When it comes to getting ready for baby (or shopping once they've already just arrived), one of the essential things you'll need to do is purchase diapers.
And boy does it start to feel "real" when your shopping cart is filled with actual diapers! Even the size zero diapers likely seem HUGE to you right now 🐥.
So, the question we had as a soon-to-be-mamma was, "How many of these boxes should we actually buy"? So we decided to write this post to give you an accurate number of how many you'll need to be reasonably prepared for each stage and size.
We'll caveat this with the obvious fact that every baby is different. Following the recommendations below will get you as close as you can to buying the right amount, but depending on your baby's size and growth, you may need more or less!
Choosing the right type of diaper
While this article is intended for parents that are wanting to use disposable diapers like Pampers or Huggies, etc, There are also a lot of great choices for reusable (or cloth) diapers as well. Feel free to choose whichever diaper product works best for your family and needs, and if you're unsure about which one is right for you, here is a helpful comparison.
When should your stock up on diapers?
As a parent of a newborn, you're likely going to have your hands full. From feedings to sleep to everything in between, time will quickly become your most precious resource. Because of this, we recommend that expecting parents check off some of the easiest things to buy so that you're stocked up when baby finally arrives.
Can you buy them after you bring baby home? Absolutely, but why not make it easier on yourself and stock up ahead of time. Trust me, getting out of the house the first few weeks is rough and if you've got enough diapers at home, you'll be thankful to have one less thing on your to-do list.
Huggies vs. Pampers vs Kirkland
These are the two most popular diaper brands so we thought we'd share our thoughts on how they stack up. In the end, they are both pretty much the same. We've heard some horror stories from other brands, so we stuck to the more 'premium' Huggies little snugglers product because the first few months you need all the help you can get!
Cost-wise they are pretty much the same. Costco also sells Huggies for infants but their own brand, Kirkland doesn't start until size 2 or 3. The Kirkland brand seems to be almost identical to the Huggies, so we used those interchangeably.
Here's what we bought:
- Brand: Huggies Little Snugglers
- Price: ~$24 for a box/ $.17 per diaper at the time of this post
- Qty: 1 Box of 128
- How many left? Used the whole box and then we were ready for Size 1. We had about 3-5 newborn diapers that we decided to just use until they were gone. They were a little snug for baby and we think it caused a few 'blowouts' that probably could have been avoided if we had sized up instead, but hey, we didn't want to waste any and there were too few to make sense donating.
- Brand: Huggies Lil' Snugglers
- Price: ~$37.49 for a box/ $.19 per diaper at the time of this post
- Qty: 1 Box of 198 Diapers
- How many left? Used the whole box and then we were ready for size 2. We wouldn't suggest ordering more than this amount because they grow up so fast!
- Brand: Huggies Lil' Snugglers (or Kirkland Brand Diapers)
- Price: ~$37.49 for a box/ $.21 per diaper
- Qty: TWO Boxes of 180 Diapers
- How many left? Baby is 3 mo and we are still using size 2 diapers. Ordered a second box as we should be in these for a while until we hit 18 lbs.
When to size up
Ah, the size chart. Is it helpful? Absolutely. Should you follow it? Almost. If you want to ensure your little one is comfortable and that you as a parent are avoiding as many "blowouts" as possible, we recommend sizing up sooner than they suggest. If you wait until the actual maximum weight for each size, then you may end up with a few too many leaks which are not fun! So when in doubt, size up early. You'll be glad you did.
Wondering the best place to buy diapers? You might be surprised. Amazon has the best prices that we've found so far, especially if you combine their prices with the Subscribe & Save options, you can save an additional 20% off of their retail prices. For a great deal, target a price of as close to $0.20 per diaper. And don't pull your hair out if you're over or under that amount!
When we did a head to head comparison of Costco vs. Amazon, they came out almost exactly even. However, both places run sales every so often where you can stock up. Costco seasonally has $5 OFF or a $7.50 OFF which will make them a wiser buy, but we've also seen Amazon run a few of these manufacturer promos too.
Need it quick?: Costco will ship diapers to you for FREE and they arrive in about 2 days, just like Amazon. If you're behind on diapers and need a last minute order, Costco can still get you what you need, fast.
Adding on Cash-back Rewards
If you're looking to save even more, you can get 5% cash-back from Costco on purchases you make if you have the right membership level. So if prices are the same, that might be a good deal.
Alternatively, you can also get the Amazon credit card to pair with Prime Membership for an additional 5% back on all your purchases too. We waited too long before doing this and it's been a huge benefit for us in how we shop.
The reality is that you'll likely be purchasing diapers for the next few years, so you might as well set yourself up for success in the long-term. And the small dollars do add up over time!
Have you found your favorite diaper brand for your baby yet? Let us know your loyalty in the comments below!
Please note: Items above may contain Amazon affiliate links. Purchasing directly from these referral links helps support the Curious Baby Blog and costs nothing to you!