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Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.

Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.

How Many Newborn Diapers Do You Need: A Comprehensive Guide for New Parents

Let’s face it—babies need a lot of diapers. It can feel like all you’re doing in those first few months is feeding and changing your little one, and with all that diaper use comes a lot of waste.

It can be overwhelming trying to balance being a new parent with being eco-conscious, especially with all the other things you need to do and buy.But here’s the good news: You can take steps to reduce the amount of waste your family is producing, even when it comes to diapers.

It starts with figuring out how many newborn diapers you will need and planning for them. This can help you budget and make sure you always have enough on hand. Then, consider choosing eco-friendly diaper options, or even givingcloth diapers a try. These options may take a little more effort, but they can make a big impact on the amount of waste your family creates.

Plus, they can save you money in the long run! By making small changes and being conscious of your baby’s impact on the environment, you can make a big difference. Now, let’s dive in and explore how we can make your little one’s diaper routine not only practical, but also sustainable for the planet, starting with how many diapers a day for a newborn.

So, How Many Newborn Diapers Do You Need Each Day?

newborn diapers


It’s best to change a newborn’s diaper at least 8 times every day to keep them clean and comfortable, and often up to 12 times a day. Some parents may change diapers more often for more frequent wetters, or if they want to be extra careful to prevent diaper rash. This could mean changing diapers as many as 10 or more times every day. To avoid diaper rash, it’s important to make sure the baby’s skin stays clean and dry. As your baby gets older and more active, they may need fewer diaper changes, but you should always keep an eye on their needs and adjust accordingly.

Let’s break it down by age to help you understand how many diapers newborns go through a day:

Newborn Diaper Use: Breaking It Down by Age

Newborn to One-Month-Old:

During the newborn stage, they will go through more diapers than when they are a bit older. So, if your baby is less than a month old, you can expect to change their diaper around 10–12 times each day. At this age, your baby will likely have 3–4 bowel movements per day and will pee after every feeding.

Babies Over One Month:

As your baby grows and reaches one month old, you might notice they need fewer diaper changes. On average, babies at this age will need around 8–10 diaper changes per day. 

What Factors Impact How Many Diapers a Newborn Uses in a Day?

Here are factors that can affect how many diapers your newborn uses:

  • Feeding habits: The type of feeding (breast milk or formula) can impact the frequency of diaper changes. Breastfed babies usually have more dirty diapers, as breast milk is easier to digest, leading to more frequent bowel movements than formula-fed babies.

  • Digestion: Babies with immature digestive systems may produce more dirty diapers because their bodies are not yet fully equipped to break down and absorb all the nutrients in their food. This can be especially true for premature babies, or those with digestive problems.

  • Age: Newborns typically produce more dirty diapers than older babies, as their digestive systems are still developing. As babies grow and their digestive systems mature, they may produce fewer dirty diapers.

  • Illness or health conditions: Certain health conditions or illnesses can affect how often a baby needs to be changed. For example, babies with diarrhea or gastroenteritis may have more frequent bowel movements, leading to more dirty diapers.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can affect a baby’s digestion and bowel movements, leading to more or fewer dirty diapers.

  • Gender: Boys may have more frequent bowel movements than girls, which could result in more dirty diapers.

How Many Newborn Diapers Should I Buy?

newborn diapers

When planning how many newborn disposable diapers to buy, you should aim to have enough to last at least a week or two, depending on how often you plan to restock. 

It’s also important to consider the size of the diapers when purchasing. Babies grow quickly, so it’s best to have a range of sizes on hand to ensure you don’t run out too quickly. It's better to buy a few smaller sizes at first, as babies tend to outgrow these sizes more quickly. 

Whether you choose to use disposable or cloth diapers can also impact how many diapers you should buy. With disposable diapers, you will need to purchase enough to last for several weeks or months, depending on how often you plan to restock. With cloth diapers, you will need enough on hand to cover the time it takes to wash and dry them, which is often just 2 or 3 days’ worth of diapers.

How Many Diapers to Buy for Each Stage 

Age of the baby

Diaper usage per day

Diaper usage per month

0–1 month old

10–12 diapers

280–372 diapers

1–5 months old

8–10 diapers

224–310 diapers

5–12 months old

8 diapers

240 diapers


But How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need for My Newborn?

First, let’s briefly discuss the pros and cons of cloth diapers vs. disposables and see if they make sense for you.

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers, made from materials like cotton, hemp, or bamboo, are super eco-friendly compared to disposable diapers. Why? Because you can wash and reuse them, cutting down on landfill waste. Plus, another cloth diaper benefit is that they're usually easier on the wallet in the long run, since you can use them over and over again.

Sure, they need regular washing and drying, but that can be a satisfying and rewarding routine, knowing you're doing your bit for the environment. And with a bit of extra care, cloth diapers stay clean and cozy for your baby (and potentially reused for the next one, too). Bonus: Cloth diapers can also be gentler on your baby's skin, reducing the risk of irritation compared to disposables. So, all in all, they're a pretty great choice!

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are made of a plastic outer layer and an absorbent inner layer that is usually made of wood pulp and synthetic materials. They are convenient and easy to use since they can be thrown away after use, requiring no additional maintenance or cleaning. They are also more absorbent than cloth diapers, which means fewer diaper changes are needed, and they have a better fit, reducing the likelihood of leaks. On the other hand, disposable diapers are less environmentally friendly than cloth diapers, as they contribute to landfill waste, and they can be more expensive in the long run since they are not reusable.

So, How Many Cloth Diapers Would I Need for My Newborn Daily?


newborn diapers in a bag

When it comes to diapering your newborn with cloth diapers, you might be wondering just how many you'll need. Well, newborns typically go through around 10–12 diapers a day, so you'll want to have a good stash on hand. For a solid start, consider getting 24–36 cloth diapers. This way, you'll have enough diapers for at least two days, giving you time to wash and dry the used ones without running out.

The great news is that most cloth diapers these days are adjustable, designed to grow with your baby. This means you won't need to keep buying larger sizes as your little one grows—just adjust the fit to accommodate their size. With this fantastic feature, your initial investment in cloth diapers could potentially last throughout your baby's diaper-wearing years, making it even more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

Making Sure Your Baby's Diaper Fits

Here are a few quick tips to check if your baby’s diaper fits:

  • Check the position – A properly fitting diaper should sit just below your baby’s navel. If it’s too high or too low, it may not be the right size.

  • Check the waistband – After fastening the diaper, you should be able to slide two fingers between your baby’s tummy and the diaper’s waistband. This ensures a snug, comfortable fit without being too tight.

  • Check the appearance – The diaper should look straight and proportioned on your baby. If it looks lopsided or ill-fitting, it may be time to adjust the size or fit.

  • Check the leg elastic – Make sure there are no gaps around your baby’s legs by running your finger under the cuff to ensure it’s laying properly. This helps prevent leaks and ensures a secure fit.

Which Diapers Are the Most Environmentally Friendly?

When it comes to eco-friendly diapers, there are two main options: cloth diapers and disposable diapers made from sustainable materials.

Cloth diapers are the most eco-friendly option, as they are reusable and do not contribute to landfill waste. By washing and reusing cloth diapers, parents can significantly reduce their environmental impact. However, it’s important to note that washing cloth diapers uses water and energy, so it’s essential to use eco-friendly detergents and wash them efficiently.

If you prefer disposable diapers, look for options made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, or plant-based materials. These diapers are typically free from harmful chemicals and are biodegradable, which reduces their impact on the environment. Some popular eco-friendly disposable diaper brands include Bambo Nature, Seventh Generation, and Earth + Eden.

How Much Do Disposable Diapers Cost?

Diapers can be expensive, but how much you pay depends on the brand and type you choose. Popular brands like Pampers, Huggies, Honest Brand, and Seventh Generation are more expensive, costing about $0.28 to $0.40 per diaper for newborn sizes. However, discount or generic brands can be cheaper, such as Amazon's brand costing about $0.20 per diaper or Target's brand only costing about $0.12 per diaper.

How to Save Money on Diapers

Saving money on diapers can be a great way to reduce expenses, especially for parents with newborns or babies who use diapers regularly.

Here are some tips to help you save money on diapers:

  • Buy in bulk – Buying diapers in bulk can help you save money in the long run. Look for deals on bulk purchases or subscribe to a monthly delivery service to save even more.

  • Use coupons and promo codes – Look for coupons or promo codes before purchasing diapers. You can find them online or in local newspapers and magazines.

  • Choose generic diapers – Store brand or generic diapers can be just as effective as name brands, and they are often cheaper.

  • Consider cloth diapers – Cloth diapers can be an excellent money-saving alternative to disposable diapers. Although the initial cost can be higher, they can be reused multiple times, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.

  • Buy diapers on sale – Keep an eye out for sales on diapers at your local stores or online retailers. You can save a significant amount of money by purchasing diapers when they are on sale.

  • Subscription services – Signing up for a diaper subscription service can save you money on diapers by offering a discount on bulk purchases, and some even offer free shipping. Plus, it’s a convenient way to ensure you never run out of diapers.

  • Rewards programs – Many stores and diaper brands offer rewards programs, where you can earn points for every diaper purchase. These points can be redeemed for discounts or free diapers.

  • Add diapers to a baby registry – If you’re expecting a baby, adding diapers to your registry can help with the cost. Friends and family can purchase them for you, so you don’t have to spend as much money.

By using these tips, you can save money on diapers and reduce your expenses, while still providing quality care for your baby.

In Conclusion: How Many Newborn Diapers Do I Need?

Figuring out how many newborn diapers you need can feel overwhelming at first, but with a little planning and consideration, you can make diapering your little one both practical and sustainable. Whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers, there are options available that can help you reduce waste, save money, and provide quality care for your baby. 

You may also consider setting up a changing station at home to facilitate quick and efficient diaper changes. Having all necessary items in one place - diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and a comfortable changing pad - can make diaper changes much smoother. Also, don't forget to take along a well-stocked diaper bag whenever you go out with your baby. You never know when a diaper change will be needed, and having everything at hand can be a lifesaver.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that not all babies are the same, and what works for one might not work for another. Always be open to experimenting with different diaper brands or types until you find what works best for your little one's comfort and your convenience.

Remember, whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers, there are options available that can help you reduce waste, save money, and provide quality care for your baby. By being conscious of your baby's needs and impact on the environment, you can make small changes that can make a big difference. So, go ahead and dive in, armed with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your baby's diaper routine.