When it comes to raising babies, diapers are a way of life. And what really stinks is the amount of money that has to be invested each month to keep a full stock.
Luckily, there are options out there — from subscription promotions to free samples, and even community resources, like diaper banks — that can help make the financial blowout a little easier to sniff.
First, some quick diaper stats:
- The average newborn is going to go through 10 to 12 diapers each day over the first month of its life, according to several industry experts.
- Even after one month of life, a baby is still going to go through eight to 10 diapers per day.
- After five months, your baby should be using no more than 8 diapers per day.
- At six months, your down to 5 or 6 diapers per day — or about half of what they used when they were newborns.
So, in its first year of life, a baby goes through anywhere between 2,000 and 2,200 diapers! After thousands of diaper changes, you’ll be ready for potty training.
Here are 6 ways to get free — or super cheap — diapers, no matter where you live:
1. Free Samples
There are probably about a dozen major diaper brands on the market today and all of them want your business. If you’re not too concerned about sticking with one brand — or if you’re legitimately wondering the differences between each brand is — then request free samples from all of those brands.
The easiest way to get free samples is to go to each brand’s website and sign up for their reward programs. Yes, you’ll have to deal with an influx of emails, but it’s worth it for free diapers. After signing up, these brands will often send you free diapers, in addition to coupons for purchasing your first pack for a little cheaper.
Start with Huggies, Luvs and Pampers, then make your way to The Honest Co., Seven Generation, GoodNites and Bambo Nature.
2. Doctors and Hospitals
This is a great tip for expecting mothers. When the big day comes to deliver your little bundle of joy, you’ll notice there’s a wealth of diapers in your delivery and resting rooms. After giving birth, most new moms stay at the hospital for at least 24 hours before going home. When the time comes, take all of the diapers in your room! If for some reason you had to stay longer, you would be using those diapers anyway, so make sure to fill up your bag.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t snoop through the halls of the hospital in hopes of stealing more diapers. Only take the ones in your designated room.
If money is tight, it’s also a good idea to ask your pediatrician for some diapers — or at least resources to access diapers.
3. Diaper Banks
One of our favorite options for free diapers — specifically for families who meet low-income household standards — are diaper banks. The National Diaper Bank Network helps low-income families access free diapers, in addition to other basic needs. Most local diaper networks are part of the national network, so search your location on the national site to find your resources. You can also check out HoustonDiaperBank.org for some great local assistance.
Even if you don’t see a diaper bank near you, try and check with your local United Way or Salvation Army to see if they know of any local programs to offer a diaper bank.
Hit up the newspapers, the coupon websites, the junk mail flyers you get in the mail — anything you can get your hands on! Diaper coupons are everywhere. Chances are extremely high that if you’re diligent enough about taking the time to search for coupons, you’re going to save some money over the course of your baby’s time with diapers.
Also, signing up for those loyalty programs through the different diaper brands, as mentioned above, typically includes a steady stream of emails with coupons that you can shop with in-store or online.
Don’t forget the less traditional coupon sites and apps, like Ibotta, which can give you cash back over a period of time.
Sticking with one diaper brand can have its perks. Huggies, for instance, has the Huggies Rewards program. Whenever you buy a pack of Huggies in store, simply scan in the receipt into the company’s smartphone app, which will help you build up points. Those points can be used for Huggies products.
Pampers and Honest Co. all have similar rewards programs.
6. Cloth Diapers
There’s a reason this one is at the bottom of the list, but it’s certainly a money-saver in the long run and it’s great for the environment.
Opting to go with cloth diapers is a great way to be extremely sustainable. Of course, you’ll have your own separate laundry basket potentially filled with poopy-stained cloth diapers.
There is an up-front cost for starter kits, but experts say it can cut the cost of total diapers you spend on your baby by a third. It’s a little more work, but the environmental-friendly positives of going that direction are well worth the cost. Plus, you have way more options for designs if you’re into that sort of thing.
Do you know of any other ways to get free or cheap diapers? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.