New numbers show the economy is now affecting little ones. Diaper sales are slowing.
According to Consumer Edge Research, the volume of diapers sold in the U.S. slipped one percent in the four weeks ending in early September 2011. That's down from the same period in 2010. Sales of diapers fell four percent at Huggies maker Kimberly-Clark. Procter and Gamble, maker of Pampers and Luvs, saw dollar sales drop two and a half percent. Even generics were down, with sales of private-label diapers slipping point five percent.
Researchers believe several factors are behind the trend. Some say people are having fewer children. Others say people are using fewer diapers, but we also found that many new parents are turning back to the basics.
New mom Nicole Duycus said the price of baby Colin's diapers has her wanting to cry.
"I think they're too much," said Duycus. "Basically I won't buy diapers without a coupon."
Amy Samad said that she saves money on baby Jack's diapers buy buying diapers online.
"I got $10 off the first time," said Samad. "I was able to use a coupon, and it was delivered right to my door so it seemed a lot cheaper to me that way."
These days, many new parents are thinking outside of the diaper pail by turning to cloth diapers.
Monroe mom Jamee Diver first used cloth diapers on her daughter Reece three years ago, and now re-uses some of them on six-month old baby Cooper.
"There's a million good reasons to use cloth diapers," said Diver.
She said fewer diaper rashes and saving the planet are two reasons, but number one was saving money.
"Three years of disposable diapers can cost up to $3000 or even more if you use the natural brands that have less chemicals in them," she said.
Diver teaches new baby classes in downtown Cincinnati and said that these days more parents are signing up for her cloth diaper classes. Especially when new parents consider the sheer economics of the issue. Diaper makers say diapering a child six times a day for a year will cost you about $1,500 dollars. A child, on average, will be in diapers for two to three years, possibly costing parents $4,500. Diver said cloth diapers could cost you, on average, about $500.
Still, some say that saving time is worth more than saving money with cloth diapers.
"I considered it, but never followed through after Jack was born," said Samad. "It was just easier to do disposable. "
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