How Many Diapers Does A Baby Use?


baby in diaper laying on pink blanket

It’s no joke that diapers save lives. 

Diapers are your salvation when you’re in the trenches, elbow deep in doo-doo. Diapers keep your baby comfortable, which means less crying for them and fewer gray hairs for you. 

Nowadays, diapers have advanced to be light, compact, flexible, and super absorbent. With all the advantages, it’s easy to go overboard when stocking up on diapers.

Which diapers do you buy for a newborn? How many diapers will a fast-growing baby need? Are some diapers more absorbent or more comfortable than others? 

Considering the reality of “baby brain” for new parents, these questions can become overwhelming and unsolvable.

Thankfully, we’re here to help! 

Read on for the full rundown about how many diapers your baby needs!

Related: What To Do When Your Baby Fights Naps 

Diapers For The First Year 


mother playing with a baby in a diaper laying on blanket

When buying diapers, the first thing to consider is the kind of diaper you want: cloth or disposable. 

It’s important to note that when choosing disposable diapers, the average parent with a newborn will dispose of around 3,000 diapers in the first year. In comparison, you will have to wash and clean just as many cloth diapers if you choose that option.

Babies are no walk in the park. However, if you’re a new parent, read below for tips and helpful information that will make your first year as a new mom or dad easier!  

Diaper Tips When Starting Out

Another essential component to consider when choosing diapers is the size! Baby diaper sizes are based on baby weight and are categorized in the following parameters:

  • Preemie: Up to 6 lbs 

        • Diaper Amount: As many diapers as needed

  • Newborn: Up to 10 lbs  

        • Diaper Amount: 2-3 packs or 1-2 boxes (140 per box)

  • Size 1: 8 –14 lbs

        • Diaper Amount: 13 packs (40 per pack) or 3-4 boxes (164 per box)

  • Size 2: 12 – 18 lbs

        • Diaper Amount: 15 packs (around 37 per pack) or 4 boxes (142 per box) 

  • Size 3: 16 – 28 lbs

        • Diaper Amount: 27 packs (around 36 per pack) or 7 boxes (136 per box)   

  • Size 4: 22 – 37 lbs 

        • Diaper Amount: 17 packs (about 23 per pack)  

  • Size 5: > 27 lbs 

        • Diaper Amount: As many diapers as needed 

  • Size 6: > 35 lbs

      • Diaper Amount: As many diapers as needed   

    When in doubt, it’s better to start with smaller sizes. With a new baby, try stocking up on diapers Size 1 and down if you dislike a brand and want to try a new one.

    You stock up on more after feeling comfortable with the diaper cost, fit, size, and brand. After finding their favorite diaper brand, some parents feel confident enough to buy up to an entire year’s worth of diapers. Other parents, however, buy diapers every few months to gauge and change sizes according to the baby’s rate of gain and weight. 

    Either decision works and depends on how fast your baby is growing. When trying to decide on a diaper brand, don’t be afraid to try new ones every week to see which works best for your baby! 

    Changing Diapers

    Changing diapers is one of the least exciting parts of being a parent, but someone has to do it.

    You must change a diaper every time your baby pees or poops, which adds up to almost every 2-3 hours. Diapers left on babies too long after an “accident” can lead to diaper rashes and even yeast infections. 

    These consequences are why it’s essential to keep an eye, and a nose, on your baby’s bathroom habits.  

    Diaper Sizing

    Knowing when to size up on diapers is easier than it sounds.

    If your baby is in-between diaper sizes, choose the bigger size. Similarly, you will know when it’s time to size up when you see red marks or skin irritations on your baby’s waist or thighs where the diaper sits. 

    For a helpful tip about diaper sizing, you can fit two of your fingers between the waistband and your baby’s stomach and one finger between the diaper and your baby’s leg to check if a diaper fits correctly. Similarly, the top of the diaper’s waistband should rest two inches below your baby’s belly button. 

    Interestingly, your baby’s sex can influence your need to size up in diapers. On average, boys typically grow to fit into Size 1 diapers around four weeks, with girls sizing up to Size 1 around six weeks. 

    It’s important to size your diapers correctly because if they’re too small, they’ll cause irritations and discomfort, and if they’re too big, you’ll have a lot more messy accidents. 

    Cloth Diapers  

    For the parents who chose the cloth diapers, the average amount to have is at least 20 washable diapers. 

    A benefit to choosing cloth diapers is that, unlike disposable diapers, they are more adapted to grow with your baby because of the flexible fabric. 

    For sanitary purposes, parents should not wash more than 18 cloth diapers at one time. If you need to buy more than 20 cloth diapers, go right ahead. 

    Likewise, some parents use both cloth and disposable methods, with the early weeks relying on disposable and in the later weeks switching to cloth diapers. 

    Are you a new parent struggling to keep up with buying monthly baby necessities? If so, check out 123 Baby Box and their award winning monthly subscription box!

    Diaper Pricing 

    baby being changed on a table

    The cost of diapers can reach some outrageously high numbers. 

    A disposable diaper supply for one week can add up to around $20. Considering the price of $0.35 per diaper, with an average of 3,000 diapers within the first year, the total cost of baby diapers certainly adds up. When compared on average, disposable diapers and supplies can reach up to $1000. Meanwhile, cloth diapers could add up to between $500-800

    And it’s not just diapers! Proper baby hygiene demands wet wipes, diaper creams, and other diaper necessities that can be sure to contribute to the bill.  

    Wet Wipes

    Whether it’s one or ten, the amount of individual wet wipes needed when changing a baby fluctuates with each situation.

    To average it out with five wipes per accident and consider 3,000 diapers in the first year, that totals up to about 15,000 wet wipes. Similarly, there are around 100 wipes in one pack, meaning you’ll need to buy an average of 150 packs. Considering one wet wipe pack is about $3.00, the price for total wet wipes will add up to about $450

    Babies are expensive, and buying wipes in bulk is a helpful way to save money in this area. 

    Related: Types Of Diaper Rash: Identification & Treatment 

    Tips For Diaper Budgeting 

    If your head is now spinning from adding up all the expenses for baby products, here is a list of helpful ways to save money and maintain your sanity! 

    • Cash Back Apps 

    • Sales

    • Coupons

    • Clubs & Rewards Programs 

    • Diaper Banks 

    • Subscribe & Save

    And don’t forget that buying in bulk or larger packages often means lower costs per diaper! Don't forget to check out all of our tips, from sales and coupons to subscribe & save programs, so that you can save efficiently!

    Now You Can Stock Up On Diapers The Right Way! 

    Ultimately, all babies are different, and deciding which diaper is right for them is up to you. 

    PSA for all new parents: you know your baby best. 

    Now that you know these helpful tips for buying, sizing, and pricing diapers, you’re ready to find the perfect diaper for your baby! 

    Wanting quality baby necessities tailored to your baby's age and development stage? Contact 123 Baby Box today for a monthly subscription!

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