How Many Reusable Nappies Do I Need?

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When starting a cloth diaper stash it can be a little overwhelming.  You don’t want to over purchase, but you don’t want to do three loads of laundry a day either! So how many reusable nappies do I need?

To answer this question we will need to look at a couple factors.

Diapers with covers:  

  • A “diaper” would be defined in this situation as a fitted diaper, prefold, flat, any snap-in insert, or stand-alone insert.
  • As a general rule, you will want approximately 12 absorbent diapers,  3-4 covers, and 2 boosters per day.


Pocket Diapers:


How often do you want to wash?

Now you need to determine how often you want to wash! For example, if you wanted to wash every other day you would take the numbers provided above and multiply them by 2. So if you planned on washing every other day you would need about 24 absorbent diapers, 6-8 covers, and 4 boosters. You would simply do the math for each style of diaper and that is approximately how many diapers you will use in that period of time.

But I want to use multiple styles of diapers!

Determine how many pockets or All-in-ones you want to use per day and subtract that from the number of absorbent diapers you need for your covers. For every 3 pockets or All-in-ones, you can also subtract one cover.  So you could use 3 pocket diapers, 2-3 covers, and 9 absorbent diapers in one day. Then if you want to wash every other day multiply it by two! Easy peasy!

And you don’t have to start off all or nothing! You can substitute a couple of cloth diapers each day until you are comfortable making a complete switch to cloth! Every cloth diaper really does count.  If you used just one cloth diaper a day you would save over $200 with that one simple change!  

How Many Reusable Nappies Do I Need?

I started with Diapers with covers. I ended up purchasing:

  •  36 absorbent diapers,  16 covers, and 6 boosters. 

I broke this down into a set of each every payday, using what disposables I had on hand until I had enough to use cloth full time. For example, one payday I purchased a set of 1 set of 6 Alva Diapers (about $35), plus 1 cover (about $30)  and 1 set of 2 boosters (about $10). Then the next payday, I purchased another set.

I’ll be honest, when I started I STRUGGLED to come up with an extra $70 out of our paycheck to get what I needed, but I did! I knew it was either spend a little now or spend a LOT over the next 2 years on disposables!!! I told my family no eating out and no extra snacks for 4-6 weeks until I got my stash! – Period! They looked at me like I had lost my mind! Best decision I ever made!



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