One of the earliest things you'll need with your baby are diapers. Well, and a car seat (coming soon!). The hospital will likely provide diapers. Our hospital provided pampers swaddlers, and they were definitely nice in the newborn stage. I really appreciated the cutout for the umbilical cord. They're soft and cozy.
We went with a strategy of "mama inputs" and "daddy outputs," since I was nursing. It was great. I didn't have to change diapers often, especially in the early days.
Many people like to buy diapers in advance in order to stock up during sales. If you've got room, this is a good possible strategy. But pay attention to sensitivities on both sides of your family. Does anyone have sensitive skin? Some friends of ours had kids who broke out in rashes and had to switch to other types of diapers.
Plus, there's actually a myriad of options from cloth to totally not eco-friendly. We chose something in the spectrum of "disposable but fairly eco-friendly" (tho anything you're throwing into a landfill isn't technically fully eco-friendly). Were I a single or stay-at-home mom, I would have cloth diapered. But I am in a partnership with my husband, and his opinion mattered too. I had little luck convincing him to cloth diaper. With our first, I hauled out my couple cloth diapers on the weekend and would occasionally use them. They were fine, and I think cloth diapering isn't a big deal, but it was too much to take on all by myself. With my second, I haven't bothered despite, again, not minding them at all. If you'd like to cloth diaper, email me (lapenn at that ubiquitous email service by google), and I'll send you tips that a friend emailed me.
We chose to go with Earth's Best Diapers. Being chlorine free and made with renewables is important to me. As far as I can tell, there's not much (any?) plastic in them either. We didn't personally like Honest Company diapers, tho many do.
Baby Gear Lab has a really comprehensive article about picking diapers. We've enjoyed the Kirkland Costco ones in the past when being price conscious. Their article has me wanting to check out babyganics and 7th generation again. We found 7th generation to be fine but not perfect with our first, and we've been fairly autopilot with number two. We have also used Target diapers from time to time; again, they're fine, but we prefer Earth's Best.
If you live in a bigger metro area, odds are good that you have a diaper service. If you're interested in cloth diapering, that would be worth checking out.
How to buy diapers
More important than what to buy, almost, is how to buy. This will only work with some options, but it's what we do. We don't mess around with coupons because we don't use a big name brand (though I will check Cartwheel if I have to buy diapers in-store). We use Target's Subscribe & Save. You can also do a similar service through Amazon. We went with Target for two reasons: 1) we have a red card and 2) Amazon's price on items can change depending on supply and demand, and I didn't want to get hit with a random high price for diapers right as we were getting a subscription order.
For subscribe and save through Target, you can pick your size and frequency of shipment. You get 5% off with the red card and another 5% off with S&S, so I would only do this with the red card to get the best discount. They send an email about a week before shipping, so you can delay your shipment or pick a different size when needed. I only did this near the end with our first, and I wish I'd started earlier for the savings; it's not as complicated as I imagined. With our second, we have one case of diapers we have to return because he grew out of them. Otherwise, it's been good, and we have a stockpile of the next size up.
I think we used about 2 cases of size one. We used 3 cases of size 2 for sure. We bought newborn diapers on demand, as our little dude wasn't in them long.
I have even stronger opinions about wipes. You want something that cleans without being soapy. I've done a mix of options:
- cloth wipes! I love these for the pee diapers. It was my compromise with not having cloth diapers. I keep a spray bottle of just water only (don't be putting tea tree oil on little boys!) because that's enough to clean. I spray the wipe with water, do the wiping, use a dry corner to dry the baby, and then put into a wet bag to wash later. I really like this because my babies end up with rashes if their skin is left wet too long. This method results in a nice, dry diaper area.
- Target brand wipes are fabulous. Not too soapy and the right compromise between thick and thin. This is usually what we use.
- We did not like Earth's best wipes -- too soapy. And we don't like anything scented, mostly because there's no reason to be putting scented chemicals on your baby's bottom when you have the option not to.
So, there's my peace about diapers and wipes. Buy Target brand wipes by the case, in bulk, when there's a Cartwheel deal better than 5% off. And put 24 of those flannel reusable wipes on your registry along with a wet bag. Actually, get multiple wet bags (as in, 4-6). They're great for: wet swimsuits post-lesson (and those swim diapers), dirty clothes in the diaper bag, pump parts from work to home, and likely even more. I've used every wet bag we've gotten.