How many newborn cloth diapers do I need? - Mama's Must Haves (2023)

When dealing with a newborn, there are already a lot of things to worry about. In addition to feedings, nap time, and sleeping through the night, there is the dirty business of – diapers. In recent years, many parents have moved away from disposable diapers and toward the washable cloth option.

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need? You want to have around 25-45 cloth diapers on-hand for your newborn. The average newborn goes through 10-15 diapers each day, so doubling the amount ensures you’ve got enough to work with while others are being washed.

There are quite a few things to consider when purchasing cloth diapers, and I’ve put the information together here and laid it out here.

How many newborn cloth diapers do I need? - Mama's Must Haves (1)

How many cloth diapers do newborns go through?

The average baby goes through roughly a dozen diapers a day during the newborn phase. That’s over four thousand diapers each year. You really don’t need that many actual cloth diapers despite what you may think. If you’re washing them often enough, you can save money on a few extra diapers.And keep a lot of dirty diapers from the landfills.

How often do you change newborn diapers?

Many babies tend to need a cloth diaper change about every two or so hours. If you’re consistently doing laundry every day, you can get away with only having about 20 cloth diapers on hand. This will give you enough to tide you over while you wash cloth diapers. The more laundry you do, the more often you will end up changing it, but it provides a constant clean diaper for your newborn. This means you may need to change your laundry habits!

(Video) Newborn Cloth Diapering First Month | Reviews + Favorites + One Size

Which brand should I use?

Newborns use their diapers a lot and eat so often that it seems there’s always something in their diapers to change. Depending on the brand you get, you might notice your need to change their diaper being more or less. So, trying out different brands at first might be the way to go if you haven’t had any interaction with them before.

Do they last more than a year?

Generally, newborns will need new diapers every year. However, some people get through two children with the same supply of cloth diapers. Let it be said though that the second child is getting a softer, worn in diaper that in comparison to when it was first bought isn’t doing its job as well as before.

You still save money buying new cloth diapers each year versus buying new disposables throughout the year. Newborns go through thousands of diapers and having cloth ones will save your house from the smell of piled-up dirty diapers. And you can feel good about saving the landfills from the plastics in them.

Thankfully, older babies need fewer diaper changes than newborns. So how many diapers a day you will need will depend on your baby’s age. The closer you get to starting to potty train, the less you will need!

How many cloth diapers do I need for twins?

Having two children can be wonderful, and having twins give you two bundles of joy. If you’re considering using cloth diapers, you might wonder, do I need that many more diapers if I have two babies at the same time? If each newborn needs roughly 35 diapers, you ideally would want at least 70 total cloth diapers.


That being said, you can go about it two ways:

  • Washing the cloth diapers frequently and buying fewer diapers as you can change and clean the ones you have at a fast-enough rate.
  • Buying more diapers as now you have more diapers to change throughout the day and find that you simply can’t keep up with the demand of a newborn baby.

If you go with a one size fits all style of diaper, you can share the diaper load between both babies without having to buy any new sizes for either one. It helps to have wipes on hand, cloth wipes are always an option, and you’ll want about 30 wipes available to you per day.

Why do I need cloth diapers?

Many parents start cloth diapering for the environmental impact, the reduced cost compared to a disposable diaper, and their gentleness on your baby’s skin.

Cloth diapers are eco-friendly and save money in comparison to disposable brand diapers. This is a great way to save money if you have multiple children. Cloth diapers are a great organic and non-wasteful way to diaper your newborn child. The carbon footprint of a new child can already be quite significant, so doing what you can to reduce the carbon footprint from diapers is a great way to start.

Disposable diapers are filled with chemicals from the factories they were made in. But, the way they are designed means they are also super absorbent and rarely leak when used correctly.


Cloth diapers can also lead to less diaper rash for your newborn from the soft natural fiber material. Cloth diapers can come pre-folded, making it easy for new moms. The elastic on them is restricted enough to stop any leakage better than the competitors’ disposable diapers.

How many newborn cloth diapers do I need? - Mama's Must Haves (2)

When to replace cloth diapers

The elastic in a cloth diaper and its overall absorbency can wear out with time. A good recommended time to buy new diapers for your child would be once every year. That’s still only a total of around 20 or so diapers for the entire year. (Though having more on-hand relieves stress!) Plus, since using a cloth diaper will mean you wash everyday, the quality of the brand you go with will determine how long they last.

At nighttime, the baby is sleeping and not eating as much, so you won’t need to change your diaper as frequently. Some parents even report that they can go the entire night, or 12 hours or so, without changing their babies’ diapers.Getting a good overnight diaper will increase your chances of this!

When you originally buy your new cloth diaper, you may have to wash and dry it a good five or so times before using it at all. Make sure to let it dry between each wash fully. Pre-washing new cloth diapers can increase the absorbency of the diapers for your newborn.You can also get an absorbent insert for some types.

Cloth diaper covers

Newborns using diaper covers need anywhere from 6 to 8 cloth diaper covers. Diaper covers are needed to keep the waste from the child from touching their clothes. Along with buying the cloth diapers you also want to make sure to buy some diaper covers.

(Video) HOW TO USE CLOTH DIAPERS FOR NEWBORN BABY | all about prefolds for newborns

You need fewer diaper covers than diapers because they are simply the barrier between the diaper and the pants. They can be hand washed in the sink if unsoiled, and quickly air-dried. It’s always good to have a few extra if your budget allows it.

Cloth diaper covers like the cloth diapers themselves are good for newborns and can be combined with the diapers for the most protection and cushion for your baby. Cloth diaper covers are softer than traditional covers and won’t irritate your babies’ skin. They are designed for multiple and long-lasting uses.

Can I have too many cloth diapers?

Of course, like anything else, yes, you can buy too many cloth diapers. Consider how often you’ll be doing laundry before buying a whole bunch of cloth diapers. Many new parents seem to be doing laundry constantly! If you are going to be washing and changing out the diapers throughout the day and week, you may not need as many as you think.

If you have too many cloth diapers in excess, you can always save them for any future children that you might be having. But too many sitting on the shelf is a waste of money and therefore defeats one of the advantages of purchasing cloth diapers in the first place, which is to save money.

If you accidentally bought too many new cloth diapers and are unable to use them or return them, you can always consider donating them to a shelter or thrift store near you.



Making sure you have enough diapers can be a daunting question when you go to buy newborn diapers for the first time. To make sure you have enough, you’ll want 25-35 cloth diapers on hand during the newborn stage (and 70 if you have twins). Since they need to be washed daily, you will need to be super on top of laundry! If you can’t wash everyday, you may need more cloth diapers than the number above.

Cloth diapers have many benefits, but most commonly are chosen for their reduced environmental impact, lower cost, and more gentle design than disposable diapers. In today’s market, there are many cloth diaper styles, including hybrid cloth diapers. But, we hope this has helped you determine how many cloth diapers you will actually need for your newborn (even though you likely still have many more questions, like what about an all-in-one diaper? Are one-size cloth diapers worth it? Etc.).

To help with the cost even more – Ask for these at your baby shower! This way you will only need to buy a few extras (hopefully).


How many newborn cloth diapers do I need? - Mama's Must Haves? ›

You want to have around 25-45 cloth diapers on-hand for your newborn. The average newborn goes through 10-15 diapers each day, so doubling the amount ensures you've got enough to work with while others are being washed.

How many newborn cloth diapers do you need? ›

Having 2-3 days' worth of diapers is a good starting point. That total will vary on your baby's age, your laundry habits, and the types of cloth diapers you use, but we recommend a minimum of 36 for newborns, 24 for infants, and 20 for toddlers.

How many newborn diapers should I stockpile? ›

Babies can go through up to ten diapers a day, though yours might need more or less. To be on the safe side, plan for up to 70 diapers per week, which is 280 newborn diapers in your baby's first month.

How many moms use cloth diapers? ›

Some 21 percent of respondents stated that they use reusable cloth diapers. The Survey Data Table for the Statista survey Baby Care in the United States 2017 contains the complete tables for the survey including various column headings.

How many cloth diaper inserts do I need? ›

Most experienced cloth diapering parents tend to use two to three inserts in their pocket diapers, and some go with even less than that!

How long do newborn cloth diapers last? ›

How Long Can Babies Wear Newborn Cloth Diapers? Depending on the size of your little one at birth, most cloth diapers for newborns are worn for three months on average. That may seem like quite the investment to make, but keep in mind that the average disposable newborn diapers cost $0.25 to $0.34 each.

Are newborn cloth diapers necessary? ›

This is entirely up to you and totally a personal preference. Some people start cloth diapering from day one, while others like to wait until the meconium has passed before beginning. Personally, I typically use natural disposables for about the first week before switching to cloth.

What should I stock up on during pregnancy? ›

Feb 25, 2020

How many boxes of newborn diapers will I go through? ›

Newborn (10 pounds and under): Young babies grow fast, so they'll graduate from newborn diapers after a few weeks. Plan to go through about eight-12 diapers per day, which equates to about one or two boxes (assuming each box contains 140 diapers). Note that many parents receive newborn diapers from the hospital too.

Is it cheaper to cloth diaper? ›

Here are some of the pros of cloth diapers: Lower total cost. While cloth diapers come with a greater initial investment, they're a lot cheaper over the long haul than disposables. Heads-up: It will definitely be a long haul before your tot is out of diapers.

What is a major disadvantage of using cloth diapers? ›

You'll be doing a lot more laundry.

Babies go through diapers quickly, so no matter which kind of cloth diaper you choose, they'll need frequent washing. You have to dispose of the poop yourself, and poop disposal gets harder after your baby starts eating solids.

Are cloth diapered babies easier to potty train? ›

Do Cloth Diapers Help with Potty Training? Cloth diapers can help the potty training process by developing awareness. Children that wear disposable diapers rarely feel exactly how wet or dirty they are thanks to the use of sodium polyacrylate – a chemical used to keep disposable diapers dry.

Do you really save money using cloth diapers? ›

So, do you really save money using cloth diapers? Most of the time, yes! Cloth diapers are usually around $1 thousand to $2 thousand dollars cheaper than disposables when you add the costs over the entire time a baby is in diapers.

How many times a day do you change cloth diapers? ›

Cloth diapers hang down or feel stiff when they need to be changed. You should change cloth diapers every 2 hours to avoid rashes.

Do you throw away cloth diaper inserts? ›

Cloth diaper inserts. To make cleanup for all cloth diaper types easier, consider cloth diaper inserts or liners. You simply place one of these in the diaper before putting it on, and when it comes time to change baby, you toss the liner.

Do you change a cloth diaper after every pee? ›

We recommend to change a cloth diaper every two hours. This prevents your child from having urine against the skin for long periods of time, with the risk of redness. The more absorbency there is in the cloth diaper, the less wet it becomes when the child pees.

What is the best age to start cloth diapering? ›

Many families start at 6 months. Many families start at 18 months. And some start on their 3rd child. There is no wrong time to start cloth diapering, and you'll never be perfectly ready.

Can you leave a cloth diaper on all night? ›

Using cloth diapers for overnight periods is certainly possible. But longer sleeps naturally require a little extra protection. Overnight cloth diapers may leak if they become fully saturated. There is no need to look for special nighttime cloth diapers for overnight periods.

Can I use one size cloth diapers on a newborn? ›

You can: Go for a one size diaper that can fit smaller babies and just accept the fact that they will be very bulky, but functional for that first 2 months or so until baby grows into them better (assuming you have an average size newborn).

Do babies feel wet in cloth diapers? ›

Using a cloth diaper allows your infant to feel the wet sensation against their skin and become more aware of when they have gone potty. Disposable diapers wick away the wetness, keeping your infant unaware of a wet diaper for longer periods of time.

Do one size cloth diapers fit newborns? ›

The reusable one-size diaper in typical cloth diaper brands does not fit kids until they weigh ten to twelve pounds, at which point they are three months old. However, our Kanga Care Rumparooz diapers fit newborns weighing six or seven pounds.

What is the most sold diaper size? ›

Most babies will start in the Newborn size (which also has a cut-out in the front for the umbilical cord) then ultimately spend the majority of their diapering days in size 4, the most popular size on the market.

Do you change poopy diaper if baby sleeping? ›

If you do hear—or smell—a poop, you'll want to change them soon, but not necessarily immediately. A breastfed baby's poop isn't very irritating to the skin, so if they are sleeping soundly and you think they're going to be up soon anyway, you can safely put it off for a little while, says Mochoruk.

What size diapers to stock up on? ›

If you have limited space, the bulk of your diaper collection should be for sizes 1 and 2. These diapers generally fit babies up to 18 pounds, depending on the brand. If you have the storage, register for Size 3, as well, which should take you through your baby's first birthday.

What week of pregnancy should I start buying stuff? ›

WebBabyShower recommends that you begin your shopping somewhere between 15-20 weeks of the pregnancy (about month 4 or 5). That way you have time to get all the items you need. It's also a good idea to throw a shower (at least, we think so), because you'll likely get gifts from your registry given to you.

What do you buy in first trimester? ›

First Trimester Pregnancy Must-Haves
  • Prenatal Vitamins : One a Day Women's Prenatal Multivitamins.
  • Morning Sickness Soother : Tummydrops Ginger.
  • A Waistband Extender : Maeband Maternity Belly Band.
  • Nausea Relief Band : ...
  • A Gentle Toothbrush : ...
  • A Pregnancy Journal : ...
  • The Ultimate Resource : ...
  • A Helpful Hydration Tool :
Apr 11, 2022

How many diapers does a baby use until toilet training? ›

On average, babies will go through a total of 8,000 diaper changes before potty training, so be prepared for a messy, expensive ride.

Which is better Pampers or Huggies? ›

Pampers' fastening tabs feature a Velcro−like feel, making them more secure and requiring more effort to remove. Huggies diapers have a higher leak rate than competing brands, despite being built with more absorbent material. Pampers diapers are more absorbent and successfully stop leaks.

How many hours of sleep do parents lose in the first year? ›

Here's what the survey found

The survey found that the majority of new parents are getting between 5 and 6 hours of sleep each night. Sadly, no surprises there. On average, each new parent loses a staggering 109 minutes of sleep every night for the first year after having a baby.

How much do parents spend on cloth diapers? ›

A typical family can spend between $2,000 and $3,000 per baby for two years on disposable diapers while cloth diapers and accessories run about $800 to $1,000 if you wash them yourself. If you go with a cloth diaper laundering service it will run you closer to the cost of disposables around $2,500 to $2,800.

What percentage of babies wear cloth diapers? ›

The survey found that only approximately one in ten parents (9%) with children in diapers (ages 0-2 years) use or have used cloth diapers.

How long should cloth diapers last? ›

Sometimes after only 6-8 months of hard use if you are really hard on them by using strong chemical soaks often or doing other extreme things ot them. I think that the typical longevity of cloth diapering items seems to be somewhere between 10 months and 20 months of full time use with variation.

What not to do with cloth diapers? ›

Detergents aren't designed to soak delicate fabrics. It can eat away at the fibers and laminated layer of your diapers. Vinegar and chlorine bleach are caustic and will affect the laminated layer and elastics used in the diapers. It can also cling to microfiber, and cause stink issues.

Why do moms use cloth diapers? ›

We all cloth diaper for different reasons. We need to save money, we feel the need to waste less, we want fewer chemicals on our baby, we think they are cute. I do it for all of these reasons but some people ONLY do it to save money but don't live a green or “crunchy” life at all. And that's fine, too.

What do you do with a dirty cloth diaper? ›

You can store dirty diapers in diaper pail, diaper bin, or a large wet bag until you have your wash day. The Bayrli Deluxe Hanging wet bag is the perfect hanging diaper bag and will hold enough nappies to hold you over until you have to wash your diapers.

At what age do babies get toilet trained? ›

The average age toilet training begins in the United States is between 2 and 3 years of age. Most children in the United States are bowel and bladder trained by 4 years of age. However, toilet training can begin as soon as parents and children want to start.

How do you control poop in cloth diapers? ›

If you are using a disposable liner, throw the poop into the toilet and flush, dispose of the liner in the trash. If you are using a reusable cloth liner, shake the poo into the toilet and flush. Use diaper sprayer (splatter shield is a huge help here).

What type of cloth diapers are easiest? ›

They have to be used with a waterproof cover. If you need a cloth diaper that's easy to use and great at containing messes, it's a fitted cloth diaper. Their absorbency ability—thanks to the entire diaper being absorbent—makes fitted diapers a top overnight option for many cloth diapering families.

How many cloth diapers do I need per month? ›

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. NOTE when we say 'diapers' that means a diaper change. If you are using pocket or AIO style diapers, the numbers above hold.

How many cloth diapers does a parent need to have on hand for a baby up to 6 months of age? ›

If you're doing laundry every other day, I would recommend having enough diapers for three days. For three days of diapers while washing every other day, a newborn (0-6 months) will need at least 36 diapers, an older infant (6-15 months) will need 24, and at least 20 for a toddler (15 months).

Do you wash cloth diapers daily? ›

How Often Should You Wash Cloth Diapers? Most parents who use cloth diapers wash a load of them every two to three days. Any longer than that and they'll start to stink and stains could set in. So make sure you have enough clean diapers on hand to last you at least a couple days.

Do you rinse pee out of cloth diapers? ›

Pee-filled diapers generally don't require rinsing, although it is recommended to reduce staining. Otherwise, simply place them in the storage bin until you're ready to wash. Step #2: Prewash the diapers in cold water. On wash day, you'll want to start with a cold water rinse.

How long can cloth diapers sit before washing? ›

At first, remove any solid waste and rinse the diaper before storing it with the other dirties in a diaper pail . We recommend storing used cloth diapers for no longer than 2-3 days before washing. Wash on warm (up to 104°F/40°C) with a full dose of cloth diaper safe detergent (no fabric softener).

Which cloth diaper is best for night? ›

Microfiber Inserts:

Microfiber inserts are highly recommended for cloth diapering at nighttime. Since microfiber is so absorbent, it can dry out skin and sometimes cause issues if placed directly against baby's skin. But put inside a pocket or with a liner overtop, they're a great option.

Can you dry cloth diaper inserts in dryer? ›

Hang your cloth diapers to dry or dry in the dryer on low. Inserts, flats, and prefolds may be dried on higher settings. Add a dry towel or wool dryer balls to the dryer to speed the drying process. A hot, 15 minute dryer cycle once a month is beneficial to lamination.

Can I use baby wipes as diaper liners? ›

Could I Use Baby Wipes as Diaper Liners? No. This is due to the composition of the majority of baby wipes. Baby wipes are wet with a cleansing solution.

How often do you change newborn cloth diapers? ›

How to know when to change a cloth diaper. Babies wearing cloth diapers should be changed at least every two hours, Belosa says. (FYI: The same is true of disposable diapers, though those can hold out a little longer, if necessary.)

How many cloth diapers do you go through in a day? ›

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need? No matter which type of cloth diaper you use, know that babies usually go through 10 to 12 diapers per day; toddlers generally go through six to eight, and kids being potty trained usually only need up to four diapers a day.

How many cloth diapers does a baby use a day? ›

Newborns will go through about 12-15 diapers per day. For an every other day wash routine, 20-24 cloth diapers are recommended. The Green Tot Spot offers Newborn Rental Packages to help drastically cut down the cost of cloth diapering for your baby!

Is 30 cloth diapers enough? ›

If you don't mind doing laundry a little more often, you can buy fewer diapers. For brand new newborns, many parents will find that 24 diapers is enough, but there may be a few weeks early on where you have to do laundry more frequently - some parents are more comfortable with 30 to 36 diapers to start.

Do you need to wipe baby after pee with cloth diapers? ›

A good question! Should you wipe your baby after every nappy change? We found out that It is not necessary to use wipes to wipe your baby down during every nappy change. Urine rarely irritates the skin and disposable nappies are very absorbent limiting the amount of urine that comes into contact with your baby's skin.

Is it really cheaper to use cloth diapers? ›

So, do you really save money using cloth diapers? Most of the time, yes! Cloth diapers are usually around $1 thousand to $2 thousand dollars cheaper than disposables when you add the costs over the entire time a baby is in diapers.

How much cheaper is it to use cloth diapers? ›

A typical family can spend between $2,000 and $3,000 per baby for two years on disposable diapers while cloth diapers and accessories run about $800 to $1,000 if you wash them yourself. If you go with a cloth diaper laundering service it will run you closer to the cost of disposables around $2,500 to $2,800.

Can cloth diapers last all night? ›

Using cloth diapers for overnight periods is certainly possible. But longer sleeps naturally require a little extra protection. Overnight cloth diapers may leak if they become fully saturated. There is no need to look for special nighttime cloth diapers for overnight periods.

How many hours do cloth diapers last? ›

Cloth diapers hang down or feel stiff when they need to be changed. You should change cloth diapers every 2 hours to avoid rashes.

How many cloth diapers in a stash? ›

For toddlers, we would recommend a stash of 14 to 24 cloth diapers, again with an extra pack or two of bamboo inserts. So how much would you be spending upfront? For your newborn, we would recommend 24-36 diapers, so between 4-5 7 packs of cloth diapers.

Do cloth diapers hold more pee? ›

Unlike disposable diapers that hold what they hold, Cloth diapers can be customized to hold more or less to meet the needs of your baby. This means if you need them to, and use the right products, cloth diapers can hold more pee than disposables.

How hard is it to do cloth diapers? ›

Cloth diapering is easy to do—and much more affordable than using disposable diapers. Here's the full scoop. There are a million decisions to make when you're expecting a new baby, and how to diaper them is no exception. Many natural mamas see the appeal of cloth diapering, but just don't know where to start.

Are cloth diapers bulkier? ›

Cloth diapers can be a bit bulkier than disposable diapers, making them more difficult to fit under clothes. This can be especially challenging when it comes to dressing babies in tight-fitting outfits.


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