Inside: Wondering if you should put diapers on your baby registry? Before you do, make sure to weigh the pros and cons (and there are a lot of cons). Because free diapers…well, let’s just say, they’re sometimes more trouble than they’re worth.
Seems like a crazy question to ask, doesn’t it? Should I put diapers on my registry?
Um, duh, yes, of course! Give me ALL the diapers!
Well, not so fast. To the mama thinking critically, the answer might not be as black and white as it appears at first glance.
So let’s talk today about some of the pros and cons of putting diapers on your baby registry.
(Just to clarify, we are discussing where or not to put disposable diapers on your registry. If you know you are definitely choosing cloth diapering, the answer is easy – DO IT.)
Pros for Adding Diapers to the Registry
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Some of the reasons for wanting to include diapers in your baby registry might be somewhat obvious, but with pregnancy brain, maybe not, right?
So let’s spell it out for those who are feeling a little bit of that brain fog.
If you haven’t realized this already, diapers are not cheap. The appeal of saving hard-earned cash by having diapers that you didn’t need to buy yourself is super-appealing.
And – newborns especially go through so. many. diapers.
It feels amazing to save money on something that is here-and-gone within minutes (yes, minutes).
In-House Stockpile of Diapers
As mentioned in the previous point, babies go through diapers at lightning speed.
There’s (almost) nothing worse than your newborn having a blowout and realizing too late that you are out of diapers. And it’s usually not that easy to just up-and-run to the store.
Knowing that there’s a sizable stash, especially in the case of an emergency, is enormous peace of mind for a new mama whose brain is all over the map on most days.
It’s just one less thing to think about – and that honestly is a significant pro that can’t be overlooked.
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Cons for Adding Diapers to the Registry
After reading the above, you might be thinking, “Are there really any cons to adding diapers to your registry?”
It’s up to you to decide if the good outweighs the bad, but here are some things to throw in the mix when you’re considering putting diapers on the list.
The Unknowns of Your Baby
When a mama is putting items on her baby registry, including diapers, there are so many unknowns.
- How many?
- What sizes?
- What brand?
- Will they jive with baby?
Even with all the research in the world, at best, a mama is guessing. She may be on the mark, or she may not even be in the ballpark. And a miss in this area will just create more work for her down the road.
So the big question is, “Is it still worth it, even if I guess wrong?”
Below are some issues that may cause problems if she misses the mark (and no mama gets its 100% – it’s just to what margin of error).
The materials that each brand of diapers are made with varies. Your baby might be allergic to a particular brand that you choose before you even know it.
If that ends up being the case, now you have a stockpile of diapers that are…unusable.
Most of the time, yes, you can exchange them, but that’s just an added task for a new mama on an already full plate. Plus, remembering where they came from, keeping track of receipts, remember to put them in the car when you’re going to return them. Yuck.
Wrong Fit for Your Baby
It might not be an allergy that is a deal breaker, but there could be other reasons why a particular brand of diaper doesn’t work for your sweet baby.
Maybe they leak, maybe there is a recall, maybe your baby seems uncomfortable – there could be a host of reasons why one might not work and be the wrong fit for your baby.
As with an allergy issue, to remedy the situation, there’s going to be a lot of exchanging going on.
Depending where the diapers are purchased, it may not be as simple as swapping them out at Walmart, especially if purchased from an online retailer or specialty store. Prices can vary as well from the original price, which may equal cash out of pocket for you.
Growing Out of Diaper Sizes
As every baby grows at a different rate, there’s no way to know ahead of time how long your baby will wear a certain size of diaper.
Ideally, you’d receive a variety of diaper sizes at your shower, but even still, you may end up getting more than you need of a certain size.
If that’s the case, you’re back to the original dilemma that comes with the hassle of exchanging.
Editor’s Note: You may want to ask whoever is planning your baby shower to avoid making a “diaper cake”. These seem so great, but often they involve taking all the diapers out of the original packaging. Opened diapers renders them not returnable should you be unable to use them for whatever reason.
Lack of Storage Space
While having a stockpile seems ideal, there is another drawback to having so much inventory on hand – and that is storage.
If you have a smaller home or are limited on storage – or if you are just a minimalist and do like a lot of ‘extra’ around the house – diapers on the registry may not be a good fit for your family.
You may prefer to purchase or order as needed to reduce the clutter. Or maybe you sign up for a diaper subscription where they are sent as needed.
More stuff, even if it’s an essential item like diapers, may translate into more clutter in an overwhelmed mama’s eyes and disrupt the feng shui of the home.
Mamas need all the calm they can get, from wherever they can get it – and extra gear around a small house just may not be worth it to you.
A Switch to Cloth Diapers
Once the baby is born, a mama may realize she likes the idea of cloth diapers better than disposable ones. This may be for a number of reasons – more organic materials, less waste, etc.
If this turns out to be the case, the extra disposable diapers on hand will now have to be dealt with in some manner – returning them, purchasing cloth diapers, etc.
3 Tips If You Do Decide to Add Diapers to Your Registry
Finally, if you decide to add them to your registry, make sure to do the following:
1. Choose packages with the least amount of diapers.
The big boxes are cheaper per diaper, but you will waste less with smaller packages if you run into one of the issues listed above.
Someone may get you the big box anyways, thinking they’re being helpful. But hey, you tried, right?
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2. Tape the receipt to the package as soon as you receive them.
That way you know exactly where they came from, when they were purchased, and where to return them if needed.
3. Ask your mom friends for their top disposable diaper brand recommendations.
Huggies (editor’s preference!) or Pampers tend to be the most popular and are a good place to start when you are a new mom.
You can take your chances on generic brands when you run out of your stockpile.
Editor’s Note: One thing is clear – unless you are planning on eco-friendly diapering, you will always need wipes! As long as you steer clear of Pampers wipes (I recommend THIS brand, instead), you should be good to go. Adding a case of wipes to your baby registry is a clear win, and not nearly as complicated as diapers.
So…Should I or Shouldn’t I Include Diapers on My Baby Registry?
After all that discussion, here we are, back to the original question.
While it seems like there are more negatives than positives for putting diapers on your registry – not all things are necessarily equal – and the positives are pretty weighty. Having free diapers that you don’t have to purchase yourself and having diapers on hand at every moment is pretty significant.
However, you’ll need to weigh out the negatives and see if it’s still worth it to you. Every family is different.
Some may not want to be bothered with the possibility of future exchanges and love the idea of having an ample supply of diapers at arm’s length.
Others feel like that is too much hassle and would rather purchase the right kind, that works for her baby, as needed.
If you put them on your registry, realize they all may not be exactly what you want or need and getting the right brands and sizes will fall on you.
If you choose to forego putting them on your registry, realize that you may need to either pay out-of-pocket for diapers or use the gift cards that you’ll likely receive on diapers instead of other needed baby gear.
(Side Note: Gift cards are an essential baby registry item – add them. Run. Now!)
In one case, you’ll save money but maybe not time and hassle. In the other case, you’ll save time and hassle, but maybe not money.
We all have our priorities, and as a new mama, it’s completely up to you and what fits your family the best. As with most things in parenting, there’s no wrong answer – just what works best for you.
Kate is a former high school English teacher and current SAHM to her 5-year-old twin boys. A lifetime New Yorker recently transplanted in Tennessee, she keeps busy by learning her new way of life in the South, doing home decor and DIY projects, blogging at A Hundred Affections, substitute teaching, and figuring out how to survive in a house outnumbered by boys. And she loves Jesus very much.