How Many Diapers Do I Need The First Year? - Baby Chick

How Many Diapers Do I Need The First Year?

How many diapers do you need? Here's what you need to know to determine how many diapers you need in the first year.

Updated November 28, 2023
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When you’re expecting, one of the many things running through your mind is, what will I need for this new bundle of joy? At the top of the list is always diapers. There’s simply no denying the fact that we go through more diapers than many of us ever thought would be possible! So, if you’re trying to stock up on diapers now and are wondering how many diapers you will need in the first year, here’s what you need to know.

How Many Diapers Do You Need The First Year? 

For one child, you may go through nearly 3,000 diapers in the first year!1 You can expect to spend around $1,000 (an average of nearly 30 cents a diaper for brand-name disposables) during your first year of diapering. Are you wondering how this is even possible? Think about it this way: a newborn will require a diaper change every 2-3 hours (at least), so you’ll be using diapers left and right!

The good news is that as your baby gets older, you will find yourself changing diapers less frequently than during the newborn phase. So you won’t be going through as many as quickly. You’ll also want to keep in mind that babies grow fast. You won’t need a ton of newborn packs of diapers, but you will need many more sizes. Here’s a look at roughly how many disposable diapers you’ll need.

  • Preemie Diapers (premature: <6 lbs) – as needed
  • Newborn Diapers (first few weeks of life: up to 10 lbs)
    • Diaper changes per day: 8-12
    • How many to purchase: 2-3 packs or 1-2 boxes (based on 140 per box)
  • Size 1 Diapers (birth – 4 months old: 8 – 14 lbs)
    • Diaper changes per day: 8-10
    • How many to purchase: 13 packs or 3-4 boxes (based on 164 per box)
  • Size 2 Diapers (3 – 8 months old: 12 – 18 lbs)
    • Diaper changes per day: 7-9
    • How many to purchase: 15 packs or 4 boxes (based on 142 per box)
  • Size 3 Diapers (5 – 24 months old: 16 – 28 lbs)
    • Diaper changes per day: 6-7
    • How many to purchase: 27 packs or 7 boxes (based on 136 per box)

When you stock up on diaper sizes, keep the receipt. Always check to ensure they are returnable for a different size if necessary. This will be helpful when your little one goes through a growth spurt and you suddenly need to size up.

Other Diapering Options

Keep in mind that this number is based on disposable diapers. The good news is there are other diapering options if you prefer a more eco and budget-friendly option. I’m talking about cloth diapers!

If you want to go down the cloth diapering route, you will need to stock up on far less to get through the first year. Generally, having a solid stock of about 20 cloth diapers is a good idea, so you always have clean diapers ready. Many cloth diaper options are available, like all-in-ones, pre-folds, fitted cloth diapers, and flats. So you’ll want to do some research to see which option will work best for you.

Tips on Stocking up on Diapers to Get You Through the First Year

Diapers are one of the best baby shower gifts you can ask for! Don’t be afraid to register for a TON of diapers. But there are other ways to stock up on diapers for the first year. Here are some ideas to keep in mind before your little one’s arrival:

  • Buy one pack of diapers every time you go to the grocery store.
  • Whenever you place an Amazon order, add a package to your cart.
  • Ask your friends and family for a diaper cake as part of your baby shower gift.
  • Look out for diaper coupons from places where you usually buy your baby items. You may be surprised at how much you can save when you stock up on diapers during a good sale.

Getting Prepared For Your Diaper Needs During The First Year

Whether you have already had your baby or are currently pregnant, it’s never too late to start thinking about how to stock up on the diapers you’ll need for the first year. Having diapers on hand is a great way to reduce the stress of preparing for a baby. Stock up when you can by picking up diapers during a sale. And if you have a baby shower, let your guests know you will gladly accept those diapers! Sometimes it’s the essential items that are the most appreciated.

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Rebecca Jacobs is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She found her way into Holistic Nutrition after battling many health issues herself and decided it was time to take matters into her… Read more

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