Endless Diaper Boondoggle

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By my calculation we spend about $80 every two months on diapers for each girl. Quite a bit of money. So I think it makes sense that early on in diaper purchasing I became a bit neurotic about where I was buying them from. I’m not sure if it helped or hurt that each diaper supplier helps you break it down by giving you the per-diaper cost. For the first year, I used Amazon’s “gift” of prime membership to all new moms and bought from them. Then I started buying them from Whole Foods because Amazon started charging for shipping, and I liked the Whole Foods ones better anyway. They were $.30 each.

Briefly I attempted diapers.com but I got really sick of their whole email-discount-code song and dance. They force you to keep up with their emails and hunt through them for coupons. And then some months, the coupons just mysteriously disappear and you pay 20% more than you did last time. No thank you, crappy business practices. (incidentally diapers.com is owned by Amazon, which just feels like another mind game.)

I looked at Honest Diapers at the time but found them quite expensive. I don’t know if I wasn’t doing the math right or if they dropped their prices, but I’ve since revisited them and now they seem like the best deal in town.

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I like how nicely their website is designed and how easy it is to work with their interface. I like that when I call them to change or last-minute-delay an order I get a happy American on the other end of the line. I like that they send me two warning emails before they ship. I like the fun graphics on the diapers that gives Lux a distracting conversation topic when I’m changing her diaper. I like that they try to make their diapers as low-an-impact on the environment as possible (though at this point, several brands do that, so it’s not a distinguishing factor). I like that all of their employees appear to enjoy working there, unlike Amazon. And they are a certified B corporation which looks at how a company treats their employees, health care options, workspace design, environmental impact, etc. (incidentally if I care about things like ‘certified B corporation status,’ I should stop nickel and diming everything right there, probably.)

Lux’s size 4 works out to $.43 each. But they include four packages of wipes with each order, which you can value at a minimum of $10. So then it’s $.37 per diaper. Whole Foods for her current size is $.35 each, but then I have to get them home from the store myself. Seventh Generation via diapers.com is $.36. is this getting neurotic enough yet?

 What is my point here? That basically all diapers cost the same amount and if I’ve found a company that has at least two or three practices that distinguish themselves, it’s worth sticking with them.

What do you think? Have you obsessively broken down these pros and cons too? Who’s your favorite vendor? Am I missing anything obvious? This is not a sponsored post at all, but I have linked to Honest Diapers with my account’s code, so I would get an initial credit if you signed up from this post, just fyi.

And for you cloth-diapering mommas: I’m with you! We just operate from a laundromat right now, so it doesn’t work. But someday!

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22 thoughts on “Endless Diaper Boondoggle

  1. Boondoggle, good word. I’m Seventh Gen (happily now that they got rid of the Lorax junk, right?!) and when I think about MORE THAN A QUARTER PER DIAPER it’s a little shocking. We carry on nevertheless. I like that Honest includes wipes! That’s pretty amazing. But I shook my head emphatically with the Diapers.com emails! I pretty much only get diapers from there but about every eighteenth email seems to have a coupon that can ACTUALLY BE APPLIED TO DIAPERS. Very frustrating. I tweeted them about it once. That’s when you know I’m frustrated. When I take it to Twitter.

    (My sister’s using Earth’s Best. She likes them cause they’re white. We all have our “thing” when it comes to diapers.)

  2. I have almost one year old twins so I am obsessed with finding the best deals on diapers too. I haven’t tried honest company diapers and feel like I should at least once to see if we like them or not (and not having to go to the store is so nice). Are they ok overnight? I find that the 7th generation leak overnight.
    One brand that is A LOT cheapers than others is the target up and up brand. I know that they are chlorine free and perfume free at least and they are significantly cheaper than other diapers.

    • Fascinating! That makes sense…they know they won’t win the shipping war with Amazon, but they might as well get you in the store with a cheap product you always need, and of course you’ll pick up other things while you’re there.
      They don’t leak overnight but I also feel like an unreliable source for that because we haven’t had a problem with leaking for awhile, with Joan or Lux. (trying to remember if that was a problem when we used 7th.)

      Anyway, they have a pretty easy trial option where you just pay for $6 for shipping and you get to try a few of their bath products for free as well!

  3. I have nothing to contribute to the diaper debate (other than shock at how expensive they are), but I LOVE how excited Lux looks about that box of diapers!

  4. Oh diapers. We started out using a diaper service, partly thanks to your prompting to just do it and not feel guilty. I loved it, just loved it. Fresh lovely diapers in tidy stacks appeared at my doorstep every Thursday morning like magic, and the disgusting filthy ones just disappeared. Plus, I had someone to call with my diaper problems- “She’s leaking overnight, any thoughts?” “Oh sure, you need doublers, we’ll throw some in with your next delivery.” Just the best. Then, sadly, our diaper service abruptly went out of business. We were given the option of purchasing the diaper inserts from the diaper service for maybe a dollar each, so we figured we would give it a try- we had already invested in the covers, so we felt we should try to stick with cloth. Well, it turns out that I hate washing my own diapers. Hate it. HATE it. The burst of stink as you dump them into the washing machine, the dunking to get the solids off before putting them in the pail….oh the horrors. You should relish having an excuse to not use them. Those Honest diapers look so cheerful, I’m jealous. Do you like any of their bath products?

    • Oh no, they went out of business!? Shoot. My first clothing diapering lady was a counselor to me too. They know their stuff. On the plus side, since you’re cloth diapering and you have a girl, I bet you’ll have an early potty training situation. Not much more to endure!

      I used the ones that came with their sample products and really liked them. I think I’m going to order several cleaning products in my next order. Hate having toxic cleaning stuff in my apartment.

  5. I still buy disposables even though I cloth diaper (I know right?) but one box lasts us several months as I only use them while out of town or at night. That being said I honestly have no CLUE how much they are costing me, so this is good to know! Do you have to order regularly from honest or can you just order periodically?

    • Well, you have to “subscribe” but their website makes it extremely easy to postpone your order. For example, it’s supposed to be a monthly subscription, but their boxes last me two months. So when they email me that my order is shipping soon, I take stock of what we have, and hop on and change the date for shipment by a month or so.

  6. I can totally relate to all of this! We tried cloth with my toddler at first but didn’t work for him. Then same thing… Honest seemed awesome but expensive & also tried 7th Gen from diapers.com & amazon. Got fed up with all that and before my second son was born we switched to Honest & will never use anything else. Their service & products are so great. They make it easy to customize & since we live somewhat near them in southern Ca our orders arrive the next day. We love all their other cleaning/body stuff as well & they seem to be adding cool new stuff every month!

  7. Well, I don’t have kids yet, but have been a nanny and a preschool teacher for many years now…so I know more about baby/toddler stuff than most childless women my age 🙂 And, I am a total sucker for packaging so I’ve murmured to myself a few times that if I DID have a baby now I’d get the Honest ones. The others I’ve seen that make me take notice, at least from a design perspective is the G diapers…and I’m intrigued by the way you use them….it seems terribly confusing! Apparently, you can toss, compost or flush?? But that little G on the butt is so dang cute.

    Oh! One product I have used and loved on an infant I nannied for a few years back was the California Baby Diaper area spray. He was cloth diapered and I used it every few changes. It felt like I was pampering him in a lovely little way 🙂 So… that’s my possibly non-useful diatribe from a childless reader !

  8. This is helpful! I’m due in February and actually already snagged the Honest free samples of diapers and wipes in the newborn size. I was shocked at how much it would cost each month, then I remember that I have NO CLUE about what is normal. The truth is, I am afraid of even dipping my toe in the water of the diaper comparisons…basically, I’m avoiding having to know anything possibly overwhelming for as long as possible 🙂 Anyway, this real life experience comparison is super helpful to me. We’re thinking about cloth, but I know that is a whole other ball game. I’ll consider these for real, now, especially because I’m automatically skeptical (costwise) of a well-marketed, eco-friendly company based out of Cali, haha. Thanks!

  9. We spend $30 per month on diapers between two kids. I have one 2 year old and a 1 year old. The two y/o is basically potty trained, so he only uses diapers during naps & bedtime, or if we are out in public. I think that is how we manage to keep our costs lower. (obviously!) It also helps that both kids where the same size diaper. It keeps me from having to purchase two separate packages. I purchase from Sam’s Club and use Luvs.

    • Sorry for the delayed response on this! Super. Yes, I’m certainly looking forward to spending a little less…eventually (not getting my hopes up at all). I imagine there are a few things I would save decent money on if I shopped at a big discount store like Sam’s, but we’d also totally be suckers for all the odd things we definitely don’t need that they make look so good!

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