Do Diapers Go Bad?

Updated on January 27, 2011
S.F. asks from Keansburg, NJ
10 answers

Do diapers go bad? What about an open package of diapers? i have a few opened packages of various sizes. i would like to save them for my next baby, even though i am not currently pregnant but hopefully will be by the end of this year. i had a feeling that some diapers crystallize and become "crunchy" therefore do not absorb, but please let me know if i'm wrong. if i can use them in the future, i would love to save the money and do that. However, if i cannot i would like to give them away to someone who can use them now.

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So What Happened?

just wanted to thank you for your responses! i am going to check out the newborn diapers i have since its been about a year now. if they seem in good condition, i'm going to seal them up as tight as can be, store them in a place where there is little humidity and hope for the best. Diapers are expensive and if i can save a few bucks then that would be best for us right now. thanks again for all your thoughts and advice!

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answers from New York on

I had boxes, some opened, some sealed of diapers in my basement, which is dry. I used them 18mos later, and they were perfect.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You would need to be sure they are kept dry; humidity could be absorbed by the diapers over time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I would donate them!

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answers from Norfolk on

According to what I've found:
"The expiration time has to do with diaper composition and the warehouse conditions. A typical disposable diaper will have a shelf life of about 2 years, however diapers made with waist elastic foams will probably last less than a year before there are obvious signs of discoloration on the elastic. This does not mean that the diaper can not be used, it only means it will not look the same as if it was fresh. After long expositions to heat in a warehouse it is also possible for the hot melt adhesive to fail, this is more sensitive for the elastic adhesives, such as in lateral gathers and leg cuffs, and it is a function of the amount of hot melt used in the manufacture of the product. Some properties of the standard adhesive tape will also change with time due to material oxidation."

I think if you can zip lock open diaper boxes/containers in large storage bags, it'll keep humidity affecting them for awhile. You can hold onto them.

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answers from Spokane on

As long as they don't get wet, they'll be fine. The other day I was going through stuff to donate and I found a whole handful of tiny newborn diapers. Those things are over 6 years old! I gave them to a friend who just had a little one and they worked great.



answers from Minneapolis on

My bil got a crate of Target diapers when they clearanced a warehouse. BIL apparently kept the crate for a while, before giving it to us when our baby was born. He never got around to using them, and I think he had them for a couple of years. They were pretty big, so we couldn't use them ourselves for at least a year. By the time we got to them, they had "gone bad."

They looked okay on the outside, like any diaper. But when we used them...ugh! They pilled really bad, and the polymere beads inside were "weird". They couldn't absorb much, and the diaper literally disintigrated on the baby.

We wound up having to just get rid of them altogether, because they were useless and even caused skin irritation for the baby.



answers from Miami on

Not only did I keep diapers but pull ups as well. Mine never went bad.


answers from Saginaw on

I've never heard of them going bad, so I would think it would be ok.

My MIL had a daycare and had saved pull ups when she retired her daycare, the pull ups were probably about 3-4 years old and we used them on my daughter with no problem. I imagine, diapers are the same.



answers from New York on

I saved a bunch of pampers cruisers in a sealed container and they did get "crunchy" before my second could use them. I wrote to pampers and they said that they were fine and I could still use them. However, I chose not to use them because I felt that they would make him uncomfortable. Very disappointing since I had about 20 of them! Wish I would have passed them to a friend!



answers from New York on

Mine did! In only about 7 months! They did not get wet. They were just sitting around in a box, actually very dry, but they got crumbly.... and clumpy.

Next question: The Great Diaper Debate !