How Many Cloth Nappies Do I Need?
One of the most frequently asked questions about cloth nappies is "how many do I need?" The answer will depend on several factors, including how frequently you plan to wash them, how many children you’ll have in cloth nappies and whether you intend to use them full-time or part-time. Let's explore the factors you should consider when deciding how many cloth nappies to purchase!
Full-Time Use: Newborns can go through up to 12 nappies per day, while older babies may only need six to eight nappy changes. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend having at least 24-36 cloth nappies per child on hand to ensure you have enough to use, wash and dry.
Keep in mind that for All-in-2 nappies (like the Ultimate and Newborn nappies) that have a wipeable shell, you may not need as many full nappies (as each nappy comes with a 2-4 inserts that you can use individually or together to give you extra nappies). With Pocket nappies (such as the Classic and Beginners nappies), the shells (whilst absorbent) are much quicker to dry than their inserts, so you will find you can reuse the shells a lot quicker as they each come with 2 inserts. If you are using a Fitted nappy (a nappy shell with built-in absorbency), like our Hybrids or Pull-Ups, these will take longer to dry as you cannot separate the absorbency from the nappy shell and therefore they cannot be dried in the dryer on high heat.
Part-Time Use: If you plan on using cloth nappies part-time, then it will depend how much of the time you plan on using cloth nappies. You may decide to use cloth nappies during the day and disposables at night, or you may choose to use cloth nappies when you're at home and disposables when you're out and about. In this case, we recommend having at least 12-18 cloth nappies per child. This number will give you enough to use cloth nappies part-time while also allowing for washing.
Age and Absorbency: Your baby's age and absorbency needs should also be considered when deciding how many cloth nappies to purchase. Newborns require more frequent nappy changes, which often means a bigger nappy rotation. However, they do not require as much absorbency, so you may find you can reuse a nappy shell by swapping out for a new insert. Toddlers require less nappy changes, but far more absorbency (as their bladder capacity increases), so you may find your extra nappies and inserts come in handy at this stage.
Washing / Drying / Temperature factors: You will also need to take into consideration how often you wash your nappies (we recommend doing a main wash at least every 2-3 days). But how quickly the nappies dry will also depend where you live (is it a warmer or cooler climate?), what season you’ll be using cloth nappies, whether you have access to a dryer, an outdoor space with sunshine or even indoor heating. All of these factors will play a role in determining how many nappies you need on hand.
Wear and Tear: Obviously the smaller the rotation of nappies, the more prone your nappies will be to wear and tear. Having more nappies in your rotation will extend the lifespan of each nappy and once your little one has toilet-trained, you can always resell them in the Cloth Nappy Second-Hand Market (there are a few big groups on Facebook that facilitate this).
The number of cloth nappies you need will depend on how frequently you plan to use them, your washing frequency, and your baby's age and absorbency needs. We recommend having at least 24 nappies if you plan on using cloth nappies full-time, and at least 12 nappies if you plan on using them part-time. By considering some other essential factors, we hope you feel more confident in choosing the right number of cloth nappies for your family's needs.