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How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

I see this question a lot. The answer is that it depends on how often you wash your diapers.

Here are some basic guidelines for bare minimum stashes, and would likely need washed every other day (a little more if you’re lucky!).  These are a great start if you’re working with a budget.

Newborn Phase
3 dozen diapers

This could be:
3 dozen prefolds, 4-6 covers and a couple of snappis (least expensive option)
3 dozen fitteds and 4-6 covers (I personally *love* fitteds for the newborn stage)
3 dozen all-in-ones or pockets (I wouldn’t recommend this as their legs are often so skinny and you may get leaks)
or any combination of the above

3 months and up
2 dozen

This could be:
2 dozen prefolds & 3-4 covers (least expensive option)
2 dozen fitteds & 3-4 covers
2 dozen AIOs or pockets (I do recommend these for this stage.  They absorb a lot and work well now.  I personally love my AIOs and they are daddy friendly.)
or any combination of the above

Once your baby gets older, you may find that a few more would be handy, or that you can go a little longer between washes.

My personal preference on stash size.

Newborn Phase
4 dozen newborn diapers
I would do 3.5 dozen fitteds, 6 AIOs(for on the go or for husband), 4 Thristies size 1 Duo covers & a few wool soakers.

Depending on what was cute, I might bump it up to 5 dozen.  There are some adorable fitteds and they’re so easy to use in this phase.

3 mos and up
3-4 dozen diapers
I would do 2 dozen AIOs (because I love them), 1 dozen One-Size pockets for nights and naps and then some fun fitteds, 3-4 Thirsties size 2 Duo covers and some interlock wool.

Again, I might bump up a few more diapers.  Sometimes you run into one you want to try or that is just too cute to pass up.  Who doesn’t like to splurge a little on cute stuff from time to time?

Special note for those with more than one in diapers at the same time.
When I had two girls in diapers, the above guides aren’t quite right because I found that I did laundry A LOT more.  With one in diapers, I do laundry every 4, sometimes 5 days.  With two in diapers, I did laundry about every other day.  If I did it on the 3rd day it was pushing it on being too full, and sometimes it was.

With two in diapers you could easily do 1/3-1/2 less diapers per child.

What is your stash or dream stash?  Do you feel like you have enough?  Too much?

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