How Much You'll Actually Spend On Diapers In Year 1

I’m just the right amount of crazy to track every single diaper we changed in year one

If you are currently pregnant and wondering how much you will spend on diapers — you came to the right place. If you are a parent to a newborn and are curious how much longer it will be until you aren’t changing 8 diapers a day — you also came to the right place. Welcome.

Today, I’m going to break down exactly how many diapers you will change in year one and exactly how much it will cost you.

Spoiler alert: it’s not cheap.

Most of this information comes from personal experience, actual numbers I’ve tracked and calculated over the past twelve months and price points for Canadian brand diapers. Because yes, you guessed it. I’m just the right amount of crazy to track every single diaper we changed in year one.

Disclaimer: I won’t be touching on cloth diapers in this post and my baby was exclusively breastfed. Therefore, this is your friendly reminder that although this number is legit — it’s not the only number.

When your baby is first home, the Internet is mostly right in the fact that you will change a ton of diapers in week one. But it’s important to note that your baby won’t poop a ton for the first couple of days. So, they at least buy us some time to learn how to change diapers without having to deal with the constant number two’s. On the other hand, once they start to poop it’s pretty odd for your daily conversations to be about anything other than some sort of diaper joke or ad-lib about the time you got poop on your hands — because yes, it totally happens. Before we get into too much of that, though, let’s dive right into the numbers.

We changed 58 diapers in the first 10 days

After being home for one full day (otherwise known as an eternity), we immediately realized that we needed to start tracking all of our babies day-to-day activities. Partially for our own sanity, but also so that when medical professionals asked us how she was doing, we would be able to answer them. Your pediatrician will base the babies first few weeks at home around the amount of wet diapers they have and whether or not they have pooped yet. Man alive, how many times am I going to talk about poop in this blog post.

Take a sip of coffee every time you read the word poop.

We used Glow Baby to track time spent diaper changes and more. I’m not an affiliate, and it wasn’t THE BEST app ever — but it did the job of helping us remember what happened 20 minutes ago (surprisingly tough when you become a parent), it was free and it kept me sane. Feel free to download before baby arrives so that you don’t have to worry about the dreaded “Storage Almost Full” message when you need space the most.

Source: WIC Breastfeeding Support

Source: WIC Breastfeeding Support

Most places will lead you to believe that you might change up to 10 diapers per day in the first week. We found it to be much less. At first, your baby will poop meconium (cute), and then seedy poops will start to join the party.

In the first 10 days of our baby being alive, we changed just under 6 diapers per day.

Still think that’s a lot? It gets worse. Between breastfeeding, sleeping and breastfeeding again — there wasn’t much time to change her diaper other than every four to five hours.

Also, unless she pooped, the diapers are pretty durable. I mean, that is their job after all.

Check out the chart I checked on a regular basis cough hourly cough to make sure my baby was healthy.


How many diapers will you change each month?

Luckily, with diapers, the numbers tend to decrease the older your child gets. This means that the more you spend on food, the less you spend on diapers so — things balance out? She says, cringing at her increasingly expensive grocery bill. 

DIAPERS CHANGED IN 12 MONTHS

In month one (plus the additional 10 days in May), we changed over 300 diapers. None of which were newborn diapers. That averages out at 8 diapers per day in month one.

SIDENOTE: Can I just say that newborn diapers were the greatest scam we experienced? We received over 400 newborn sized diapers at our baby shower and were unable to use a single one. They only go up to 7 pounds and our 8.5 pound baby wasn’t able to squeeze her cute and chubby lil’ thighs into those teeny tiny yellow covered in pee bikinis.

After two more months changing well over 200 diapers, things began to taper off and get to a more manageable number. As manageable as poop (sip your coffee) covered diapers can be.

DIAPERS CHANGED PER DAY

Monthly diaper sizes included

At first, you change a lot of diapers because your baby is only having milk or formula, which they digest fairly quickly. It’s hard to remember changing eight diapers a day — probably because that’s more diapers than sleep us new parents will get. When we introduced solids around six months, the average daily diaper changes started to taper off. Once our baby started to sleep through the night, which was around 10 months old, we found we had another slight drop in average diapers changes per day. If you are curious what factored in the diaper size changes, one major reason for increases were when we had poop explosions. Sorry, you just looked really thirsty.

Significant diaper milestones:

  • Week 3 — Changed 78 diapers or 11 DIAPERS/DAY!!

  • Months 2 & 3 — Biggest diaper weeks were 70 diapers or 10 DIAPERS/DAY!

  • In total, we changed 2,057 diapers in our daughter’s first year.


How much do diapers cost?

When you change over 2,000 diapers in one year, you really start to learn about what types of diapers you love and what brands are best for you and your family. I’ll admit that with the hodgepodge of diapers we received from our baby shower guests, we were able to test out nearly every brand — from no name to The Honest Company. At first, we were big fans of Huggies thanks to their diapers changing colour when our baby had peed (which was definitely a saving grace), but when those bad boys couldn’t withhold her longer bouts of sleep, we made the jump to Pampers and never looked back — not sponsored although I wish it was.

pampers-diapers-prices.png

When it comes to buying diapers, we opted for the largest boxes possible every time we bought. This would ensure that we were getting the most diapers for the least amount of money, and would be stocked up for long enough.

Pampers Cruisers Diapers - Super Econo Pack (our favourite kind of diaper to buy) ring in at $33.72/box which will give you 144 diapers.

We typically bought our diapers from Superstore or Wal-Mart, which are priced the exact same — unless Superstore has some kind of “buy two boxes for $60” deal like the one on the left. It’s pretty hard to find diapers for any cheaper than this without the risk of losing durability and poop trappability (which is a very important factor and a very real word).

Therefore, diapers ring it at around $0.25 a pop after tax.


In our first year as parents, we spent $505.65 on diapers

Diapers are expensive — and they are only one of the new expenses you will take on when you become a parent. Let’s not forget that with diapers come wipes, and with wipes and diapers come a diaper bin. I’d say our more accurate cost of keeping our babies hygiene up to snuff (or sniff if I wanted to make a v. good dad joke) was around $825.

For someone who works full time earning minimum wage (or for a single mother on maternity leave) earning around $24,000 after tax, diapers can account for 3.4% of their annual income. And while that may not seem like an alarming number, let’s not forget they may have the added expenses of food, formula, clothing, gear, furniture, toys and of course — childcare.

So, for anyone who is currently in the planning or preparation stages before their baby arrives, just know that it’s a great idea to save as much as you can before they join your family. This way, while you are busy ~ not sleeping ~ you don’t have to worry about how you might pay for that next box of diapers.

Have any funny diaper stories you want to share? Or want to share any rants about how expensive diapers are? I’m ready! Leave a comment below.