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One of the most important questions new and expectant parents ask is, “How many diapers do I need?” This post shares the averages at every size you can be prepared!
Diapers are an issue that all new parents need to navigate. When you’ve settled on disposable diapers and want to stock up, we conducted a survey of hundreds of parents to see the average number of diapers they’ve used at each size.
While cloth diapers are on the rise with increasing popularity, for many of us it is not the choice we make for our family. However, you can save some money!
I surveyed a few hundred parents about their children’s diaper use, so these results guide my recommendations. I distributed this survey on Facebook – and not to a specific population group. So the respondents had premature babies, big children at birth, and everything in between.
I was actually quite surprised by the results, which confirmed my suspicions that there is no cut and dry rule when it comes to diaper sizes and how long your children are in them.
How many diapers will you use in the first year?
For almost every article I’ve read, the average is between 2,500 and 3,000 single-use items per year.
According to some of my calculations from my survey, it’s roughly 3,000 disposable diapers a year. This of course depends on the quality of the diaper, how often you change it when you have a baby who seems to poop more than others, etc.
When should you start covering yourself with diapers?
This is the one question I hear a lot – when should you start stocking up?
I hesitate to give a consistent answer. When pregnant you may see a lot that just can’t be missed. I know I’ve done it a couple of times! Knowing which brand we liked with Jack, it was a little easier for me to justify the stocking up before Oliver was born.
I don’t think I would stock up on sizes over one before your baby is born just in case the type you are getting won’t work with your baby (either fit, skin sensitivity, etc).
After your baby is born and you get a good idea of how it seems to be growing, what type of body it is, etc. I’d say join in! No problems with filling up.
When it comes to wipes … start stocking up as soon as you see an incredible deal, as soon as you find out you are pregnant. The thing about wipes is that you can use them no matter how big your baby is.
Keep in mind that some babies are more sensitive than others so I would love to stock myself up with non-odor / targeted towels until you know for sure how your child is reacting.
How many diapers a day?
Let’s go with an average of 2750 disposable diapers used in a year, which is roughly 7.5 per day (let’s round that down to 8).
It depends on the baby, of course, and as the baby gets older this number decreases slightly per day. Some people change their baby’s diaper more often than others. So, if you’re the type to change your baby’s diaper once there is a drop of urine, you will likely use more.
However, here are the averages I came up with:
0-1 months: 10-12 per day – 300
1-5 months: 8-10 per day – 240
5-9 months: 7-8 per day – 210
9-12 months: 6-8 per day – 180
How many diapers in each size?
This is where it gets difficult. So much of it depends on your baby’s size!
I’ve had people tell me all I need is a box of newborns and I’ll be ready.
My two boys were each with newborn babies for several months.
However, I know a lot of people who jumped straight to greatness and were even a month old.
So here I am going to share the bulk of my survey that I have conducted. Hopefully it will give you a good idea of how long you can possibly expect your child to stay a certain size so you can determine how many diapers to fill up.
How many newborn diapers do you need?
About 40% of respondents said their babies were newborn for a month – the next closest number was two months at 22% and then 11% for two weeks.
Unless you are expecting a big baby, it is safe to say that you will have your baby with newborns for several weeks. I would definitely buy at least one large box of newborns – maybe two boxes of 88 so it’s easier for you to return one when you don’t need it.
Based on the numbers – and an average of about 10 diapers a day – you might need about this 300 newborn diapers. I’ve found that Pampers Swaddlers are bigger than other brands of newborn diapers. You will likely come home with 1-2 packs of diapers that contain around 20.
Those numbers surprised me the most because I have read so many articles that say not to have very many newborns. But based on my experience, we definitely used them for a couple of months.
How many size 1 diapers do you need?
33% of respondents said their babies were size one for two months, and the closest was a month and three months. I would say that two months of size 1 would be sufficient.
Most size one babies will be three months or younger, so I would wear an average of nine diapers a day. For a two month delivery you will need 540 size one.
How many size two diapers do you need?
The majority of respondents said they used size two for 2-3 months, although there were a good number of people who used it for between four and six months. I would recommend purchasing at least a two month supply of two sizes.
I would go with an average of eight diapers a day if your baby is size two, so around 480 size two.
How many size three diapers do you need?
Almost everyone who replied had their children size three for at least three months – and some even for a year. My boys were size three for about five months, I would guess. But I’m sticking to the three month range here.
I would say expect an average of six diapers a day around this point 540 size three.
How many size four diapers do you need?
Size four seems to be the size many people had their babies in for around six months to a year – based on my experience with my cubs, I would have to agree. I think Jack has been in them for at least a year, maybe longer, and Oliver has been with them for about six months.
I don’t think I would recommend an annual supply, but let’s move on to the six month number. By the time my boys were size four, they were probably using 4-5 diapers a day. I am thinking of starting with a supply 720 size four is a good idea.
How many size five diapers do you need?
At size five, people came off my poll saying their kids were never in them before they were potty trained.
However, if your child is over two years old, I would imagine they will eventually be size five.
I don’t know that unless you feel like size four is getting tight and potty training is not in sight, I would worry about over-feeding myself with these at first. You can search for offers.
For the people who used them, it was usually 6-12 months (so of course you need them when you need them!). I would say 3-4 a day at this point, so maybe 540 for a six month size five supply.
How many size six diapers do you need?
Very few respondents even said they made it to size six with their children. Jack was potty trained when he was three, and I think he was a size five a few months before that. I honestly wouldn’t try to stock up on a size six unless you are about to hit that point!
And when all else fails, many stores take back an unopened box of diapers if you have too many … and if not? This is what the Facebook marketplace is for.
How many diapers did you use of each size? Comment below!