How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

If you have been torturing yourself all this time trying to figure out how many cloth diapers is a safe bet with your baby, then you are not alone.

In my days, I could not stop myself from getting more and more cloth diapers because I was always paranoid that they would fall short.

So, how many cloth diapers do I need?

The number of cloth diapers you will need depends on several factors, including the age of your baby, how often you plan to do laundry, and whether you want to use a one-size or sized diaper system. As a general rule of thumb, you will need around 20-24 diapers for a newborn and 18-24 diapers for an older baby. Having a few extra diapers on hand in case of emergencies is also a good idea.

How many cloth diapers do I need

How many cloth diapers do I need for my baby?

Choosing to use cloth diapers for your baby is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective choice, but it can be confusing to determine how many cloth diapers you will need. The number of cloth diaper stash that you need depends on several factors, such as your baby’s age, how often you plan to do laundry, and the type of cloth diaper system you choose.

If you are using cloth diapers for a newborn, having around 20-24 diapers on hand is recommended. Newborns typically go through 8-12 diaper changes a day, so having enough diapers to last for 2-3 days is ideal. As your baby grows, you can reduce the number of diapers needed per day and consider reducing the number of diapers you own.

If you plan to do laundry every day, you can get by with fewer diapers. In contrast, if you prefer to do laundry every few days, you’ll need more diapers to ensure you have enough clean ones to use.

The type of cloth diaper system you choose also affects the number of diapers you’ll need. One-size diapers can adjust to fit your baby from birth to potty training, and you’ll need fewer diapers overall. On the other hand, sized diapers are designed to fit specific weight ranges, and you’ll need to purchase multiple sizes as your baby grows.

In general, having a few extra diapers on hand in case of emergencies or unexpected diaper changes is a good idea. This way, you won’t need to worry about running out of clean diapers when you need them most.

Why should one use cloth diapers?

Cloth diapers are becoming increasingly popular among parents today as they are an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and healthy alternative to disposable diapers. The following are some of the reasons why you might consider using cloth diapers for your baby.

Environmentally Friendly

A disposable diaper can have a huge impact on the environment. They take over 500 years to decompose in landfills and contribute to the build-up of non-biodegradable waste. On the other hand, cloth diapers are reusable and do not add to landfill waste. They can be washed and used again, making them an eco-friendly choice.


Cloth diapers are a one-time investment that can last for several years. Although the initial cost of buying cloth diapers might seem higher than buying diapers, in the long run, cloth diapers can save you significant money. It is estimated that using cloth diapers can save you up to $2,000 over the course of your child’s diapering years.

Health Benefits

Disposable diapers contain a number of chemicals and synthetic materials that can cause skin irritation and other health problems. Cloth diapers are made from natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp, which are gentle on your baby’s skin and reduce the risk of rashes and allergies.


Cloth diapers are soft and comfortable against your baby’s skin. They are also available in a variety of sizes and styles, ensuring a comfortable and snug fit for your baby.

Easy to use

Cloth diapers are easy to use and maintain. They come in a variety of styles, including pre-folds, fitted diapers, and all-in-ones. Many cloth diaper companies now offer washable diaper liners, making cleanup a breeze. Additionally, with the use of cloth diapers, you can easily track your baby’s poop patterns, which can be helpful in identifying any digestive or health issues.

There are how many types of cloth diapers?

Cloth diapers have gained popularity in recent years due to their cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and ease of use. Several types of cloth diapers are available in the market, each with unique features and benefits. The following are the most common types of cloth diapers:


These are the simplest and most affordable types of cloth diapers available in the market. They are rectangular cotton or hemp cloth pieces that require folding and securing with a diaper cover. They are versatile and can be used for newborns, infants, and toddlers.

Fitted diapers

These diapers are elastic at the waist and legs and shaped like disposable diapers. They come in various sizes and are available in different materials, such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp. They are more expensive than pre-folds but are easier to use and provide better absorbency.

Pocket diapers

These diapers have an outer layer of waterproof fabric and an inner layer of soft, moisture-wicking fabric. They have a pocket where an absorbent insert can be inserted for extra absorbency. They are easy to use and are suitable for infants and toddlers.

All-in-one diapers

These diapers are the most convenient and easy-to-use type of cloth diapers. They have an absorbent layer sewn into the diaper and a waterproof outer layer, so they do not require a separate cover. They are the most expensive type of cloth diaper, but they are ideal for parents who want the convenience of a disposable diaper with the benefits of cloth.

Hybrid diapers

These diapers have a reusable cover and a disposable insert. They are a good option for parents who want to use cloth diapers but also want the convenience of disposables. The covers can be reused multiple times, and the disposable inserts can be composted or disposed of.

What About Diapering Emergencies?

Diapering emergencies can happen unexpectedly, and it’s important to be prepared to handle them. Whether you are out and about with your baby or at home, having a plan in place can make all the difference.

Firstly, it’s essential to always have a well-stocked diaper bag with you when leaving the house. This should include sufficient diapers, wipes, diaper creams, and a changing pad. You may also want to include a spare change of clothes for your baby in case of accidents.

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a diaper bag or have run out of supplies, there are a few options. Many public restrooms, such as those found in restaurants or shopping malls, have changing stations equipped with disposable liners. These can be a lifesaver in a pinch. Additionally, some stores may carry emergency diaper kits, which typically include a small number of diapers and wipes.

In the event that you are at home and run out of diapers, it’s important to have a backup plan. You may be able to borrow diapers from a friend or family member or consider using cloth diapers if you have them available. Alternatively, you can always make a quick run to the store to purchase more supplies.

It’s also important to have a plan in place for unexpected diaper leaks or blowouts. Keep a change of clothes and extra diapers nearby in case of accidents. Consider investing in a waterproof mattress pad for your baby’s crib or changing table to protect against leaks.

How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Need for Toddlers?

When it comes to cloth diapering toddlers, the number of cloth diapers needed can vary depending on several factors, including your child’s age, how often you plan to wash them, and how often your toddler wets or soils them.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to have at least 20-24 cloth diapers in rotation for toddlers. This number allows for a sufficient supply of diapers while ensuring you have enough clean diapers available while others are being washed.

However, it’s important to note that some toddlers may require more or fewer cloth diapers, depending on their individual needs. For example, a toddler who is still breastfed may produce more frequent and softer stools, which could require more frequent diaper changes and more diapers in rotation.

It’s also worth considering the type of cloth diapers you plan to use. Some types, such as pre-folds or flats, may require more frequent changes and, therefore, more diapers in rotation, while others, such as all-in-ones or pockets, may be more absorbent and require fewer changes.

What do I need for cloth diapering?

Cloth diapering is a great way to reduce waste and save money in the long run. If you’re interested in starting to cloth diaper your baby, here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Cloth diapers

Obviously, you’ll need a good supply of cloth diapers. Many different types of newborn cloth diapers are available, including pre-folds, flats, fitted, and all-in-ones (AIOs). You’ll want to research to determine which type will work best for you and your baby. Having at least 12-24 diapers is a good idea, so you’re not doing laundry daily.

Diaper covers

If you’re using prefolds or flats, you’ll need diaper covers to go over them. Diaper covers come in a variety of materials, including PUL (polyurethane laminate), wool, and fleece. You’ll want to have at least 3-6 covers on hand.

Diaper fasteners

If you’re using prefolds or flats, you’ll need some way to fasten them. Snappi fasteners are popular, but you can also use diaper pins or Boingo fasteners.

Diaper pail

You’ll need a place to store your dirty diapers between washings. A diaper pail with a liner is a good option. You can use a regular trash can, but make sure it has a lid to contain odors.

Diaper sprayer

A diaper sprayer is handy for removing solid waste from diapers before washing. You can attach it to your toilet and use it to spray the diapers into the toilet.

Laundry detergent

You’ll need a laundry detergent that is safe for cloth diapers. Look for a detergent that is free of additives and fragrances. Some popular options include Tide Free & Gentle, Seventh Generation, and Charlie’s Soap.

Cloth wipes

If you’re using cloth diapers, you might as well use cloth wipes too. You can make your own by cutting up old t-shirts, receiving blankets, or buying them pre-made.

Wet bag

A wet bag is a waterproof bag that you can use to store dirty diapers when you’re out and about. You can also use it to store dirty diapers between washings if you don’t have a diaper pail.


Q1: How often should I wash cloth diapers?

Ans: You should wash cloth diapers every 2-3 days to prevent odor and bacteria buildup.

Q2: How do I clean cloth diapers?

Ans: You can clean cloth diapers by rinsing off any solid waste, then washing them in hot water with a detergent free of additives and fragrances.

Q3: Do I need to use cloth diaper liners?

Ans: Liners are optional but can make cleaning up solid waste easier.

Q4: How long do cloth diapers last?

Ans: Cloth diapers can last through multiple children and typically have a 2-4 year lifespan.

Q5: Are cloth diapers more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers?

Ans: Yes, cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly as they reduce waste in landfills and require fewer resources to produce.

Q6: Are cloth diapers more expensive than disposable diapers?

Ans: Initially, cloth diapers may be more expensive, but they can save money in the long run as they can be reused and last longer than disposable diapers.

Q7: Can I use cloth diapers overnight?

Ans: Yes, cloth diapers can be used overnight by adding extra absorbency layers or using a specific type of cloth diaper designed for overnight use.

Q8: Do cloth diapers cause diaper rash?

Ans: Cloth diapers are less likely to cause diaper rash as they are made of breathable materials that allow for better air circulation.

Q9: Are cloth diapers easy to use?

Ans: Cloth diapers may require a learning curve but are relatively easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Final Words

In conclusion, how many cloth diapers you need depends on your baby’s age, budget, washing frequency, and diaper type. You should have at least 24-36 cloth diapers to guarantee your infant always has clean diapers. 

Quality cloth diapers are eco-friendly and cost-effective. Cloth diapering takes more work than disposables, but the advantages outweigh the hassle. With enough forethought, you can cloth diapers for your infant and get its numerous advantages.

Sarah here, mother of two here to guide you on your parenting journey. I know motherhood isn't easy, but I'm here to share my wisdom and experience so that you can make the most out of this amazing adventure. Linkedln

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