When preparing for a baby to arrive, some of the most common questions every mother asks herself are: How many baby wipes do I need in the first year? How many diapers? How much talc? And the list goes on and on.
At first, the answer can be quite shocking as a new mom expects it to be a relatively small quantity. A couple of diapers a day or something of the sort until they realize just how much the number racks up for both baby wipes and diapers.
And that’s just the daily average – there are bound to be many accidents where a few extra wipes will be necessary which will raise that number even higher.
But, it’s usually pretty easy to calculate the average based on which age group your little one falls into.
At the start, you’ll be spending a lot more on diapers than you will on baby wipes, but as time passes you’ll see that number shift as the wipe use overtakes that of the diapers.
Although about 10 wipes are typically used per poop clean up during one diaper change, those 10 baby wipes are a lot cheaper than a diaper and they come in larger packages.
Regardless, the importance of both items cannot be underestimated, and having a healthy stock is always a good idea.
That said, you don’t want to go overboard and splurge on baby diapers or wipes and then have too much. While wipes are universal, you might not be able to get through your stockpile before some of them start to dry out and become less useful.
The diaper situation is slightly more obvious, at some point, your little one will outgrow them and any leftover diapers will become useless.
While you can have the baby use diapers from the previous size category for a bit longer during the transition to the next tier, do know that it won’t last long and you’ll have to start sizing up quite quickly.
This means that, if you do have excess stock of a particular size, your best hope is that someone else needs them and that you can pass them along/ sell them. Otherwise, they’ll only end up being a waste of money.
This is why it’s important to properly calculate everything, so you can end up actually saving money instead of accidentally wasting it.
On that note, let’s see just how many of each of these items you’re going to need throughout your baby’s growth period.
How Many Diapers And How Many Baby Wipes Do I Need?
The answer to this question is highly dependent on the size of your child. The number of diapers for a newborn baby isn’t the same as that for a one-year-old, and they’re not the same type of diaper either.
Baby wipes, on the other hand, are universal and should end up costing much less even though you will use considerably more given their comparative size and purpose.
Children require tons, quite literally, of a product and this is arguably one of the perfect examples of this fact!
Mostly referring to preemies and newborn children, size 0 encompasses all babies that weigh up to 8 pounds according to the pampers scale.
This is a short period of up to 2-3 weeks which largely depends on how heavy your child is when he leaves the hospital.
You’ll spend this time becoming acquainted with one of your main duties as a new parent, poo and pee cleanup as they’ll be making a lot of poopy and soiled diapers especially as their internal organs adjust.
The most important thing that you can do is persevere and power through. It’ll be over soon enough and every subsequent size category will need fewer and fewer diapers as your little one learns bladder control and eventually, potty training.
The baby will, in this period, use an average of up to 7-10 diapers a day depending on how often he poops, meaning you’ll be quite busy.
That should give you a good estimate of just how many diapers you’ll need to get in this size, especially if you take into account that a baby gains a pound a week too.
The next size category caters for babies that are around the 7-14 pound mark, with the lower end being a sort of transitional weight where you can still use the previous size until your child outgrows it.
It’s a time where bladder control slowly starts becoming a reality and your little one won’t have a wet and dirty diaper quite as often as they did with their newborn diapers, but the actual soiling is going to end up being much more intense.
Luckily, this means that the diaper count will slowly start decreasing for many little ones. While most children still require around 10 diapers per day, you might find that your child only needs 8-9, depending on the way he develops.
This period is estimated to last around 3, maybe 4 months, so one or two less might mean a lot in the long run. Ultimately, you’ll probably end up needing about 960-1200 diapers for this period alone.
It might seem like a massive amount, and because of that, it’s the first size that might make you question How many baby wipes do I need? when you first look at it.
What initially seemed to be a small number racks up rather quickly over time which is why paying full price for all of them will set you back a whole lot. I recommend always aiming to stock up on a sale in the first place.
Believe me when I say that you need to take every opportunity to save money on baby products that you can because if you don’t plan these things out, they’re likely to bleed you dry.
This size is, on its own, a transitional size as the previous size category can fit your baby for most of this period because it covers kids who are 11-18 pounds in weight.
That’s why it’s okay if you buy a box or two of Size 1’s extra because you’ll be able to use them as a transitional diaper during the first month of being in this size category, leaving you with only a month or two before you need to be more precise with your measurements.
And, if we keep to our previous calculations, that should be anywhere from 480-600 diapers for this size category.
This size is responsible for all the shock and surprise when parents ask the question of How many baby wipes do I need?
That’s because it’s the category that your child is going to stay in for the longest. It’s safe to stock up on this size most as it’ll likely last your baby almost 8-10 months, much longer than the one or two months in the previous two sizes.
The size category covers between 16-28 pounds and your little one’s weight gain is likely to slow down slightly now as much of his development has occurred.
By this stage, bladder control would’ve improved considerably which means that the number of required daily diaper changes will reduce once again, all the way down to 6-7 diapers a day.
Thus, you’re likely to require about 1400-1600+ of the size 3 diaper to cover your bases.
Again, it might seem like a lot, and it is, but it’s spread out over 9 months.
This size is for babies who weigh anywhere between 22-37 pounds and it’s a period that lasts about half a year.
The good thing about this size period, much like with the size 2 one is that a good chunk of it also fits into the previous size category, meaning you’ll be able to use any extra size 3 diapers for a good portion of this period which might end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
That said, the average diaper use per day will drop in this size category once more, all the way down to 4-5, varying from child to child meaning that you’ll only need about 800-900 diapers of this size (reduced by the number of excess size 3’s that you might have).
It’s also the last size that you’ll definitely need diapers since your child is likely to be fully potty trained by the end of this size period, although that might not always be the case.
This period covers kids that are anywhere from 27-35 pounds meaning that this entire category fits into the previous one. It’s usually the period where your child is finally finishing his potty training and where you’re likely to fully start ditching the diaper.
Though, it’s still best to get one or two packs just in case your child isn’t fully ready yet.
This last size covers babies that go over the 37 pound mark of the size 4 and usually cover kids that are 4+ years old.
These ones are completely optional and even if your child does end up needing them, you won’t need large quantities. In most cases, moms are able to skip these diapers entirely.
But What About Baby Wipes?
Baby wipes are a different beast entirely. At the start of this article, I posed the question of How many baby wipes do I need? and it’s not one that’s easily answered since it has so much variance tied to it.
Keep in mind that you’ll be using these for almost anything that involves the baby. From cleaning up messes after mealtimes or wiping his mouth during breastfeeding all the way to wiping him down after a diaper change or having to clean a blowout.
The average wipe-down can use about 6 wipes while a blowout might take up to 10 wipes to fully clean up, meanwhile you’ll only really need 2-3 wipes to get his mouth clean.
That’s why it’s really tough to get a rough estimate on just how many baby wipes you’re going to need to cover your child’s entire developmental period, but know that the number of wipes will vary greatly from size to size.
It normally goes up with each category seeing as the size of their number 1s and 2s increase as their size does.
But, it’ll reach a turning point at the end of size 3 where it’ll start decreasing due to better bladder control and eventual potty training completion.
The annual average though can get as high as 11 000 – 12 000 baby wipes. An absolutely insane number in every regard, but one that’s very real.
As a quick side note, considering these quantities it is clear that diapers and baby wipes are major contributors to the landfill problem which is why I consider it important to go green where baby products are concerned to at least try to lessen the impact on the environment.
If we’re to separate them by the size categories, expect that during sizes 0-2 you’ll end up using a pack of 1000 a month as you have to cover smaller messes.
When your child crosses over the halfway point of his first year of life, expect that number to steadily increase, capping at around 2000 on average a month by your little one’s first birthday.
Do keep in mind to keep a steady amount of them available at all times but to never go overboard. It’s important to find the balance.
Diapers might be able to stay at their peak for longer when stockpiled, but baby wipes are a bit more prone to expiring if not properly stored, diminishing their usefulness greatly.
And you want them at their best quality to be able to take care of your child’s sensitive skin and not irritate it, otherwise they’ll be as good as toilet paper if you let them dry up.
That’s why, when shopping for wipes, you should keep your baby’s skin as top priority and look for ones that best assist in safeguarding it while also having the longest shelf life. Make sure to always keep a pack handy in your diaper bag or tote.
So How Many Baby Wipes Do I Need Annually?
Well, for the first year it should be around 11000-12000 as mentioned earlier with the number steadily increasing up to about 18000-20000 each year.
While the number does seem massive, remember that you get a lot more wipes per pack than you do diapers, plus they’re likely to cost less than the diapers.
What About The Diapers?
It’s not just the wipes that mamas ask about, there’s also the question of How many diapers do I need for my baby?
Well, the annual total for the first year comes up to around 3000-3400, reducing itself each year as your child grows to about 1500-1800 in the 3rd and 4th year.
Monthly, it racks up to about 270-300 diapers, lowering to just about 140-160 when your child starts hitting those last sizes. Although, it honestly depends on the level of potty training.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Diapers And Baby Wipes?
Usually, it’s when you come across a sale, whether it’s on Amazon, Target, Costco, or similar, it doesn’t matter. Disposable wipes and diapers are the same no matter where you go, and buying them during a sale is going to end up saving you a ton of money!
Not only do you get the initial discount, but you’re also prepared for the following months until the next sale comes up and you can replenish your supplies when you start dropping to fewer and fewer wipes and disposable diapers.
These periods usually happen around November during Black Friday sales as well as early December with the odd sales happening based on individual stores throughout the year.
Which Baby Wipes Should I Go For?
There are loads of baby wipe brands out there, but how can you be sure which one is the right one?
Personally, I’d suggest going for some organic baby wipes to reduce the impact that they’ll have on the environment. Here are my top 5 picks:
I’m suggesting these because they’re biodegradable and free from any harmful chemicals like phthalates and parabens that will irritate your child’s skin or cause a worse reaction.
EXTRA: Cloth diapers, an alternative solution to the stockpile
If you aren’t inclined to deal with all of this stockpiling business but do have a lot of free time on your hands, you might want to look into cloth diapering as an alternative.
You’ll only really need about half a dozen to a dozen cloth diapers to last you throughout your child’s entire developmental period as they can be freely sized up and down based on your needs.
And, because they’re re-usable after a good wash you won’t make nearly as much garbage as the regular diapers do and you’ll save a ton of money!
That said. This too comes with its own pitfalls. As great as saving money is, kids wearing cloth diapers are more likely to suffer from diaper rash due to the cloth variant lacking the protective comfort of a disposable diaper meaning that their load is likely to irritate their skin.
The other downside is that you’re going to be spending a lot of time washing diapers to have a steady supply ready for your little one.
Apart from the extra time consumption, there is also the hidden cost of a higher water bill with the increased number of average washes, though the price increase is negligible compared to the amount of money that you save on not purchasing disposable ones.
You’re also more likely to have your kids suffering from blowouts, which, in turn, will also cause your average use of baby wipes to go up so you may need an extra pack or two here and there as well.
That said, they’re still a great alternative if you find yourself with the extra time required to maintain them and if you’re looking to be really budget and environmentally friendly.
The best answer to the questions of How many baby wipes do I need? and How many diapers? is: a lot!
It’s a number that varies from child to child and depends on their development and that of their entire digestive system as well as their level of bladder control, but it usually always rounds itself up to around the same average.
If there’s one thing to take away from this it’s that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to get a pack of diapers or baby wipes as you might find yourself in an emergency without any on hand, so make sure you keep a stockpile handy.
And, also make sure to buy these baby products when they’re on sale, it’ll end up saving you quite a bit of money in the long run.
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