How Many Nappies Do I Need for Baby's First Year?

Over the first year of your baby’s life, it will seem like all they do is eat, sleep, cry, and poop. The sheer number of soiled nappies that you’ll have to deal with boggles the mind. As a savvy mum, this probably tells you to be prepared by stockpiling nappies. But how many nappies do you really need?

How many nappies does a baby go through in the first year?

The number and size of nappies used can depend on the baby’s weight. On average, a baby can go through around 2,200 disposable nappies in the year. It may be a good idea to start a nappy stockpile while you’re still pregnant (your baby shower is a great time to do this).

When adding items to your baby registry (if you have one), consider registering for nappies for an entire year to save on costs. You can do this either by registering for a nappy subscription service, creating a nappy cash fund to buy the nappies yourself or by adding individual boxes of nappies for your family and friends to gift to you.

How many nappies does a newborn need in a day?

Newborn babies typically use more nappies than older babies. You can expect your newborn to need 8 to 10 nappy changes a day in the first month of life. Around this stage, your little one may be having 3 to 4 bowel movements a day and pee after every feed. After the one month mark, you may notice fewer soiled nappies.

Nappy buying guide

Here are some tips on how to start your nappy stockpile before your due date:

Consider the nappy size

Nappy sizes are usually based on the weight rather than the age of the baby. Here is a size guide to help you estimate how many nappies you might need:

  • Preemie – up to 2.5kg
  • Newborn – up to 4kg
  • Size 1 – 4-6.5kg
  • Size 3 – 7-13kg
  • Size 4 – 10-17kg


Keep in mind that newborns gain up to 1.5kg in their first month of life. In addition, most hospitals provide you with a good number of newborn nappies, so you’ll probably not need a lot of those.

Consider your baby’s growth rate as well

You likely won’t need to buy more than one or two packs of newborn nappies (assuming each box contains 140 nappies). In addition to receiving many of these nappies from the hospital, your baby will likely outgrow them within the first few weeks or even skip them and go directly into Size 1 after birth.

Most babies need Size 1 nappies until 4 months of age and they’ll need about 8-9 nappy changes each day. Therefore, you can plan to buy around 3-4 boxes, based on 164 nappies per box. Size 2 nappies are commonly used by babies 3-8 months old, who typically soil 6-8 nappies each day. As a result, you may need to buy anywhere from 3-5 boxes, with 142 nappies per box.

Size 3 nappies are best suited for infants from 5 to 24 months old. At this age, your little one may go through 6 or 7 nappies each day, so you’ll need around 7 or 8 boxes, assuming that there are 136 nappies per box.

How many cloth nappies do you need?

Many parents opt to use cloth nappies because they are reusable, but you’ll still need a good number of these. How often you plan on doing laundry determines the number of cloth nappies you’ll need to buy. Most parents have 24 cloth nappies total, but you could probably get away with as few as 14 if you don’t mind doing your laundry more often.

How much do nappies cost?

The cost of nappies hugely depends on the brand, size, and how many are contained in a pack. The average disposable nappy costs around 0.70 AUD. 70 cents for a nappy is seemingly cheap, but if you take into account how many of them you go through in a year (2,200), you end up spending a whopping 1,540 AUD on disposables. Looking to reduce your environmental impact? Take a look at our guide on the best eco nappies in Australia.

Cloth nappies are way cheaper considering you don’t need as many – old-fashioned terry-towelling costs between 1 AUD and 2 AUD each, pre-folds are about 5 AUD to 15 AUD, and modern cloth nappies can range from around 7 AUD up to 35 AUD.

Popular posts

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, whether you choose to use disposable or cloth nappies, it’s crucial to change your little one’s nappy as soon as you discover it is soiled to avoid infections that may result from pee and poo.