How Many Newborn Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

When dealing with a newborn, there’s 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 Newborn 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. 

Using cloth diapers - how to decide how many diapers you need for a newborn

How Many Cloth Diapers Do Newborns Go Through?

The average newborn goes through roughly a dozen diapers a day. 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. 

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. The more laundry you do, the more often you will end up changing it, but it provides a constant clean diaper for your newborn.

Newborns use their diapers a lot and eat so often that it seems there’s always something in their diaper 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.

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 diapers. And you can feel good about saving the landfills from the plastics in them.

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?

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. They are also super absorbent and rarely leak when used correctly. Besides the benefits’ listed before, cloth diapers also don’t have to be boring – now they even have fun and colorful patterns. 

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 should you buy

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!)

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane is a Mom of two who manages to find a few minutes here and there to write for you guys on this web site!

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