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How Many Cloth Diapers Will I Need?

The good news is – as your baby gets older, she will be going through fewer diaper changes. Depending on your budget and experience with cloth diapers, you may want to purchase diapers a few at a time and add to the collection as your baby grows and as you determine which style of cloth diaper works best for your lifestyle.

For more information on the different types of cloth diapers available out there, visit our Different Types of Cloth Diapers section.

Also, consider buying One-Size cloth diapers that grow with your baby, allowing you to purchase just one size.

The number of diapers you choose to have in your cloth diaper arsenal will vary depending on how often you want to do laundry. Our estimates below are based on allowing you to wash every other, or every third day.

One of the advantages of going with cloth is the end of late-night runs to the local convenience store to pick up more diapers … you can just throw in a load of laundry and fresh diapers anytime!

Things to remember:
  • Fitted or Prefold style diapers should be used with a diaper cover. Buy 1 diaper cover for every 3 Fitted or Prefold style diapers you plan to have. Diaper covers can often be used for 2-3 changes without washing.

  • Pocket Diapers require a separate insert, which you place in the pocket for absorbency. You will need 1 insert for each pocket diaper. Diaper and Insert need to be washed after each change.

  • All-In-Ones are just that – a complete diaper system. The entire diaper will need to be washed after each change.

    Newborns typically go through 10-12 diaper changes each day. We recommend having 24-30 diapers on hand. If you are going with Fitted or Prefold styles, you’ll need 8-9 diaper covers, as well (remember: You don’t have to change the diaper cover with each diaper change, unless it gets soiled).

    If you are going with All-In-One or Pocket diapers, stock the same quantity and don’t forget to have a supply of inserts (for pocket diapers). This will allow you to have diapers ready to go for quick changing.

    Infants (3-9 months)
    Infants go through about 10 diapers per day. Plan on having about 20-25 diapers in the appropriate size range on hand.

    Older Infants (9+ months)
    Older Infants use about 8 diapers per day, making it possible for you to get by on 16-18 diapers.