How Many Cloth Diapers do I Need?

This all depends on the age of your child(ren) and how often you plan to wash.

If you are just starting out with cloth diapers, don’t buy a complete diaper system that consists of only one brand/type. Sometimes what works for others may not work for you and your family. Try a mix of different pre-folds/covers and pockets. Once you find a system that works, then finish up purchasing the rest of the system.

The chart below offers some basic recommendations on cloth diapering systems, and is based on washing every 3rd day. You can get way with 10 diapers or less per day if you wash every other day.

Age Pocket/AIO’s 

(most expensive method)

Pre-folds/Diaper Covers** 

(most economical method)

Mix of both Pockets & Pre-folds**
Newborn 30-36 Diapers/Inserts 30-36 Pre-Folds/6-10 diaper covers 12 Pockets/AIO’s, 12 Pre-folds, 12 Fitted Diapers/4-6 diaper covers
Infant 24-30 Diapers/Inserts 24-30 Pre-Folds/6-8 diaper covers 12 Pockets/AIO’s, 6-8 Pre-folds, 6-8 Fitted/2-4 diaper covers
Toddler 18-24 Diapers/Inserts 18-24 Pre-Folds/4-6 diaper covers 8 Pockets/AIO’s, 6-8 Pre-Folds, 6-8 Fitted/2-4 diaper covers

**You can substitute fitted/contoured diapers for pre-folds**

I would also recommend the following for all diaper systems:

  • 2-3 dozen cloth wipes
  • 2-4 Snappis or Diaper Pins
  • 1-2 Diaper pails (kitchen trash cans)
  • 1-2 large nylon pail liners
  • 1-2 small/medium wet bags for outings/traveling
  • 6-12 doublers or extra inserts, even if you’re using pre-folds/fitted diapers. These are wonderful for using at nap and bed time.
  • Wool wash if you’re using wool covers

With all diaper systems – you can make modifications based off the chart. It all depends on how often you want to wash. It’s best to start off with a minimum and adjust according to the schedule and routine you and your baby naturally find.