How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

When we decide to bring a bundle of joy into our lives, there are many issues to consider. Even before the baby is born, you’ll have to start making the preparations centered around the baby’s needs. One of them is the diaper.

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Recent trends show more preference for the use of cloth diapers for babies. Reasons are:

  • They cost less in the long term;
  • They are environmentally friendly;
  • They are chemical-free and safe for babies that have a skin condition;
  • They can be washed and reused;
  • They can last to two years depending on the usage;
  • The size can be adjusted; and
  • There are a variety of cute and colorful options available.


So when you decide to opt for cloth diapers, another question arises. Despite all the benefits, it’s important to know that cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposable diapers. Frequent changing is necessary, so how many cloth diapers do you need to make sure they never have to worry about running out of their supply?


How many cloth diapers do i need?

There are no set rules as to how many cloth diapers are needed. However, several factors can help you answer the question of how many cloth diapers do i need. One of the factors is the type of cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers nowadays have evolved a lot, just like their disposable counterparts. Cloth diapers also come in several types. Different types of cloth diapers also have different types of absorbency in answering the question how many cloth diapers do i need. Cotton diapers launder well but should be pre-washed several times before initial use to remove their inherent oils.  Synthetic cloth diapers may retain some odor when washed.   They also require less pre-washing and are more absorbent in general.  The frequency of diaper change and the number of cloth diapers needed also varies.

Flats and pre-folds:

Flats and pre-folds require the same answer to how many cloth diapers do i need.  Flats are the classic ones that we all know so well, with their ample size and rectangular shape. Pre-folds are doubled over smaller pieces of fabric. Both flats and pre-folds need to be folded into place on the baby, clipped, and covered with a waterproof shell. These are the cheapest option by far. But the frequency of diaper change is the highest compared to the rest.


Fitted diapers:

Fitted diapers are ready-to-wear diapers that look like diapers, shaped like diapers, fasten like diapers, but they need a waterproof cover to work as a diaper. They’re made entirely from absorbent fabric.


Fitted diapers are the favorite among parents with toddlers. They allow the toddlers to move freely, unlike flats and pre-folds. Since the fabric is absorbent, diaper change is less frequent than flats and pre-folds. Regarding how many cloth diapers do I need, fewer diapers per day of this variety are needed. However, although it has a higher liquid capacity, you should change the diaper when it is wet to prevent rashes and other skin conditions.


Pocket diapers:

The question of how many cloth diapers do i need has a different answer for pocket diapers.  Pocket diapers have a waterproof exterior. It can prevent leakage and absorb the liquid more quickly. The fabric used is not only absorbent but also biodegradable. It also has an inside pocket where you can place an absorbent insert in it. This cloth diaper is the most ideal to be used as overnight diapers. But consider how many cloth diapers do I need for a newborn?  As the baby grows he/she will need larger sizes.  The insert can absorb the liquid for 6.7 ounces and above, and it can last for two years. So, how many cloth diapers do I need for a newborn?  You can probably get by with a new size every 1-3 months until your baby is around 16 pounds.  That last size should last about 6 months.  What’s best about this type of cloth diaper, you also don’t need to buy many of them. You just need to stock up on the inserts instead.

Learn How to keep yourself fit after childbirth.

How many cloth diapers do I need – What are the costs/types:


To answer the question of how many diapers do i need, let’s start with some basic assumptions to calculate the costs and types involved.  The baby’s average frequency to pass urine is six times a day and twice a day for stool. That means the average diaper change is needed around eight times daily. If the laundry is done daily, all you need to do is double the daily amount when you buy the cloth diapers. In this case, that would require 16 pieces. But, there’s no harm in purchasing extra. 20 diapers is still a reasonable amount if you can afford it. After all, doing laundry isn’t an enjoyable activity.

Using cloth diapers can cost around $1-$2 each and are available in packs of 10. That can mean some savings in the short run. Disposable diapers can cost between 10 and 30 cents each. Assuming the diaper change for disposable diapers is done six times a day, disposables can cost between 60 cents and $1.80 per day, depending on the size and brand. In a month, you’ll have to spend between $18 and $54 a month just to buy disposable diapers. So, as your baby grows, you may want to consider cloth diapers if you have the time to launder them daily to reduce your monthly expense.  Bear this in mind in considering how many newborn cloth diapers do I need.

Just to cover all the bases, in general, pocket diapers will run you between $10 and $24 each, so if you purchase 20, the initial cost can be prohibitive.  Pre-folds are only a few cents more than flats.


Whatever you choose, I hope this has helped calculate your needs, costs, and other considerations.


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