Kelly’s post made me remember how confusing it was when I was pregnant to figure out how best to stock up on diapers. Then I realized it might be helpful to use a growth chart to predict the weight (and thus diaper size) of a baby at a certain time. So using CDC growth charts for both girls and boys’ weight, I’ve done some number crunching. Here’s an estimate of how many jumbos of each size you may need if you plan on stocking up.
My son’s weight is only in the 5th percentile, so I know that these charts can’t predict the weight of every baby. You’re child’s build will have an awful lot to do with how a diaper fits, too. That said, I think the growth charts are a way to form an educated guess about how many packs of each size diaper to stock up. If you’re kid is in the 25th percentile for weight rather than the 50th, for example, just substitute that info for what I have here.
The most frugal way to diaper a baby (using disposables) is to keep the baby in the smallest size you can for as long as you can. The info below takes this into consideration. I’ve never had a problem switching out a pack of one size for a pack of another size, even without a receipt, so in case you buy too many of a smaller size, just exchange the leftovers.
Size N: 6 or 7 jumbos
Size N diapers generally go up to 10 lbs. You’ll change diapers OFTEN. Buy about a month’s worth.
Size 1: 15+ jumbos
Size 1 diapers generally go up to 14 lbs. The baby will reach this weight at about 3.5 months.
Size 2: 25+ jumbos
Size 2 diapers generally to up to 18 lbs. The baby will reach this weight at about 7 months.
Size 3: 70+ jumbos
Up to 28 lbs. The baby will reach this weight at about two years old. You’ll be in size 3s for a LONG time.
Size 4: 40+ jumbos
Hopefully this is the last size you’ll need. Most kids will use this size until they’re potty trained.
Shocked at how many diapers you’ll be buying? If you use disposables you’ll probably spend more than $1500 on diapers before your child is potty trained and buy enough jumbos to fill your house up a couple of times over.
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