How Many 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 to live in. And that’s probably why you’ve given your lifestyle such a sustainable twist. But now, you might be struggling with the dilemma: are cloth nappies worth it? And, if you have committed to this eco-friendly swap, how many nappies do you need to get started?
Here at Little Lamb, we know the extent of the financial and environmental burden that disposable nappies create. That is why we have designed products that are great for your baby, for your wallet, and for the environment alike. And we are also committed to helping you find just the right number of nappies to cover your family needs - here’s all you need to know.
How Many Nappies Do I Need? Let’s Start With an Estimation
When using disposable diapers, we don’t stop to count how many we go through. As you are probably grabbing packs with your shopping, so not noticing the real quantity & expense. However, when making the switch to cloth nappies, factors such as how many times you change your baby and how often you do the laundry are key to buying the right number.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number that can tell you exactly how many reusable nappies you will need. However, here at LittleLamb, we have reviewed official studies - such as the ones 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 that having 2-3 days’ worth of cloth nappies can cover all emergencies. This number is equal to:
- • 36 cloth nappies for newborns
- • 24 cloth nappies for infants
- • 20 cloth nappies for toddlers
Reusable Nappies Vs. Disposable Nappies: Is It Worth It?
We know that life as a first-time parent can be exciting - but also stressful, extremely busy, 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.
That is why we recommend you start with 20 nappies that allow you to test this new lifestyle without running out. Once you are sure that you have made the right choice, you can invest in more nappies that allow you to cover all unexpected situations and emergencies.
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 that ends up in landfills.
These statistics make it clear what the real cost of disposable nappies is. But what about the cost of reusable nappies? Surveys show that the average cost of families switching to cloth nappies is around £400 per child (from birth until they are fully potty trained). This cost includes cloth nappies, extra supplies such as wipes, and all laundry costs. So, you will be saving over £1475!
What Factors Influence How Many Nappies You Need?
As we have seen, you can get started with a clear indication of how many cloth nappies you’ll need. But there is no magical number you can fall back on! Some factors that can influence the number of nappies needed include:
- • How old is your baby
- • How often you’ll wash the nappies
- • The type of cloth nappies you prefer to use
- • How you will 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 mostly liquid food, which will result in frequent pees. Instead, older babies that feed on solid food will require less frequent diaper changes, but a greater absorbency level.
On average, it is recommended that babies are 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’ll need heavily depends on how often you do your laundry! Here at Little Lamb, we put the health and wellbeing of your little ones before anything else. That is why we recommend that you wash your reusable nappies every two days. This can help you prevent mould or mildew, ammonia build up and keep your baby dry and healthy.
With 25 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
The Type of Diapers
Not all diapers are made the same, and the type of nappy system you will invest in will depend on your specific needs. 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 full control over the absorbency level, closure type, and size.
- • Pocket Nappies - These are the best ones for parents looking for convenience as they are similar to a disposable nappy when fitting onto the child. They can be fitted in seconds and you can add absorbency depending on your baby’s needs.
- • Boosters and liners - these are the accessories that allow you to adjust absorbency
- • One-size and Birth-To-Potty nappies - you might need more of them, but they’ll be with you throughout your baby’s growth.
Every parent needs to have a stockpile of nappies! But how many exactly you need will depend on your lifestyle and routine.
Your laundry and drying system will impact how quickly you can replenish your stock. More nappies equal less frequent washings and a higher ability to rotate and cover emergencies. This also reduces the nappies’ wear and tear, meaning that you won’t have to replace them for at least two years. All Little Lamb nappies are designed to last 400+ washes.
How much time your child will spend at daycare, a family member’s house, and other childcare arrangements also determine how much you will be using cloth diapers. Not everyone will be comfortable using them, but with a little bit of guidance they’ll quickly learn
Cloth nappies might represent an investment - but they are a long-term one! While buying more than you strictly need might seem like a waste of money at first, this choice can truly help you overcome bathroom emergencies - which are certainly bound to happen!
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 emergency situations. But cloth nappies are not the only supply you need.
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:
- • 20–24 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
- • Washable wipes
- • Colourful wraps
- • Liners
You can find out more about what you need and how to use LittleLamb’s nappies in the video below.
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 have shown that over 20% of families have now switched to reusable options - for economic and environmental reasons. And, this number is increasing as families become more eco-conscious and aware of today’s climate crisis.
What’s more is that 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, when combined with the substantial savings that come from this easy switch, have opened many parents’ eyes to the benefits that reusable nappies can bring!
Find Out More at LittleLamb
As we have seen above, 20-25 reusable nappies are a good starting point to look 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 processe
- • We have a 60 day no questions asked trial period. If you don’t like our nappies, simply 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.