Here's How Many Cloth Diapers You Should Have (Based On Your Baby's Age)

Here’s How Many Cloth Diapers You Should Have (Based On Your Baby’s Age)

Knowing how many cloth diapers you will need is a difficult problem to solve, and to make matters more confusing, anyone you ask for advice seems to give a different response! Well, this is because there is not one single correct answer to the question. 

The amount of cloth diapers you’ll need depends on the needs of your family, and the baby, generally however you can expect to need somewhere between 12 and 36 cloth diapers on hand at a time. Things to consider that may influence your personal decision include the type of diaper, budget, how often you want to do laundry, and more! 

That being said, we don’t want you to waste money on diapers that will never see use and there are methods you can use to figure out a more precise number that should work for you. Read on below for our tips, tricks, and more information. 

How Old Is Your Baby?

One of the biggest factors to consider when determining how many cloth diapers you need is the age of your baby. Depending on what stage they are currently at in their growth, they will require a different number of diapers per day. Because we can have an idea of what is needed on average, this can help us a lot in coming up with a good number to keep on hand. 

Average diaper changes needed per day, by age: 

  • Newborn: 8-12 per day 
  • 3-6 months old: 6-8 per day 
  • 6-12 months old: 4-6 per day 
  • 18 months or older: 2-4 per day

As you can see, the number of diaper changes per day tends to decrease as the baby gets older. So if you start using cloth diapers earlier, you will likely need more than if you start using them a few months after your baby is born. 

Considering this, you can now understand that it is best to figure out the number of cloth diapers you need daily based on the highest number of times your baby is likely to need a diaper change.

How Often Will You Need To Do Laundry?

Another important consideration when making your diaper plans is how often you are willing to do the laundry. Logically, the fewer diapers you have available for use, the more often it will be necessary to clean out the diaper pail.

We understand most people will not want to be washing dirty diapers every day, but we also know it’s not viable to leave dirty diapers sitting around for days on end. Because of this, you will want to figure out an amount that will give you the flexibility you need. 

If you want to avoid accumulating any stinkiness we recommend washing cloth diapers every two to three days. But if you don’t feel like doing it that often, you really can stretch it out to a week or so. As long as you manage the smell and make sure that no mildew or mold forms, you should be fine. 

How Many Cloth Diapers Should I Get?

If you keep yourself stocked with around 24 cloth diapers, you should be safe in most conditions. But if you want some extra wiggle room you can feel free to keep a few extra, up to 30 or so!

Really the amount that you need mostly depends on how often you are capable of washing the diapers, and getting something in the neighborhood listed above should be good enough for most people to get away with washing every two to three days all the way up until the child is around toddler age. 

As the baby gets older, it will use less diapers each day, reducing the amount you will need to wash. After getting through the toddler years and into potty training, you will need significantly less diapers, and soon enough you’ll be able to say bye bye to diapers entirely! 

Keep Backups

Things happen, and sometimes you might not be able to wash your diapers when you thought you’d be able to. No one wants to be caught without a new diaper to change into, and that’s when having some extras on hand can be a total lifesaver. 

Try to keep an extra stack of clean diapers around. This will help you in an emergency, and serve as a reliable backup for those weeks where you just happened to forget the wash, or whatever else life might throw at you. Save yourself the stress of the midnight run to the grocery store, and keep some extras around. 

Diaper Cleaning Service

Some parents choose to hire a diaper cleaning service to handle the washing for them. A diaper cleaning service eliminates the need for dealing with the wash at home by picking up your dirty diapers once per week, and dropping off fresh, sanitized ones in their place. 

Sometimes these services will charge a different rate depending on the age of the baby, as younger babies will naturally require more diapers per day. However, on average, the service will likely cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $50.00 per week. This will of course vary depending on where you live and the specifics of the service you choose. 

Are Cloth Diapers Eco-Friendly?

When discussing the pros and cons of cloth vs disposable diapers the eco-friendliness is usually brought up. So which one is better for the environment? 

It takes a lot of water, electricity, and raw materials to make a disposable diaper, and the fact that it all gets thrown into a landfill surely doesn’t feel like an eco-friendly option. In that regard, cloth diapers have disposable beats because they can be reused, thus reducing the waste of materials. 

And while you will end up using water and electricity to clean the diapers, at least this way you have potential ways to reduce waste while washing them. With disposables, the only option you really have is to create more waste. 


If you’re a new mom, there are so many new and unexpected things you discover are so important to parenting in the early years. Diapers are definitely one of those things, and because figuring out the exact amount you need depends on some little details, it can be hard to figure out initially. We hope this guide helps you to come to a decision on what will work best for you.

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