How Many Reusable Nappies Do I Need? The Complete Guide
As a parent, there is no doubt that you are working hard to create a better world for your child, so you've decided to use reusable nappies on your baby. But now, you might be struggling with the dilemma: are cloth nappies (diapers) worth it? And, how many nappies (diapers) do you need to get started?
We know that switching to reusable nappies can save families up to £700 - and the savings are ten-fold if you use those same nappies on subsequent children!
How Many Nappies (diapers) Do I Need?
When using disposable nappies (diapers), no one generally counts precisely how many they use each week. You'll grab a pack when you need it, not noticing the actual quantity & expense. However, when switching to cloth nappies (diapers), factors such as how often you change your baby and do the laundry are crucial to buying the correct number.
Unfortunately, no magic number can tell precisely how many reusable nappies (diapers) you need.
However, here at LittleLamb, we have reviewed official studies - such as those conducted by the EU Environment Agency in 2008 - and the average family's routine.
While our experience does not lead us to a universally correct number, we can estimate the number of diapers you will need for each baby. We believe 2-3 days' worth of cloth nappies (diapers) can cover all emergencies. This number is equal to:
- 36 cloth nappies for newborns
- 24 cloth nappies for infants
- 20 cloth nappies for toddlers
TL;DR - Use our handy cheatsheet to work out how many you'll need!
Reusable Nappies Vs. Disposable Nappies: Is It Worth It?
Life as a first-time parent can be exciting but stressful, hectic, and financially taxing. So, investing in over 36 cloth nappies when you don't know what to expect can seem too much of a commitment.
The feeling of overwhelm is why we recommend you start with 15 reusable nappies that allow you to test this new lifestyle without running out.
If you are still unsure, here are some stats that can help you visualise why cloth nappies are so worth it:
- Studies have shown that a baby will go through 5000-7000 nappies from birth to being fully potty trained.
- Statistics show that own-brand disposable nappies can cost a family with one child over £1875 in 2.5 years. The cost is much higher if you prefer branded nappies!
- Recent statistics show that over 90% of UK babies under two use disposable diapers.
- •Three billion nappies are thrown away every year by UK families, accounting for up to 3% of the total household waste.
- •Each child is responsible for over a tonne of plastic waste in landfills.
These statistics make it clear what the actual cost of disposable nappies is. But what about the cost of reusable nappies? Surveys show that the average price of families switching to cloth nappies is around £400 per child (from birth until they are fully potty trained). This £400 investment includes cloth nappies and extra supplies such as wipes and boosters. Our LittleLamb complete kits are the best reusable nappy kits for beginners because we have included everything you'll need to start using cloth nappies on delivery!
What Factors Influence How Many Reusable Nappies You Need?
Some factors that can influence the number of nappies required include:
- How old is your baby
- How often you'll wash the nappies
- The type of cloth nappies you prefer to use
- How will you dry the nappies
- Your lifestyle
Let's have a look at them in detail.
Your Baby's Age
The number of cloth nappies your baby will need depends on their age. Younger babies and newborns will follow a diet of primarily liquid food, resulting in frequent pees. Instead, older babies feeding solid food require less frequent diaper changes but a greater absorbency level.
On average, babies should have their nappy changed every two-to-three hours to prevent leaks, discomfort, and rashes; this results in 10-12 changes a day. Here is an easy scheme to follow:
- Newborns (0-6 months old): 10-15 changes a day
- Infants (6-12 months old): 6-10 changes a day
- Toddlers (12-24 months) old: 4-7 changes a day
Of course, every child is unique, but these indications can help you put together your first cloth nappy starter kit.
Your Laundry System
How many diapers you need depends on how often you do your laundry! Here at Little Lamb, we put the health and well-being of your little ones before anything else. That is why we recommend washing your reusable nappies every two days; this can help prevent mould or mildew, and ammonia buildup and keep your baby dry and healthy.
With 15 nappies and this schedule, you can be sure to stock enough nappies for two days and cover any unexpected emergencies.
Other tips include:
- Stock more nappies to reduce the frequency of washings and save on laundry costs
- Benefit from increased absorbance after each wash
- Using a washing machine and tumble drier can help you always have clean nappies
- •Follow the instructions to care for your cloth nappies here
Different Types of Reusable Nappies
There are lots of different types of reusable nappies; here are the most popular ones:
- Fitted Nappies + Wraps - By choosing a two-part fitted nappy and wrap system, wraps and nappies, you can have complete control over the absorbency level, closure type, and size.
- Pocket Nappies - These are the best for parents looking for convenience as they are similar to a disposable nappy when fitting onto the child. They can be fitted onto the baby in seconds, and you can add absorbency depending on your baby's needs.
- One-size and Birth-to-potty nappies - one nappy that grows with your child from new born to about three years old.
Your laundry and drying system will impact how quickly you can replenish your stock of clean nappies. More nappies mean less frequent washings and a higher ability to rotate and cover emergencies. Having a more extensive supply of nappies also reduces the wear and tear; click here to learn how to make your nappies last longer.
Here's What Your Starter Pack Should Include
So, now you know that the number of nappies needed will depend on many factors. And that having a few more cloth nappies than you need can help you in emergencies.
Here at Little Lamb, we are committed to making your transition to this sustainable choice as easy, smooth, and comfortable as possible. That's why we have put together a list of the supplies you need:
- 15 nappies to cover around two day's worth of changes
- Storage and wet bags to keep dirty nappies until laundry day
- Inserts and boosters to adjust absorbency
- Reusable wipes to replace regular wet wipes
- Nappy Liners
Good For Your Wallet, Your Baby, and The Planet: More Than One Reason To Make the Change
Disposable nappies still make up for the majority of nappies used by parents in the UK. However, recent statistics show that an estimated 20% of families have switched to more reusable and sustainable options - for economic and environmental reasons. And this number is increasing as families become more eco-conscious and aware of today's climate crisis.
Moreover, 2012 studies have shown that using disposable, plastic-based diapers can harm a baby's skin when it is at its most sensitive. All this, combined with the substantial savings from this easy switch, has opened many parents' eyes to the benefits that reusable nappies can bring!
Find Out More at LittleLamb
As we have seen above, 15-20 reusable nappies are a good starting point for looking after your baby's needs. However, each child is unique, and we do understand that every change in your life as a new parent can be challenging at times. That is why the team at LittleLamb strives to make the transition as easy as possible for you. Here's how:
- We make available trial kits.
- We are committed to transparency about our products, materials, and processes - learn more about our company philosophy.
- We have a 6-week no questions asked trial period. If you don't like our nappies, launder and return them for a full refund *excluding shipping costs.
- We have launched a savings-focused rewards system - EcoCredits.
- We can help you take the best care of your nappies by providing all information you need
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to speak to our expert team - they will be able to help you find the perfect number of nappies and the best cloth nappy starter kit for your unique needs.