How many cloth diaper wipes do you need?

When it comes to cloth diapering, one of the most frequently asked questions is “How many cloth wipes do I need?” The short answer is that the number of wipes you need depends on several factors, including how often you change your baby’s diapers, how messy your baby’s diapers are, and your personal preferences for convenience and laundry frequency. In general, most parents find that 2-3 dozen cloth wipes is a good starting point.

How many changes per day?

The number of diaper changes per day is the biggest factor in determining how many cloth wipes you need. Newborns usually need 10-12 diaper changes per day in the early months. As babies get older and start eating solid foods, the number drops to 8-10 changes per day on average. Of course, every baby is different. Some babies need fewer changes while others need more. Keeping track of how often you change your own baby’s diapers for a few days will give you a good idea of their personal habits.

How messy are the diapers?

Not all diapers require the same amount of wiping. A wet diaper may only need 1-2 wipes for a quick clean up. A very messy diaper, on the other hand, might require 4+ wipes to get baby’s bottom completely clean. Breastfed baby poop tends to be looser and more frequent than formula fed baby poop. So breastfed babies will generally go through more wipes than formula fed babies. If you have a very heavy wetter or a frequent pooper, plan on needing more wipes per change.

How often do you want to launder?

The number of cloth wipes you prep and keep on hand will affect how often you need to launder them. A couple dozen wipes will likely last 2-3 days before needing to be washed. Some parents prefer to have more wipes on hand so they can go 4-5 days between washing. While others are fine with laundering wipes every 2 days in exchange for prepping fewer wipes. Think about your laundry routine and preferences when deciding how many wipes to make.

How many wipes per change?

On average, most parents report using 2-4 wipes per diaper change. But some changes might only need 1 wipe while others could need 6 or more if baby has a major blowout. A good rule of thumb is to stock enough wipes so you can use a fresh wipe for every stroke needed during a change. Trying to reuse wipes can lead to spreading around mess rather than cleaning it up.

Newborn stage

In the newborn stage when babies need 10-12 changes per day, most parents find that 2-3 dozen wipes works well. That provides enough wipes for the frequent changes without being overkill. Many parents start with 2 dozen wipes and then adjust based on their own experience. For exclusive breastfeeding, err on the lower end. For formula feeding or frequent poopers, have more on hand.

Mobile infant stage

As babies start eating solids and becoming mobile around 6 months, their diapers tend to become more messy. The number of daily diaper changes decreases to 8-10 times per day. At this stage, 3 dozen wipes is better for most families. The extra wipes help keep up with the explosions, blowouts, and increased wiping needs as baby starts eating solid food.

Older toddler stage

For toddlers over 12 months, diaper changes drop to 6-8 times per day. At this point, 2-3 dozen wipes is usually plenty for most families. Toddlers tend to need fewer wipes per change than newborns. So the lower number of daily changes balances out the decreased wipes need per change. Adjust based on your own toddler’s habits and diet.


When traveling or out and about with your baby, bring extra wipes. It’s hard to know when you might end up changing a diaper in the backseat of your car without easy access to your wipe stash to replenish. Having a travel pack with 4-6 extra wipes can help prevent you from running out while on the go. An extra travel size wet bag is also useful for storing any soiled wipes when you don’t have access to a diaper pail.

Child care or babysitters

If your child will be in the care of another caregiver like a daycare center or babysitter, provide extra wipes for their use as well. Most child care centers prefer parents to provide their own wipes, cloth or disposable. Make sure to send enough wipes to cover all the diaper changes that will happen while you are apart. Sending one wipe per change is a good guideline so the provider does not run out.

Wipe warmers

If you plan to use a wipe warmer, stock it fully. Having warm wipes ready to grab makes changes faster and easier. Fill your wipe warmer with 15-20 wipes at the start of each day so you don’t have to stop to refill it mid-change. Then refill it at the end of the day to prep for the next day’s changes.

Multiple children

When cloth diapering more than one child, purchase extra wipes. Having two kids in diapers means double the changes. Three kids means triple the changes! Do the math based on the number of changes each child needs currently, and stock up accordingly. Also allow for extra as each child moves through different stages with higher wipe needs.

Wash frequency

Think about how often you want to launder your cloth wipes. Washing them every 2-3 days is common. But some parents wash wipes daily while others can stretch them to 4-5 days. If you’ll be washing wipes less frequently, keep more on hand. If you don’t mind washing them more often, you can prep fewer. There is no right or wrong, just personal preference!


In summary, the number of cloth wipes you need depends largely on how many diaper changes your baby requires each day, how messy their changes are, and how often you want to wash. Most parents find having 2-3 dozen wipes on hand provides a good amount for newborns and infants. For toddlers, 2 dozen is often plenty. Adjust up or down based on your own baby’s needs and habits. Having some extra on hand while traveling or for childcare is wise too. With a little trial and error, you’ll find the perfect wipe stash to make cloth diapering easy and convenient for your family!

Leave a Comment