How many cloth diapers should I buy?

Unlike disposable diapers, where you can easily calculate the number you need based on the number of changes per day, there are a few factors to consider that can help you determine the right number of cloth diapers for your family.

First, consider how often you plan to wash your cloth diapers. Some parents prefer to wash every day or every other day, while others may go longer between washes. If you plan to wash more frequently, you may be able to get away with fewer diapers since you won't need to stockpile as many before washing. If you plan to wash less frequently, you'll need more diapers to last you between washes. Washing more frequently can help prevent issues such as stink and mold/mildew, especially in a warm and humid climate. We recommend washing when you have 2/3 to 3/4 drum full of dirty diapers. 

Second, consider the type of cloth diaper you'll be using. There are many different types of cloth diapers available, from prefolds to all-in-ones, and each type may have different recommendations for how many you need. For example, if you're using covers and prefolds/flats, you'll be able to wipe-clean the covers and reuse a few times before it gets tossed in the pail (unless it's soiled with poop). All-in-ones and pocket diapers would have to be changed entirely every time. 

Next, consider your budget. If the upfront investment cost of cloth diapers feels limiting, you can start using cloth diapers part time and slowly shift to full time by adding more diapers as the budget allows. Keep in mind that cloth diapers can save you money in the long run since you won't be buying disposables every week. They can also last through multiple babies if that is relevant to your family.

The age of the baby to start using cloth diapers is another factor to consider. If you use cloth diapers from the newborn stage, we recommend starting with the newborn size diapers as the proper fit can help minimize leaks. The newborn poop is runny and prone to leaks when using disposables. However, the elastics of the cloth diapers do a great job containing the mess. No leaks means less laundry of beddings and clothes, and less stress overall for the caregivers! 

For the leak-proof newborn stash, we recommend the following items. You can add more later on as you see fit.

  • 5-6 Newborn Size Keeper Covers
  • 24 Newborn Size Prefolds
  • Snappi 3-Pack

So, how many cloth diapers should you buy, after all? A good rule of thumb is to have approximately 24-36 diapers on hand, depending on the factors mentioned above. This will give you enough diapers to last between washes, while still giving you a few extras in case of emergencies or if you need to skip a wash day. It is also important to try out different styles of cloth diapers first to figure our your preferences. That way, you are not stuck with something that doesn't work for your family.

If you are new to cloth diapering, all the information online might feel overwhelming. But I promise you, it will feel so much easier once you dive in and get started. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support at info @ No question is a silly question!

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