How many diapers do I need? Seems like a straightforward enough question right? Well ask any mom who’s been cloth diapering and she’ll tell you that you can never have enough diapers in your stash. That’s because cloth diapering is addictive and there’s nothing cuter than seeing your little ones bum in their newest leopard print or minky diaper, side-snapping or aplix, fitted, cover, etc. so why stop buying them!? lol

But seriously, while you can never have too many, according to some, how many do you really NEED? It’s one of the most basic questions and one that must be answered in order for anyone to successfully convert to cloth diapers full time.

First off, how many you need depends a lot on how often you want to wash diaper laundry, how many little ones you have in diapers, and how old they are.

Newborns needs their diaper changed a LOT. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that you could change a newborn or small baby’s diaper up to 12 times a day, maybe more. They might not be filling their diaper at each diaper change but instead are doing a little squirt here or there, enough to warrant a change of diapers every time you turn around.

Older babies and toddlers who are gaining more control over their bowel movements seem to begin to hold it more and go less often but in larger quantities than small babies. This means less diaper changes. At the very minimum I’d say you’d still need to count on having at least 6-8 diapers per day to be on the safe side.

So I know what you’re thinking “Multiply the number per day by how many days before washing and…voila! That’s the magic number!” Well it’s not always quite that easy.

One thing you want to consider is that for most, cloth diapering is affordable and desirable because you want to have your stash of diapers to last through potty training and for future children.

If you have exactly the number of diapers that you need to get you through a day then you need to think about the fact that those diapers will be being laundered almost 365 days a year! Now cloth diapers are not unlike your clothing, take a nice shirt you have, a quality made one, and wash it every day or so for 1,2,3 years and it’s going to get worn out, there’s no way around it.

Basically, the more diapers you have in your cloth diaper rotation means each diaper is getting used less and washed less. This results in a lot less wear and tear on your diapers and they remain in better shape in order for you to be able to sell them, give them away, or save them for use on future babies.

Do you have a magic number? How many diapers do you have and what are your thoughts on this topic? We’d love to hear from you!

© 2010, Julie Clark. May not be reprinted without permission.


Julie is the Social Media Marketing manager for Knickernappies. She handles all of our Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. She also runs most of our contests. She also owns Earth Angels Diaper Co.

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3 Comments on How many diapers do I need in my stash?

  1. Octavia lee says:

    I have 30 in my stash and my lil girl isn’t here yet so we are well prepared with at least 7 different brands for when she comes and we have a mix of one sizes and one size hybrids as well for outtings so we can use a disposable liner with those kinds…..

  2. Hali says:

    I have 6 AIO’s (bumgenius free time-snaps) 12 pocket (bumgenius 4.0’s-snaps) and 12 indian prefolds (infant size) with flip diaper covers (buy 2 get 1 free deal!! snaps as well).

    For newborn, I have 12 prefolds, and 4 bummis diaper covers (aplix). I figure since the average weight of babies in this family, 8lbs+, loading up on newborn sizes isn’t a good idea financially. Plus I can use the newborn prefolds as doubles down the road!

    I also bought flannel cloth wipes from Tender Bottoms on Etsy, 30 wipes for $10 and you can’t beat the deal, also they wash well and work fantastic. I make my own wipes solution with warm water,1 TSP of baby oil and baby wash, a few drops of essential oil.

    I do have a diaper pail (trash can with washable pail liner), dry. As well as a medium planet wise wet/dry bag for outings, and matching wipes case. I may buy another pail liner for the rotation.

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