Updated 2 August 2017
Before you have a baby, there are lots of things to get your head around. One of these is how many of everything you’ll need, and nappies are a fairly fundamental need.
Whether you’re using cloth or disposable nappies, you’ll need to change your newborn baby 10 to 12 times a day. Yes, you read that right. There’s a lot of nappy changing with a newborn!
Fortunately, the amount of nappy changes reduces as baby gets older. Once they’re around three months old, they’ll need around 8-10 nappy changes per day, and from around six months this reduces even further to around 6-8 changes per day. Every baby is different, but this is a reasonable guide.
How many disposable nappies will you need?
So let’s do the maths. If your baby is being changed 12 times per day, that’s 84 nappies per week, or 336 nappies in the first month. Phew! That’s a lot of nappies.
Even if you’re planning to use cloth nappies, from personal experience (and I cloth nappied both of my babies) we recommend starting with a carton of eco disposables.
There’s a couple of reasons for this:
- you’ll be so busy getting your head around dealing with a newborn that it’s just easier to use disposables until you can establish a routine;
- many newborns are just too tiny for cloth nappies (especially for one size nappies).
If you’re expecting a baby of average birth weight (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this is around 3.4kgs), you’ll want to use newborn nappies (weight range of 2-4 kgs). If you’re not sure, or you’re expecting a larger baby, you may want to go with a half and half carton, 3 packs of newborns and 3 packs of minis. Hello Charlie has a Newborn Deal on Bambo Nature with newborn and mini nappies.
If your baby grows quickly, you can move straight into the minis after you’re done with the newborns, otherwise you can get another carton of half and half.
How many cloth nappies will you need?
If you’re planning on using cloth nappies, start by considering how often you’ll want to do a load of washing. Let’s say you plan on washing every second day, and we’re assuming 8 nappy changes per day. At the end of the second day you’ll have 16 nappies to wash, plus you’re going to need another 8 nappies for the following day while the other 16 are drying. That’s a total of 24 cloth nappies.
Of course, you might consider that you only want to cloth nappy part time, or only during the day, in which case you’d need 12 nappies to be able to wash every second day.
With my eldest, we used cloth nappies full time and found that 24 nappies was a good quantity.
How many baby wipes will you need?
Cloth wipes are a no brainer if you’re using cloth nappies, as they just go in with your nappies. However, cloth wipes are easy even if you’re not using cloth nappies because they can just get thrown in with your normal wash.
It’s rare that you need more than one cloth wipe per change, so 20 to 30 cloth wipes is a good guide.
You can use cloth wipes for bottoms, and for mucky little hands and faces. To differentiate, just dab a spot of nail polish on the corner of one set of wipes so that you know which is which!
If you’ll be using disposable wipes, you’ll find that for wet bottoms, you’ll just need one wipe. For a pooey bottom, around 6 to 8 per change seems to be about standard. Generally, you’ll find that you’ll go through a pack of 80 wipes per week. It may be more depending on whether you use wipes for hands and faces as well.
That’s a lot of wipes, so make sure that you’re choosing a safe brand of baby wipes to use on your baby’s delicate skin. Check out our Baby Wipes Cheat Sheet to work out which ones are the best for your baby.