Diapers are one of the most gifted items for new parents, and, as a result, it’s not uncommon to find yourself with a bunch of extra diapers that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Whether they are unopened, opened, or just leftover and lying around, there are plenty of things to do with extra diapers.
What you decide to do will ultimately depend on your personal situation. You might decide to hang on to what you have for later, exchange them, donate them, or even find a fun way to give them away to friends or family. Let’s check out the details!
Exchange your unopened diapers for a different size
Probably the most common reason for folks to have extra diapers lying around is that their baby outgrew them.
Since diapers are one of the most gifted items for baby showers and sprinkles, many new parents find themselves with a truckload of newborn, size 1, and maybe even size 2 diapers. While it’s great to have a large supply, many babies move quickly through those first initial sizes, and some babies don’t even fit into newborn diapers at all!
To put things in perspective, my son has probably used more size 4 diapers than all of the other diaper sizes combined. At 18 months, he’s still hanging in size 4, and he’ll be potty training soon so we might even finish with it.
The good news is that it’s very easy to exchange diapers for a bigger size assuming that they are:
- Unopened – stores will rarely take back opened diapers because they could pose a health risk.
- You know where they were purchased – different stores have different barcodes on their products and stores almost never take back items purchased somewhere else.
In the best scenario, the gift giver gave you a receipt along with the diapers, and you can just bring that back to the store and swap them out. Just be aware that a change in price will usually benefit the store. Overall, this is the most economical option!
Store leftover diapers for your next baby
Even if your baby outgrows some of your smaller diapers or potty trains before you run out of the bigger ones, it might not be the end of the world.
In most cases, diapers don’t expire, so you still have the option of keeping your extra diapers and storing them for your next baby. If you have loose, leftover diapers, be sure to put them in a plastic bag or otherwise package them up so that they are better protected during storage.
Always store extra diapers in a cool, dry place to avoid any potential issues with the diapers getting ruined. If it’s too hot and dry, then they could dry rot and crack, or the glue on the adhesive tabs can melt and become less effective. If it’s too humid, the diapers can absorb the extra moisture and swell up.
I go into more way more detail about taking care of diapers so they don’t expire in another article that you can read here.
Send unopened or opened diapers to a diaper drive
Did you know that there is no specific federal assistance available to help poor or low-income families purchase diapers for their babies?
Did you know that a baby living in poverty is likely to wear the same diaper for a day or more before changing due to a lack of new, clean diapers?
Did you know that most daycares will not accept babies that wear cloth diapers (a cheaper option for low-income families) and that laundrymats will not allow parents to clean cloth diapers in their facilities? Without daycare, single mothers or struggling families could have difficulty finding or keeping a job.
By finding a local diaper drive, you can help the millions of babies across the country have better access to clean diapers! Find out where your local member of the National Diaper Bank Network is and learn how to donate here.
Bring extra diapers to your church nursery
Many churches have a dedicated area for childcare and would love to have some extra supplies to use when parents forget to send something, or a church member is having difficulty getting everything they need for their baby. I’ve even heard of some churches providing free childcare to members during the day to allow them to work.
Talk to the person in charge of the children’s church and they will be more than happy to help you donate extra diapers to the nursery. If there is a member in need, they will also be able to distribute the diapers to them discreetly.
Women’s shelters always need diapers
Unfortunately, domestic violence, physical abuse, and emotional abuse are real threats for many women throughout the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three women will experience some kind of physical violence during their lifetime.
Women’s shelters are there to help women and their children escape this violence, but many aren’t able to bring the money or supplies needed to take care of their baby once they have made it out of the bad situation. If you have extra diapers or other baby-related items, then these shelters would be extremely grateful for the donation!
You can search online at a place like DomesticShelters.org to find a local shelter that you can donate to directly.
Donate your diapers to a local community organization
If you cannot find a local church or women’s shelter to donate your leftover diapers to, then there are likely still plenty of options to be found with another local community organization. Some of these organizations could be quite small, or maybe there is just a small satellite location of a larger organization in your town.
Go online to a place like Great Nonprofits and search your city for local organizations that are there to make a difference. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call one of these organizations and ask what kind of items they need and accept. Any group that helps families, women, or children, in general, will likely have a need for extra diapers!
Give your extra diapers to a friend or family member
At a certain point, most of your friends and family will be having babies, so finding someone to give your extra diapers shouldn’t be a problem.
The great thing about giving diapers to someone you know well is that they probably won’t care if you have open, loose diapers to give them. A friend in need will happily take a grocery bag full of baby supplies! Be sure to take inventory of what exactly you have extra so that you can let your friend know what to expect. If they have already had their baby, they might not even need some of the diapers you have leftover!
Make a diaper cake or stork bundle for a friend with extra diapers
If you don’t want to give away or donate your extra diapers the traditional way then you can have a little more fun with the process by creating a diaper cake or stork bundle from your leftover diapers to use as a gift for a baby shower or sprinkle. There is no shortage of ideas on how to craft these together available online.
Diaper cakes will generally take quite a few diapers, but stork bundles don’t require all that many to make something cute. When you put a little love and creativity into the gift your friends or family members will enjoy it all the more!