How Many Diapers Per Day Does a Baby Use?

As a new parent, there are so many things to learn that it can be a bit overwhelming. I’ll be honest with you, I had no idea how many diapers per day for a baby before my first was born.

We overpacked or unpacked our diaper bag for many outings and it took a bit of trial and error before we learned about the needs of our children. While there’s no magic number that works for all kids, there are several factors that contribute to the number of diapers you will use for your babies. So, if you’re wondering how many diapers a day you should prepare for when putting them on your baby registry, I got you covered!

How Many Diapers Does a Newborn Use a Day?

The rule of thumb is that you must change your baby’s diaper after every poop to avoid diaper rash. With pee, it is a little more ambiguous as some people might change the diaper more often than others who wait until the diaper is REALLY full.

Factors to Consider When Estimating Diaper Needs

As I mentioned before, there are many factors to consider when attempting to estimate your baby’s diaper needs, and understanding them can help you prepare effectively without becoming a hoarder. 

One of the most obvious considerations you need to think about is your baby’s feeding pattern which of course directly impacts diaper usage.

But another variable that goes hand in hand with your feeding pattern is whether you breastfeed or use baby formula. Breastfed babies tend to poop after every second feeding, if not more (about 3-4 times a day) for the first 4 months, while formula-fed babies tend to poop once a day from the very beginning. 

Babies with sensitive skin may also require more frequent diaper changes to prevent diaper rash. This is not really something you can easily predict in advance, but sensitive skin can react to many different things like the type of diaper, the frequency of diaper changes, and even the kind of wipes used. 
Lastly, if you choose to use reusable diapers, be prepared to use more per day as cloth diapers are usually less absorbent than disposable ones meaning you will need to change them more often.

Disposable Diapers

To give you a rough idea, the average newborn baby goes through 7 to 10 disposable over the course of 24 hours, as newborns naturally need to be changed at night too. However, you don’t need to wake up the sleeping baby to change them at night – only do that if they’re already awake.

Babies 0 to 4 months old: up to 10 diapers a day (or 300 a month)

Babies 5 to 8 months old: up to 9 diapers a day (or 270 a month)

Babies 9 to 12 months old: up to 7 diapers a day (or 210 a month)

Reusable Diapers

If you’re using reusable diapers, a newborn baby will use about 8 to 10 cloth diapers a day, so it’s recommended that you have between 20 to 30 cloth diapers in total and be ready to wash them every second day.

Note that if you’re using a diaper cleaning service, they usually wash weekly so you’d need a lot more.

Different diapers per day

Types of Diapers

When planning out your baby registry you should also think what types of diapers you think you may prefer to use, but don’t get your mind set on anything too specific! 

The most common type are disposable diapers which are highly absorbent and very convenient but of course, are not very good for the environment. 

Cloth diapers come in a few different styles like pre-folds, pocket diapers, and all-in-ones. While they are a great eco-friendly option and generally end up being cheaper in the long run, they are more expensive to buy new and you will need to buy more from the beginning.

You can also opt for biodegradable diapers which are similar to disposables but are more environmentally friendly. Plus, there are swim diapers and hybrid diapers that combine a cloth outer layer with a disposable insert. 

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that every baby is different, and you might find that your baby is better suited to certain brands or types. 

My tip is to put various diaper brands on the registry if people insist on buying and stocking up. Not all babies and adults love all diapers (for example, my son was getting diaper rash with some brands), so you want to see what works best for your baby.

Amazon now started an option called diaper fund, which is a monetary part of the registry so you can buy diapers from it once you’re sure about the brand and size.

How Many Diapers Should I Buy?

Stockpiling diapers for your newborn is a practical step for any new parent, but knowing how much is enough can be a super confusing balancing act. 

A good rule of thumb is to start with a supply that covers you for at least two to three weeks. For newborns, this could mean having around 140-210 diapers on hand, as they typically go through 8-10 diapers a day. 

And as you will have seen, as babies grow their diaper usage decreases, so you can easily adjust your stockpile as you go. It’s also a good idea to buy a variety of sizes as babies outgrow the newborn size quickly! 

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