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How many cloth nappies do I need?

When you decide to use reusable nappies, one of the first questions that you may have is “how many cloth nappies do I need?”  Although you will find various guidelines that will help answer this question, it actually depends on a number of things.  First of all you need to decide how often you will be using the reusable nappies, and then how often you want to be washing them.  There is no right or wrong answer to how many cloth nappies do I need, some people will happily get by with just a few that they wash and dry regularly, and then other people have large collections that they rotate over a much longer period of time.

Full time cloth nappy use

If you are planning on using cloth nappies full time on one child, then as an absolute minimum you will need around twenty nappies.  If you are using a system that has separate covers that you do not change every time such as Ecobots, then you will need at least twenty inners, and around four or five outers.  If you are using a pocket or all in one (or all in two) system, where the whole thing is changed each time, then you will need around twenty full nappies.  Some people add extra inserts to this, so that they do not have to wait for the inserts to dry.  Outers tend to be dry far quicker, and having a few extra inserts means that you are never left waiting for nappies to dry when you need to use them.  With twenty nappies, then you are probably looking at washing every other day.

How many cloth nappies do I need?

Another thing that you may want to consider is whether you will want dedicated night nappies, or to use your normal nappies with extra inserts.  Either way, you may want to add a few extra nappies to your total for night use, as thicker inserts may take slightly longer to dry.  You can buy a full set of twenty dinky nappies for only $360, (which works out at just $18 a nappy) here.

How many cloth nappies do I need for day time use?

If you are only planning on using cloth nappies during the day time, then you will not need as many nappies.  You will still need enough to have some in the wash, some drying and some ready for use, so I would recommend having around 15 nappies.  Again if you are using nappies do not require the outer to be changed every time, then you will probably only need two or three outers.

How many cloth nappies do I need for part time use?

The main thing that you need to be aware of, if you have a smaller stash of cloth nappies, is that you may be inclined to leave it a bit longer between washes.  Ideally you want to be washing a full load, but if you wait until you have enough nappies to make a full load then you may find that this leaves you short.  You can wash towels or other items with your cloth nappies to make the loads fuller, although I would suggest rinsing the nappies first before adding other items.

Part time at home use

If you are planning on using cloth nappies only while at home and during the day, then you will need far fewer nappies.  This is actually a good way to start out with cloth nappies if you are not confident using them, as you can start with a few nappies and then gradually build up your stash and your use of them until you are using full time.  Alternatively, if you just wish to stick with using cloth nappies during the day and at home, then you will be still saving money and using less disposable nappies.

 Starting out with cloth nappies

For this type of cloth nappy use, you will be looking at having around ten to fifteen cloth nappies.  This will give you enough for part time use, although again you will need to either add other items to the washing machine or do part loads in order to have enough clean nappies to use.  Our dinky nappies come in a handy ten pack for $200, which works out at just $20 a nappy.  The set, which you can find here, is a great way to start your cloth nappy collection.

How many cloth nappies are too many?

Many people find, after using cloth nappies for a while that it’s no longer a question of how many cloth nappies do I need, but how many cloth nappies are too many?  It’s very easy to find yourself buying every new style you come across just to try them, or purchasing lots of custom made or ‘pretty’ nappies.  Some people end up with stashes of hundreds of nappies.  While this may seem a little counter productive, if you were trying to use cloth to keep costs down, it’s worth remembering that most of these nappies have high resale value and can be passed on to other people.  If you really think that you do have too many cloth nappies though,  you can always try taking a few out of rotation for a while and seeing if you miss them, and then sell on any that you think you can do without.

How many cloth nappies do you own?

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