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The Complete Diaper Guide – What Kind? What Size? How Many? How Much?

You’re having a baby! Congratulations! Enjoy all the cute outfits, soft baby blankets, and adorable baby toys.

Now, let’s get real about one of the less enjoyable parts of parenthood, buying and changing diapers.

What Kind?

We all know what babies do in diapers, so you don’t need a Cadillac brand, right? Wrong!

Don’t worry, you don’t need sustainable luxury high end diapers (unless that’s your jam, then by all means!), but diapers are like many things in life in that you often get what you pay for.

I quickly learned that buying the most inexpensive diapers led to an increase in:

  • Leaks
  • Blowouts
  • Irritability (of baby, and as a result, me!)

Through trial and error (and error, and error), I found my desired brand, Pamper’s Swaddlers!

I’d like to disclose that I am participating in an Amazon affiliate program to link my recommendations to their website. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

I’m assuming we’re all proud penny pinchers but handling a level 5 blowout at 2:30am due to an unnamed brand, will give you a new perspective on value.

When my daughter started walking around her first birthday, we switched her to Pamper’s Cruisers.

I’m currently stockpiling diapers for my baby boy due in just 8 weeks! Which is why I’m reflecting now on what I really need.

What Size?

Once you’ve selected your brand of choice, there should be a sizing chart. I’ve included the one I used for Pamper’s Swaddlers below. This chart has size and estimated daily usage, we’ll talk numbers in just a moment!

Pamper’s Swaddlers Size/Quantity Chart:

Newborn: <10lbs = 8 Diapers/Day Size 1: 8-14lbs = 6.5 Diapers/Day Size 2: 12-18lbs = 5.5 Diapers/Day Size 3: 16-28lbs = 5 Diapers/Day Size 4: 22-37lbs = 4.5 Diapers/Day Size 5: >27lbs = 4 Diapers/Day

Size 6: >13lbs = 4 Diapers/Day

How Many?

This is equal parts art and science!

You’ll see in the chart above there is some overlap in sizing which is helpful.

I’ll start with my personal experience, but I’ve also included weight averages from the World Health Organization (WHO) at the end of this section to assist in estimating your child’s weight progression for their first year.

My Personal Experience:

When my daughter was born at 39 weeks and 1 day, she was 7lbs 1oz. She has stayed consistently below the 50th percentile in weight.

This wasn’t surprising because I knew my Mom had smaller kiddos. I believe the birthweight of Mom and Dad are great clues to estimating your baby’s.

Throughout your OB appointments your doctor may give you a clue as to how quickly baby is growing and estimate birth weight at full term. We’ve been told we’re tracking ahead on our son, so I’m expecting him to be closer to 8lbs at his arrival.

When looking at the Pamper’s size/usage chart, we used +1 diaper/day than the number it showed. My daughter must have had a healthy digestive system and I also made sure to address solid diapers immediately.

This is what we’re stockpiling for baby boy:

Newborn: 1 month at 9 diapers/day= 270 diapers

Size 1: 3 months at 7.5 diapers/day = 675 diapers

Size 2: 1 month at 6.5 diapers/day = 195 diapers

Size 3: 7 months at 6 diapers/day = 1,260diapers

2,400 diapers for a total year

World Health Organization – Averages

Source below chart!

Age 50th percentile weight for male babies 50th percentile weight for female babies
Birth 7.8 lbs. (3.5 kg) 7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg)
1 month 9.7 lbs. (4.4 kg) 9.2 lbs. (4.2 kg)
2 months 11.5 lbs. (5.2 kg) 10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg)
3 months 13.2 lbs. (6 kg) 12 lbs. (5.4 kg)
4 months 14.8 lbs. (6.7 kg) 13.7 lbs. (6.2 kg)
5 months 16.3 lbs. (7.4 kg) 14.7 lbs. (6.7 kg)
6 months 17.4 lbs. (7.9 kg) 15.8 lbs. (7.2 kg)
7 months 18.5 lbs. (8.4 kg) 17 lbs. (7.7 kg)
8 months 19.6 lbs. (8.9 kg) 18 lbs. (8.1 kg)
9 months 20.5 lbs. (9.3 kg) 18.7 lbs. (8.5 kg)
10 months 21.4 lbs. (9.7 kg) 19.4 lbs. (8.8 kg)
11 months 22 lbs. (10 kg) 20.3 lbs. (9.2 kg)
12 months 22.7 lbs. (10.3 kg) 21 lbs. (9.5 kg)

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/average-baby-weight#weight-chart

How Much? 

We’re projecting to need $700 worth of diapers for the first year. Note I said “worth”! We will not be paying $700. I’ll break down costs by size and share some ways we’ll be spending considerably less than that!

Average Maximum Price per Diaper:

I shop around online, and this is what I’m comfortable spending by size based on my history of diaper orders:

Size N: $34.08 for 120 (28 cents)

Size 1: $54.80 for 216 (25 cents)

Size 2: $49.97 for 186 (27 cents)

Size 3: $49.12 for 168 (29 cents)

What we are stockpiling for our son:

Newborn: 1 month at 9 diapers/day= 270 diapers so $76

Size 1: 3 months at 7.5 diapers/day = 675 diapers so $169

Size 2: 1 month at 6.5 diapers/day = 195 diapers so $53

Size 3: 7 months at 6 diapers/day = 1,260diapers so $365

Total of $663

Because we’ll need to buy round box sizes, account for blowouts, diaper bags, etc. I’d say $700 worth of diapers will get you through the first year.

Ways to Save:

Baby shower

When you create your registry for your baby shower, make sure to list your brand preference and register for multiple sizes and quantities.

I always buy diapers for my friends who are pregnant because well, I know that’s what they really want!

With my first child, I had no idea what to register for. So, we got a lot of wonderful, adorable, and expensive things that we didn’t truly need. If you need help with what you should really register for, please check out this article.

For our baby due right around the corner, a wonderful friend threw me a baby sprinkle where it was raining diapers! I have all the newborn, size 1, and size 2 to get me going. So essentially, we’re set until baby boy is 6 months old! What a blessing. I’ll turn my attention to excellent deals on size 3.

Rewards Program

Pampers has a rewards program where you can put the code from each package of diapers or wipes into an app for points. These points are saved up and redeemable for little gifts or my favorite, coupons! I probably have enough codes with the gifts I’ve been given, to save $5-$10 on diapers.

iBotta

I’m a huge fan of iBotta, and I’m so pleased to see their baby section becoming more developed!

It’s a free app that you can look at before you head to the store and see what items will give you cash back for purchases. Last Saturday we redeemed the $5.00 off Pamper’s Cruisers offer at Walmart. There was a $3 off Pamper’s Swaddlers but I didn’t think to redeem it just yet for the size 3 I need since I’m not in a hurry.

When looking on iBotta I search for Walmart and Amazon.com and see which has the best deal. Amazon usually has a certain percentage back on baby products.

To learn more about ways to save with baby, including iBotta, check out this article.

Subscriptions

Several websites allow you to set up monthly subscriptions for diapers and save money. When we had our first daughter, I set up a subscription for her diapers to arrive each month for 5% off on Amazon. I only let it order a few months however because it will order for whatever the price is at the time and I didn’t like the lack of control there. It never ordered for too much but when pennies count, I needed to have more control.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club has Instant Savings that run nearly every month. There is often a Pamper’s one every other month. The deals can be saving $5-$10 when you purchase 2. That can really add up. I imagine Costco may have something similar, but we don’t have one around here.

Final notes…

I hope this was helpful in what to prepare for the first year with baby!

What is your best diaper tip? Here are a couple of mine:

Blue Lines – When you buy Pamper’s Swaddlers, the lines are yellow on the front. When the diaper becomes wet on the inside, the line turns blue! I thought everyone knew this, until my Nana came and visited for a week. It wasn’t until the day she left that she realized this. She asked, “does Suzie need a new diaper?” and I replied, “Nope, the line is still yellow.” She was floored! She asked me why I waited until the end of the week to tell her this because she was physically checking all day! Whoops! 😊

Better Safe than Sorry – When you are changing your baby’s diaper, put the new one under the current one before you undo it. That way if anything spills or leaks out, it’s on the new diaper and not on your mat, carpet, etc. I didn’t start doing this until my daughter was 6-months and it was a game changer!

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