How Many Newborn Cloth Diapers Do I Need

Newborn Cloth Diapers Faq

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need

How many diapers will I need for my newborn?

On average, newborns go through 12-15 diapers per day. We suggest washing your diapers every 2-3 days, so depending on how often you plan to wash we suggest having 24-45 cloth diapers for your newborn baby. If you are using an option that uses separate covers, you will need fewer covers since they can be reused multiple times.

How do I prep my newborn diapers?

Any natural fiber like hemp, bamboo or cotton needs to be and dried 4-5 times before use. You will need to use detergent on your washes to help remove the natural oils. You do need to do the dries between each wash cycle to help break up the natural fibers and increase their absorbency. They will continue to get even more absorbent in the washes following your initial prep. Synthetic fibers like microfiber only need to be washed and dried once before use.

I plan to cloth diaper starting at the hospital. What should I bring?

Does the black, tarry meconium poop ruin the cloth diapers?

In our experience, meconium poop can wash out of cloth diapers easily. There is no special treatment for the removal of it from your diapers however you may want to use a to prevent it from leaving a light stain on your diapers.

Do I have to spray my newborns poop off the diapers or use a flushable liner?

My newborns diapers are all stained bright yellow from newborn poop. What can I do?

How do I wash my newborns diapers?

What are some of the lesser expensive newborn diaper options?

Types Of Cloth Diapers

From the earliest parents using whatever natural materials they could find to the efficient options available today, the history of both cloth and disposable diapers is fascinating. Just as people in times past continued to seek better options for their children, you have several cloth diaper options to pick from. Here are the details of the main types youll encounter.


Most commonly made from cotton, a flat diaper is a square of absorbent material that you can fold to fit comfortably against your childs skin. Once youve placed the flat diaper on your child the way you want it, youll need to use a pin or clip to hold the diaper in place.

Since it has no waterproofing, youll need an outer cover to prevent leaks. However, unless your cover also gets very soiled or wet, youll only have to replace the inner fabric portion at changing time.

In a manner thats very similar to using a flat, a pre-folded diaper is a piece of absorbent fabric that fits under a waterproof outer cover. However, a pre-folded diapers outer sections are already folded toward the center and sewn in place, so they tend to be a little thicker and have better absorbency.

Since the diapers themselves tend to have reasonable prices and youll need only a few covers, flats or pre-folds are almost always the most inexpensive method for cloth diapering.


Pocket diapers typically fall about midway on the cloth diaper price scale.



What Kind Should I Choose

As I mentioned, I chose all-in-one diapers to set myself up for success, but if youre someone who doesnt mind some extra work for a lower cost, there are plenty of diapering options. One style doesnt fit every familys needs, and you might even decide to have a few different kinds for a few different circumstances .

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Our Newborn Diaper Experience

We actually used our newborn stash until Remy was 4 months old! So we definitely got the bang for our buck since hes on the smaller side. Using newborn diapers helped ease us into the world of cloth diapers and we loved it! Diaper changes were no different than disposables and he NEVER got diaper rash ! We mostly used the prefolds and covers at home and saved the AIO for when we were out and about. We like the fact that you can reuse a cover for multiple changes, as long as there is no poo. Just wipe the cover clean and air dry while alternating covers!

Because weve used the newborn cloth diapers for the first 4 months, we already saved money over disposables. And even though we have transitioned to one-sized diapers, this newborn stash is STILL saving the environment and money as we are lending it to family and friends for their newborns!

What Happens During Diapering Emergencies

Cloth diapers, Count and Babies on Pinterest

According to Murphys Law, what can go wrong will go wrong. Therefore, you should be highly alert because your child can have unplanned bathroom emergencies.

What you need to understand is that emergencies do happen and you might find yourself in a tough situation unexpectedly. The good news is that there is a remedy for this as well.

If you are travelling for your vacation or sick, you need to plan yourself adequately for such times. It doesnt necessarily mean that you double your cloth diaper stash, not at all.

However, doubling the stash size isnt an entirely bad idea in this case. But if you cant, ensure that you at least keep an extra days worth of cloth diapers ready for any emergencies.

This will save you both time and money if you are travelling and suddenly out of cloth diapers. So, if you are worried about any diapering emergencies, your best chance of winning in this situation is by planning adequately ahead.

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Cloth Diapers Why Choose Them Over Disposable

We touched upon this above. You might think that the main reason to choose cloth diapers over disposables is cost. Yes!

But there are so many other reasons. By using cloth diapers:

  • You dont generate waste and put a load on landfills like you would with disposable diapers. So, you stay in the good books of mommy earth.
  • You dont bring harmful chemicals in contact with your babys skin.
  • You find it easier to potty train the kids.
  • You avoid diaper rash on kids, which is a common issue with disposable diapers.
  • You enjoy lots of style choices and fun patterns.

You must, however, know about certain drawbacks related to cloth diapers in comparison with disposables. Youll spend significant time on laundry. Also, it becomes a tad difficult to manage with cloth diapers away from home outside the home , disposables are pretty convenient.

Other Info And Our Opinions

What about the stay-dry all-in-one type diapers and pocket diapers I see everywhere online?

Polyester is made from petroleum. Some babies are sensitive or bothered by polyester, polyester fleece or suedecloth, and stink issues are often reported because synthetics are hard to wash, often requiring stripping. Synthetic diapers hold odors and detergent residue, unlike cotton. We recommend cotton diapers, especially for newborns, as the tried and true best material for diapers, proven over many generations. You’ll need to make your own decision about synthetic diapering. We have been selling cloth diapers since 1998 and we choose to specialize in 100% cotton diapers. We do offer some stay-dry polyester items. Successful washing is very important to successful cloth diapering. Clean diapers help keep baby rash-free and cotton is easy to get clean. I cannot emphasize how important it is to have diapers that don’t hold stink. Even a 90% cotton/10% polyester diaper will hold the stink more than a 100% cotton diaper, as will bamboo rayon. Get all-cotton for your absorbency. Cotton is not sweaty like synthetics. I love cotton!

More fabric information on our Diaper Definitions page.

Don’t miss the pictures of newborn babies in cloth!

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How To Wash Cloth Diapers

After taking off cloth diapers, place them in a holding container. Some parents put the diapers in a wet pail filled with some water, so they can pre-soak before a wash. Others shake the solids into the toilet and drop the diaper into a plastic-lined pail after a change.

Do whichever option you prefer, or try this method from Beth Eckert, founder of The Cloth Diaper Connection. Instead of having an actual pail full of water, you rinse the diapers off after changing your baby, then throw them into the dry pail. This way your diapers are still getting the benefit of getting rinsed and a mini soak because they’re in the pail soaking wet. You may find it helpful to keep your cloth diaper pail in the bathroom if you use this method.

Follow these basic steps to launder cloth diapers:

  • Remove inserts from pocket diapers.
  • Always use the highest water level allowed by your washer.
  • Begin with a cold rinse, no detergent.
  • After the cold rinse, run a regular wash cycle on hot, using 1/4 cup detergent. If you’re using a cloth diaper detergent, follow the instructions on the package.
  • Follow up with an extra rinse on cold to ensure all residual detergent is completely rinsed away.
  • Dry on hot.

Don’t worry that washing cloth diapers will leave your washer stinky. It will be exactly as clean as the diaper and drains to the same place your toilet does.

How To Deal With More Or Less Wetness

Cloth 101: How Many Diapers Do I Need?

It may not be necessary to drastically alter your cloth diaper stockpile as you learn how your baby behaves and discover your preferences as you adjust your cloth diaper stockpile to meet your babys needs.

Here is an estimate of the optimal number of diapers you should have on hand for YOUR baby based on the following:

  • What is your cloth diaper washing schedule
  • Newborns, infants, babies, and toddlers used estimates
  • The budget you have.

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Factors That Determine How Many Diapers Your Baby Needs

One thing is for sure, parents and children are different around the world. Therefore, your preferences dont match those of other parents.

Similarly, your child is also different from other children. This means that what might work for other children might not work for your child.

With that in mind, there are different factors that affect or determine the number of diapers you need. Each of the factors has significant effects on the final decision, which means that you need to take keen considerations.

Thus, some of the considerations include:

  • Your Childs Age
  • When considering age, its mainly about how often or not your child pees during the day. For instance, newborn babies pee a lot during the day and require a diaper change more often.

    However, the number of times most children pee decreases as they grow older. Below is how many times children may pee depending on their age:

    • Newborns If your child is barely 3 months old, then you shouldnt be surprised if they pee 4-6 times during the day. As a result, most parents with newborn babies may change up to 10-15 diapers during the day.
    • Infants Infants between the ages of 6-12 months old dont usually pee a lot and may only need 6-10 diapers a day.
    • Toddlers Lastly, toddlers between the ages of 12-24 months dont really pee a lot. Therefore, they require minimal diaper change ranging from 4-7 times during the day.
  • The Stash Size
  • Laundry
  • The Type of Cloth Diapers
  • Best Cloth Diapers To Use

    Now Ill tell you what I prefer to use and why!

    I went with cloth diaper covers and prefolds . I wanted the most economical option that wouldnt be a lot of work and thats why I went with prefolds instead of flat diapers. After trying different folds with prefolds and Snappis, I found that the pad fold was the easiest and just as effective as any other fold. I also made some inserts , to use along with the prefolds for extra absorption, especially at nighttime.

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    How Many Diapers Do I Need A Guide To Stocking Up

    Here is the poop: Babies go through a lot of wet and soiled diapers during those first few weeks.

    To prepare for this phenomenon, most parents build a stockpile of diapers before baby arrives. This can be an overwhelming task for both seasoned and first-time parents, and there are many factors to consider when stocking up, such as babys weight, diaper fit, and finances.

    Its easy to get carried away while shopping for baby in pure pregnant bliss. But understanding what baby will actually need, versus purchasing a room-full of newborn diapers at the first sight of a sale, is essential.

    You may be wondering: Should you add diapers to your registry, or purchase them yourself? How quickly do babies outgrow the smallest diaper size? What if you decide one style is better than another and experience stockpilers remorse? How many newborn diapers do you actually need? Should you stock up on larger diapers as well?

    To discover the answers and more, read on.

    What If My Baby Wets More/less

    How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?  Cloth Diapers for ...

    While theres some predictability in how often your little one will need a new diaper each day, its just a fact that every child is a little differentthere are heavy wetters there are frequent wetters, etc. and you may need to adjust your cloth diaper stockpile a tiny bit as you learn your babys quirks and discover your preferences.

    That said, you can quickly determine a rough optimal number of diapers to have on hand for YOUR baby by looking at:

    • How often you will wash your cloth diapers
    • The typical estimations of how many diapers is usual in each age range and
    • Your budget.

    We already mentioned briefly the estimations of how many diapers is usual above.

    Well take a close look at how your washing schedule and budget play off of each other below, but first, lets talk about the special case of newborn diapers.

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    Can I Use Diaper Cream With Cloth Diapers

    Most diaper rash creams contain zinc oxide, which is an ingredient that creates a water-resistant barrier on the skin. Its great for diaper rash but bad for cloth diapers. It has the same effect on the diaper and therefore the diaper may stop absorbing pee! Ive used this recipe but omitted the zinc oxide, and still had great results with healing the diaper rash.

    How Many Covers Would You Need Using A Cover System

    If you are using an all-in-one type of diaper, including mesh or fabric linings sewn into the covers, the number you need consists of the whole diaper.

    In contrast, if youre using diaper covers, the number of diapers per day relates only to the absorbent part .

    Each diaper cover should last three to four diaper changes .

    When using prefolds, you would not need much cover if your toddler is smaller, but you still would need between 6-8 prefolds each day if you are using them.

    In addition, youll most likely need additional absorbency inserts and a stronger overnight diaper, even if you are new to cloth diapering with a toddler.

    But, again, consult your doctor if youre unsure what youll need.

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