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Row of pastel pocket diapers with text, "How Many Diapers Do You Need?"

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

When you decide to cloth diaper, you’re overwhelmed by decisions. You have to choose your type of diaper. Your diaper accessories. Your laundry method and detergent. Your organizational systems. SO MUCH. And, one of the main questions that needs an answer is: “How many diapers do I need?”

As you're waiting for your new baby or waiting to start your cloth diapering journey, you need to build your stash. Overbuying will leave you feeling like you missed out on the true savings of cloth diapering. Underbuying can make those first weeks of diapering super stressful! So, our post today will help you decide how many diapers you need!

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

Stack of pastel pocket diapers outside on a white rug.

Diaper Type

Before we get too far into the conversation, let’s make sure we’re comparing apples to apples. There are lots of diaper types, and that will affect what you “need.” If you’re using a diaper type that uses covers like prefolds, preflats, or flats, you’d need a lot of the “inner” layer, but only a handful of covers. 

However, if you’re using pockets, all-in-ones, or all-in-twos, where the diaper is essentially all one piece. You’ll need the same amount of all “parts.” Since these diaper types are the most common, we’ll be referring to these throughout the post.

When we say “a diaper,” we’re referring to one pocket, all-in-one, or all-in-two including their inserts. If you’re using prefolds, preflats, or flats, you should still be able to follow along, just remember you don’t need one cover or every inner diaper layer!

Age of Your Baby 

Next, before considering how many diapers you need, you’ll also need to consider the age of your little wildling. If you’re cloth diapering from birth, then you’ll need more diapers to deal with the every-hour diaper changes newborns demand. If you’re cloth diapering closer to potty training, you’ll obviously need fewer diapers! Think about how often your child needs changed before you buy too many or too few diapers. 

Future Diapering Plans

However, if you’re planning to cloth diaper more babies, buying extra diapers definitely isn’t a waste! This is especially true if you’ll have two in diapers someday. So, if you’re shopping sales and worrying about overbuying, don’t sweat it. You’ll get good use out of those diapers in the next few years!

Days Between Laundry

How often do you plan on washing? If you’re only washing once a week vs every few days, you’ll need enough diapers to get you to the weekend. So, definitely stock up on diapers if your wash days are spread out. If you don’t mind washing every other day, you can keep your stash more minimal. 

Vacationing and Travel 

This is a factor many don’t consider, but if you’re planning on traveling often, you may want to invest in more diapers. No one wants to do diaper laundry on vacation, so if you normally wash every other day, grab a few more diapers to get you through on travel days. You may not have access to a washer every other day like normal when you’re vacationing!

Unexpected Setbacks

Again, even if you’re planning to wash every other day, you’ll likely experience interruptions once in a while. Maybe you get sick. Maybe your washer breaks down. Maybe you just have a tough week. That’s okay! Just have a few extra diapers for these crazy weeks. 

So, How Many Diapers? 

This formula isn’t absolute by any means, but it should help give you a rough idea. 


(12 Diapers a Day x Days Between Washes) + 8 Extra Diapers for Unexpected Setbacks = Total Diapers Needed 

Post Newborn Stage:

(8 Diapers a Day x Days Between Washes) + 8 Extra Diapers for Unexpected Setbacks = Total Diapers Needed 

Row of pocket diapers with the equations for determine your stash size listed.

Building your cloth diaper stash doesn’t need to be stressful with our guide to building the perfectly sized stash! 

Cloth diapering comes with a lot of choices. Deciding on your stash size is one of the most basic decisions you’ll make early on. We hope this post helped you determine how many diapers you’ll need for your cloth diapering journey! If you’re looking for fantastic affordable pocket diapers and accessories, look no further than our shop. We have everything you need to take you from birth to potty training. Let’s do this! 


Woman's hand holding a stack of fall-inspired diapers.

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