I have cloth diapered my 3 kids, 2 of them from birth and the oldest one we didn't know until she was 3 months old how easy cloth really was, and I always get asked the same two questions!
How did you find out about cloth diapers? And, how many diapers would I need for my baby?
I think moms are thinking to themselves "Well, I buy disposables by the case, and if I had to buy that many cloth diapers I would go broke!" So, I guess that is a great question!!
Here's how I break it down to them:
1. How many diapers does your baby wet in a day? (Around 8 is average for a baby who is about 12 mo old)
2. How often do you think you'll be able to wash diapers? (if you have the time and energy to wash daily, you'll need fewer, and if you are too busy and can only wash every 3-4 days you'll need more diapers)
Then just do that MATH!!
Also, add about 6-12 more for Extras. I know that you'll want a couple extra to keep in the car for emergencies, and a few to keep in the diaper bag for outings, and add a few more on top of that to make sure you have enough to tide you over on wash day.
Don't worry right away about having too many diapers, you really can't have too many. In fact in my grandma's day, they used to recommend giving a new mom 5 dozen flats for a new baby!
A simple rule of thumb:
- 36 diapers is an average number to have of diapers/inserts
- If you use your diapers as an all-in-2 style, or cover with flats or prefolds, you'll get more mileage out of your shells
- When just starting out, buy a few of the diapers you think you'll like and test them, then buy a full package
- If you have to save up for a full stash, it's worth it. Always look at cloth diapers as an investment as they will save you hundreds, even thousands. Even if you only use them part-time!