Reader Question: Stocking Up on Diapers

This reader question comes from Ana. She was wondering if anyone had suggestions on what size diapers to stock up on when pregnant!


As a new mom due in August I wanted to know what size diapers I should be stocking up on and how many of each size should I buy.

Do you have any advice for Ana? What sizes have you stocked up?

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  • I took the 3 or 4 packs of newborn from the hospital. (no need to buy newborn)
    maybe 1 or 1 jumbo packs of size 1
    start to stock up on size 2 and 3; that’s when the baby well start to stay in a size for while.

  • kelly

    Hi Ana!

    I am a mommy of a 1 year old and a 2 year old. I would suggest not buying newborn diapers. You won’t know how big your baby will be until it’s here, even if they do an ultrasound because that is just an estimate. Newborns only go up to about 8 lbs. If your baby is less than 8 lbs you can get the diapers then, or just get a pack or two beforehand… If your hospital is nice they will stock you up on some… Just keep asking for more! 🙂 I would suggest stocking up on size 1, 2, and 3 sizes, with an emphasis on size 1 and 3. You will be changing diapers a lot in the beginning so that’s why I suggest size 1. It just seemed like my daughter was in size 3 for a long time, that’s why I suggest size 3. Also, keep in mind all diapers run differently. I am brand loyal to pampers. I never had a problem with leaks and what not, plus I really like the gifts to grow. Between my two girls I have collected a ton of points and got some cool stuff! However, I prefer huggies wipes… every mom is different though… hope that helps… good luck and congrats!

  • CE

    I had my daughter last July and bought 2 boxes of each size. I only needed one box of size 3 so I still have one box of size 3 not used. I’m finding now that I need more size 5 diapers so that is what I’m stocking up on now.

  • Katlin

    My son was 9lbs 2oz born and was in size 1 already, I had like 2-3 boxes that I went through with him of size 1, I would say mainly on 2’s and 3’s, if you ever have some unopen packages left after he moves up in size you can usually exchange them at any store that sells them.

  • Larisha

    Personally I am cloth diapering. This is so much cheaper and environmentally friendly than disposables. However, I think 2-3 jumbo packs of each would be a good start then u can always exchange at Walmart/target if u need different size and haven’t opened it yet

  • lindsey

    I agree with the others, you get plenty of newborn size diapers at the hospital so maybe just one box of those. really depending on the size of your newborn i would stock up on sizes 1-3 and you will have plenty of time to get the bigger sizes later. congrats!!!

  • tinap

    I think every baby is different, so it’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t stock up on size newborn or 1 . these are generally outgrown very quickly. My son is 9 months old now and he’s been size 3 for awhile. So everytime I buy diapers now, I buy a box of 3 and a box of 4, that way I am also ready for when he grows.

  • Virginia

    CLOTH!!! Cloth diapers are the most affordable way to do it 🙂

  • Beth C

    I have a ten month old and it seems like we’ve been in size 3 for a long time. I’d stock up on size 2 and 3.

  • Alicia

    I think most of the mom’s I know (including me!) would say size 2 is the most useful. Also, what has been really popular is to ask (if they want) for people to bring you a pack at your shower in any size. It is like you get months worth of diapers, and a good way for veteran moms to clean out their stash of already opened packs, etc.

  • Jessica

    My son was 9 lbs 13 oz – so he was barely in newborn – once home he was in “1”s and not for too long. I agree – “2”s and “3”s are good for now. If you have a child that in the high percentiles (My son is 99th height and 95th weight) you will need more of the larger ones – I used a lot of 4, 5 and 6.

    Also – I used a size larger at night with my son – gave more room for pee. He rarely leaked thru!

    Im pregnant with my second so I kept all the leftover diapers and once this one moves out of a size I will probably donate them.

    Another thing I did was use the smaller ones when I made diaper cakes for baby showers…. new moms love them and if you are a couponer – they are a cheap gift for you 🙂

  • Rachel

    I have 3 kids- and none of them stayed in size 1 or size 2 very long. I would stock up on size 3 and 4- all of my kids were in size 4 for almost a year.

  • c

    def what everyone said about every baby being different.
    my 21-month-old is in size 3-6-9 month clothing still! she’s tall and lean.

    would you consider cloth?
    honestly, i don’t think there’s a cheaper way to diaper.
    i have $350 invested and have all supplies for my baby that’s due in september.
    also, they potty train faster w/ cloth as far as my own experience and from what i’ve heard from other cloth moms. (my daughter was in big girl panties at 18 months, and this is not uncommon of what i hear from other cloth parents of a girl.)
    there’s a great site – – that has great info on cloth if you’re new to it, too.
    just throwing that out there as a suggestion, especially if you plan on more than one baby!

    • c

      *and excuse me for not saying CONGRATS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!
      kids are the absolute best!

    • jen

      Congrats on your upcoming bundle!

      I also did cloth diapers and had an excellent experience with them. It is a great way to save money on diapers! For us, we used cloth diapers when we were home and put her in disposables when we were going out for the day. I would buy one box of the size she was currently in and one in the size higher when there was a great deal.

      Safe passages!

  • CC

    Size 3-4 r are most used sizes.

  • Stacey k

    Definitely 2 and 3..newborn and 1 are outgrown very fast

  • Stacey k

    But they will be in size 4 and 5 the longest for sure almost a year in 4 with my little…so it all depends on how near or far in the future you are stocking up for

  • Jess

    My daughter is potty training now and wears a size four (she’s 21 months). She’s been wearing size 4 diapers for almost an entire year (since before she was 1), so I would definitely stock up on that size. She started out chubby but managed to grow up and now out since she began walking at 10 months. Good luck with your baby!!

  • Angela

    I am in agreement about size 2-3. I am a firm believer in finding a brand that works best for your baby and sticking with it. For me that brand was Pampers but every mom has her own preferences. If you go with Pampers be sure and take advantage of the Gifts to Grow points. The first couple of weeks are the most exhausting so be sure and register for any reward/coupon programs ahead of time. This way you can put the codes in an envelope and enter them at one time. Like others said though hold onto your receipts and be mindful of exchange policies before you overstock. Perhaps tape the receipt for the diapers right onto the box so you won’t lose it in case you need to exchange.

  • jess p

    I agree with most of what the other moms have said. I’m a mom of 3 girls…71/2, 31/2 & 18 months and all of my girls are pettite. They used the 2s and 3s the most. (My girls even stayed in 1s for a while.) It depends on your family and how big your baby is. As a general rule of thumb I would go with 2s because as some others said, you will get pleanty of newborn size in the hospital and the 1s may be too small very quickly. Another great idea is that whatever size you end up with “leftovers” of, save to make a diaper cake if you have any friends or family that are pregnant. Good luck…babies are such an amazing blessing 🙂

    • jess p

      oh…I failed to mention that neither of my oldest two girls ever got to size 5 and my 18 month old is still rockin the 3s, lol.

  • Rachel

    BJ’s has the best prices and selection of diapers. Plus you can stack MQ’s with BJ’s coupons. It’s the best price per diaper that I’ve found and you don’t need to stock pile. If you’re not a member and you have one near you, you should join. Bj’s also sells baby food and formula.
    As for amounts..most babies go though 4-5 diapers per day.
    If you don’t have a BJ’s, then check out Amazon MOM with subcribe and save.
    Best wishes and good luck!

  • Andrea

    It really depends on the baby. I have an 18 month old and she was in size one for a few month maybe like 4 months than size 2 for about another 6 months and she has been in size 3 for the last 8 or so months. I made the mistake of buying a buch of size 4 when I starting couponing. I thought oh she will grow into them but it’s starting to look like she won’t get a chance to use them. I would only get a few boxes of each for now. Like everyone said I wouldn’t buy newborn. The hospital gave us like 2 packs of them and I still ended up donating like half of them.

  • Aileen C

    I wouldn’t buy tons of diapers yet since you don’t know what will work best for your baby. S/he might fit better in one brand compared to another. If you’re open to it, check out what modern cloth diapers look like. Many all-in-one diapers or pocket diapers are not much different than using a disposable. They are much cheaper in the long run, contain no chemicals, and are better for the environment.

  • Maria

    I would agree with most that it’s probably best not to stock up on too many until you find a brand that your prefer and the size of your newborn (BTW, congrats!).
    I will offer two suggestions though – I always kept a spare package of diapers in my car because one never knows who packed the diaper bag! Secondly, as a first-time parent, I was changing my daughter’s diaper after she did something, anything… — looking back it was very costly. So with daughter #2, I brought the cheaper brand for daytime use and saved the costly and more absorbent for night time use.

    • Beckie

      Congrats on the baby! I have two girls 3yo & 22 months. EVERY butt is a different size and shape. The sizes to stock up on can vary so wildly it’s not worth the hassle. Don’t stock up until you find which brand you like and which suits your baby best. I loved Pampers swaddlers for newborn hineys that are so sensative in the beginning. Once they grew out of size 1-2 I switched the girls to Luvs. (SO much cheaper) At size 3-4 I switched them to the Target Up&Up brand. However each of my girls have completely different bladder sizes. I have a frequent squirter and I have the hold-it-forever gigantic pee-er.
      My best suggestion is to take people up on their offer when visiting ‘do you need anything before I stop by’ Why YES, I could use a small package of size __ diapers. I found that with my first, I had a lot of visitors and they were all more than happy to pick up something to help me out. And as Maria said above, leave a package in the car. That has saved me from many a disaster! If you leave a larger size in the car it can’t hurt either. Chances are that bag will be in the car for a while and in a pinch ANY diaper is better than none!! Sound advice!
      Best of luck with your new little adventure!

  • Erin

    Stocking up can backfire – I found that my son was allergic to certain brands after I had stock-piled. Then you wind up spending more money in rash ointments etc. Sometimes a great sale is so hard to resist (I’m a sucker for clearance diaper finds…) but if you’re unsure what brands work best and don’t give your kids a rash don’t stockpile. To give you a plain simple answer size 4 is the stockpile size you want to build. CVS recently had their brand of diapers on clerance last week for $2.37 a pack which is rediculous but they’re nothing but trouble for me! Good Luck.

  • V

    Do diapers go bad? How long can you save diapers in a stockpile?

  • Ana

    Thanks Everyone for the Advice & Tips!!!! I appreciate reading each and every one of them!!!

  • Jen

    It really depends on how big your kid is but I would go with 2 large boxes of size 1 and 2 and stock up on the size 3’s. My daughter is almost 2 and still in size 3. She is very petite though…skip the newborn unless you know for a fact your baby will be a premie. You can grab a bunch from the hospital. Just ask.

  • yolene

    my baby is now 8 months i used newborn just a small time so buy only as needed she is now still in size 2 at 8months so it depends on size of baby my girl is only 15lbs now and seem like i will need size 2 a little longer i have sizes all the way to 6 in my stock pile but i have most in 3 about 40 packs stocked so far in size 3 i figure if i dont need all someone will be able to use them but for sure size 2 and 3 i dont think u can stock to many if the price is right

  • Shannon

    I would caution you about stocking up too much. From my experience with my son, he has VERY sensitive skin and the only diapers that would not give him a horrible rash were Pampers (and only the Baby Dry). I got a ton of diapers at my shower and was unable to use most of them because of his skin. Also, here I was unable to exchange or return the diapers because they are a WIC item (even though I do not receive WIC and had receipts) and the stores gave me some line about inventoried through WIC, etc. etc. etc. I do agree with what many people said though, skip newborns, a few ones and then you will likely need 2s and 3s for a while…

  • yolene

    you have to know what will work for your baby i dont suggest starting until the baby is born i didnt start to stockpile till my girl was here i only like huggies so that is the only pampers in my stockpile with cvs had there clearance i racked up i will post a pic for u to see am on phone so cant tag but will put your name

  • Jennifer

    It’s been my experience that my daughter spent a lot of time in size 3 and 5. Also don’t pay attention to the weight sizes on the boxes, they overlap and mean nothing. It all depends on what fits your child best. Also, my preferences for absorbency and avoiding blow outs were Size 3 Pampers Size 5 Huggies.. I found Size 5 Pampers to be quite thin and my daughter peed through them all the time. Also I preferred Huggies Wipes vs. Pampers and Store brands because they were thicker. Hope that helps! Congrats to you btw!

  • Cynthia F

    There are so many things to consider when it comes to stockpiling diapers! Size of your baby, Allergies etc… Luckily my son is not allergic to ANYTHING so I just buy mostly use store brand diapers and name brand only when really cheap (about .10 a diaper and under is a good stockup price to me) My son is 19 months and was 10lbs 3oz so I NEVER even used newborn.He is now19 months and wears 4 & 5 (depending on the brand) I am due today with our 2nd boy and he is (they say) about 9lb already too. I only have about 3 packs of newborn and really dont think I will use them. I stocked up on mostly 2,3,4,5 6.(BUT I do have 2 kids) Store brand like CVS, Pathmark, Shoprite, Target are the brands Ive used most and I like em all. Haven’t had a problem. Its trial and error on your part and hopefully your baby won’t be alllergic to anything. Congratulations and good luck!

  • Payal chn

    First of all congratulations for your bundle of joy!! My daughter is just 4 months now and I am trying to cloth diaper her when she was only 15 days .. I do use disposable occasionally but I prefer cloth over disposables and I love them!!! Though it’s a lot of work initially but once you start you will love it!!! Check these sites if you want to consider cloth as an option :

    They have plenty of info on how to get started or you can even call the customer care directly with your FAQ.

    For disposables I would suggest buying smaller packs of the brands and size and see which one suites best for your baby..

    Again good luck and have loads of fun with ur new baby.

  • June

    I would buy some newborn size just in case but not too much. Buy some of the No.1 and plenty of No. 2. Before you know it, baby will dit No. 2 in no time.