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Diapers-Store brand vs. Name Brand

Updated on May 14, 2012

Pampers-worth it in a tough economy?

My son has traditionally been a Pampers baby. I have trusted them since the nurse put them on him in the hospital. If the hospitals use them-shouldn't I? Recently money has gotten a bit tighter in our home. We relocated halfway across the country and my husband is the only one working while I look for a new job. So, for the time being my job is the house and budget. Coupons have really helped, but they alone are not enough. I was told to try the store brand diapers from WalMart-that they work just as well as the brand names.

I tried Huggies before and quickly went back to Pampers. I found that they leak out the top of the diaper. My son's pajama bottoms were wet in the front each time he woke up. I don't know about you but I hate to cuddle my little one and end up with a wet shirt. This former experience made me a bit apprehensive about straying once again to another brand.

I swallowed my middle of the night blowout fear and went and bought a trial size pack of Parent's Choice size 5 diapers. The price was amazing! The same size store brand pack cost a third less than my Pampers! A plus when its sole purpose is to be used and then thrown out. My son uses about 6 diapers a day which comes to 180 diapers in a 30 day month.

The Price Difference

Pack size
Cost per Pack
Cost Per Diaper
Cost Per 180 Diapers
Pampers Baby Dry size 5
84 diapers
Parents Choice size 5
70 diapers
Cost difference

The Physical Stack Up

View from the bottom of the diaper.  Store Brand on the right, Pampers on the left.
View from the bottom of the diaper. Store Brand on the right, Pampers on the left. | Source
Store brand on right, Pampers on the left
Store brand on right, Pampers on the left
store brand on right, Pampers on left
store brand on right, Pampers on left

The Quality Question

Wow, so by buying the store brand I would save nearly $18.00 a month-the cost of a box of wipes and some diaper ointment! But the savings only add up if the diapers work as well. My first impression of the Store Brand was that they felt thick and papery. The Pampers Baby Dry are noticeably thinner and they have a more cloth like feel. The Pampers diapers also looked longer than the store brand.

Time for the test drive. I put a store brand diaper on Jacob for his first diaper change of the day. Right away I had an issue with the side tab-I couldn't get it to open. I grabbed a second diaper and it went on without a hitch. The diapers appeared a bit bulky, but they were not bulky enough to cause my son to slow down. After a half hour of wearing the diaper I noticed that he already was noticeably wet. The diaper did not leak, but it needed to be changed less than two hours after putting it on. When my son had a bowel movement it also held up and did not leak. This was impressive. My only fear was that if I needed to change him every two to three hours it would not last through the night.

My fear was confirmed the next morning. My son had a bowel movement during the night, and leaked everywhere. I had to take him straight to the tub the next morning, and then I stripped his bed and washed everything. That was the end of my test drive. My fear of another mess prevented me from continuing to use the store brand. I also figured that if I go through 6 diapers a day using Pampers, and he needs to be changed every 3 hours (conservative) with the store brand; I would use 8 diapers a day. That puts my new monthly diaper need at 240 diapers. Spending 20 cents on each diaper came to a monthly cost of $48.00. Still a savings, but not enough to risk more blow outs and diaper change skirmishes with my son.

The Verdict

After my experiment I have decided to continue using Pampers. My mother volunteered to babysit my son overnight, so I stopped and picked up a new pack of Pampers on my way to her house. For me the savings is not worth the fear of the blow out-and I want Mom to continue to volunteer to watch him overnight. One good blow out would risk everything-and really isn't a good babysitter priceless?


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