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.