Question: I'd like to use cloth diapers full time but I'm just not sure how many diapers I will need to have?
Answer: How many diapers you will need depends on a lot of different factors. For example, younger babies tend to go through more diapers per day then older ones. Little ones also tend to need less absorbency but much more frequent diaper changes, that's why prefolds are often a method preferred by moms of newborns.
You also need to decide how often you'd like to be doing your diaper laundry. If you want to wash every night then you need enough to last you longer than 24 hours. While the diapers are washing you'll need diapers that you can use and you also want to take into consideration that baby might get sick or experience more frequent bowel movements than usual and you don't want to run out.
The diaper bag? It's important to plan on keeping 2-3 diapers in your diaper bag at all times. Great for going out and about and as backup in the event that something happens at home and you need a clean diaper fast.
I can't tell you how many times I ran out of clean diapers because my diaper laundry got put into the dryer but I forgot to turn it on!
What about wear and tear? If you keep the exact amount of diapers that you need for each day and no extra, AND you're washing daily. Then you can expect to be washing those same diapers 365 days a year. That's a lot of wear and tear and you may not be able to rely on those diapers for use with future children.
The more diapers you have the larger your rotation which means instead of every day, each diaper would get used every other day. That cuts your wear and tear in HALF!
Styles of Diapers? For prefolds, fitteds and covers you can pretty much count upon the fact that you won't have to change the cover with every diaper change unless it gets smelly, too moist or soiled. So you can get by with 2 dozen prefolds and 4-6 covers just fine. With Pockets and AIO's you know that the entire diaper including the outer shell, pocket, inserts, etc. need to be changed at each diaper change.
Phew! That's a lot to take into consideration isn't it? Well I hope this post helps you a little and gives you a better understanding of how many diapers you'd need.
What are your thoughts, suggestions, comments?