Diaper Costs

It goes without saying that when you add a new baby to the household, you’re going to be adding new costs as well. People will tell you that when you bring a baby home, all you REALLY need is a place for them to sleep, something to wear, and…diapers.

The cost of diapers is so hard to estimate because there are so many variables: cloth vs. disposable, brand, size, number of changes, etc. Cloth diapers are becoming more popular these days (at least they are in my message board community). They’ve come a LONG way from prefolds and hoping you won’t stab baby with the safety pin while fastening it. These days cloth diapers come in cute prints, elastic leg openings, and one-size-fits-all varieties with rows of snaps for adjusting.

All that being said, to be honest, we didn’t even consider going the cloth diaper route. They are cute and green and we would save some money over the course of a few years, but the convenience of disposable diapers weighed out for us. We started with Pampers Swaddlers and are now using Pampers Baby Dry. Pampers have always worked for us, so we never tried another brand. If it ain’t broke and all that…

Since I bought all of Caelan’s diapers from Amazon (using the Amazon Mom discount plus the Subscribe & Save option), I was able to easily look up my order history and calculate how much we spent in the first year. Here is the breakdown:

Size Time Used # of Diapers Cost
NB 6 weeks 476 $64.56
1 6 weeks 368 $63.45
2 2 months 420 $86.33
3 6 months 1080 $205.01
4 1 month 128 $37.75
*EP 4* 5 months 150 $48.69
TOTAL 2622 $505.79

*EP4* These are the Extra Protection diapers that we have been using for Caelan at night. We started using these when he was around 7 months old because he was sleeping so long at night (yay!) that a regular diaper wasn’t cutting it. We got them one size up from his normal daytime diapers. They are a little more expensive, but since we were only using 1 per day and it was saving us from him waking up soaked, it was worth it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will add that we also spent $94.06 on wipes and $49.71 on Diaper Genie refills. So that brings our total diapering cost for the first year to $649.56, or about $54.13/month.

Honestly…it’s less than I feared. Yes, diapers are expensive, but it’s a temporary expense – in a couple years, Caelan will be out of diapers.

We are using all brand name products, and Pampers aren’t exactly the least expensive diapers/wipes around so you could certainly save some by going with another brand or a store brand. But not all brands are equal and not all will work with your child’s body/skin so you may have to experiment.

After I added all this up, Bill asked me if I added up how much we spent on formula. I did not, for 2 reasons. 1) I didn’t buy formula through Amazon so it would be much harder to track down all the formula purchases over the months, and 2) I really don’t even want to know. Formula is so expensive, I’m sure we spent a lot. I constantly collected coupons and formula checks and saved anywhere from $5 to $19 on any one formula purchase so I feel like I made the best of an expensive situation 🙂


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