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When it comes to planning for your baby’s arrival, or really anything regarding babies, everyone has an opinion. Some people swear you shouldn’t buy diapers in advance, while others insist that you should.
I’m not here to tell you if you should or shouldn’t.
You clicked on this title, so I’ll assume you’re planning on stocking up on baby supplies before your baby is born! I’m here to give you a rough guideline on how many diapers to buy in each size, which diapers to buy, how much to pay per diaper, and give you some tips I wish I’d known before my baby was born.
Consider this a comprehensive overview of all things diaper related.
How to Stockpile Diapers. Diaper 101. All the things you need to know before you stockpile for your baby.
Okay, maybe not ALL the things. But lots of things.
Here we go.
First, how on EARTH do you know how many diapers to buy?
Well, the short answer is: you don’t. You kind of just estimate. All babies are different (that’s such an annoying phrase, but its true). But lots of moms out there have blessed us with data from their babies. They have kept track of how many diapers their baby have used in each size, in order to share the results with you. You can read a ton of blogs to gather & average data, but this is meant to be a comprehensive guide. I’m here for facts and data.
These results are an average of four babies’ diaper usage up to size 3. I’ll list all my sources at the end!
Average diaper usage up to size 3:
Size One: 440
Size Two: 754
Size Three: 1,034
I’ll break these numbers down to “even” numbers later, assuming you’re able to finish up that last pack before sizing up. We’ll calculate for using up entire packages, which you may or may not be able to do.
We’ll come back to this!
Second, how do you know WHICH diapers to buy?
I bet you’ve already guessed the answer: you don’t! You wing it.
I believe most hospitals provide you with Pampers Swaddlers during your stay, and send you home with some too! Typically, newborns do the best with these diapers. That being said, Pampers one of the most expensive diapers, costing you just about 30 cents each (if you buy the $40 Giant Pack) but the reassurance is worth it to me.
My stockpile plan:
My plan was to use Pampers in the Newborn Size, then try Huggies first when we hit Size 1. I opened up a small package just in case we had a reaction. And, SURPRISE: Huggies are so much better. More absorbent, and a nicer fit. Read my post all about it here!
If Huggies didn’t work for us, I’d exchange my stash and go back to Pampers.
I was wary of Luvs and generics, as people seem to either violently hate them or absolutely love them. You probably should read my post linked above to know the whole story & why I prefer Huggies. If I were to do it over again, I’d skip Luvs. If you’re curious, and would like to try them since they’re one of the cheapest options.. I recommend buying a small pack to try first.
I won’t be including them in my list.
We’ve covered the how many, and which brands I recommend you try. Let’s discuss my favorite thing: prices! A major perk to starting a stockpile when you find out you’re pregnant is TIME. It’s gonna be a long 40 weeks, mama. You have time to watch sales and only buy when it’s a good deal.
Let’s discuss what a good deal is.
First things first, you need to figure out how much you’re willing to spend. A few things may influence this. Are you willing to coupon, or do you plan to just wait for sales? Are you an Amazon Prime member? Do you want to order online or shop in store? How much time do you have? Consider all these things! If you’re willing to put in more time and effort, you can certainly get better prices.
Here is some math done for you in my Master List of diaper prices! It breaks down how much both Huggies and Pampers diapers cost regular price, at each size, in varying package sizes. NB is always calculated for the Huggies Little Snugglers or Pampers Swaddlers line, where 1-5 are Snug & Dry / Baby Dry. Again, all data is calculated using price found on the Target app. Please feel free to share, download, print out, whatever you want with this Master List! I have a printed copy in my purse, and my couponing binder. It’s super helpful to have stuffed in my bag in case I find a sale I wasn’t expecting! If I can find diapers for less than this “standard” price, I’ll buy some!
The biggest money saver for me, was shopping at Target. Savings at Target come in multiple ways:
- 5% off every day with your Red Card. They offer a debit & credit card!
- The Target app has Cartwheel! You can add discounts and manufacturer coupons to your digital wallet. You scan at checkout, and boom! Instant savings.
- Target seemingly always runs a deal where if you buy $100 worth of Baby Department products, you get a free $20 gift card back at checkout. That’s 4 cases of diapers for $80. Uh, yes please!
These three things, in addition to using paper manufacturer coupons, was how I built my giant stockpile.
What if you don’t want to shop in-store?
Are you an Amazon Prime member? If not, you should be. You can save up to 20% with Amazon Family. Check it out! Plus, free 2 day shipping? We love it.
If you buy the large cases of diapers on Amazon, you can get them for almost as cheap as they are with Target’s $20 off sale. Its a fraction of a penny per diaper difference. In addition, there’s often coupons you can apply when you purchase.
For example, a 192-count box of Size 4 diapers is on sale for $35.50 here on Amazon. (affiliate link because I actually use these ) That’s 18 cents per diaper, compared to about 17.5 cents each if you hit up Target’s sale. Close enough to save you the trip, right?
Check out my Master List of prices to determine what regular price is, and figure out if a deal you’ve found elsewhere is actually a good deal!
Mistakes I made:
I didn’t keep all of my receipts for the diapers I stockpiled in store. Some, yes. But not all. Not having a receipt makes exchanges more difficult.. not impossible, but difficult.
My advice to you would be to tape your receipts directly to the packages of diapers. Or have a folder/envelope where you save them ALL. Do whatever you have to to make exchanges easier. Because you’ll need to exchange some at some point.
Side note: only stockpile unscented wipes. I wish scented wipes didn’t even exist. Why do we need unnecessary fragrance to irritate tiny baby butts? We ONLY use Huggies unscented natural wipes. (Affiliate link, again, because we use these exclusively)
Suggested shopping list to satisfy the average baby’s usage up to Size 3:
NB: Two 104 ct cases of Pampers Swaddlers
Plus the diapers the hospital gives you for free.
Size 1: Three 148 ct cases of Huggies, plus one small 44ct pack. Open the soft pack first. If baby does good with these, continue to use Huggies as they’re cheaper/more absorbent. If baby reacts, but did well with Pampers, return Huggies for equal quantities of Pampers. Most babies do well with Huggies, though. I don’t know anyone who’s baby has an issue with them.
Size 2: Five 140ct cases of Huggies Snug & Dry, plus one or two 38ct soft packs. Lily was in this size for a while. I think we used more than this average.
Size 3: The list recommends 1034 diapers. If you buy 8 cases of Huggies 132ct, that will give you 1056 diapers.
There you go!
If I think of anything I’ve missed, or learn new information, I’ll continually edit this post to keep it updated! Do you have any tips or advice you think I need to add? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to this sweet lady for her calculation of average diaper usage! Credit to her for the approximate numbers I mentioned.