When your baby is ready to size up diapers, it leaves you with unused diapers sitting in their nursery, but what to do with extra diapers?
Surprisingly, there are many uses for unused diapers to get them out of your house without tossing them in the trash.
Parents everywhere need diapers, yet it’s common that you overestimate how many diapers you need and buy too many. You see a good sale with a coupon and stockpile the size your baby wears, thinking they won’t grow out of it any time soon.
Then, your baby hits a growth spurt, and now, his clothes and diapers don’t fit properly. You have bags of extra diapers that your baby can’t wear because he pees out of the sides.
There has to be a way to get rid of unused diapers, right?
Whether you are looking for ideas to donate unused diapers, pass them onto a friend, or get the best value you can out of them, then our list of the best things to do with extra diapers is sure to inspire you!
How Long Do Unused Diapers Last?
Unused diapers last for about two years before their effectiveness starts to decrease. Diapers don’t spoil or “go bad” like your gallon of milk in the refrigerator, but they begin to change and might not work as well as they did in the beginning.
Most diaper brands say that their diapers don’t have an expiration date, but you will notice some changes if you find a diaper from two or three years ago.
- The elastic won’t be as tight, potentially causing leaks.
- The waistband might sag, leading to fit problems.
- It might turn yellow, similar to how a book yellows with ages.
- The SAP crystals inside of the inner core absorb moisture from the environment, making the diaper feel plump or slightly used already.
Using old diapers is safe; they won’t harm your baby. The biggest concern is that they might leak, and no one likes to deal with leaking diapers.
You can learn more about expired diapers in our do diapers expire guide!
What To Do With Extra Diapers: 10 Ideas
Here are a few ways to get rid of extra diapers without tossing them in the trash. And if you’re using cloth diapers, you may want to check out this guide on what to do with old cloth diapers.
1. Exchange the Diapers for a New Size
The most common reason parents have extra diapers is that they receive too many at their baby shower or friends and family. Babies grow rapidly in the first six months, and they’ll move through the diaper sizes faster than you thought.
Most stores allow parents to exchange the diapers for a new size, assuming two things:
The Packages Are Unopened
Stores won’t take or exchange opened diapers, and that means opened boxes as well.
You Know The Store
Stores don’t take diapers from other stores. Make sure you know where the diapers originally were purchased.
This is why you shouldn’t open diaper packs ahead of time. Open them one at a time when you know that your child hasn’t moved to the next size up.
2. Store Leftover Diapers for Your Next Baby
If you plan to have another baby soon, it makes the most sense to store leftover diapers.
We know that diapers don’t have actual expiration dates, but their efficiency decreases as the diaper gets older. There are a few ways to extend the lifespan of your unused diapers.
– Wrap them in a plastic bag and squeeze out the air. If you have a way to vacuum seal the diapers, that’s the best way to store them.
– Store them in a cool, dark location. Humidity causes the inner core to absorb the moisture in the air, and heat causes the elastic to become brittle.
3. Give Them to a Friend
Post on social media to see if your friends have a baby in a similar size or give the diapers to an expecting mother. You probably see friends do this all of the time. If you don’t want to post on your main page, join a local mom’s group and ask those friends.
You never know someone’s financial situation, so giving them free diapers could be a blessing and significant help.
4. Donate to a Local Diaper Drive
Want to donate your diapers but not sure where can you donate diapers?
Then ask in your local community if they have a local diaper drive or know of one near by.
Local diaper drives supply diapers to low-income families. There is no government assistance to help families afford diapers for their babies.
Since diapers are so expensive, these babies are more likely not to have their diapers changed frequently. That increases their health risks.
Diapering is a massive issue for low-income families. Help them by donating to local diaper drives. If you can’t find one in your area, host one! They’re simple, and most buildings, like a church, will let you use their facility for such a great cause.
5. Ask Your Daycare if They Take Diapers
Daycares have strict regulations when it comes to diapers. Some allow cloth diapers, but many don’t. They might be allowed to accept extra diapers, but state regulations might require the packages to be unopened.
If they don’t allow you to donate diapers, ask them to inquiry with other families at the daycare if they want them. They might let you leave the package at the daycare with a sign taped to the box.
6. Bring Them to Your Church Nursery
Like daycare centers, a church nursery might have standard protocols for accepting diaper donations. However, the regulations will be internal, not via the state.
All you have to do is ask the nursery director if they take packages of diapers. You might get lucky, or they might ask other families attending the church that day.
7. Drop Them Off at a Women’s Shelter
Ask your local women’s shelter if they take extra diapers. It might be a shelter for women, but the women often come in with babies and nothing else with them. Diapers are one of the bare essentials that all parents need, and if you’re at a shelter, you need help.
Chances are you won’t be able to enter the shelter due to security reasons. Give them a phone call and ask if you can leave it on their porch or if a worker can meet you outside.
8. Ask Your Local Homeless Shelter
Another great thing to do with extra diapers is to give them to your local homeless shelter. If your town has a shelter or two that help those in need, give them a call. The chances are good that they’ll take the diapers from you.
See if any of your shelters have a Facebook page. It’s becoming more common, and they post what supplies they need, including baby things. This is a fantastic way to donate any unused baby items to someone in need. Skip the Goodwill; donate all of your unused baby stuff to people in your community who need help.
9. Make a Diaper Cake
If one of your friends has a baby shower coming up, use the diapers to make a diaper cake. Make sure the diapers are labeled with their size – most have a number somewhere on the diaper’s front or back. If, you’ll have to let your friend know.
Most diaper cakes are made with newborn or size one diapers, so if you have a bigger size, your friend will be excited to get larger diapers. Everyone focuses on giving the small size at a baby shower, but eventually, your baby gets bigger and needs a new size.
10. Let Your Kids Play with Them
If all else fails for some reason, give the diapers to your children to use during playtime. Baby diapers work well on baby dolls. They can pretend to diaper the baby doll, and you get rid of your unused diapers that are sitting around.
Can You Donate Unused Diapers?
Yes! Most places take donations of unused diapers, but some require that the diaper bag be unopened. That’s where it gets a bit tricky.
They prefer unopened diapers because it’s less risky. They know there are no contaminants on the diaper that might harm the baby, but sometimes, you open a bag of diapers and realize your baby doesn’t fit into these.
Corporate places, like the Goodwill, won’t take bags of opened diapers, but local shelters should accept those.
Be sure to ask before dropping them off; you want them to go to good use, not the trash.
Final Thoughts On Unused Diapers
Figuring out what to do with extra diapers takes a bit of planning and consideration. It might be as easy as posting on your social media page and asking who needs some diapers, or you might want to try to contact local shelters to see if there are women who might need these diapers. Someone will take them!
And if you’re looking for more great diapering guides, then check out these guides on how long do babies wear size 1 diapers, how many cloth diapers do I need, how many changing pad covers do I need, and different uses for diaper rash cream.