If you have a baby on the way, you will be wanting to stock up on some diapers! When it comes time to start buying diapers, you might be absolutely clueless as to how many diapers you need.

As with many things, you can stockpile and save by buying diapers in bulk and keeping them for when they are needed, but you also do not want to buy too few and need to rush out to the shops, or too many of the wrong size, and be stuck with a heap of diapers that you will never use.

To help you avoid this, and to help you plan how many diapers you should keep at home, here is a complete guide on stocking up on diapers, and how many diapers your baby will actually need!

If you’re completely new to diapers, then may we suggest starting at our Ultimate Guide to Diapers for New Parents.

How Many Diapers Do I Need?

Brace yourself – babies can go through up to 3,000 diapers in their first year! It seems like a ridiculous number, but you can expect your baby to go through between 2,000-3,000 diapers in 12 months.

This number will change per baby, and it does depend on how frequently you change their diaper, and how often their diaper is dirty.

It is so important to ensure that your baby does not sit in a dirty diaper for too long, but you also need to make sure that you are not changing their diapers unnecessarily, as the costs can accumulate really quickly!

Diaper Calculator – How Many Diapers Do I Need Per Month?

Use our handy diaper calculator to give a rough idea of the diapers you’ll need in the coming month – and approximately how much to budget for?

Disposable Diaper Calculator

Add your baby's age & weight to calculate the number of diapers you will need in the next month

How many diapers you need per month will depend on the age of your baby. Younger babies tend to go through more diapers than older babies, but once again this depends on your child.

This is a rough estimate on how many diapers you will need per month for the first year, but it is a good chart to base your stockpiling on!

Required Monthly Diaper Chart

How Long Will I Use Newborn Diapers?

Newborns go through a whole lot of diapers in the first month. Due to this, many people advise new parents to stock up on boxes of newborn diapers – but this might be a bad idea.

Yes, you will save quite a bit of money by buying bulk newborn diapers, but your baby will only be in newborn diapers for a short amount of time. The amount of time your baby spends in newborn diapers will depend on how quickly they grow in their first few weeks, but by understanding the average, you should be able to plan a little better.

Newborn Diaper Weight Range

The weight range of newborn diapers accommodates for babies weighing up to 10 pounds, but there are some brands out there that will fit babies up to 12 pounds – you just need to check on the packaging.

Newborn Weights

You cannot pinpoint the exact weight your baby will be when they are born, but the average weight for newborn babies is just less than 8 pounds, for both boys and girls. Most babies then go on to weigh 10 pounds at around 1.5 months old.

At around 1.5 months old, your baby should be ready to move on to a size 1 diaper, so only look at buying enough diapers to last for a month and a half, or two months max if your baby is born smaller than average.

Should I Buy Newborn Diapers Or Size 1?

Most brands of diapers have overlapping sizes, for example, their newborn diapers might accommodate up to 10 pounds, with size 1 diapers suiting babies weighing between 8-14 pounds.

Size 1 diapers will last for longer, as it gives more of a weight range for babies, however, these can sometimes be a bit big for newborn babies.

For average weight newborns, you will probably be able to use 2 to 3 packs of newborn diapers before moving on to size 1. However, if your baby is born small or premature, you will need more newborn diapers or preemie diapers.

2 to 3 packs of newborn diapers should be fine for an average size baby, and you can then go and purchase around 13 packs of size 1 diapers, which should be enough to last them up to 4 months old.

baby sleeping in a basket of fleece blanket

What Size Diapers Do Babies Wear The Longest?

It would make sense to stockpile more on diapers that your baby will wear the longest. Knowing which size diaper your baby will wear for longer will help you plan better, and ensure that you have enough of the right size and not too many diapers in a size that you won’t end up needing!

Your baby will wear size 3 diapers for the longest, and this should be the size diaper that you buy the most of. To help you plan, here is a good estimate of how many diapers babies need per size:

  • Newborn – newborn diapers can be used for up to 1.5 months, you should purchase around 2 to 3 packs of 140 diapers.
  • Size 1 – size 1 diapers will last for up to 3 months, and you will need to purchase around 4 packs of 164 diapers.
  • Size 2 – size 2 diapers will last for up to 3 months, and you should purchase around 5 packs of 142 diapers.
  • Size 3 – size 3 diapers will last for up to 6 months, so you will need 8 packs or more of 132 diapers.

How Many Diapers Does A Baby Use In 2 Years?

As explained, your baby will go through between 2,000 and 3,000 diapers during their first year. This number does drop as they go into their second year, but you will still need a substantial supply!

For the second year, you can expect your baby to go through 1,500 to 1,800 diapers. This drop is due to a few factors. They are possibly sleeping through the night now, so you will not have to change them when you wake up for a feed. After the first year, you will only need to change them around 5 times a day.

You will also need to use fewer diapers as your little one starts potty training.

To help you plan ahead of time, here is how many diapers you can expect to go through in the second and third years. Each baby is different, so this is only a rough guide to follow!

Required diapers for 2 and 3 year old

[Want to learn more? Check out Stuff4Tot’s Honest Review of Honest Diapers]

How Do You Know When To Go Up A Diaper Size?

Sometimes, the size guides provided on the diaper boxes aren’t enough. You need to be able to tell when you should go up a diaper size, and there are a few signs to look out for that your baby is ready for the next size.

Here are some of the most common signs that your baby needs a bigger diaper:

  • Your baby has more leaks or blowouts. Once a diaper size is too small, you will notice more leaks and messes. Many parents think that this might have to do with the brand of diapers that your baby is wearing, but it is one of the most obvious signs that their diapers are too small!
  • If you notice red marks along your baby’s thighs, the diapers might be too small and fit your baby too snuggly. Your baby’s legs would be too big for the elastic in the diaper, and this could be quite uncomfortable for your baby.
  • When the tabs on the diaper begin to be difficult to connect in the front, it is probably time to move onto a bigger diaper. The right size diaper will close easily without you having to pull too much.
  • The right size diaper will also sit just below the belly button, so if the diaper sits too low, it could be too small.

What Size Diapers Does A 9-Pound Baby Wear?

The best size diaper for a 9-pound baby would be a size 1. While newborn diapers fit babies up to 10 pounds, a size 1 diaper will probably be more comfortable, and you will get longer wear out of the packs.

Your baby will be able to wear size 1 diapers until they weigh 14 pounds. Just know the signs to look out for that your baby has outgrown their size 1 diapers, and move on to the next size when they are ready.

How Can I Get Free Diapers?

Who wouldn’t want free diapers? They are one of the biggest expenses for parents, so being able to get a few free really does help to stretch your budget.

There are a few resources available where you could get free diapers; you just need to know where to look.


When you deliver your baby in a hospital, you will probably be given sample packs of diapers. Make sure to take home all the samples they give you! This could also include diaper cream, formula, and even some lotions for mom.

Diaper Banks

Some cities have diaper banks, where moms in need can go to get some disposable diapers. Look for any diaper banks in your area and see what the requirements are to receive diapers.

Community Outreach

There are many outreach programs in communities that help new parents and single moms. These can help with diapers, formula, and other essentials.

Look for pregnancy resource centers in your area as well. Never be ashamed to ask for help – your baby’s health and comfort is the most important thing.

Is your baby sleeping throughout the night? Lucky you! Please check out the Best Overnight Diapers here.

Can You Save Diapers For The Next Baby?

Diapers are a popular gift for new parents, and many parents stockpile their own diapers to ensure they have enough for their little one. However, this sometimes means that you have too many diapers left over, especially if you have bought too much of one size.

The good news is that most diapers do not expire, so you are able to save these diapers for your next baby.

If you have unopened packs, you can simply store them away in a dry location until your new baby needs them. If you have opened packs, place these into plastic containers or plastic bags to keep them dry until they are needed.

Be sure to keep the diapers stored in a cool, dry environment, as heat and humidity could ruin the diapers and cause them to be ineffective.

Is your baby a water lover? Check out the Best Swim Diapers to keep them paddling. 

Do Diapers Expire?

You have probably never had to think of whether diapers expire or not, but if you have bought too many and want to keep them for your next baby, or keep them to gift at the next baby shower you attend as a diaper cake, you might be worried that they could become ineffective.

The general belief is that diapers do not expire, and this is pretty much true. It is best to keep unopened packs of diapers, but if you do have some opened ones lying around, you could simply pop them into a sealed bag or container for long term storage.

It is recommended that you use diapers within 2 years of purchase, but you can get away with using them for longer if they are stored right.

Diapers that have been sitting around for too long, or which have not been stored properly, might suffer from some effects of aging. Here is what could happen:

  • Discoloration – The diapers could turn slightly yellowish over time, and not be as white as they should be. Yellowed diapers should still be fine to use.
  • Less adhesion and elasticity – The elastic around the legs in an old diaper can loosen, which could lead to more leaks and spills. The adhesiveness on the tabs might also be affected as well.
  • Less absorption – Overtime, diapers lose their absorption ability. The absorption material breaks down, and this means that moisture will not be held in the diaper as well, and leaks and spills will happen.

Diapers mean cleaning your baby’s bum and that means baby wipes. Read about the Best Natural Baby Wipes to keep things eco-friendly.

Sitting baby with big ears stuffed toy

How Long Does A Box Of Diapers Last?

If you are wanting to stockpile, it helps to know how long a box of diapers lasts, so that you can plan for your baby to have enough of the right size diapers.

A box usually contains around 120-150 diapers. This means that you should get around 3-4 weeks of use out of one box of diapers, but this will depend on the age and size of your baby.

If you are worried about having to constantly buy diapers, you may want to consider switching to cloth diapers

Are Huggies Or Pampers Better?

One of the decisions a new parent has to make is what brand of diapers to use. The most popular choices are Pampers and Huggies, but which is better?

Almost every parent will have their favorite brand, but you will have to try out both to decide which suits your baby best.

Generally, Huggies diapers are better suited for the night time, as they have better absorbency and fit more comfortably over a longer period. Check Amazon for your favored Huggies diapers. For the daytime, Pampers seem to be better. They allow your baby to move freely without constricting them, while still catching any moisture and mess, with very little leaks. Survey Pampers diapers price on Amazon.

Both Pampers and Huggies have large ranges, so you are sure to find the right diaper for your little one, from newborn to potty training and further.

To learn more, you can read our Huggies or Pampers, Which is the Best Diaper article.

Should I Stockpile Diapers?

Stockpiling diapers isn’t right for all families. There are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not you should bulk buy and stockpile diapers.

Here is what to think of:


Do you actually have space at home to keep a stockpile of diapers? Packs of diapers can take up quite a bit of space, and if you are buying quite a few packs, you will need a decent amount of space at home to keep these packs in.

If you are buying larger sizes in advance, these diapers will need to sit in their storage space for up to a year, so make sure that you are prepared to lose room in your house for an extended period of time.

You also need to consider that the diapers should be kept in a dry location. You cannot keep them in a damp or humid room.


While you will save money in the long run by buying in bulk and stockpiling, you might not have the budget to go out and buy multiple packs of diapers. Work out your budget and see what you have spare for buying extra diapers. Check out the latest price on Amazon.

Also, consider the brand of diaper you are buying – what if it isn’t the right brand for your baby, can you return the pack?

You’re going to need something to carry around all those diapers. Check out our article on the Best Diaper Bags.

[Want to learn more? Check out Stuff4Tot’s honest Playtex Diaper Genie Review.]

How Many Diapers You Need – All You Need To Know

There are many things to consider when deciding to stockpile diapers for your new baby. You need to decide whether stockpiling is right for your family, and then how many diapers you will need to buy and keep for each size.

The above information should give you all you need to decide on stockpiling diapers for your new baby!

Diaper comic

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Rebecca Brown_One of the stuff4tots authors
Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is a mom to two and writer on all things parenting. She has been focussed on content creation and article writing for the last four years, drawing on the inspiration she gets from her own experience as a mother, and the expansive research the job requires.

When not writing, you can find Rebecca outside with the kids, or hidden away enjoying a good cup of coffee!