had some issues with breast feeding. We used disopables during this time to help with the transistion. I would start with size 1 diapers. we were in nb for a long time. b/c he wasn’t gaining. then switch to cloth diapers once you get a few good hours of sleep.
I agree that cloth diapers will save you a lot of money. We love BumGenius at my house.
I did not stockpile with my son, my firstborn. However, I do buy diapers when they’re on sale and I have a great coupon… this has been happening quite frequently lately. My in-laws have bought diapers for my son on numerous occasions, and once they bought without first checking sizes with me- now I have a big box of diapers in my closet for the next child… whenever that may be, or they could be a donation somewhere if needed. One mom will tell you she swears by one type of diapers, another mom will tell you that brand is terrible. You’ll never really know til the child gets here. I like Leighann’s idea with putting money aside in advance; we may just try that when we find out about the next pregnancy.
I am expecting my 3rd baby in October. I had baby showers for my two kids and this time am planning to jus have my husband have a diaper party. Its jus like a baby shower but its for “the guys” :). I am going to provide food and drinks and for all his family and friends to get in they have to bring a package of diapers, it really helps stock up. Jus a suggestion and I have had plenty of friends who have done the baby shower and diaper party. So best of luck. I wish u and ur family well. 🙂
Stockpiling is a great idea! Since my babies were both big, they went straight to size 1 and we never needed newborn diapers for very long. I agree with whoever said babies stay in size 3s for a long time- so true! But by then you’re probably not changing diapers every hour anymore. For baby #3 I’m saving up lots of 1s and 2s, but not an excessive amount, since Target diapers are cheap anyway. My goal price right now for my son’s size 3s is $0.14 a diaper (in any brand) so I imagine smaller sizes would be even cheaper.
what about cloth diapers? it is an upfront expense, but it’s a one time expense. You can spend as much as you want or CD on the cheap. cloth diapers also have resale value, I have yet to find someone who wanted to pay for a used disposable dipe.
Most people will give you NB’s and 1’s, so I started larger (my last went straight into 2’s!) Also, every pack of diapers you or a nurse opens in the hospital, you buy. DO NOT leave any packages there. You and your insurance are paying dearly for them. Larger diapers you can always tighten and fold down, smaller ones won’t hold the poop!
When I was expecting my first child my mother in law started buying diapers as she would see them on sale/clearance. After the baby was born I found that we had too many of one size so I took them to stores where my mother in law bought them and they let me exchange them for the size I needed with no receipt! Some of the stores has only clearanced the diapers out because of the brands design had changed. Only one place charged me the difference in the clearanced price and the regular price and that was pennies compared to how much diapers usually cost. So if you do find that you have too many of one size try taking them back to the original or same type of store and exchanging for a different size!
Michelle K says
One tip I have for Margaret is to keep track (if possible) where the diapers were purchased. I’ve needed to take back some extra boxes of size 2 and exchange for size 3. The store was very helpful with this and it saved me money. It also helps to gauge how the baby is growing before opening that last package of each size. Most sizes overlap and the baby may just be ready to move up a size. It’s a good oportunity to exchange the smaller size for the next one up.
Cloth diapers save the most money. Consider doing it part time as an option to save money. It will make your stash of disposables last even longer.
Lisa H says
@Zsofia, Agreed! I used cloth diapers full-time for my first. Now with twins, I use the cloth during the day and disposables for nights and on longer outings. For 2 babies, we only use 2 jumbo packs of diapers per month, and thanks to all the great coupons and sales they cost less than $5 or less per package.
@Zsofia, I am always shocked how many “cheapskate Mamas” don’t cloth diaper. The initial cost is higher (though with Craig’s List and Diaperswappers.com it isn’t that bad) but I’ve never, ever run out of diapers, and I don’t have to buy them unless I feel like it (like for trips, or whatever). My son’s daycare even will use them. And honestly, what are 2 extra loads of laundry a week?
For new parents, I would recommend getting the flushable liners that go in the diapers, but they come in packs of 100, so if you get 3 or 4 packs, you should be set for months, especially since you can wash and reuse the wet ones.
With 11 kids so far, I ALWAYS stockpile!
I have had babies ranging in weight from 5#6 to 10#6, and would rather have a few packages left over than have to pay full price at the time because I ran out. If you have extra packages, they will be in the small sizes, and make a great addition to baby gifts.
I generally buy (averages) 3 newborn, 10 +- size 1, 6 +- size 2, and when in doubt, I move on to size 3 – mine also stay in size 3 forever! Size 2 seems kind of a waste, and if I run out, it seems like the 3s I already have on hand work just fine (and are better than paying full price for more size2).
We rv full-time, and I don’t get to stockup as much as I used to, but it still pays to match up those sales and coupons!
This is totally off-subject – but you RV with 11 kids? I don’t feel like I have enough room in my 3 bedroom house with 4 kids! I need to learn to appreciate what I have – good for you!
@Alea, Hi Alea!
We DO rv with 11 kids – and have a ball 🙂 it was a little bit of an adjustment from our house, but we have loved (nearly) every minute! We have a lot less stuff to have to take care of! If you are curious, I keep a blog (though not very well!) at:
My daughter, who has been blessed with thin-ness, potty trained at age 3 in size 3. My son, on the other hand, who was born big, and has never quit astonishing us with his rate of growth, never wore newborn size diapers, and only wore size 1 for two weeks. I bought every brand size 1, and each one leaked, until I realized that my less-than-one-month-old baby needed a SIZE 2 diaper. (Incidently, by age three, when we potty-trained him, he had run through all 6 sizes of diapers, all sizes of pull-ups, and he was wearing good-nites as diapers.
Not all diapers are sized the same, not all diapers are shaped the same, and some kids react to certain brands, so I would not stockpile too much until you know what is going to work for your baby.
Shannon L. says
I’m so glad to see you advocate including newborn diapers in stockpiles. EVERYBODY told me that I wouldn’t need very many newborn size so we didn’t buy very many of those. My son was 7lbs and has a very skinny waist. He was in newborn diapers for at least 2 months. He has run small since then. He is 2 and 1/2 and still in size 4’s! I would suggest for new moms to stock up on NB size and tape the receipt to the package. When they are newborns is exactly when you don’t want to have to run out for diapers all the time. You can always exchange them later on.
I was given a diaper shower when I was pregnant with my son. I got several packs of several sizes and brands. I also bought different sizes with whatever coupon and sale of the week. We ended up needing more newborn sizes and had to buy a few extra packs of that. There were also some packs we went back to the store and exchanged for the next size up. Most stores were agreeable to exchange (even without a reciept). What I didn’t realize is not all stores sell the same size packs. For example, Walmart only sold the “Jumbo” packs of one brand, and the pack I had didn’t say “Jumbo”. They wouldn’t take it, but another store did.
If you buy them yourself, I’d definitely keep track of what you bought so if you need to exchange them, the process is easier. You don’t want to be taking your newborn to 50 different stores to exchange a pack of diapers! You will rather be home loving on that baby!
Congratulations! I have a nine week old daughter and stockpiled diapers before she was born and have enough for the rest of the year! My first two kiddos were smaller and she started in size 1’s!! I bought all different brands of diapers so if there is a certain brand that ends up leaking more, I’ll just use those during the day and the ones that worked better for night time! I ordered tons of size ones (because my other two were in them for almost a year) and she is already almost out of them. I am just going to exchange them for the larger size! I would say definitely stockpile and on different brands especially for your first baby! Good luck
If you think you will get a lot of gifts, I’d hold off until later in pregnancy. Most people will get you the smaller sizes. If you don’t get many diapers, then you will still have to time to find some good deals before baby comes. Don’t buy too many newborn size, unless your family is full of small babies. Get different brands. Personally, I prefer the better brands (Pampers, Huggies, Luvs) when they are little and extra leaky (if you breastfeed). I downgrade them to cheaper stuff when they are older. I like Target brand best out of all the generics by far. Not every baby has blow outs or leaks in the same way either, so take advice from people with a grain of salt. With my first two, I hated Huggies, but they were fine with my last two. Or maybe Huggies improved?
@Heather, Another reason to get (some) Huggies. They’ll send you great coupons. A friend of mine wrote H to complement them on how much the diaper could absorb; H sent them some coupons. Later he wrote with a complaint; they gave him info on diapers that might suit their kids better and a handful of $3 coupons.
Alex and Cassie - The Thrifty Couple says
One other thing that I wanted to add:
If you keep track of where the diapers come from – you can return them for a different size – not money back, but the exact type of diaper in a different size. We had to do this a couple of times with our first child or two 😉 You can also ask the store their policy on this. We did this at Walmart and our local grocery store!
Just tag where each one came from for ease and less confusion later if you need to do this!
I love Target diapers! When deciding whether to stock up or not I usually just compute the cost per diaper (factoring coupons, gift cards earned, etc.) and see if it beats Target’s price per diaper. If it does, I buy them, if not I stick to Target diapers. I’ve been lucky with both of my kids never having issues with a particular brand. So if I were in Margaret’s shoes I’d only do deals where the price would work to be less than Target diapers 🙂
Oh also, be careful stockpiling once your baby starts getting bigger. With my first child, if it seemed like I had enough diapers of the current size and there was a good sale, I’d start with the next size. Once I thought I had enough of that, I’d start on the next size. Well my children are really skinny and never did get into the 5 or 6. My first was a nightmare pottytraining (wasn’t fully trained unti 4 yes I said 4 years!) but even he didn’t go past a size 4 (or the pullup equivalent 3t/4t) so all the diapers/ training pants I bought in size 5 or 6 went to waste.
Alex and Cassie - The Thrifty Couple says
Yay Margaret, Congratulations – Children are such a blessing and joy!
We have stocked up on diapers during every pregnancy for 4 children now. We have been diapering for nearly 7 years straight – many of those years doubled up on kids in diapers!
I struggled with the issue of how many to buy as well when we were expecting the first time. Our advice is to lay low on the newborn, 1’s and 2’s – they seem to blow through them so quickly and also many gifts of diapers from others will probably be in these sizes!
For stockup – size 3 for sure – you are probably safe with quite a few of these, as well as size 4! All four of our kids have been in these 2 sizes for a couple of years – N, 1 and 2 is really fast then they pretty much live in 3’s and 4’s!
To find the best deals on diapers each week, we put together a post of the scenarios at national stores for the lowest prices and maximizing your savings.
Hope that helps and feel free to email us if you have any more questions at email@example.com!
Wow Margaret’s question could have come straight from my own mouth! I started buying diapers a few weeks ago when all those great CVS/Walgreens deals were going on, and have decided to keep an eye out for the next few months (and I have my sister and MIL on it too!) and try to get as much now (at cheaper prices) that I can… I figure I can always exchange brands/sizing later. For me I’d rather be overly prepared…
Thanks everyone for the tips! Makes this a *little* less overwhelming! 🙂
I don’t like that you get fewer newborn diapers per package than size 1. For this reason I don’t buy newborn. I just fold down the top of size 1. I usually get a few packs of newborn as shower gifts anyway.
@Ginny, I never had luck with the cut-outs in the NB size anyway. I guess my son was short and pudgy because the waist on a NB was too high – it covered his umbillical cord – even after he was comfortably wearing a size 1 (at 10 days old).
Need A Nap2 says
@Ginny, Thank you for mentioning this! It took us to child 2 (mommy fog on first child) that you do get less diapers per package in NB than size 1!
Jen @ BigBinder says
I wanted to check out this post because I am trying to help a local organization collect diapers for a “Diaper Drive”. I guess food pantries don’t usually have diapers to give people in need; and social services and government programs don’t cover diapers so I love the idea of a Diaper Drive! They have collection boxes in churches and libraries.
I just never was good at the ‘diaper deals’ thing since we cloth diapered and my kids are waaay out of diapers now anyway. Thanks for this information!
Need A Nap2 says
I wouldn’t worry that you’re going to have to pay full price for diapers unless you really are in a new baby fog (like Crystal talks about). Keeping a few diapers under the car seat base or in the car and in a second (back up) diaper bag will help! If you have access to other moms like church or a playgroup, there’s usually another mom who will trade diapers with you.
I’d keep an eye on http://www.babycheapskate.com she does a weekly run down on top diaper and formula (if you need it) deals. Money Saving Mom is quicker I think on latest coupons and how to work the best deals but http://www.babycheapskate.com is one stop shopping for what is tops this week and upcoming deals! 🙂
We changed our babies less often b/c they didn’t mind being wet (or poopy usually) but every baby is different. Be mindful of package and quantity changes, sometimes you’ll have trouble exchanging diapers if it has the old design/quantity/UPC on it. Congratulations!
Oh, thanks so much for mentioning BabyCheapskate.com — great blog for anyone with a baby or expecting a baby!
A friend taped the receipts to the bags of diapers, and just exchanged what her son grew out of before they opened the bag. This was done when she went to the store for other groceries, so it didn’t really take her extra time.
Another thing someone could do is give unopened bags away as shower gifts and such, or even donate them to a shelter. Diapers are always needed by somebody! And giving away a bag that was purchased on sale for $4 makes more sense than buying a bag the day of a baby shower for $15. This would also work if the child develops a rash from a certain brand – the diapers wouldn’t be wasted.
Also, having one or two packs of the kind with a little notch for the umbilical cord is so nice, because the diaper doesn’t irritate the belly button area.
I also wanted to add a little tip. If your child leaks with less expensive diapers, save those for days you are at home. At night or if you are going out with your baby, put them in the better brands. This way you can save money AND cut down on accidents while you are out.
Great tip- we do the same thing.
I take the cheaper ones to take care because they change them so often. I save the expensive ones for bed time .
I’d personally advocate a bit of both stockpiling and waiting. Stockpile on the larger sizes..3s and 4s, since that’s what you baby will wear the most of. But one pack (if that!) Of newborn – we actually got a pack plus extras from the hospital, and my son was so huge, I don’t think I used more than what I received free. 1s and 2s i’d get maybe a pack or two each until after the baby arrives.
When friends offered to throw a shower for me, I requested a diapers and wipes shower. Fortunately, our son has been able to wear any brand so far except for Luvs, so it’s been nice to have a stockpile on hand to pull from. We requested that we get size 2, 3, and 4, since it seems like they grow out of size 1 so fast!
Also look at the pounds on the size diapers. For example…
Size 1 is 8-14 pounds (6 lbs)
Size 2 is 12-18 pounds (6 lbs)
Size 3 is 16-28 pounds (10 lbs)
I am pregnant with my 4th child and have also had several newborn foster children and in my experiance they seem to almost skip right over size 2. I may have used 2 jumbo packs, but they stay in size 3 for a long time. You can also use the diapers before your baby meets the weight limit. So I have stocked up on a lot of size 1 and even more size 3. I have had average size babies and hardly needed any newborn size. As soon as their belly button stump falls (about 2 weeks old) off, they are ready for a size 1. And if you have too many of one size, you can usually exchange them for a bigger size. Maybe tape the reciept to the pack. Most of the time the store will just give you another size with/without a reciept.
Congrats! Good Luck! God Bless!
@Jenny, Funny, my son only wore size 1 for two weeks, but spent two months in size 2. We just about skipped size 4, also.
@Christina, Numerically it’s more likely to skip past size 2. The size range is only 6 lbs (where as the range for size 3 is 12 lbs). Also, the upper range for size 1 is 14 lbs, while the lower range for size 3 is 16, which would make it really easy for a baby to skip that size.
@Crystal, I do see your math. And maybe skipping size 2 is more common. In our case, he outgrew the size 1 absorbancy at around 11 pounds, even though he “should” have been able to wear them longer, based on weight. But we never even came close to those upper weight limits. In fact, he outgrew the absorbancy on size 4 before he even met the “minimum” weight of a size 5. And now, at 30 pounds, he’s wetting through his size 5 every night and I’ve bought a pack of size 6 even though they start at 35 pounds. Luckily, he’s in underwear all day so I don’t mind going through one diaper per day.
I’ve found that my daughter has consistently been out of diapers before reaching the supposed maximum weight limit.
Tammy L says
@Kimiko, I agree! When we have used disposables (we usually use cloth), my children really only fit the diapers when they were in the lower half of the recommended weights.
I think extreme diaper stockpiling (more than a few packages of the smaller sizes) wouldn’t be worth it for our family.
My second child was allergic to every kind we tried except Huggies. (We then went to cloth exclusively when he was a couple months old.)
None of my babies have used more than 1-2 packs of newborn size diapers, but they were all born weighing over 7lbs so that makes a difference too!
And all of my babies (4 so far) have used a lot more diapers per day than ~8! A LOT more! 🙂 Babies are so different, it’s hard to gauge anything too specific other than the fact that they *will* use diapers of some sort… unless you do infant potty training/elimination communication! 😉
@Tammy L, We haven’t used cloth, but I’m with you on everything else! We usually had to move up to the next size at around the mid-point of the weight recommendations. And for the first month or so, we were going through 12-14 diapers per day! As soon as I changed him, he’d go. And I always changed him immediately because I didn’t want him to get used to feeling wet/dirty. Hopefully that helped, because he decided at 19 months that he didn’t like feeling wet, and now is daytime potty-trained at 23 months.
Emily Kay says
@Jenny, I ditto this. My daughter has been in Size 3 diapers for almost 2 years (she’s 2 1/2, 25 pounds) and my son for at least 8 months (he’s 14 months, 20 pounds). They both seemed to nearly skip Size 2 and were mostly in Size 1 for the first 6 months of their lives. Also, don’t be too eager to move up a size before you need to…diapers are more expensive the larger the size and nicer diapers (Pampers, Huggies) stretch really well anyway. My daughter could technically wear Size 4s, but they tend to leak more and don’t stay on as well.
Milk Donor Mama says
Yup. I stockpiled with my daughter who is now 3 1/2 and I’ve got a great stockpile for my baby that is due in six weeks. Pampers worked best for my daughter, though we started using cloth as well when she was about 6 months old. She also was slow to grow, born at 7#1oz and wore newborn size for at least 6 weeks, but by the time she was one year old she weighed 24.5#!
I had no trouble returning / exchanging diapers at Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Target, CVS or Walgreens when I needed to. Hold on to your reciepts to make this easier.
bethany m says
I’m not a huge fan of walmart but they do have a great return/exchange policy. If you buy huggies or pampers and need a diff size you can just exchange them later!
Amy- Cutting Coupons in KC says
If your baby outgrows a diaper size and you still have some left, most stores will exchange unopened packages for a larger size even without a receipt. I was able to do this at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Babies R Us & Target.
@Amy- Cutting Coupons in KC, Walmart will generally return any unopened packages of diapers in exchange for another package that is at least the same amount, as long as they carry that brand and package. I found this worked like a dream when my child outgrew the newborns that we got for shower presents.
If you plan on having a baby shower, remember that people will most likely give you diapers as well.
I am an advocate of stockpiling diapers, but we were fortunate with a child that didn’t get many rashes.
Amanda F says
I would suggest Target Brand diapers. I’ve tried everything else, my daughter could be out of anything at night but these. And at $13 bucks a box can’t beat the price. I didn’t stock pile exactly but from showers I had 3-4 of newborn, 1 and 2’s. Which was a great thing as my first child was prone to breaking out from everything and was able to use only luvs.
bethany m says
@Amanda F, how interesting, luvs was the only brand that DID make my son rash all over!
@bethany m, LOL this proves how much babies vary. I hate Target diapers with a passion. They felt like Huggies but leaked through the diaper so badly that even though I got them at a good price, it was hard to force myself to finish the packs I got. It was so weird because I am fine with most other store brands. Though I get Pampers and Huggies when they go on sale for cheaper than store brand anyway.
I used the Target brand diapers on my son, who is now 4, and they were great!
I use Target brand diapers, and they are wonderful (at least for my daughter, they are)!!! I’ve given up printing and collecting the high value Huggies and Pampers coupons. I’ve found that even when there’s a great sale on Huggies, Target diapers are STILL cheaper, even taking a $3 or $4 off Huggies coupon into consideration!
@Kimiko, Target brand diapers are about .16 per diaper. With Huggies coupons and sales I usually pay .10 per diaper or less. Price per diaper does depend on what size of diapers. We stockpile diapers and have about 6 months worth in the top of my sons closet. I buy a couple when there is a good sale and NEVER pay full price.
I stockpiled with all 3 of my kids. I found that once you find a brand that you like (we like Luv’s the best) even if you have an extra package that never was opened if you go to the store that sells them usually you can exchange for the next size up so there is not much wasting diapers.
My baby just turned a year old. I read all the mommy articles when I was pregnant with her, and they all told me to stockpile on diapers. I had tons of packs of diapers, all about size 1 or 2, all parent’s choice brand.
Guess what? My baby can’t wear parent’s choice brand. I wasted all that money on all those diapers and I wasted time.
I do not advocate stockpiling diapers. What I do advocate doing is to make a little box for diaper funds. Each week, put in there about what the average cost of a pack of diapers will be. By the time the baby gets here, you’ll have saved up at least a couple of hundred dollars just for diapers. Once you find out what brand and type is best for your baby (use the free samples for this; you can usually tell with just a diaper or two how your baby will do with that brand) THEN you start the stockpiling. Diapers always go on sale, so there isn’t any real reason to buy those diapers now when you might not need them. Send husband or your mother out once you’ve figured out which diapers are right for you and have them buy that kind with your diaper fund.
By purchasing diapers “as needed” as opposed to stockpiling them, you are less likely to run into a situation where your baby is wearing size 2, but you’ve still got 5 packs of size 1 left. Yes, you can return/exchange them but new moms don’t have very much time, and standing in the line for customer service can take a while. Any money you might have leftover from your diaper fund can be put into a savings account for baby, to get started for college.
BTW, I am NOT advocating paying full price for diapers! I am advocating buying the diapers on sale once the baby gets here and you’ve figured out which brand works out best for you and baby. It was a huge hassle with the returns/exchanges, especially when I was having to deal with an emergency c-section and a newborn!
Seth @ Boy Meets Food says
@Leighann, I’m a little confused. You say at the beginning of your comment that you wasted the money on those diapers, and then at the end you say that you can return them. I understand that returning them takes a few minutes of your time, but the money is not wasted if you can get it back…
@Seth @ Boy Meets Food, The returns didn’t include taxes 🙁
@Leighann, I returned many packs of diapers as my son grew – he grew faster than everyone had advised, and we had people still giving us NB when he was a month old (and 12 pounds). I returned everything I could to Walmart since you don’t need a receipt. I got store credit – including tax – and was able to buy the size I needed. I just took a few packs at a time and went during off-peak hours.
Seth @ Boy Meets Food says
@Leighann, The whole no tax thing seems odd to me. I really thought that they have to give back the calculated tax for any items you return.
@Leighann, The return should have included tax – I’m sorry to hear your store shorted you on that point.
Blaire Ruch says
@Leighann, I think you have less time and energy when you’re a new mom to go out and get the deal of the week on diapers. You can just as easily send your husband or mom out to do the exchanges, as you can have them buy the diapers after the baby is born, as you suggested. Wal-mart is great, since they don’t take receipts. You can return any brand (except other store brands of course) or size, no matter where you or someone else purchased it. And they do give you the sales tax back as well. You would only have to make one trip to exchange the brand that doesn’t work, or the size that doesn’t work. You can’t predict how big your baby will be, or if they will have to be brand-specific, but for most babies, the idea of stock-piling is wise.
Sorry you had to deal with that though!
@Blaire Ruch, This was a year ago. I was not couponing at the time. I did not know that they were supposed to give me back for taxes. Not only did I pay taxes on the original purchase, but I paid taxes on the one that was exchanged. Yes, this was at Wal Mart. I don’t know what their reasoning was and I didn’t know enough to argue about it then. I just know, from my experiences and the stores in my area, that it is far better to try to send my husband out with a deal (he understands couponing, sales, etc now, almost as well as I do) and stock up THEN on 5 or 6 packs of diapers, than for us to stand in line, either of us, at customer service. At our local W* customer service is slow as HECK and exchanging something seriously takes an hour. I am sure as heck not going to stockpile diapers when the next one comes around, until after he/she is born. I’m going to stash that money away instead!
We used Pampers exclusively for all three of our kids. Thought that they were the best. You can always contact the company, Proctor and Gamble, (I think), to ask for additional coupons to be mailed to you. I “won” a rideable car for my then toddlers once by saving proof of purchase points for years and then redeeming them. It is a battery powered one, I never would have bought it on my own, and it came delivered to my house. Don’t know if Pampers still has incentives like that but it was cool to get such a large “prize!” Oh, and PinkSalv, (unsure of correct spelling), is a great diaper cream when your little one has bad diaper rash. I bought mine at the local Drug Mart store but you may be able to find online.
Melissa Bell says
I always stockpile diapers before the baby arrives… I just had my second daughter! I kept the diapers that were left over from my first child, and I stored them in plastic bins. I used them for the second daughter!
The leftovers from this child will be donated to the church nursery!!!
It’s always best to be over prepared, and to have something left to give/help others!
When I was expecting child #5, our church blessed us with a baby shower—and we received a good 3-4 months worth of diapers!! I would suggest maybe more size 1/2’s than newborn—you can always fold them down a little if need be, but mine grew out of the newborn sizes within a week or two! You can never have too many diapers.