What’s the Average Cost of Disposable Diapers per Year?
Many new parents want to know: what’s the average cost of disposable diapers per year? Or what’s the average cost of disposable diapers per month? Well you’re in luck! I’m a nerd and love doing math, so let’s do some calculations!
We need to know a few things before we figure out the average cost of disposable diapers per year (or month):
- First, how much does a diaper cost?
- Then, how many diapers do you need each day?
- And finally, how big is your baby? That will determine what size of diapers you are using and how many you will use per day
How much does the average diaper cost?
Now that’s a question that will vary for every parent. I’ve researched different diaper prices and found they cost, typically, between $0.11 and $0.38 each, depending on the brand, size, and where you purchase them. So that gives us information for an average cost. I’ll also include a few specific brands: WalMart’s Parent’s Choice brand (click to view on Walmart.com – they are one of the cheapest), Pampers (click to view on Amazon). Pampers is a very popular brand name. They may cost more, but many parents find the price is just fine since you go through fewer diapers and have fewer leaks. And then there’s Honest Company (click to view on Amazon), who makes hypoallergenic, eco friendly diapers that are one of the priciest I’ve found. .
How many diapers do you need each day?
Looking at a number of diaper manufacturers’ websites, newborns need quite a few diapers per day (6-9), and older children only need a few (3-7). I know I use more diapers- it always seems like my baby goes immediately after I change her, before I’ve even taken her off the changing pad! So here’s our ranges and averages:
How many diapers do we need per size?
This is an easy question: how big can a kid be for each diaper size? We see in the chart below, there’s a weight range for each diaper size, and they overlap. For instance, newborn diapers fit babies from 0-10 pounds, and size 1 fits babies from 8-14 pounds. All diaper brands in the US use these same weight ranges for their different diaper sizes.
How long will the baby be in each diaper size?
Here’s the tricky part. Now we need to know the average size of a child for each size of diaper. I used the growth charts published by the CDC (source). To put the data together, I used the average (50th percentile) boy. I also assumed parents go up a diaper size as soon as possible (for example, they go to size 1 as soon as he weighs 8 pounds).
Note that I stopped after size 5, with 14.5 months spent in that size. I chose this because I assumed that the average child will be potty-trained by 36 months, (source: American Academy of Pediatrics). Of course, every child is different, but we will use 36 months for our calculations.
Now, we just need to do some multiplication to get the total number of diapers used for each size, assuming 30 days per month:
Multiply by the costs and total. Almost done.
So we get some interesting numbers here of what it will cost for diapers over the whole time a child is using them from 0-36 months, so we can finally determine:
What’s the average cost of disposable diapers per year?
- To answer the question at the beginning of this post: the cost of the average disposable diaper is between $565-620 per year
- Specifically, the cost of Parent’s Choice disposable diapers is $252-$275 per year
- The cost of Pampers disposable diapers is $684-705 per year
- And finally, the cost of Honest Company disposable diapers is $858-900 per year
And let’s summarize the average cost of disposable diapers per year in a graph too, to really get a good look at the data:
We can see that even though the number of diapers per day goes down as the baby gets older, the price of each diaper goes up, so the average cost of disposable diapers per year is about the same, no matter your child’s age. This graph really shows the price difference in different disposable diaper brands!
What’s the average cost of disposable diapers per month?
This graph shows us that on average, disposable diapers cost about $43-53 per month. There’s an interesting trend around 6-11 months. At this size, your baby is using fewer diapers per day, and the cost per diaper is still somewhat low. But as your baby and the diapers get larger after that point, the monthly cost goes up again. If we go with a cheap brand, like Parent’s Choice, they can be as low as $20-25 per month, a name brand like Pampers is around $45-65 per month, and a premium eco-friendly brand like Honest Company is $65-80 per month.
Your choice of disposable diaper and where you purchase greatly affects the price. That means that the cost of disposable diapers can be, on average, around $49 per month, or ranging from $22-74 per month depending on price per diaper. The average cost of disposable diapers per year is $587, or ranging from $264-884 depending on brand and price per diaper.
Shoutout to blogger Babylytics- as I was writing this article, I found that he’d written something similar! Love bis graphs and analysis. His costs came out higher than mine since he used more diapers per day for his analysis.
Let me know your tips for saving money on diapers in the comments. There are more in the Disposable Diaper comparison article too!