There's no denying that new parents will change a lot of diapers in a year, but the exact number depends on the weight and age of the baby and whether the family is using cloth or disposable diapers. If you're planning for your baby's future needs or hoping to stockpile some diapers on sale, it helps to look into the statistics.
First Year: Around 2,500 Disposable Diapers
The number and size of diapers used can depend on the baby's weight. Larger babies need larger diapers and may go through them at a different rate. The average birthweight in the United States is between 5.5 and 8.8 pounds. According to DiaperPlanner.com, a baby in this weight range will go through approximately 2,500 diapers in the first year of life.
420 Newborn Diapers
Newborns go through diapers very quickly - at a rate of about 70 diapers per week. Expect your baby to spend around four to 13 weeks in this size, depending on his or her birthweight. An eight-pound baby will wear this size for about six weeks, resulting in 420 newborn diapers.
637 Size 1 Diapers
Changing diapers is still a very frequent occurrence when your baby needs to move up to size 1 disposables. You'll find that you change between 49 and 70 diapers per week during this period, which lasts about week 16 with a baby who weighed eight pounds at birth. DiaperPlanner.com reports that this results in 637 diapers.
595 Size 2 Diapers
As your baby continues to grow, the diaper changes finally start to slow down a bit. You'll use between 35 to 49 diapers per week in size 2, which will last until your baby is about 30 weeks old if he or she was around eight pounds at birth. This translates to approximately 595 size 2 diapers.
805 Size 3 Diapers
By 30 weeks, your once eight-pound little one may transition to size 3 diapers. You'll be changing about 35 diapers a week at this point and will finish out that first year by using around 805 more diapers.
After Year One: 1,500 to 1,800 Disposables Yearly
If your older baby is sleeping through the night in a single diaper and you are changing him or her every three hours during the day, you can expect to use about four to five diapers per day, which is 28 to 35 diapers per week. This is the same whether they are wearing size 3, 4, or 5. This translates to approximately 1,500 to 1,800 diapers per year.
Diaper usage will slow down as your little one begins potty training. On average, most children are potty trained by around 35 to 39 months of age.
18-24 Cloth Diapers Per Year
With cloth diapering, you wash and re-use the diapers between changes, so the number of diapers you need for the first year will depend a great deal on how often you want to do laundry. You'll be changing the diapers at the same rate as with disposables, but the number you need to buy is much, much lower.
According to Diaper Junction, you'll need about 18 to 24 cloth diapers for the 18 months of your baby's life. After that time, you'll only need to keep about 12 diapers in rotation, since your little one will require fewer changes and may be learning potty training.
These figures assume you'll be doing laundry every two days or so. If you plan to go a little longer between laundry days, you'll need to buy more diapers.
Keep Your Little One Clean and Comfortable
Whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, babies require a lot of changings. Knowing how many diapers you'll need can help you stock up in advance by watching sales or adding diapers to your baby registry. Having the right supplies on hand can help you keep your little one clean and comfortable.