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How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Need?

How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Need?

If you're starting to do some research into cloth diapers and wondering how many you actually need, you've found the right place to learn.  

We'll tell you exactly how many you need to diaper your baby successfully without a ton of laundry and without ever running out of clean diapers in your stash.  Now, keep in mind these numbers are for full time cloth diapering so adjust your numbers accordingly if you plan to cloth diaper only part time (which is a totally valid choice too).... now let's begin:

Let's start with some basic baby facts:
Newborns go through 10-12 diaper changes per day and older babies and toddlers (aprox. 6+ months) use 6-8 diapers per day.

Generally parents are most comfortable with washing every second day, but you can get by with fewer diapers and wash every day if you like or add more to your diaper stash and wash every 3 days.  You don’t want to go longer than 3 days between washes though.  Why?  Because stains will set, diaper fabrics will break down faster and smell may become an issue.  It's also harder on your elastics. So keep it to a 2 or 3 day wash cycle and you won't have any problems. 

In short, if you want to wash every second day, you’ll need 20-24 diapers from newborn – 6 months and then 12-16 diapers for babies 6+ months until potty training.

when we say 'diapers' that means a diaper change.  If you are using pocket or AIO style diapers, the numbers above hold.  If you are using an AI2 style diaper  with snap-in inserts, or a prefold or flat diaper system with covers, you may be able to use the same cover for 2 or 3 changes.  In that case, about one cover with 3 inserts would be needed for 3 diaper changes.  

So, if you're using a system with reusable covers, plan on a 3:1 ratio of inserts to covers so you have 3 clean inserts to use with every cover.  That means if you needed 24 diaper changes, consider 8-10 diaper covers and 24 inserts to suit your needs. 

In addition to the suggestions above, it’s handy to have 2-3 fitted diapers with covers in your stash for naps or overnight.  This is especially useful for older babies and toddlers aged 6+ months to prevent nighttime leaks.  Learn more about successful nighttime diapering here.

There you have it.  

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