Updated February 2017
* To read all the poop on diapering, click here.
If you’re buying disposable diapers for your newborn, my advice is don’t go toooooo crazy with buying in bulk. Yet. To start, buy 1 box of “N’s” and a large box of Size 1’s.
1. Your baby is growing so fast during this time. If you buy two huge boxes of Size 1’s, for example, you may end up giving half of them away (I did).
2. If you aren’t satisfied with the brand you initially chose, you can experiment with other brands.
If you’re still not sure about which diapering system or brand to choose…
Criteria for Choosing
1. Your gusto — If you are not using disposable diapers, there is more work required. Where do you stand on the gung ho/lazy continuum? It’s not just you, but anyone who will be changing your baby’s diapers: your partner, grandparents, and nannies/caretakers. Some day cares, for example, will only use disposables.
2. Cost — A quick calculation: unless you are using a clean-at-home cloth diaper system, you will be spending *roughly* $40/month on disposable diapers. Some diapers are cheaper, like store brands. Some are more expensive. Cloth diapers, once purchased, only require the cost of laundering them.
3. The Eco-Factor — The sad truth is that 3.5 million tons of diapers end up in landfills every year. While cloth diapers don’t end up in the landfill, they do require lots of water and power to launder. Some say the carbon footprint of cloth and other eco diapers may not be that much less, in reality. You can reduce the carbon footprint of cloth diapers by washing them in cold water and hanging them to dry.
What about disposable diapers? We do recommend fragrance-free diapers, as toxic chemicals can be lumped in with a “fragrance” so they don’t have to be disclosed on the list of ingredients (due to “trade secret” laws). We also recommend chlorine-free diapers, if you can afford it.
4. Boy or Girl — Boys tend to pee more in the front of their diaper and for girls, pee tends to collect in the middle and back. Boys often have leaky pee pee diapers because their little weenies point in a certain direction and they pee with direction and… force (ever seen a girl write her name in the snow? Didn’t think so). For boys, getting a really snug fit around the thighs matters.
Cloth diapers have come a long way since the pre-folds and diaper pins our mothers used. Cloth diapering is a great, money-saving way to diaper your babe, not to mention SO CUTE!
The world of cloth diapers is shockingly vast, with a whole new set of acronyms to learn. Our full cloth diaper content is coming soon! In the meantime, please check the new video content we produced with Mat York (that Dad Mat)
Cloth Diapering Part 2: Favorite Brands — we are naming names in this one!
—> Continue reading about cloth diapering here.
Aside: As a practical matter, if you want to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint, the best way to do it is by potty training early. For example, if you train at two years instead of three, you are saving a YEAR’S worth of diapers! That’s great both for Mother Earth and for your pocketbook.
Many moms and nannies are now teaching their babies “Elimination Communication” (“EC”). EC has been practiced in Asia and other parts of the world for centuries and is making a comeback in America. Read here about EC, or the “diaper-free baby movement.”
These days, about 80% of parents use disposable diapers. The reason is because they are so very convenient.
Saving on ‘Sposies
To save money, disposable diapers are best bought in bulk (see caveat below). For me, buying online is a worthwhile endeavor. I certainly don’t want to schlep huge boxes of diapers all around town.
Do you want 20% off diapers and free 2-day shipping? Umm, yeaah.
Amazon Family is a program I highly recommend, although it’s not as good as it used to be. With your Amazon Prime membership ($99 per year with a free 30-day trial), you get free 2-day shipping, PLUS 20% off diapers when ordered with Subscribe & Save. The savings on shipping for last minute birthday and holidays gifts alone is worth it to me, but if you don’t shop a lot online, it may not make sense for you.
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