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Diapers 101

The average child will wear about 5,000 diapers according to Pampers research and American Baby estimates that the cost of diapering babies from birth to big kid underpants is $1,500. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor for American Baby Magazine, tells you all you need to know about diapers.

Some parents believe some diapers are better for boys and some are better for girls. At one time diapers were designed specifically for each sex, but now technology has improved. All diapers are made to have absorbency in the areas all babies need in one design. Since the mid 1990's only unisex diapers have been sold. But, with that said, some moms swear by certain brands.

If you're trying to determine when your baby is ready for a new diaper size there are several clues to look out for. If side tabs are popping open, leg bands feel super tight, the diaper is falling an inch or more below her belly button, then it's time to go up a size. Leakage issues can also mean it's time to go larger. Sizing is based chiefly on a baby's weight. As you move into larger sizes, the diapers have more absorbent materials.

If you find yourself with extra diapers you can pass your surplus along to a friend or donate them to people in need. Programs like food stamps help families out with food, but they don't allow those in need to purchase diapers. Plus, a baby might miss out on free or subsidized childcare if his parents don't have the means to buy diapers because most day cares require a steady supply to keep a child enrolled. To locate a diaper bank in your community or to give to agencies that distribute diapers go to

There are ways you can save money on diapers. Consider buying them at club stores that sell in bulk. There are websites like that offers $5 off each case and offers free shipping. Another trick is to have your child wear less absorbent diapers during the day and the more expensive, really absorbent ones at night.

For more information on diapers and other parenting tips, click here.

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