How Many Diapers Do I Need
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How Many Diapers Do I Need? The Complete Guide

If you are a first-time parent, or even if it’s just been a while, you might feel a little lost when it comes to the diaper department. You might be thinking, ‘how many diapers do I need?’ or ‘what sizes of diapers do I need?’. I have good news for you; you have come to the right place!

In this post, you will find everything you need to know about how many diapers you need for the first year, as well as other common questions other parents like you have. Let’s get started!

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To find out more, you can read my disclaimer here.

How many diapers will your baby need in a day?

When it comes to figuring out how many diapers you will need each day, that will ultimately depend on your baby and how old they are.

Some babies prefer to be changed more often, and they will surely let you know. Or, some babies will poop more than others, resulting in more diapers. Also, as your baby gets older, the diapers per day will most likely decrease.

After a little while, you will get to know your baby’s habits. Then, the number of diapers you need per day will be easy to determine for your unique child. But before that time comes, here is a handy chart with the averages to give you an idea:

'How Many Diapers Do I Need' info chart

How many diapers do you need in each size?

Especially if you want to include diapers on your baby registry, knowing how many diapers of each size you’ll need is terrific.

In the chart below, you’ll find how many packs of diapers you will need in each size. Remember, these are just estimates, and your baby could use more or less than the suggested amounts.

'How Many Boxes Of Diapers Do I Need' info chart

After looking at the chart above, you’ll notice that we didn’t list sizes 4 or 5. That’s because, during your baby’s first year, they typically won’t use any size above a size 3.

By not including larger sizes on your registry, you’ll likely get the sizes you need first and will use them sooner.

Filling out your baby registry? Check out these related articles:

How do you know when to move your baby to the next size up?

When I first became a mom, I had no idea about diaper sizes, let alone when to change to the next size up. The good news is that it’s not as hard to figure out as you may think.

Here are the top 4 signs that you need to move to the next size up:

The Tabs Are Harder To Close

When you go to close your baby’s diaper, it shouldn’t be a struggle (unless you have a baby who hates diaper changes 😉 ). You shouldn’t have to pull hard on the tabs to attach them to the diaper.

The Diaper Sits Way Below The Belly Button

Your baby’s diaper should sit right underneath their belly button. If the diaper is too small, it will sit much lower on your baby’s abdomen.

Also, a diaper that is too small will be farther down your baby’s back, which can result in more blowouts.

Baby Has A Lot Of Leaky Diapers

If you notice that your baby is frequently leaking out of their diaper, their diaper is usually too small. I always noticed my son’s diaper leaking more after waking up from a nap when it was time to move up to a new size.

Red/Imprint Marks On Baby’s Legs

If your baby’s diaper is too small, you might start to notice some imprint marks around their legs. Also, they could begin to have red spots along the sides of their hips or upper thighs from the diaper pinching them as they are moving around.

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When should you start stocking up on diapers?

When it comes to stocking up on diapers, you have no right or wrong time to start. It’s all personal preference.

Once I was in the second trimester, I preferred to only buy diapers if I found a fantastic deal. Then, after I had my baby shower, I looked for deals more often to fill in any sizes I still needed.

Related Articles:

Tips For Getting A Diaper Stockpile

Don’t Focus On Newborn Sizes

If you are trying to get a diaper stockpile, you want to focus on sizes 1, 2, and 3. These are the most commonly used sizes in the first year.

That being said, don’t skip newborn diapers altogether! I didn’t have any newborn diapers once my son was born, other than what the hospital provided. Everyone I knew said I wouldn’t need them, so I didn’t bother to get any.

After my son was born, I realized that the newborn sizes fit him perfectly. Therefore we had to run into the store after leaving the hospital.

Have A Diaper Party Or Raffle

Having a diaper raffle or party is a quick way to get a good start on a diaper stockpile.

If you don’t feel like you want/need a baby shower, a diaper party is a great way to celebrate you and your new addition. This option will also help you out with a pretty substantial expense that a new baby will bring!

If you have a baby shower, including a diaper raffle is a great way to incentivize guests to bring a box of diapers. All you need to do is have a prize and some raffle tickets, and when your guest brings some diapers, they enter the raffle. At the end of the party, you draw a name, and that guest wins the prize! For more info about having a diaper raffle, check out this post!

Related Articles:

Make Sure The Diapers Are Returnable

When creating a diaper stockpile, there is always the chance that you either have too many diapers leftover in the end or you didn’t like a specific brand.

During my son’s first year, I tried to use any diapers that I didn’t have a receipt for first. That way, if I had an unopened pack left over after he moved to the next size, I could return them.

Try Different Brands

Especially as a first-time mom, you won’t know what brand of diapers you like most. By trying different brands in smaller packs, you will be able to see what kind of diaper works best for you and your little one.

Also, check out this article to see all of the pros and cons of Kirkland diapers vs Huggies. Both brands are good quality while being affordable, but it’s important to know the differences between the two.

Don’t Forget The Wipes!

When you’re having a baby, you automatically know you will need a ton of diapers, but wipes often get overlooked.

Wipes are a critical part of diaper changes; you don’t want to run out unexpectedly. Be sure to mention wipes as an option in any diaper party or raffle, and always keep an eye out for a great deal.

As for scented and unscented, always opt for unscented! Unscented wipes are much more gentle on your baby’s skin. Plus, there is less of a chance that your baby will be irritated by them.

Boxes Or Bags?

If you’ve been grocery shopping for a while, you will already know that bigger bottles or boxes of products are usually more budget-friendly. The same goes for diapers!

When you’re in the diaper aisle trying to decide what you need, the bigger boxes of diapers typically give you more bang for your buck than the bags.

But, on the other hand, if you know your baby will be moving to the next size soon and you don’t need many diapers, don’t feel bad about getting a smaller bag of diapers!

How Many Disposable diapers do I need pin image

How can you save on diapers?

After seeing how many diapers you will most likely use in your baby’s first year, you might be a little shocked when you think about having to buy them. Here are some fantastic ways to save money on diapers:

Subscribe and Save

If you have a subscription to a service like Amazon, you can sign up for your diapers to automatically ship to you at whatever interval you choose. By choosing to subscribe and save, Amazon makes the price of the items a little cheaper.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? Click here to get a 30-day free trial!

Cash Back Apps

Depending on where you like to shop and what brands you prefer, cashback apps like Ibotta can give you money back on your purchase! I use Ibotta and find it very user-friendly with a wide variety of products and stores to choose from.


If you’re not signed up to get emails from Target, it’s time to start! Target is excellent about emailing you when they have big sales, which often are on baby items.

Target also has sales quite often where if you buy a certain amount of baby items, they will issue you a gift card to use next time. Sometimes these gift cards can be worth $50, depending on the sale!


Coupons are another great way to save money on diapers. You can find diaper coupons online and in your local newspapers.

Warehouse Clubs

Places like Costco are wonderful once you have kids. Not only are the groceries great when you find you need bulk sizes, but the diapers and wipes are surprisingly excellent quality.

For example, our favorite diaper brand is Huggies, but they can get expensive. Kirkland brand diapers at Costco are so similar to Huggies; it’s incredible! Plus, Costco’s boxes of diapers have more in them, making them a great option if you’re having a baby on a budget!

What should you do with leftover diapers?

If your baby has moved to the next size of diapers and you find you have some leftover diapers, you have a few choices:

Keep For A Future Baby

If your diapers are still sealed, you can surely keep them if you plan to try for another baby! Just store the unused diapers in a dry place to ensure they don’t get damaged.

If the leftover diapers have been opened, you can store them in a latching Tupperware container until you need them again.

Return Or Exchange Them

As I mentioned earlier, save any diaper-related receipts in case you want to return unused packages.

If you don’t have the receipt, you can try to return unopened packages anyways. Some stores like Walmart or Target will do this for you in exchange for store credit. Another thing you can try if you don’t have a receipt is to ask to exchange the diapers for a bigger size.

Give Them To A Friend Or Family Member

If you know someone who is expecting a baby or has a baby younger than yours, you can always ask them if they want the diapers. Many parents would be thrilled to receive more diapers!

Lastly, donating your leftover diapers is always a great idea. You can call places like local women’s shelters and churches with nurseries or daycares to see if they will accept the diapers.

Another place you can try to donate to is a local Diaper Drive. If you are unsure if your town has a diaper drive, google ‘diaper drive near me’ and see if any results come up.

No matter what brand of diapers you choose, being prepared with the information you just learned will help you feel confident when you bring your little one home.

Not to mention, by being stocked up on diapers, you won’t have the stress of having to run out and buy more in the spur of the moment.

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What’s your favorite tip when it comes to stocking up on diapers? I would love to know in the comments below!

Rachel Sig

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