Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Diapers- How Many?

Photo Courtesy of Traditions Photography

How many cloth diapers will I need to get started?  This common question is a tricky one to answer without know more information from you.  There are a few factors involved when deciding how many diapers you will need.

1.  Age of Baby. If you start using cloth diapers when your baby is a newborn, then you will need 10-12 diapers a day.  (Whether in disposables or in cloth, your baby will need to be changed about every 1.5-2 hours.).  If your baby is closer to 1 year old, then about 8-10 diapers a day is recommended.   If they are closer to 2 years old, then 6-8 diapers a day is recommended.  If they are getting closer to 3 years old, then 4-6 diapers/trainers a day.

2.  Budget. Every day that you add to your supply will double your investment.

Some families can only afford to buy a day's worth of diapers.  In translation, these families are washing their diapers everyday. This is obviously not ideal. If this is all your budget can handle, I recommend trying to buy a couple more than a day's worth so that you can wash the diapers the next morning, instead of at night because it buys you a little more time.  There is nothing worse than running out of diapers.  It also sets you up to want to purchase disposables because it can be strenuous to keep up.  That means that you will end up spending more money on disposables than what you would have spent on a few extra cloth diapers.

Ideally, I recommend a three day supply.  Instead of laundering everyday or every other day (2-day supply), you are washing them about 2 times a week.  This makes the commitment of washing your diapers seem minimal.

You will meet other cloth diaper enthusiasts who have an entire week's supply of cloth diapers.  And I must admit that there are a lot of adorable cloth diapers out there that can make it challenging to resist.  That's a personal choice.  But a three day supply will maximize your savings in your investments.

3.  Sanitation.  If you end up with more than a 3 day supply of cloth diapers, I want you to know that I strongly recommend washing your diapers every 3 days (or less.)  Letting dirty diapers sit in the diaper pail longer than that can set you up for bacteria issues, ammonia build up, and diapers that smell like dead fish.  I know that is gross but it's the reality.  Our pail liners fit in a 30 gallon pail.  This is a 3 day supply of cloth diapers for a newborn.  It helps remind me that it is time for laundry when it fills up.

Most of my families purchase around 30 diapers to get started with their newborn baby.  Some come back wanting some more and some start with a smaller supply.  It's a personal choice, that you can hopefully figure out with the above recommendations.


Jen Starks, Owner

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