From the moment of your first positive pregnancy test to the birth of your family’s newest addition, becoming new parents might spark a lot of questions. And while family members can help with the big questions, there may be smaller questions that slip through the cracks, such as how many diapers you’ll need for your new baby.
Getting ready for the first month of your little one’s life can sometimes be challenging. Although you know what you need, as first-time parents, it’s hard to figure out how much of each item you need. How many clothes should you buy? How many diapers? And what are the best diapers to buy?
Diapers can be especially tricky. Babies go through a lot of diapers throughout their life, so you need to be prepared to change a diaper almost 24/7, especially in the first few months when babies wake up in the middle of the night.
However, babies also grow pretty quickly, so it can be tricky to determine how long they are going to fit into a specific diaper size. Plus, you could have a baby that’s already too big for newborn diapers, or it’s possible for your little one to be born premature and need specially-sized diapers.
You’ve probably wondering how to handle this. Should you get a bunch of boxes of diapers in the beginning before the baby is born, or should you get them as you need them? How many will your baby go through? And how many diapers should you put on your Amazonbaby registry?
We’re here to help you figure out how many newborn diapers you need. After all, part of being expectant parents is getting ready for your little one’s arrival.
How Many Newborn Diapers Should I Get?
The first thing is to figure out how many newborn diapers you should have ready when your baby is born. This can be especially tricky if you have a baby shower close to your due date since one of the primary gifts that people bring is diapers.
However, you might get a mix of different sizes. Some people may bring newborn diapers, while others might bring size two or three, which you won’t be able to use until after your baby’s first year of life.
If you have a baby shower, it’s usually best to wait until afterward to purchase any extra newborn diapers you might need, especially since gift cards are another common shower gift.
With your gift card, you can purchase diapers and other diapering supplies like baby wipes, a changing table, and diaper rash cream to soothe your baby’s skin.
If you’re concerned about buying too many diapers, you may only want to get a box or two after your little one is born. In the first few days of life, babies usually don’t need to be changed as often.
However, babies should be changed as soon as possible after having a bowel movement. The consistency of bowel movements can fluctuate based on the individual as well as if they’re formula or breastfeeding.
As your little one grows, you’ll notice that their diapers start to look smaller on them. Since newborn-sized diapers are made for babies less than ten pounds, you’ll need to move on to size one diapers after your little one hits that mark.
If you have a box of 100 newborn diapers, they should last for over two weeks. It may be best to start with just one or two boxes and then purchase more as needed. Although there is an average amount of diapers that babies should go through, every baby is different, and it’s also difficult to predict the rate of your little one’s growth.
How Many Diapers Will My Baby Go Through?
Generally, after their sixth day of life, babies generally have six to eight wet diapers a day. This doesn't include poopy diapers, although many times, you’ll usually find both during diaper changes.
Before that, the number of diapers your baby needs should increase daily. The first day may only be one or two wet diapers since they haven’t nursed as much yet. In the second 24-hour period, you should be changing your baby’s diaper between two to three times.
From day three to day five, you will likely notice between three to five wet diapers. If we add all the wet diapers that babies should go through during their first five days, your baby will probably have used anywhere between 12 to 20 diapers.
A week afterward, your little one should have gone through between 42 and 56 diapers. If your baby fits into a newborn-size diaper until they are one month old, they should have had 180 to 244 wet diapers.
Now, this number does not include the number of poopy diapers you might see, which can vary from baby to baby. You may need to change diapers after every feeding. Unless you hear your baby poop, you should change their diaper every two to three hours.
It’s also a good idea to change your little one’s diaper when they wake up in the night since a dirty diaper might make it difficult for your newborn to fall back asleep.
How Do I Know if Newborn Diapers Will Fit?
The difficulty with newborn diapers is that we can’t really predict how long our little ones will be wearing them. Most diapers are made for a specific weight range, and newborn diapers tend to be made for babies that are less than 10 pounds.
If you know your little one’s weight, you can easily tell if a newborn diaper will fit. Note that some babies grow a lot in between doctor’s visits. If you notice that the diaper seems to be more difficult to keep closed or your baby has more leakage than usual, it could be time to move up to the next size.
Diapers can be like baby clothes. One day, they fit, and the next day they seem to be much too small.
When Do Newborns Get Too Big for Newborn Diapers?
Every baby is unique. They are born with different weights, and they grow at their own pace.
Although you’ll generally need to move up a size when your baby is around one or one and a half months old, it’s better to pay attention to your baby’s weight and get diapers based on that instead.
Most babies born between 37 and 40 weeks are between five pounds, eight ounces and eight pounds, thirteen ounces. Some babies may be heavier or lighter, and your doctor will probably check to make sure they don’t have any underlying health issues.
Premature babies tend to be much smaller since they haven’t been able to grow as much in the womb. Fortunately, there are diapers made specifically for preemies. They will eventually need the newborn size, but that depends on how early they were born and how fast they are growing.
When your baby grows out of newborn diapers will depend on how fast they grow. If your little one is born on the smaller side, it may be a bit longer before they move up a size than a baby born on the larger side of the spectrum.
Some babies may also eat more than others, so they may go through more diapers and grow a tad faster than others.
What if I Decide To Use Cloth Diapers?
If you and your partner have decided to ditch the disposable diapers and do cloth diapering instead, you’re probably interested in how many diapers you’ll need. Fortunately, since you will be washing diapers after they are used, you don’t need to stockpile 200+ diapers. However, you will still need to have a fair amount, so it’s a good idea to start stocking up.
The number of cloth diapers you should buy depends on when you plan to wash them. For example, if you plan to wash soiled diapers daily, you won’t need to have as many as if you plan to wash diapers every three days.
After three days, the diapers will be more likely to grow mildew, so three days is the longest that you can wait to wash them.
It also depends on what type of cloth diapers you decide to use. If you would rather use one-piece cloth diapers, then you’ll just need to purchase those. However, if you want to use a two-piece system, you will need to buy diaper covers. Usually, all you need is eight covers and then the same amount of inserts, prefolds, or cloths as you would buy one-piece diapers.
Here’s a good idea of how many you might need based on when you plan to wash them:
- Every day: 12-15 diapers
- Every other day: 20-24 diapers
- Every three days: 24-36 diapers
You’re probably wondering why you would need more diapers than your baby should typically go through per day. That’s because it’s important to have extra diapers on hand so that you can take them with you when you go out.
Plus, if you decide to line-dry the diapers, you’ll want to have dry diapers to use while you’re waiting for the others to dry out.
It’s also good to have some just-in-case diapers, especially since your little one may use more diapers on one day than they did the day before.
Preparing for Your Tiny Newcomer
As an expectant parent, you’re probably very excited to meet your new baby, although you may not be as excited about the thought of changing their diapers. However, before you meet your little one, it’s good to have everything that you need ready so that you and your partner can spend more time bonding with the baby.
It’s difficult to predict how many newborn diapers will be necessary since there are so many factors that go into it. Although you can buy 250 diapers at once, it might be simpler to get a box or two for the first couple of weeks and then buy them as you need them.
That way, you can have the right size ready for your baby when your little one is ready for them. If you buy cloth diapers, though, you’ll want to get all of them beforehand.
If you’re looking for more information about your future little one so that you can prepare in other ways, check out our blog over at The Mommy Care Kit.
How Many Wet Diapers Should My Newborn Baby Have? | Lane Regional Medical Center
Your Newborn's Growth (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth