How Many Newborn Clothes Diapers Do I Need

One of the first questions that moms who are considering cloth diapering ask is “How many newborn clothes diapers do I need?

Usually, when you decide to go into a cloth diaper, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of available options. The fact is, it’s usually easy to over-buy or under-buy cloth diapers.

So how many do you need? Well, this isn’t a simple math problem as there isn’t one right answer.

The amount varies by parent and what works best for each family. However, there are a few factors you must consider before making this decision. Read On…

How Many Newborn Clothes Diapers Do I Need?


How Many Newborn Clothes Diapers Do I Need for my baby

While there is no generally accepted number of cloth diapers to have, it’s nice knowing roughly how many to get, especially when you don’t know where to start. Having 2-3 day’s worth of diapers is a good starting point.

However, the total number of cloth diapers will depend on your baby’s age, your laundry habits, and the types of cloth diapers you use, but we recommend a minimum of 36 diapers for newborns, 24 diapers for infants, and 20 diapers for toddlers.

I was able to estimate the daily amount of cloth diapers I needed for my baby based on the highest number of times my baby went to the bathroom in a day that way I knew I had enough.

Recommended Minimum

Newborns: 36 Diapers

Infants: 24 Diapers

Toddlers: 20 Diapers

The Age Of Your Baby?

The first thing to consider when asking the question “How many newborn clothes diapers do I need?” is how old your child is. This is because babies of different ages go to the bathroom different amounts of times throughout the day.

Below are the average numbers of times babies of varying ages will go to the bathroom and require a diaper change.

  • Newborn: 10-12 diapers a day.
  • 3-6 months old: 8-10 diapers a day.
  • 6-12 months: 4-6 diapers a day.
  • 18 months or older: May need 2-4 diapers a day.

As you can see, you’ll need more cloth diapers if you’re starting your cloth diapering journey at birth; compared to if you start with an older baby. Most importantly, bear in mind that these numbers are just an average guideline.

Not every baby is the same, and every day won’t be the same either. Some days your little one will go through more cloth diapers than the normal average baby of his age, and some days he’ll go through fewer.

Read Also: How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts

How Often To Launder?

How often you plan on washing your cloth diapers can be the ultimate determining factor in deciding how many cloth diapers you need for your baby.

We recommend washing your cloth diapers every two days to avoid issues like ammonia, mold, and mildew. Some parents choose to wash their diapers once a week.

To decide how often you plan to wash diapers, multiply your daily diaper amount by the number of days between washes to get a rough idea of how many newborn clothes diapers you’ll need.

Now add one extra day’s worth of diapers, so you’ll have diapers for the day you’re doing your washing.

To simplify that:

Newborn Clothes Diaper Math

The total daily number of diapers X Number of days between washes + Extra day of diapers = Your total.

For Example: If you have a newborn, you may want to have 25 cloth diapers (10 diapers per day x 2 days + 5 extra emergency diapers), so you’re not washing a load of cloth diapers each day.

Recommended Wash:

For Every 2 Days

Newborn: Recommended to have 36 diapers.

Read Also: How To Get Yellow Poop Stains Out Of Baby Clothes

Stash Size

Building a cloth diaper stash is very important. Though it may be costly upfront, you’ll be thankful you have enough cloth diapers to last between washings and to regularly rotate through your stash.

This encourages not having to do a load of cloth diapers every day, which signifies less wear and tear on your diapers, which tends to extends the life of your cloth diapers.

More so, this cloth diaper stash size can save your sanity during the diaper-wearing days, and it will save you money in the future.

Therefore how many do I need? If you are using a one-size diapering system, you may want to have about 40-50 diapers. Your baby cloth diapers will last all through at least one child’s diapered years at that size.

Also, with a large enough stash and the tendency to rotate, you should even be able to use your cloth diapers for more than one kid. However, if you have a smaller stash, you can decide on replacing your cloth diapers one-size or sized every six to nine months.

Big Stash

One – Size: 40-50 Diapers

Should last several months if not a couple of years (or even more than one baby).

Small Stash

One – Size: 16-20 Diaper

If you plan on replacing your cloth diapers every six to nine months.

Read Also: Baby Cries When Changing Diapers (15 Things To Help You Cope) 

The Type Of Cloth Diapers You Use?

cloth diapers

1. All-In-Ones And Pocket Diapers

If you are using all-in-ones for your baby, the entire diaper is one piece. Therefore, you’ll need a completely new diaper for every change you’ve estimated your baby needs.

The same goes for pocket diapers, which are two pieces, but the urine and stool, have to go through a cotton layer before they reach the absorbent insert.

2. Flats Prefolds And All-In-Twos

If you’re using flats, prefolds, or all-in-twos diaper, you’ll change the absorbent part but won’t need a new cover or diaper fastener for every change. For flats and prefolds you’ll need 2-3 diaper fasteners and about 4 diapers covers per day for a newborn.

This is because covers and diaper fasteners only need to be changed out if the baby’s mess gets on them or urine soaks through them.

For All-in-twos, this is similar because the absorbent insert snaps into the cover, but there’s no layer between the insert and the baby’s bottom.

If your baby only urinates, and the diaper doesn’t leak, you don’t need a new cover at every diaper change rather you only need to swap out the insert!


Prefolds, flats, and all-in-two diapers seem to be the most inexpensive options when it comes to cloth diapers.

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Babies are different. Usually, trying to answer the “How many newborn clothes diapers do I need?” On your own can be a daunting task especially at first, but it isn’t that difficult.

Sit down and relax, then evaluate your situation taking into account your baby’s age, your laundry schedule, and the types of diapers you’re going to use. You can also ask other parents in your life which brand of diaper they prefer and why.

It’s also important to remember that emergencies happen, and other factors like needing an extra set of diapers for daycare, and how many clothes wipes you’ll need.

Did you cloth diaper your little one? How many clothes did you use? We’d love to hear your suggestions and your experience in the comments below.

Also, if you know a mother currently struggling with a cloth diaper dilemma, kindly forward this article to her and share the knowledge.