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The complete guide to building a diaper stockpile

Getting ready for a new baby? Time to stock up on diapers! Here is my complete guide to building a diaper stockpile!

One of the big costs associated with a baby is diapers! While disposable diapers aren’t too expensive each, they certainly add up as you use a dozen a day.

One way to help with the cost of buying diapers is to create a diaper stockpile. This makes it so after the baby is born, when there’s a lot of expenses, diapers are one thing you don’t have to worry about.

What is the difference between different types of diapers?

Some diapers fit shorter, wider babies and some fit longer, thinner babies better. In my experience, the only way to really know is to try.

I also will say that I found that brands varied a lot more at smaller sizes and once kids are in size 3 or so, they all sort of evened out.

I’d suggest you get a variety of brands in the smaller sizes so you can try them for yourself on your actual baby.

Benefits of a diaper stockpile

There are a few benefits to having a diaper stockpile.

  • You will not need to run out in the middle of the night for diapers.
  • You can shop for the best deals and sales by shopping in advance.

Negatives of a diaper stockpile

There are also some not so great parts of having a diaper stockpile.

  • You will have to store large amounts of bulky diapers, some for a long time.
  • If you estimate poorly, you could have a lot of excess diapers in an unneeded size.
  • You could end up with a ton of a brand or style of diaper that doesn’t work for your baby.
  • If you aren’t getting free diapers, stockpiling will require you to spend a lot of money at once and sort of hoard it in a pile in your garage for a year or more.

How to store diapers

Diapers need to be stored in a dry place – moisture can make them swell up like… well, like a wet diaper.

Consider adding a shelf to your attic, basement, or garage to store your diaper stockpile.

how to build a diaper stockpile

How to build a diaper stockpile

There are a few ways to build a diaper stockpile:

  • Request a diaper shower
  • Shop sales and coupons
  • Ask for hand me downs
  • Buy in bulk

Request a diaper shower

If someone is throwing you a baby shower, request diapers! My husband’s office actually always did a diaper shower. It allowed people to easily buy something inexpensive (several departments “pooled together) to buy a big box or two of diapers, and some people individually brought small packs). We ended up with TONS of diapers this way!

Shop sales and coupons

When you get pregnant, advertisers know. I’m not sure if insurance sells your info or if it’s all based on internet search history, but you will start getting samples and coupons in the mail. Put them to use!

While store brands are cheaper day-to-day, coupons and sales can make name brand diapers cheaper a lot of the time.

Also, sign up for some free baby boxes. Here is my review of the best free baby boxes!

Ask for hand me downs

Tell friends you are looking for diapers and to save you any extras. Post in your neighborhood facebook group. My neighborhood has a “mommy” facebook group and people are always offering up leftover loose diapers and open packs!

Buy in bulk

We actually get almost all of our diapers at Costco. Especially with baby #2, I didn’t have time to coupon or shop around. Buying Kirkland brand was budget friendly and quick and easy! Costco also does a big diaper sale a few times a year, so we always buy the max number of boxes (usually 3 or 4) then!

How much should you pay per diaper?

Your diaper stockpile price is going to be lower than the average, off the shelf price.

Here is what I consider a good price per diaper:

  • Size Newborn: $0.09
  • Size 1: $0.10
  • Size 2: $0.13
  • Size 3: $0.14
  • Size 4: $0.15

How many diapers of each size should I stockpile?

The exact number of diapers that you need will vary depending on your kids. However, here are some numbers to get you started.

How many boxes of newborn diapers do I need?

Newborn diapers are risky. If your baby is over 9 pounds at birth they very well might never wear a newborn diaper. My daughter wore newborn diapers for less than a week.

But, the newborn stage is when you LEAST want to go out to the store and have to emergency stock up on diapers.

I’d get about 200 newborn diapers.

So, I’d add a little cushion. Know that if your baby is very small, you will need more newborn sized diapers.

How many boxes of size 1 diapers do you need?

Some babies wear size 1 diapers for a long time, though mine really grew out of them quickly. I’d stick to a max of 450 of these.

How many boxes of size 2 diapers do you need?

My kids wore size 2 diapers for a long time. I think 900 diapers is a good number to stockpile.

How many boxes of size 3 diapers do you need?

Size 3 is the size that your kid will probably use for the longest time and I think is the best to stockpile. It’s easy to go through over 1,000 of these before your kids grow out of them! Plus, at this point most brands fit pretty equally so it’s great to shop sales.

How many boxes of size 4 diapers do you need?

I suggest not stockpiling size 4 diapers. This is a LONG way out and, depending on their size, your child might be potty trained before needing size 4 diapers. You can stockpile them in a year if you feel like you will need them!

How many boxes of pull ups do you need?

I suggest not stockpiling pull ups. This is a LONG way out. We personally never used pull ups when potty training. I’d wait until your child is at least 18 months to gauge what your potty training plan will be and go from there.

How many boxes of overnight diapers do you need?

It can’t hurt to have overnight diapers on hand, but some kids don’t need them. My son HAD to have overnight diapers or he would pee too much for a diaper over night! He also slept super well from a young age.

On the other hand, my daughter never slept longer than 2 hours at a time until she was 13 months old (oh joy) and never needed overnight diapers because we had so many opportunities to change her. Lucky us!

Anyways, if you see any overnight diapers on super sale, grab them, but otherwise I’d use the wait-and-see method to see if these are even necessary for you.

How many wipes to stockpile?

You can never have too many baby wipes. It’s not like diapers that kids outgrow. Use them for diaper changes, wiping hands, and wiping butts even after they are potty trained. I dare to say get as many wipes as you can at a bargain price – you will use them eventually.

Just beware that some babies do have allergic reactions to certain wipes – especially scented ones. I’d steer clear of those and buy the simplest, clean and clear wipe. We (shocker) prefer Costco’s Kirkland brand.

Diaper stockpile chart

Here’s a handy chart of how many diapers of each size you will need in your baby diaper stockpile!

Diaper sizeWeightStockpile
Newborn< 10 lbs200 diapers
Size 18-14 lbs450 diapers
Size 212-18 lbs900 diapers
Size 316-28 lbs1200 diapers
Size 422-37 lbs0 – wait
Pull up16-34 lbs0 – wait
Night diapersCome in sizes 2-41-2 packs
WipesN/AAs many as possible
diaper stockpile number of each size

What if you stockpile too many diapers?

Returning Diapers

Can you return opened packs of diapers?

Wondering if you can return open diapers?

Can you return diapers without a receipt?

Donating Diapers

When your kids outgrow a size of diapers, you should consider donating any extras.

Did you know that food stamps and other financial support systems do not cover diapers and wipes? There are many families in need of diaper support.

I am personally very involved with our local diaper bank. We collect diapers – even loose diapers from open packs – bundle them in saran wrap, and provide them to food banks and other community organizations to distribute.

If you have loose, open packs of diapers that you can’t return or sell, donate them! Simply google your city + “diaper bank” to find a donation location near you.

Thanks for reading!

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