Rachel wanted an update on my diaper stash. Happy to oblige! She asks:
Just out of curiosity, how much do you budget for diapers? I know you built a stockpile before your baby came, which I’m working on. What do you budget for on a regular basis? Or did you decide to go cloth?
Johnny is a little over three months old (he’s 14 weeks) and I’m estimating that he now weighs about 13 pounds. Since he was so small at birth (6 lbs. 5 oz.) we had him in newborn-sized diapers for his first six weeks.
The hospital had him in size 1s (and that’s the package they sent us home with) but the newborn sized ones worked better for that time.
I didn’t buy any N-sized diapers in advance, since I didn’t know how big or small he would be. We went through two boxes and I think two jumbo packs before moving him up to size 1. I think. The first few weeks are sort of hazy, ya know? So let’s say we went through about 250 or so diapers in the first six weeks.
I was in no mood to bargain hunt, so I didn’t get a super great deal on them. I used $2 off coupons for the boxes, and getting two boxes at Babies R Us gave us a $10 gift card. Still, we spent about $60 on newborn diapers, ugh. All but two were Pampers Swaddlers. The other two were Huggies that came as samples in the mail.
Around six weeks, it was time to move him up to size 1s. We used about 450 diapers in that size! Good grief. I have three packs left over, plus about 20 diapers from an opened pack. I think I’ll try to exchange the unopened packs for a larger size. I don’t have the receipts anymore, so if that doesn’t work, I’ll hang on to them for #2 or donate them.
In all, we have an extra 250 or so size 1s.
We used Pampers Swaddlers, Huggies Supreme, CVS, and Luvs. All but the Luvs were consistently fine, though I had some leaks/blowouts with all of them. For some reason, I had a lot more leaks with the Luvs. They didn’t seem as absorbant. I have 2 mega packs of Luvs left, and I’m going to try to trade them in for size 3s. Maybe they’ll work better when he’s bigger.
At 13 weeks, we moved him to size 2s. He was probably ready to move up a size at 12 weeks, but I wanted to use up as many size 1s as I could.
I have 416 in my size 2 stash. I think this might be a pack or two too many. I bought two packs of Huggies since I had the $5 off coupons that expired a few days ago and I have saved the receipt in case I need to exchange them. D’oh! Probably should have went with size 3s.
Note: If you still have that $5 off Huggies coupon, go to Rite Aid, as you can get a $3 single check rebate for them.
I have some store-brand diapers in these sizes, and I plan to try to use them while Johnny is still on the low end of the weight range. As he gets closer to the upper limit and for overnights, I’ll use the Pampers or Huggies. Perhaps going about it this way will result in fewer leaks.
If Johnny continues to gain about a half pound per week, then he’ll hit 17 pounds at 21 weeks. The upper limit for size 2s is 18 pounds, but sometimes you have to move them up a size sooner than that.
Budgeting for dipes and wipes
Since I have stockpiled so much beforehand, I haven’t really bothered to budget for diapers or wipes yet.
If you’re stockpiling diapers and wipes, I’d definitely encourage you to get as many wipes as you can handle. We’ve already gone through my stash plus an extra 600 or so. We’re using fewer wipes per change and per day now, but for awhile we were really going through them.
My favorite wipes are Target brand. They’re cloth-like and less than $0.02 each, which is a pretty good deal.
It looks like I’ll have enough diapers to get me to his eighth month, give or take. This is assuming I won’t need any more size 2s, and I’ll be able to exchange my three packs of size 1s.
It’s hard to say for sure, since his diaper habits change all the time. Once we introduce solids, I know we’ll be playing a whole different ballgame.
When my diaper stash starts to get low, I’ll evaluate where we are and I’ll continue to stockpile when I find a good deal. I’ll probably budget no more than $20 per month for diapers and wipes.
A note on cloth:
Going through as many diapers as we do, I can certainly see the wisdom in using cloth diapers at least part-time. Since we still don’t have our own washer or dryer (and we have no plans to move anytime soon), I don’t think I can commit to using cloth right now.
Pregnant first-time moms, if you want to use cloth, go for it. But don’t worry about it until your baby is at least a month old unless you’re using a diaper service or will have tons of help at home. You won’t believe how tired and busy you’ll be. You might find it a challenge to feed yourself or shower, let alone wash a load of laundry. It’ll get easier soon, I promise!