How Many Newborn Diapers Do I Need for My 9Baby’s First Month?

How Many Newborn Diapers Do I Need for My Baby’s First Month?

Your little one will need 8 to 12 daily diaper changes during their first month. Here’s everything you should know about newborn diaper usage.

As you’re surely discovering as a new parent, every baby is unique. But there’s one thing that all babies have in common: they use a lot of diapers! Those newborn onesies that say “Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat” aren’t just cute and funny; they’re completely accurate.

For the first few months of your baby’s life, the routine of feeding, eating, and sleeping will dominate your days (and nights). Having the necessary supplies, especially when it comes to changing your baby, will go a long way toward helping you enjoy those early days.

During the newborn stage, you can expect to use between 8 and 12 diapers every day. But that’s not the whole story. Your baby’s needs will regularly change in those early months, so it’s essential to be prepared and also adaptable. In this article, we’ve put together everything you need to know about diapering a newborn, such as when to change their diaper, when to move up a size, and how to build a budget-friendly diaper stockpile. Let’s dive in!

How Many Diaper Changes Do Newborns Need in a Day?

How Many Diaper Changes Do Newborns Need in a Day?

First, let’s get the definition of “newborn” out of the way. Most pediatric experts define the newborn stage as the first 12 weeks after birth, though some consider this stage to last eight weeks.

During this period, your baby will grow incredibly rapidly. They will feed frequently throughout the day, perhaps as often as 12 times in 24 hours, and get through an eye-watering number of diapers as a result. In the first six weeks, most newborns will have several bowel movements per day, and some will have one after every feed. This may reduce to one bowel movement per day, or perhaps even once every few days, by the time they are six weeks old. All of this is normal as long as your baby feeds regularly and steadily gains weight.  

Your newborn will need to be changed whenever their diaper is soiled, typically once every two or three hours. Using a diaper with a color-changing wetness indicator line can be a helpful tool for deciding when it’s time for a change. 

Of course, common sense also comes into play. It’s essential to change your baby’s diaper as soon as you notice they’ve pooped since the stool will likely irritate their skin. In most cases, though, you don’t have to rush to change their diaper if it only contains a small amount of urine. You also don’t need to wake them during the night for a change unless they’ve had a bowel movement. 

However, if they are experiencing diaper rash, skin irritation, or simply have sensitive skin, it’s recommended to change to a new diaper for even a little bit of urine. Checking your baby’s diaper before and after a feed is a good way to stay on top of whether it’s time for a change.

Factors Influencing Newborn Diaper Usage

Numerous factors impact the number of diapers your baby will use. Age is perhaps the most significant, as a two-week-old baby is likely to use more diapers than an eight-week-old baby. Every baby is different, and the frequency of their bowel movements can vary significantly from one week to the next, or even from day to day! But, as a general rule, you can look forward to the fact that as they get older, they will urinate and poop less frequently and your diaper usage will decrease over time. 

Another factor that can significantly impact diaper usage is the feeding method you use. This may be breastfeeding, formula, or a combination of the two. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, they may have more frequent bowel movements than a formula-fed baby. Especially in the early weeks, you’re more likely to need to change your baby after every feed if they are breastfed.

How Many Newborn Diapers Do I Need?

Many parents want to have a stockpile of diapers on hand even before bringing their baby home from the hospital. As we’ve already discussed, it’s impossible to predict exactly how many disposable diapers your little one will use in their first month. But if you want a rough estimate, try this calculation: 10 diapers per day x 30 days = 300 diapers.

As your baby gets older, their needs will change, and you’ll use fewer diapers, decreasing to around five diaper changes per day as they reach the toddler stage.

Your Baby’s First Year: Approximate Diaper Usage

Baby’s Age

Diaper Changes Per Day (approximately)

Diapers Needed Per Month (approximately)

0 - 1 month

8 - 12 changes

240 - 360 diapers

1 - 3 months

8 - 10 changes

240 - 300 diapers

3 - 6 months

6 - 8 changes

180 - 240 diapers

6 - 12 months

6 changes

180 diapers

12 months +

5 changes

150 diapers

How Do I Choose the Right Diaper Size for My Baby?

How Do I Choose the Right Diaper Size for My Baby?

Those itty-bitty newborn diapers are adorable, but chances are, your baby won’t be wearing them for long! Babies grow rapidly, so it’s important that parents and caregivers keep an eye on their baby’s weight and how their diapers fit to ensure they are wearing the correct size. 

Every manufacturer offers slightly different sizing based on weight, so refer to the relevant size chart if you’re using a new diaper brand for the first time. 

Check the Fit to Avoid Leaks and Blowouts

An overly tight diaper is uncomfortable for your little one and more likely to leak than a properly fitting one. However, don’t be in too much of a hurry to move up to the next size, as too-large diapers can leave gaps that result in a messy up-the-back blowout.

To ensure that your baby’s diaper fits correctly, look to see whether it’s leaving red marks on their skin, especially around the waistband and leg cuffs. The diaper’s waistband should come up to just below the belly button, and you should be able to fit two fingers inside the elastic. There shouldn't be any obvious gaps between the waistband and your baby’s skin, as this indicates a too-large diaper. 

Similarly, the leg cuffs should hug your baby’s skin and not leave any red marks on their legs. One common pitfall new parents encounter with newborn diapers is accidentally leaving the cuffs tucked in. This is a frequent cause of leaks, so check that they are in the correct position after every change. 

Newborn Diaper Considerations

In the earliest days, your baby will still have an umbilical cord stump, which will fall off naturally around two weeks after birth. Some newborn diapers have cutouts to accommodate the stump area. Alternatively, you can use scissors to cut out a small gap so that the diaper doesn’t come in contact with the stump, or simply fold down the front of the diaper. 

Depending on which brand you choose and your baby’s birth weight, they may wear a diaper labeled “Newborn” or “Size 1.” Diapers are also available for premature infants whose birth weight is below the standard newborn range. Alternatively, some larger babies will skip the newborn size altogether. 

VeryVery’s Size 1 diapers are suitable for newborns up to 11 lbs. However, some may go straight to Size 2, which is suitable for babies weighing 6 to 13 lbs. You’ll notice that baby diaper sizes overlap, giving you the flexibility to decide which one has the ideal fit, comfort, and absorbency for your little one’s needs. 

VeryVery Diaper Size Chart

Diaper Size

Baby’s Weight

Size 1

Up to 11 lbs

Size 2

6 to 13 lbs

Size 3

13 to 22 lbs

Size 4

18 to 31 lbs

Size 5

24 to 37 lbs

Tips for Building a Diaper Stockpile

There’s no getting around the fact that two or three years’ worth of diapers is a major expense. To make diapering more affordable, some families build a diaper stockpile. For parents of newborns, this can help you feel prepared before your baby arrives. However, there are several important things to consider when building a diaper stockpile.

  • Your baby may not be in the newborn stage for long, if at all. Since you won’t know your baby’s size until they arrive, avoid stockpiling too many tiny newborn diapers. Check the retailer’s policies to see whether you can exchange unopened packs, but be prepared to donate diapers if you stockpile too many in a small size.
  • Many parents put diapers on their baby registry. Chances are, someone will want to help out with such an essential item. Gift certificates can be especially useful, so you can determine how many diapers you need and in what size when the baby comes.
  • Take advantage of the savings that typically accompany buying in bulk or having a subscription, as long as it’s flexible and you can change your order based on your baby’s needs.
  • Some families use cloth diapers for financial or environmental reasons. The choice of disposable or cloth diapers will ultimately come down to what suits your family’s budget, priorities, and lifestyle. 

Adapting to Your Baby’s Changing Needs

While those sleepless nights can feel interminable, the newborn stage is incredibly brief, lasting just a few months. By the time your baby is three months old, they’ll use fewer diapers and, hopefully, have fewer blowouts. 

However, as they get older, their diapering needs will change in other ways. As their bodies adapt to solid food, their bowel movements will become firmer and, in some cases, more frequent, so you’ll also need to adapt to this new pattern. Switching from breast milk to formula can also lead to stool changes, with constipation becoming more likely. 

As your little one grows from a newborn to an infant to a toddler, they will become increasingly active and will need a diaper that can keep up with them. Some diapers are specifically designed to accommodate active babies and are less likely to become loose or fall off. Pull-ups or training pants are often recommended for older toddlers, which makes diaper changes easier and helps with the transition to wearing underwear. 

Why VeryVery Diapers Are a Great Choice for Your Newborn

Finding a diaper that offers unbeatable comfort and leak protection is a priority at every stage, but it’s essential when you have a newborn. That’s why we designed our diapers to feel cashmere-soft while also providing excellent absorbency. Our team at VeryVery includes parents, grandparents, and caregivers who understand the importance of reliable, properly fitting diapers that will keep your little one dry and comfortable. 

Whether you’re the parent of a newborn or a toddler, VeryVery diapers have all the features you need. Our diapers are made with skin-friendly, hypoallergenic materials. They have undergone extensive testing to ensure they offer a comfortable, snug fit at every size. You can rely on VeryVery diapers to contain messes, thanks to our extra-absorbent core, high back, elasticated waistband and leg cuffs, and secure fasteners.

We’ve opted for eco-friendly materials, minimal packaging, and sustainable manufacturing practices, so you can feel good about your diaper choice. And to make life easier for new parents, our diapers are conveniently delivered to your door with free shipping and a generous return policy. You can set up a Subscribe & Save order to save 10% and adjust or cancel anytime. 

Final Thoughts

While there will undoubtedly be ups and downs, your baby’s first few weeks are an incredible period that you’ll want to cherish. Being prepared with the necessary supplies can go a long way toward smoothing the transition into parenthood. While there’s much to learn at every age and stage, taking care of the basics will give you more time to spend with your baby. 

For many parents, that means getting ready for your baby’s arrival by building a diaper stockpile, ideally with help from your baby registry, bulk buys, or subscription discounts. Most newborns will go through 8 to 12 diapers every day (which works out to around 300 diapers per month), but estimating their precise diaper usage or how long they’ll stay in diaper size involves a lot of guesswork. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment so it’s only natural to have questions, especially about something as important as diapers. Here are some common questions about newborn diapers.

When should I switch from newborn diapers to the next size up?

If your baby’s diaper leaks frequently, even with regular changes, this could be a sign that it’s too small and you should move up to the next size. A too-small diaper may be too tight to fit two fingers inside the waistband and may leave red marks on their skin. Check how their weight matches up to the size chart and remember that some diaper brands may fit your baby better than others. 

How many cloth diapers do I need for a newborn?

If you're planning to wash them every other day, you'll want to have around 25 cloth diapers for a newborn. Some reusable cloth diapers have poppers to adjust the size, making them suitable from birth to potty training.

How many diapers should I carry in my diaper bag?

The number of diapers in your diaper bag depends on your baby’s age and how long you’ll be away from home. With a newborn, assume that you may need to change their diaper every two hours, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. As they get older, the frequency of your baby’s bowel movements will gradually decrease, so you won’t need to pack as many diapers. 

Do newborn diapers ever expire?

From a health and safety standpoint, diapers never expire, so there’s nothing to stop you from storing enough diapers to last you several months, or even a year. However, after a couple of years, diapers begin to deteriorate and lose elasticity or stickiness, making them more susceptible to leaks.

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