The average child will get about 6700 diaper changes between the ages of 0-3 and the costs can be staggering. Disposable diapers
from brands like Pampers, Huggies or Luvs can be expensive running about $.32/diaper. There are alternatives such as cloth diapers
that can even be delivered and cleaned by a diaper service. If you go the cloth diaper route and home launder them, the cost per diaper works out to about $.12 per diaper change. That sounds reasonable and is worth the extra work for some couples, but most people still use disposable diapers and just throw away the dirty diaper. Some of the cheaper diaper brands like Wal-Mart White Cloud sell for about $.21/diaper and users say they work just as well as regular diapers if changed regularly. Most diapers never actually have to perform that well since babies have their diapers changed so regularly when they are infants. You may have a diaper leak periodically, but for the most part diapers hold up for a few hours no problem. I have used Huggies diapers for the last few years with my daughter and now my son. Pampers seemed to give my kids rashes from the material the diaper was made from, so we switched to Huggies and haven't looked back.
You can watch a diaper changing video on Youtube below:
Choosing the best diaper
- The first thing you'll notice when buying diapers is that they come in a variety of sizes. This makes sense as kids grow pretty fast and what your infant wears at 6 months will totally change once they reach 9 months or a year. Most diaper sizes are based on weight specifications - i.e. Pampers Cruisers
come sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. Check the weight of your baby with the size on the package to get the right match. For the more eco-conscious parents, you can buy Seventh Generation diapers ($.40/diaper) made free of chlorine, fragrances, and latex. I've found that buying diapers in bulk from stores like Costco can reduce the cost even more. Amazon does an amazing business of selling diapers on their website since you can get them in bulk quantities - trust met with babies and toddlers, you'll go through hundreds of diapers without blinking an eye. The best prices on diapers are really only available when you purchase them in large amounts. A newer product we came across is called the gDiapers which are flushable and considered the perfect "green alternative" to regular disposable diapers. There is a reusable pant that features an outer layer that is washable and the full decomposable refill sits on the inside. Just flush it down the toilet when soiled and put in a refill. You may think this sounds kind of gross, but parents give these gDiapers excellent feedback and most would but them again, although the price is quite high compared to disposable diapers. Ideally, you want a leak proof diaper that holds up well over at least a few hours. You never know when you may be in a car or similar situation where the diaper needs to do its job. I can remember flying to the Bay Area once with my wife and our newborn daughter and she completely "destroyed" a new diaper within minutes and we were just taking off. The other passengers had to sit and endure the smell until we were able to get to the bathroom and change her. A good diaper is something that any new parent will tell you is mandatory. Diaper Reviews
- You can find them listed on parenting websites, parent forums, About.com and online retailers like Walmart or Amazon. You can browse the best selling diapers online here
For the best diapers, we recommend Huggies
for dryness, fastener quality, and fit. More importantly they tend to be cheaper than Pampers which should save you a few bucks considering the cost will add up over time. For newborns, Pampers Swaddlers (up to 18 lbs) do the best. They come in 3 sizes and have super stretchy sides with lots of padding in the back. As for older babies, Pampers Custom-Fit Cruisers ($.34/diaper) cost more than the others, but they rank highest for leak prevention in babies from 16-35 lbs. When your child moves on from diapers to training pants at night or nap time, the best bet is GoodNites Underpants at about $.80 per diaper. Often referred to as pull-ups, these training pants help your child get out of diapers and become potty trained. The Goodnites are made easy to get on and off for kids and have a handy tear away side so adults can quickly get the child to the toilet and let them go. Amazon lists all the top brands and you can view the most popular diapers here
. As of now the Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Diapers
are the top sellers on Amazon. They come in all sizes for your infant or toddler.
Diapers Flushable Refills:
As we mentioned above, a new innovative diaper is on the market called the gDiapers
. Considered to a "green alternative" to the disposable diapers we see in stores, the gDiapers give you a reusable "Little G" pant that features an outer layer that is washable and comes with a decomposable refill that is absorbent. The big reason parents are buying these is because the inner part is completely ok to flush down the toilet (some households have problems with this). For the most part, reviews on the gDiapers are very good and parents say they take away the hassle of having smelly diapers sitting in diaper pails. The only totally negative review we found on Amazon was related to the diapers not being shipped to the state of Alaska. Otherwise they are praised for being environmentally friendly and very convenient in most homes. They will cost you a bit more than traditional disposable diapers, so consider that before buying.
How to Change a Diaper:
After a few weeks of changing diapers we all could become experts, but for beginners it can be a daunting task. Newborns are so tiny you almost feel like they are going to break if you move them around too much. We found an excellent site for first time parents wanting the ins and outs of "how to change a diaper" at http://babyparenting.about.com/cs/diapering/ht/changediaper.htm
Tinytots is the most recognized diaper service company in America and they offer 100% cotton diapers with no chemicals or dioxins. They help reduce landfill waste, tree usage (stats show it takes 20 trees to diaper one baby in disposables for 2 years), and claim to help promote toilet training at a much younger age than babies who wear disposable diapers. The Tiny Tots diaper service delivers 80 diapers/week which works out to $74/month ($.23/diaper) for newborns and infants. They have extra thick and absorbent diapers for sizes 18 lbs and up with a 60 diapers a week charge of $18 ($72/month). The price per diaper at that point works out to about the same as disposables ($.30) but you are helping to preserve the earth and not littering the landfills with waste products. I saw a diaper coupon on the Tinytots.com
website for a $17.50 discount off the first 4 weeks of service. That way you can give the service a try and see if you like it. I think the only drawback is that you don't get the same diapers back each week which means you are getting other peoples babies diapers (washed and cleaned of course, but still strange).