If you have a baby, a diaper stockpile can be invaluable. Here is everything you need to know about prices, when to stock up, and how many you will need in each size.
The Ultimate Guide to a Diaper Stockpile
Babies go through a lot of diapers.
From almost every article I’ve read, the average is between 2500 and 3000 disposable ones a year.
And that cost adds up!
While cloth diapering is on the rise with popularity, for many of us…it’s not the choice we make for our family. It can save you money though!
However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy all your disposable nappies at full price. I’ve been doing a lot of research as of late on diaper stockpiling, so I thought I’d share my findings.
I surveyed 145 parents about their children’s diaper usage, so those results are guiding my recommendations. I distributed this survey across Facebook – and not to any particular demographic, so the respondents had babies that were preemies, large at birth, and everything in between.
I was actually quite surprised with the results, which confirmed my suspicion that there is no cut and dry rule when it comes to diaper sizes and how long your kids are in them.
When it comes to stocking up on baby supplies, here is my biggest rule:
Never Pay Full Price
There are SO many deals and ways to save out there, that I think this is a pretty easy rule to follow. I see diaper coupons in our newspaper circular, online, and even just by paying attention on social media!
Thank you to Pampers and Sam’s Club for partnering with us on this post!
When should you start stocking up?
This is the one question I hear a lot – when should you start stocking up?
I hesitate to give a one size fits all answer for this. When you are pregnant, you may see a great deal that you just can’t pass up. I know I did a few times! Because we knew which brand we liked with Jack, it was a little easier for me to justify stocking up before Oliver was born.
I don’t think I would stock up on sizes beyond one before your baby is born, just in case the kind you get don’t work with your baby (either the fit, skin sensitivities, etc).
After your baby is born though and you get a good idea of how they seem to be growing, their body type, etc., I would say go at it! No trouble in stocking up.
When it comes to wipes…start stocking up as soon as you see an amazing deal once you find out you are pregnant. The thing with wipes is that you can use them whatever size your baby is.
Do keep in mind that some babies are more sensitive than others, so I would lean toward stocking up on wipes that don’t have any scent/geared toward sensitive skin until you know for sure how your kiddo reacts.
How many diapers per day?
Let’s go with an average of 2750 disposable diapers used in one year, which equates to about 7.5 per day (let’s round that up to 8).
Of course, that will vary depending on the baby, and as baby gets older, that number per day will decrease slightly. Some people change their baby’s diaper more frequently than others, so if you are the type that changes your baby’s diaper as soon as there is a drop of urine, well, you’ll probably use more.
However, here are the averages I came up with:
0-1 Months: 10-12 per day
1-5 Months: 8-10 per day
5-9 Months: 7-8 per day
9-12 Month: 6-8 per day
How many diapers in each size?
This is where it gets tricky. So much of this depends on your baby’s size!
I had people tell me I only needed one box of newborns, and I’d be set.
Both of my boys were in newborns for several months each.
However, I know plenty of people who jumped straight to size ones and were even in size threes by a month of age.
So, this is where I’m going to share the bulk of my survey that I did. Hopefully, it will give you some good insight into how long you might be able to expect your child to stay in a certain size so you can determine how many diapers to stock up on.
Newborn: About 40% of respondents said their babies were in newborn size for one month – the next closest number was two months at 22%, and then it was 11% for two weeks.
Unless you are expecting a big baby, I think it’s safe to say you’ll have your baby in newborns for several weeks. I would definitely buy at least one large box of newborns – perhaps two boxes of 88 count, so you can return one easier if you don’t need it.
Based on the numbers – and an average of about 10 diapers a day – you may need around 300 newborn diapers. I have found that Pampers Swaddlers run bigger than other brands of newborn diapers, so that is something to keep in mind. You will probably go home with 1-2 packages of diapers that have about 20 in them.
I was most surprised by these numbers because I always read so many articles saying not to get very many newborns. But based on my experience, we definitely used them for a few months.
Size One: 33% of respondents said their babies were in size one for two months, and the next closest was one month and three months. I would say stock up on two months of size one would be adequate.
Most babies in size one will be three months or younger, so I would go with an average of about nine diapers a day. For a two month supply, you will need 540 size one.
Size Two: The majority of respondents said they used size two for 2-3 months, though there was a good number of people who used them for between four and six months. I would recommend getting at least a two month stock of size twos.
I would go with an average of eight diapers a day when your baby is in size two, so around 480 size two.
Size Three: Just about everyone who responded had their kids in size three for at least three months – and some for as long as a year. My boys were in size three for about five months I would guess. But I’ll stick with the three-month range here.
I would say count on an average of six diapers a day around this point, so 540 size three.
Size Four: Size four seems to be the size many people had their babies in for around six months to a year – based on my experience with my boys, I would have to agree. I think Jack was in them for at least a year, maybe longer, and Oliver has been for about six months.
I don’t think I’d recommend having a year supply though, but let’s go with the six-month number. At the point where my boys were in size four, they were probably having 4-5 diapers a day. I think starting with a supply of 720 size four is a good idea.
Size Five: Size five is where people in my survey started to drop off and say their kids weren’t ever in them before they were potty trained.
If your child is over the age of two, though, I would imagine they would be in size five at some point.
I don’t know that I’d worry about stocking up on these too much at first unless you are starting to feel like size four are getting tight and potty training is not on the horizon, you can start looking for deals.
For the people who did use them, it was typically for 6-12 months (so obviously you need them if you need them!). I would say 3-4 a day at this point, so maybe 540 for a six month supply of size five.
Size Six: Very few respondents even said they made it to size six with their kids. Jack was potty trained at the age of three, and I think he was in size five for a few months before that. I honestly wouldn’t try to stock up on size six unless you are about to reach that point!
And, if all else fails, many stores will take back an unopened box of diapers if you end up with too many…and if they don’t? Well, that’s what Facebook marketplace is for.
You May Also Enjoy: How to Make a Diaper Cake
How to Find the Best Deals on Diapers
You might be wondering how do you even get diapers to these lower prices per diaper.
There are tons of ways!
Amazon – EVERY parent needs to signup for Amazon Family. You can really get the best deals on diapers (along with other products) by using their Subscribe & Save program. You can get a free 30-day free trial through this link. This is where we buy most of ours.
Coupons – Either new newspaper circulars, emails, or from websites, you can almost always find a coupon. If you aren’t brand loyal, this can be especially helpful.
Cash Back Apps – I’m a big fan of cashback apps, because you can use them on top of regular coupons! I often see diaper rebates here.
Here is an article I wrote about – I’ve made hundreds by using these – the best cash back apps. The number one I would recommend signing up for is Ibotta – you can get $10 back right after you redeem your first rebate when you sign up through our link.
Deal Websites – I recommend following a deal website that shares diaper deals. I always like Freebies2Deals and Utah Sweet Savings!
Rewards Programs – A lot of diaper companies have rewards companies. These sometimes can help you get more diapers or earn rewards for other products. I love the Pampers Reward program – they randomly have rewards numbers that you can use even without buying diapers.
Club/Warehouses – If you aren’t really a big fan of couponing and what not, stores like Sam’s Club offer the best prices, in my opinion, right off the bat. They will be higher than if you are using coupons, but there’s definitely the added convenience of the large box sizes and availability.
Need some more ideas? Here are some more tips on how to save on diapers.
Diaper Stock Up Price
I see a lot of different ideas on what the ideal stock up price is. To be honest, it might be different for everyone! But as I’ve read tons of different blogs, I find that everyone definitely has their number.
The first thing to keep in mind is to look at the individual cost of each diaper, rather than the cost of the box. This is where you’ll find the best deals and value.
The larger the diaper gets in size, the more you will likely be paying more per diaper…but you will also be *most likely* using fewer diapers the older your baby gets (since most babies/toddlers don’t have poopy diapers with every feeding like a newborn does!).
Below are the averages that I’ve come up with from the blog posts I’ve read and my own experiences. You can occasionally find them cheaper if you are watching the deals and sales (I’ve seen people getting diapers for as low as 8¢ per diaper) but I feel these are pretty reasonable. I feel like I’ve often seen people saying between .10 and .15 cents, though this will vary depending on the size of the diaper.
Also, keep in mind that when there’s an emergency…there’s an emergency. These are the prices I would recommend stocking up with – not necessarily driving yourself mad trying to find if you are in a bind 🙂 I think that in general, trying to find under 16¢ a diaper is a great find.
Newborn: 12¢ – 16¢
Size 1: 10¢ – 14¢
Size 2: 10¢ – 15¢
Size 3: 10¢ – 15¢
Size 4: 13¢ – 15¢
Size 5: 15¢-22¢
Size 6: 15¢-26¢
I think that aiming for under 2¢ per wipe is a pretty good deal. You can often find wipes deals for $1 or under – even as low as 50 cents (the savviest of shoppers might even get them for free!).
Whenever you see a good sale on wipes – stock up! You can use them even after your kiddos aren’t in diapers anymore.
Although I prefer Pampers for diapers, I really like Huggies wipes!
Best Diaper Brand
This will truly depend on your baby and your preferences. However, with both of our boys, we used Pampers Swaddlers above all others.
I remember when Jack was born, we had another brand of diapers – not only did I feel they ran small, but they did not hold in ANYTHING! We then tried another brand…and then the same thing happened.
Swaddlers were the only thing to hold in blowouts and urine throughout the night. I love how soft they area, and their wetness indicator.
In my survey, Pampers came out on top as the most popular diaper brand. 34.6% of those surveyed said that Pampers were their favorites – the next closest brand came in at 25%.
However, I strongly recommend ordering a sample pack from Diaper Dabbler. They let you order a variety of different brands of diapers, so you don’t have to buy a big pack only to find out it doesn’t work for your child. I WISH this existed when my boys were little (especially my first).