If you’re not properly prepared to save money on diapers, they can cost you upwards of $2,000 in the first two years of your child’s life. If you make the (slightly crazy) decision to have two babies close together – like mine, who are 16 months and 2 days apart – you’re looking at even more!
Now I know cloth diapering is by far the cheaper route to take when it comes to diapering a child, but we did what we had to in order to abide by daycare rules and time constraints. I definitely plan to cloth diaper our next child (as I am now a stay at home mom) so if you’ve got tips on that, be sure to comment below!
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How many diapers will I need?
My son was (and still is) around the 55th percentile and here’s his dirty diaper breakdown:
- Newborn – honestly could’ve done without these. He was 7lbs, 3 oz and 20.5 inches long but the newborn diapers are so itty bitty. We used up the pack that was provided by the hospital but after that we were in size 1.
- Size 1 – 716
- Size 2 – 300
- Size 3 – 1,440
- Size 4 – 463
- Size 5 – 1,980 (and counting…)
Despite having gone through over 5,000 diapers, I’ve only spent $380 on diapers for my two year old.
Have a Diaper Party
Baby showers are old hat. Throw a co-ed diaper party instead! I would definitely still recommend completing a registry to at least earn some free swag or a percentage off what you need/want for baby, but believe me you’ll appreciate having a mountain of diapers much more than a monogrammed sterling silver rattle.
After your diaper party, assess your stash. Obviously the diapers needed per child will vary widely, but chances are high you’ll need mostly size 3, 4, and 5 and very few newborn/size 1. I will also note that with my first born I was a bit more neurotic about changing him every two-three hours, no matter if he needed it or not, so we went through more of the smaller sizes than we did with Baby #2.
If you received ten boxes of size 1s, take this time pre-baby and return them. If you don’t know which store they came from, you can often look online to see if a certain store (such as Target) has the same kind of diaper as that which you’re looking to return. Many stores will exchange diapers with little-to-no hassle.
Once you’ve assessed your stash, you’ll have a better idea as to how many diapers to buy whenever you spot a good deal. When you do find a seemingly great price, make sure you think price per diaper and not price per package. You may notice certain brands cost different, depending on the type…which brings me to my next point:
Diaper Types Don’t Matter (Usually)
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never noticed a difference in Pampers Swaddlers versus Baby Dry versus whatever other ones they have. For me, it comes down to the price per diaper. Because my children have a tendency to soak through the generic brands, I do invest in Pampers for the night time. During the day, though, especially when the daycare changes them every two hours, generic works great. I’m a fan of the Target brand diapers, especially since they usually offer gift card deals with your purchase, free shipping, and 5% off if you use your RedCard! Believe it or not, I’ll also grab diapers from my favorite grocery store — Aldi!
Buy Diapers Online
As you may already know, I’m all about having stuff delivered straight to my house! With two kids in diapers, one being a wild toddler and the other a breastfed infant, I’m not a fan of running errands when I don’t absolutely have to. While places like CVS may sometimes have great deals on diapers that you can stack coupons on, the pennies I could save aren’t worth the time and stress that comes from shopping with two babies in tow. I do about 75% of my purchasing via Amazon and I love it.
Amazon Family does offer a 20% discount when you subscribe to their diaper service, but I’d stay away until you’re in 4s/5s and know you won’t be changing sizes any time soon. While it’s not necessarily hard to return things to Amazon, it’s not exactly fun either! If you do subscribe, you also need to make sure you’ve got it in your budget each month so that the auto-deduction doesn’t provide you with any unwelcome surprises. Speaking of being careful…
The ridges along the leg holes of the diaper are there for a reason. Make sure that those ridges are splayed out and not tucked back into the diaper or you’ll soon not only have a wet diaper, but a wet baby, and your plan to save time doing laundry is shot. Also, with little boys, make sure you’re careful when you’re changing (use a wipe to cover him so you don’t get sprayed) and also when you’re putting the clean diaper on (point down or again you’re at risk for a wet baby!)
Finally, make sure you’re signing up with the diaper companies (Pampers, Huggies, Honest Company, Luvs, 7th Generation…) They’ll likely send you samples and coupons. As I mentioned before, we’re a Pampers family when we’re not using generic, so we also participate in the Pampers Rewards Program. Not only can you earn rewards for buying diapers, but they often have special offers, like free Shutterfly merchandise!
You can’t be prepared for the changes that parenthood brings to your life, but you can at least prepare your budget and ensure you don’t spend more than you have to.
One final tip – if you have an Aldi near you, go there to buy your wipes!! I love how thick and durable they are and I’ve yet to find anywhere cheaper (even when buying in bulk!)
What’s YOUR best tip to save money with a new baby?