How many cloth diapers do I need to get started?

How many cloth diapers do I need to get started?

So you’ve decided to cloth diaper….now what? One of the most common questions we get is “how many cloth diapers do I need to get started?”. 

How many cloth diapers you’ll need depends primarily on 2 things:

  1. Whether you plan to cloth diaper full-time or part-time
  2. How old your baby is.

How you plan to cloth diaper plays a big role in how many cloth diapers you need to have on hand. Cloth diapering DO NOT have to be an all-or-nothing thing. What we mean is that while many families choose to use cloth full-time and rarely use disposables, there are also lots of families that prefer to use a combo of cloth diapers AND disposables and that is great too!  Every little bit counts and every single time you go for a cloth diaper instead of a disposable you are keeping  money in your pocket and trash out of the landfill. 

Baby’s age also factors in. Newborns and young babies use more diapers per day than toddlers do. So if you are planning to start cloth diapering at birth you will want to have more cloth diapers in your stash than you would if you are stocking up for a 14 month old.

The one thing that DOES NOT change is how often you need to wash your cloth diapers. Whether you cloth diaper full-time or part-time or you are diapering a newborn or toddler, we strongly encourage you to launder every 2-3 days following our super-simple, step-by-step cloth diaper laundering instructions. This is, in our expert opinion, the best and easiest way to wash your cloth diapers! 

Now, back to how many cloth diapers you’ll need….

What will I need to cloth diaper?

Every cloth diapering system is different, but if you go with Esembly, we offer everything you need and all the instructions to make cloth diapering easy peasy. So first, let’s get started with a little “glossary of Esembly terms”...


This is our fitted diaper (made of 100% organic cotton!), which provides all the absorbency you’ll need – and is oh-so-soft on delicate baby skin


This is the Esembly diaper cover. It’s the waterproof part of our diaper. It goes over the Inner to keep things leak-free and blowout-proof 🙌

Size 1

Esembly diapers come in 2 sizes (we chose this to ensure a nice trim fit for your baby, while ensuring the entire diaper stays leak and blowout-proof from birth to potty training) Our Size 1 diapers (both Inners and Outers) are designed to fit your babe from about 7 lbs - 17 lbs

Size 2

When your babe is approaching the end of the weight range for Size 1s, it’s time to size up! Our Size 2s will fit your baby from about 18 lbs - potty training (about 35 lbs) 

Read more about why we chose a two size system in this blog post!

Try-It Kit

If you know you want to cloth diaper, but are feeling a little hesitant to go all in, our Try-It Kit is a great place to start!  It includes a waterproof Ditty Bag (you might see other cloth diaper brands refer to this kind of bag as a “wet bag”) for storage + 3 Inners and 1 Outer, along with a 12 oz bag of our (patented!) Washing Powder*, and samples of both our cloth friendly skincare products. Everything you need, nothing you don’t, and all the directions to help you test the waters

Washing Powder

Choosing the right detergent is paramount for successful and simple cloth diapering, and our Washing Powder was specifically formulated to power clean the dirtiest of dirty soil (aka the soil in DIAPERS, which are likely the dirtiest things you’ll ever wash) with ease. It was specially formulated for Esembly diapers after years of research through our busy NYC laundering service (over 15,000 washed diapers per week!) so it's been thoroughly tested. 😉

You can learn more about what makes our Washing Powder so great (like no toxic junk… like SLS, SLES, LAS, phthalates, phosphates, fragrance, dye, and fabric softeners) here on our blog.


These are optional additions to make your life easier as your baby’s needs change. (like transitioning from milk to solids, or perhaps clocking longer sleep stretches!) You can read about the 3 liners we offer (and when they’re helpful!) here on our blog. But for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll stick with the basics: Inners and Outers! (aka fitted diapers and diaper covers)

Full-Time Cloth Diapering Stash

For your Size 1 stash (birth to ~17 lbs) we'd recommend:

For your Size 2 stash (~18 lbs & up) we'd recommend:

Then when your baby is approaching the end of the weight range, we'd recommend grabbing your Size 2s (about 18 lbs - potty training)! For full-time cloth diapering we recommend:

Wondering why you can get started with less Outers (diaper covers) than Inners (fitted diapers)? We’ve got you :) While our Inners do need to be laundered each time they’re soiled, the Outers can be reused multiple times before laundering (unless there’s a poop!) – still making sure that you're washing every 2-3 days max.

You can learn all about how to wash cloth diapers “The Esembly Way” here on our blog.

Part-Time Cloth Diapering Stash

If you’re wanting to get started with an approach like 50% cloth diapers, and 50% disposables (because in case you hadn’t heard, cloth diapering is not all or nothing!) we’ve detailed our recommendations below!

For birth until approximately 17 lbs:

For about 18 lbs - potty training:

Of course, you can adjust these recommendations based on if you’re wanting to cloth diaper a little less than 50% of the time, or a little more than 50% of the time.

Read more part-time cloth diapering tips and tricks here on our blog!

Want More Customized Recommendations? 

Want more help building your personal stash? Take our QUIZ! We’ll ask a few questions and then make specific product and quantity recommendations based on your answers. At the end you’ll be able to add the products you’ve selected to your cart or baby registry. It’s super fun!

And if you haven't had a chance yet, we’d also highly recommend checking out more of our helpful blogs as well as the How It Works page on our site. You can find answers to all the most frequently asked questions there! 


Want to learn more?

Our co-founders host a free, virtual, Cloth Diapering 101 class every month to help cloth-curious parents get all the tools and information they need! You’ll learn:

  • How to use the Esembly diapers and accessories 
  • How to easily and effectively launder your Esembly diapers
  • The impact that your choice has on the planet, your wallet, and your day-to-day. 

You'll leave with the confidence to Live Less Disposably and a 20% discount code to use on your first order. 🥳 We hope to see you there!

Have Questions? Sign up for our next Cloth 101 Class!