How Many Diapers Do I Need? (And How To Save on Diapers!)

“How many diapers do I need” is a common question among new parents who want to stock up on diapers.

I’ve heard of some wanting to get 3 boxes of newborn diapers and I’m telling you now, stop and chill. 

You don’t need a lot of diapers for a newborn, especially if you know yours will be in the large, tall, chubby range!

So in this article, you’ll learn how many diapers you’ll need in a day, in a month, and in a year, and tons of tips on how to save and stockpile diapers.

Let’s start with the basics.

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How Many Diapers Do I Need?

The number of diapers you’ll need will depend on your baby’s size and growth rate.

Some need preemie diapers and then some go straight to Size 1 diapers!

So it really depends.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies on average go through 8-12 diapers per day.

However, according to the National Diaper Bank Networks, it’s 6 to 8 diaper changes per day.

Let’s average that at 10 diaper changes per day and you’re looking at:

10 diapers x 30 days = 300 diapers/ month

300 diapers x 12 months = 3,600 diapers/ year

But remember, this doesn’t apply to everyone.

Breastfed and exclusive formula-fed babies have a different number of bowel movements per day, and their use of diapers can vary.

You have to consider too that as babies get older, the frequency of the diaper changes gets less and less.

So again short answer, it depends on your baby’s size, age, and bowel movements.

How Many Diapers Do I Need in the First Year?

You’ll need 2000-3000 diapers in the first year! That’s around 10-12 diapers a day! 

But again take note that diaper needs vary depending on the baby’s size, and bowel movements.

Here’s an estimate of how many diapers you’ll need for the first year:

Diaper Size Buying Guide

Age RangeDaily Use
PreemieAs Needed
Newborn to 3 months10-12 diapers per day
3 months to 5 months8-10 diapers per day
6 months to 8 months7-9 diapers per day
9 months to 1 year old5-7 diapers per day

Remember that this is just an average, estimate number and that babies’ weight can vary, even if they’re of the same age.

How Much Do Diapers Cost?

Diaper costs vary, as it depends on the brand and the number of pieces.

Price can range from $0.20 to $0.45 per piece.

You can get it cheaper if you buy it in bulk.

How to Save on Diapers

  • Register for Diapers

Take advantage of baby registries, especially the Amazon diaper fund. This way, friends and family can contribute to your diaper stash.

  • Cashback apps and Coupons

Look for coupons in online ads, parenting websites, social media, and dedicated coupon platforms like and Cashback apps can also be a lifesaver.

  • Choose Generic Brands

Consider choosing a generic brand. Many store brands offer quality comparable to the big names, at a fraction of the cost.

  • Look out for Sales 

Keep an eye out for sales, especially during events like Black Friday

  • Get a Subscription

Subscriptions from clubs and rewards programs like Costco or Sam’s Club can also offer significant savings.

  • Diaper Banks and Cloth Diapers

Explore diaper banks for free or discounted diapers. If you’re environmentally conscious and looking to save in the long run, cloth diapers are a sustainable option.

Look for more details on how to save on diapers here.

Tips for Getting and Stockpiling Diapers

  • If you’re registering for diapers, register for Size 1, instead of newborn size.
  • If you’re registering for different sizes, make sure you have space to stock diapers as they don’t expire and you can keep them for long!
  • Remember that diaper sizes are based on weight, not age. 
  • When buying diapers, consider starting with a small pack if you want to test new brands. 
  • Avoid buying in bulk until you know your baby’s size and you’re familiar with their bowel movements. 
  • If your baby is between sizes, opt for the larger size as they’ll eventually fit into it. 
  • Save the receipts for any returns or exchanges.
  • Get a transparent container (like the one below) for stocking diapers, so you can easily see how many you still have.
how many diapers do i need

FAQ on Buying Diapers

How many diapers do I need in each size?

The number of diapers needed in each size can vary, but having 1 pack of every size is a good starting point.

What age is size 3 diapers?

Diaper sizes are based on weight, not age. On average, babies move to size 3 when they weigh between 16-28 pounds.

Is 7 wet diapers enough?

7 wet diapers are enough for an older baby, older than 4 months. But every baby is different so we highly advise you to monitor your baby’s hydration and consult your pediatrician with concerns.

How Many Diapers Do I Need: Takeaway

I had a friend who stocked up on newborn diapers and when she gave birth, they only managed to use 1 pack out of the 6 packs they bought.

The lesson there is don’t buy in bulk, especially if you’re not familiar yet with your baby’s bowel movements.

The newborn phase can also pass by pretty quickly, so I don’t advise buying a lot of newborn diapers. 

I don’t advise buying in bulk as babies in general, change and grow pretty quickly!

I would just consider buying 2-3 large packs of Size 1 diapers and monitoring things from there on.

I hope this article has helped plan how many diapers you’ll need for your baby.

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