Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cloth Diaper Q&A Week 3! How Many Cloth Diapers Will I Need?

It's week 3 of the Cloth Diaper Q&A and this week we are talking about How Many Cloth Diapers you will need to successfully cloth diaper your baby full time! You know what kind you want, you know how much they will it's time to find out how many you will really need! I'm going to break it down by age. This is just an estimate by me and my experience in cloth diapering a baby from a newborn to a toddler. 


If you are planning to cloth diaper a newborn you should be prepared with quite a few diapers. Newborns usually pee and poop right after they eat, pretty much every time they eat! And sometimes they peep and poop more in between feedings! So to be on the safe side I'm going to say you will probably need 10-14 diapers in a 24 hour period for a newborn. This means if you want to wash every other day you'll need around 21-24 diapers in your stash, give or take a few more for days when they seem to go every hour! You will also need plenty of cloth wipes if you plan on using those. I will venture to say the more the better. Newborn poop is sticky and not always the easiest to clean up so it may take more than one or two wipes per change! If you are using prefolds or fitteds and need to secure them with snappis you'll probably want at least 2 or 3 of those to switch out of. If you are using waterproof covers over those prefolds or fitteds you will probably need 4-6, maybe less, just in case they get soiled also. That way you'll have plenty to switch them out if need be. 

Infants 1-12 Months

Around a month old or so babies stop going quite as often as they do when they are newborns. Depending on the size of your baby, they will start to outgrow their newborn diapers and move up to sized and one-size diapers. Isaac started outgrowing some of his newborn diapers around 3-4 weeks old. So once we moved up to sized and one-sized I had to change him a little bit less than when he was in newborn diapers. He went from pooping every time he nursed to only going once or twice a day! Most cloth diapering mom's will tell you to have between 20-24 in your stash to wash every other day.  Baby will probably need to be changed 6-8 times a day and once or twice at night depending on how often they are waking. Once again, lots of cloth wipes are always handy. And I'd still keep your snappis and covers for when you need them. 

Toddlers 12-24 months

Isaac will be 14 months tomorrow! Time is flying! So we are right in this part of our cloth diapering journey with him. He's no longer an infant but he's still my baby in many ways. And that includes diapering! He's nowhere near being able to potty train so he's still in cloth full time. At this age I'd still recommend 20-24 diapers if you are washing every other day. I have around 32 diapers in my stash right now and it is more than enough. I could go 4 days without washing if I wanted to! Isaac is eating solids three times a day and is also on whole milk. He also nurses twice a day still! So he has a few solid poopies a day and then wets 6-8 times a day still. He sleeps all night long so he's only in one diaper a night.  I still always keep plenty of cloth wipes handy because you just never know! 

Toddlers 24-36 months

This is when you will likely begin to potty train your child. He/She may be holding their bladder on their own for longer periods of time which means less frequent wet diapers. This is when you will begin to need less and less diapers and make the move to underwear! Noah potty trained completely around 2.5 years old. We started potty training a few months after his second birthday and we went straight to underwear except for at night. So we were only using one cloth diaper a day! I'll admit I finally got frustrated with such small diaper laundry loads that I switched him to underwear completely and put my cloth away for the next baby. If you aren't potty training yet you may need 15-20 diapers if you wash every other day. If you are potty training you will need less than that and eventually you won't need diapers anymore! I still recommend lots of cloth wipes because potty training can get really messy!

I hope this was helpful in explaining how many cloth diapers you may need! Remember, you don't have to start cloth diapering your baby right from the beginning! I didn't start using cloth diapers on Noah until he was 7 months old! No matter what age your baby is, I hope this will help you decide how many cloth diapers you will need and give you the push to begin using cloth! 

Have a cloth diapering question for me? Email me at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot) com or message me on my Facebook page! 


  1. Good info! I've been trying to plan how many I'll need for little girl on the way and how many I need to add to the OS stash to potentially have 2 in those. Thanks!

  2. Great info, I am clueless about newborn cloth but excited for the next one!

  3. Great info! Now any info on how I can housebreak my almost 3 year old? *sigh*

  4. I've never cloth diapered a newborn and it's amazing the amount of diapers you need for those little tikes!

  5. I wish I had more resources when I cloth diapered! Great info that will help lots of moms!

  6. Love this segment! How did I miss weeks one and two? I always keep abouy 20 handy for each child even though I wash every day. This way, I don't feel like I have to hurry up and wash if I forget.


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