Stocking Cloth Baby Diapers

Posted by CDB Guest on 11/7/2009 to Getting Started

On Friday we posted about how to build a cloth diaper stash, most specifically, Emi of The Cloth Diaper Report's question, "How did you decide on what styles and brands of diapers to purchase.".

Today we are going to give you a basic formula we use both in our online and brick and mortar store to calculate (don't worry, you won't need a calculator…I don't think) HOW MANY cloth diapers you will need for your baby.

Are You Ready for Some Cloth Diaper Math?

Diaper changes times laundry. More diapers, wash less often. Cloth baby diaper math is that simple.

(# of diaper changes per day)
x
(# of days between washing)
__________________________
(# of diapers you need)

More diapers, wash less often

If you change your newborn babys diaper 12 times a day, but you only wash twice a week, you need 3-4 dozen diapers. This may be more diapers than you need. If you schedule more washing into your busy life with a newborn, you will only need about 2 dozen cloth diapers.

age
changes / day
washing
# diapers
you need
newborn baby
12
2 times / wk
36 - 48
newborn baby
12
every 2 days
24

 

Fewer diapers, wash more often

Once your baby is a bit older, you wont be changing diapers quite as often. For a crawling baby, 8 changes a day may mean fewer washes for you.
age
changes / day
washing
# diapers
you need
crawling baby
8
2 times / wk
24 - 32
crawling baby
8
every 2 days
16 + extras

Very few diapers, wash every day

You can just make cloth diaper washing part of your daily routine. When you wash every day, you need far fewer diapers.
age
changes / day
washing
# diapers
you need
newborn baby
12
every day
12 + extras
first steps baby
6
every day
6 + extras

Toddlers need fewer changes

Once your baby is talking, you may hear, Diaper! Diaper! Your baby will let you know when it is time to change. A toddler may even tell you before it is time. Its time for potty training! Even when your toddler tries to get to the toilet each time, you will likely continue to change diapers for a while.
age
changes / day
washing
# diapers
you need
toddler
4
2 times / wk
12 - 16

Ideal wash load

You can get by with 4 or 6 diapers for a toddler, but you may not want the expense of laundering so often when your toddler uses few diapers every day. It may be convenient to have 4 dozen diapers for a newborn, but does your washing machine allow enough room to clean so many diapers well? Depending on the capacity of your washer and the type of diapers you use, you may find the ideal number of diapers per load is 12 - 36 diapers.

Emergency stash, the extra diapers

What if you usually wash every other day, but you need to skip a day? What if your baby is sick and uses twice as many diapers as you expected one day?

If you keep a dozen cotton prefold diapers handy, you dont need to worry about baby outgrowing the diapers. Then, when your toddler leaves diapers behind, these cloth baby diapers make wonderfully soft cleaning rags.

Do all of the diapers need to be the same?

No! Needs vary. There are a variety of cloth diapers and cloth diaper covers to choose from. You may find different times of day/different activities call for different styles of cloth diapers and diaper covers. If you are unsure of what to try, there are a number of cloth diaper sample packages available to discover which cloth baby diaper best fits your needs.

Comments

Date 1/6/2014
Catherine BW
Love this, very scientific!
Date 5/29/2014
Helen
Wish I'd seen this when I was starting out!

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