I get asked this question a lot: How many diapers should I stockpile for my unborn baby?
I've been hesitant to answer this question for a long time because every baby grows differently and has different diaper needs. I do, however, understand that I can provide some guidance and then let you make the final decision on what you'd like to buy.
Here are some basic diaper stockpiling guidelines to help you in the process:
- Figure out your maximum “price per diaper.” When I was diaper shopping starting three years ago, my max price for diaper was $.10 each. I think that dedicated coupon shoppers can still achieve this if you have several drugstores in your area and time before baby comes. If you don't like coupon shopping or if you don't live in an area flush with drugstores (and the accompanying diaper deals), you might want to set your maximum price a bit higher. I do recommend that you never pay more than $.22 per diaper, period. Even the most inexperienced bargain shopper can get diapers for this price almost any day of the week if you shop carefully.
- Learn how many diapers are in each pack. It's much easier to look at the weekly diaper deals and figure out your cost per diaper if you have an idea of how many diapers are in each pack.
- Assess your stockpile space. If you're ready to clip coupons and shop around, the last thing holding you back may be your storage space. I literally had a full set of shelving in my basement dedicated to storing diapers and wipes. I know I'm lucky, and not everyone has that much free space. Just be sure you're using all available areas if you're intent on saving money. Here are some creative ideas:
- Under the crib
- Unused baby closet space
- Under other beds
- In the garage
- In the attic
- Under bedroom or living room furniture (if you can keep them hidden, or if you don't mind showing off your diaper stash!)
- Decide how many of each size you want to buy. This is different for everyone, and it definitely varies with the baby. Generally, most babies spend the longest amount of time in size 2s and 3s. If you're in doubt, buy more of those! See below for are my personal recommendations on diaper sizes.
Recommended Number of Diapers per Size to Stockpile:
Newborn Diapers: 1 jumbo pack, if any. Take the extra newborn diapers from the hospital. In my experience, size one diapers my look big on a tiny baby but they usually don't leak. In fact, sometimes they're better at containing those messy early diaper disasters!
- Size 1 Diapers: 10 jumbo packs
- Size 2 Diapers: 15 jumbo packs
- Size 3 Diapers: 35 jumbo packs
- Size 4 Diapers: 35 jumbo packs
- Size 5 and 6: 0-5 jumbo packs, or as needed.
We didn't use any size 5 diapers with Haiden, and we ended Piper's diaper use while she was still in size 4s. Those bigger sizes depend on your baby's size and when you potty train.
Update: We decided to start potty training at 18 months with Piper, so we used up all the size 3 packages in our stockpile and just a few size 4s before giving away the rest.
So, there's my initial recommendation. If you're still at a loss, you can always start small and build your stockpile after baby arrives. Remember, there are diaper deals almost every week!
Your turn: Did you stockpile diapers? How many diapers did you stockpile with your babies? How did you decide what you wanted to buy?