How many do I need?

how many cloth nappies do I need modern cloth nappies nappy diaper diapers

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.

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 the previous day's nappies
  • Day 2: prewash the previous day's nappies
  • Day 3: prewash the previous day's nappies, followed with a full wash of all day 1, 2 and 3's nappies (3 days worth of prewashed nappies in the load), hang shells to dry and inserts may go in the drier or also be hung out
  • Day 4: finish dry day and stuff - if that's what you do. If only hanging inserts, they may take a day and bit+ to fully dry out)

This estimate accounts for the nappies worn on full wash day (day 3 in this example) and the nappies worn on day 4 - dry day so the numbers are a touch higher. BASED ON NOT USING A DRIER.

This is also based on 10 nappies per day for a newborn down to 4 nappies per day for a toddler.

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.

Also, if you have more inserts than shells this will help as you'll be able to dry and stuff your shells on day 3 with your extra inserts. Your washed inserts can then take a few days longer to dry without needing an additional 10 shells/nappies (if starting at newborn).

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