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How many nappies should I buy for baby?

If you’re getting ready to welcome a newborn baby then top of your list of what to buy will probably be nappies! 

But how many nappies do you actually need for your baby – and in particular how many nappies should you buy in each size?

Mum changing baby's nappy

This article will give you a breakdown of what you actually need to buy so that you’re prepared and no nappies go to waste! 

I can remember with my first baby that nappies was one thing I vastly underestimated when it came to buying. This was also the case with wipes and nursing pads too! 

In the first year you are going to go through a LOT of nappies. And in the first few weeks you’re probably going to be changing your baby the most frequently. 

This is partly because they’re brand new and you’ll be constantly checking for their comfort – nappy rash is not pleasant. But it’s also because a newborn will wee or poo in their nappy multiple times through the day and night. 

It’s pretty much a constant thing with tiny babies! Eat, poop/wee, sleep, repeat! 

So I wish I had bought more nappies – and in particular I wish I had got a stock of Size 2 nappies (for weight 9-18lbs) as we were using those from about two to six months. 

However before we get started I just want to say that it’s not possible to give an exact guide to the numbers of nappies you need. This is because: 

  • You can’t predict exactly what your baby will weigh at birth. 
  • All newborns are different and grow at different weights. 
  • There’s no set number of nappy changes – some parents may find themselves going through 15 nappies one day and six the next. 

Let’s take a look at how many nappies you can stock up on to start with, plus how many nappies you will need through your babies first year and beyond. 

You may also like: How many newborn baby clothes do I need?

Newborn baby essentials

How many nappies will a newborn need?

Your newborn baby may get through eight to 10 nappies a day – which means in their first 8 weeks they may need 600 nappies! 

When stocking up on nappies ahead of giving birth then it’s a good idea to buy a jumbo pack of Size 1 nappies containing around 140 nappies. 

These are for babies from 4 to 11lbs. You may find you need more Size 1 nappies after a few weeks, as a baby may still be wearing this size at 2 months, depending on their weight. 

However having said that a larger baby may be more comfortable in Size 2 nappies after the first few weeks. Size 2 is for babies who weigh 9-18lbs, so as you can see there’s an area of overlap there. I recommend buying two jumbo packs of Size 2 nappies – which typically contain 140 nappies. 

It’s not easy to predict your baby’s exact weight at birth, particularly as you may not be given a scan close to the birth unless there are specific health reasons. 

However most new babies weigh an average of 7.5lbs, with the weight range between 5.5lb and 10lb. 

Just to add that the weight range on nappy packaging is just a guide and that you may find your baby still fits smaller size nappies a little longer than the guidance suggests. 

If you want to know whether your baby’s poop is normal then check out this guide to baby poo colours right here. 

How many nappies will your baby need in the first year?

Your baby may go through between 2,000 and 3,000 nappies in their first year. 

This really depends on the number of nappy changes you need to do daily – and this will vary a lot and change as your baby grows. 

In the early days you may be changing your baby’s nappy 10 times a day, but by the time they turn one this may be as little as four times a day. 

Guide to the number of nappies you may need

It’s difficult to know exactly how many nappies your baby will need before they are potty trained because there’s no set age for when this happens.

Some children are out of nappies by age two, whereas others are over 3.5 years before they are ready to potty train.

You may like to read my post about delayed potty training to find out more about this.

Nappy sizeWeightAgeHow many nappies per dayHow many you might use
Size 0 1-3kg / 3-6lbs0-4 weeks10As needed
Size 12-5kg / 4-11lbs0-2 months10140
Size 24-8kg / 9-18lbs4 weeks-6 months8-101,200
Size 36-10kg / 13-22lbs6-12months6-71,080
Size 49-14kg / 20-31lbs8-18months5-7900
Size 4+10-15kg / 22-33lbs12-24 months4-6720
Size 511+kg / 24+lbs18+months4-6As needed
Size 5+12-17kg / 26-38lbs18+months4-6As needed

Should you stockpile nappies? Do they expire?

I would recommend buying a jumbo pack (140 nappies) of size 1 nappies, two jumbo packs of size 2 nappies and three jumbo packs of size 3 nappies. 

Your baby will grow rapidly in the first year, so buying too many of the smallest size could mean you end up not using them all. 

Nappies do not have an expiration date or shelf life, which applies to open and unopened nappies! This is great news if you have some nappies that your baby has grown out of, and are planning another baby, as you can just set those ones aside for your next child. 

Alternatively you can donate unused nappies to friends or local charities. 

You may also like: How many baby wipes do I need?

Ways to save money on nappies

There are a few things you can do to cut back on the costs of nappies.

Switch to reusable

One of the best ways to cut back on spending on nappies, which also helps the environment, is to swap disposable nappies for reusable ones.

This requires a much steeper up front investment however once you have the kit for reusable nappies, and if you use that kit for future children, you will save money in the long run.

There’s a guide to reusable vs disposable nappies here.

Shop around for different brands

There are certain brands that will be a lot more familiar to you because they are household names. Pampers or Huggies are good examples of that.

However while they do indeed make very good nappies, the supermarket own brands are just as effective and they are less than half the cost.

Consider giving a supermarket own brand a try and see what you think.

Add nappies to your baby wishlist

Friends and family will be asking you what you need for your baby, and while they may want to buy a cute outfit you’re probably going to get a LOT of those if you’re having a baby shower.

A supply of nappies is a great and practical gift.

How many nappies to buy for baby

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