Your baby will help you become an expert diaper changer and baby clothes dresser in a matter of weeks. By the time baby is 6 months old you will have changed 1,000 diapers and who knows how many onesies. That is a lot of effort, money and time to think about the messier things in life.
Which Diapers Should You Buy?
Most parents agree that the best diapers are those that are inexpensive, comfortable and don’t leak!
Cloth or Disposable?
Expense: Cloth diapers will save you a couple of hundred dollars over a two year period compared to the cost of disposable diapers.
Comfort/health: Although opinions vary, both cloth and disposable diapers are comfortable. Champions of each side of the question believe their choice is better for diaper rash. Cloth diapers are less absorbent and therefore need to be changed more often.
Leaks: Cloth diapers and disposable diapers close with velcro patches. Leaking diapers are a function of overfilling or lack of a tight fit. Both kinds of diapers can fit comfortably but you may have to test different brands.
Effort: Cloth diapers require cleaning, then washing and drying. This is more work than disposal required by disposable diapers. Also, cloth diapers have to be changed more often as they are less absorbent.
Environment: Disposable diapers end up in landfills and they are only partially biodegradable. Cloth diapers require electricity and water to wash.
Newborns go through 240 to 320 diapers in their first month! Fortunately, daily diaper changes decrease over time and in their 13th to 24th month it is down to 120 to 170. Still, that’s a lot of diapers and associated cost.
Disposable diaper costs for a baby weighing 8 pounds at birth and is out of diapers at the end of their second year will range from $1,400 to $2,400 for average to premium quality diapers. Check out our handy diaper cost calculator to get a more accurate number.
Cloth diapers cost about $1,200 to $1,600 over the first two years including electricity and water costs.
Millions of moms are happy with the goto brands, Huggies, Pampers and Luvs. But you may be just as satisfied with discount brands like Kirkland and Aldi’s or specialty diapers like Bambo or the Honest Company.
Experienced Mommy Diaper Changing 101
Diaper bags or diaper backpacks are mandatory equipment to store all your diaper gear when you are out and about. If you have twins or multiple children you’ll probably want an even bigger diaper bag.
Make sure you buy a bag that:
- Has enough compartments for bottles, diapers, wipes, passies, burp cloths and blankets
- Has insulated pockets for bottles
- Provides easy one-handed access to everything (you’ll need it)
How Much of Everything Will I Need?
Here is a rough idea of the diaper changing supplies you’ll need in baby’s first year:
- Disposable Diapers: 2,500
- Baby Wipes: 7,000
- A changing pad or changing table
- A diaper pail
- A night light
- A diaper bag
If you have to spend money it mine as well be on cute baby clothes! Here is what you’ll need in the first year:
- 6 onesies
- 3 pairs of pants
- 4 or 5 shirts
- 5 pairs of socks
- 3 pairs of booties or baby shoes
- 4 or 5 footed sleepers with buttons or a zipper
- 3 sleep sacks
- A hooded jacket
- 3 sweaters for an extra layer
- A sun hat and a winter hat
- 4 or 5 pairs of shorts
You may also splurge on some special items like a swimsuit, dress, headbands or spiffy outfit for pictures.
With burps, spills and unmentionables you’ll have extra laundry duty on top of your other parenting responsibilities.