We often see a lot of charts or estimates around saying 24-30 nappies for full time use. This is fine if you're starting at say 6-12 months and washing every 2-3 days, but if you plan to start earlier or later here is a guide.
EXAMPLE WASH ROUTINE
4 MONTH OLD BABY, MAIN WASH EVERY THREE DAYS
Many cloth parents seem to do a full wash every 2-3 days and for this chart a full wash every third day would look like this...
- Day 1: prewash that day's nappies
- Day 2: prewash that day's nappies
- Day 3: prewash that day's nappies, leave these in the machine and add day one and two prewashes. Hang shells/inserts to dry (inserts may go in the drier if you choose).
- Day 4: finish drying and stuff nappies. If only hanging inserts, they may take a day and bit to fully dry out.
This estimate accounts for the nappies worn on main wash day (day 3 in this example) and the nappies worn on day 4 whilst you're still drying/stuffing the bunch washed. If using a drier or dehumidifier, you may be able to get away with a stash of four days i.e. if baby was 4 months old and washed every third day you would only need 32 (instead of 40) if you could dry them in one day.
STARTING FROM BIRTH
If starting from newborn you'll need more nappies per day than if you're starting at say 6months. Every baby is different so it's a bit of trial and error until you find what works for you.
WHEN DO I NEED EXTRA INSERTS?
For some parents, they like to have a stash of additional inserts. This means when your shells are dry they can be stuffed with the extra inserts giving others time to dry. This is a way of keeping your costs down as you won't need as many outers/shells.