How Often Should You Change Your Baby's Diaper?
If you’re a new parent, you may be wondering how often you should change your baby’s diaper. The answer depends on a variety of factors, including the age of your child and how wet their diapers are.
However, there are some general guidelines that can help you figure out the best schedule for your little one. Knowing when and how often to change a diaper can make life with a new baby much easier!
How Often Should You Change a Diaper?
There’s no hard and fast rule for how often to change a diaper, but most experts recommend changing diapers every 2-3 hours especially at the newborn stage. Your newborn can wet their diaper as often as every hour with multiple bowl movements daily.
As your baby gets older and solid foods are introduced, you may find yourself changing diapers every 3-4 hours. If your baby is particularly active or has a lot of loose stools, you may need to change their diaper more frequently.
Rather than focusing on the clock, there are some guidelines you can follow to build diaper changing into your routine.
- Check your baby’s diaper before and after a feeding.
- Check your baby’s diaper after naptime.
- Pay attention to your baby’s facial expression and cries. They may signal a diaper change is necessary.
- Pay attention to smells. Dirty diapers are hard to miss!
Remember that as your baby grows, their diapering needs will change. Learning to pick up on their cue is the best way to determine how often to change their diaper.
What About that Blue Line on Disposable Diapers?
Almost all disposable diapers have a yellow line that changes to blue after babies pee. This is designed to help parents know when it’s time to change the diaper. However, most diapers are so good at absorbing liquid that they still feel dry on the inside even after the line has turned blue.
While it doesn’t seem necessary to change the diaper right away, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and change it. That way, you can rest assured your baby is always sitting in a clean diaper.
How Many Diapers Do I Need?
Now that you have a general idea of how often to change your baby, you may be wondering how many diapers your baby will use over the course of a day, week, or even month.
The one thing about parenting is you can never be prepared enough. It's always a good idea to have extras on hand to avoid midnight runs.
How Many Diapers Does a Newborn Use in a Day?
Newborns generally need to be changed about 10-12 times a day, which means you can expect to go through about 70 diapers a week.
How Many Diapers Does a Baby Use in a Day?
By the time your baby reaches 3-6 months old, they may only need to be changed about 5-7 times a day coming out to 35 diapers a week.
And Lastly, How Many Diapers Does a Toddler Use in a Day?
Once your baby reaches the toddler stage, they may only need 3-4 diapers a day mostly during naptime or at bedtime. So, if you have a toddler who’s in daycare or preschool five days a week, you may only need 15-20 diapers a week.
Keep in mind, every child is different, so you may find yourself changing your little one more or less often than average.
Diaper Changing Tips
Diaper changing is a skill but with the amount of diapers you’ll be changing, you’ll be a pro in no time. Here are some tips to make your diaper changing time a breeze.
Develop a Routine
Having a set diaper changing routine will help you stay organized and efficient. Designate an area to change diapers so your baby will know what to expect and (hopefully) will be more cooperative. Ensure this area is always well stocked with all the necessary diaper changing items such as diapers, wipes, and creams. You never know what you’ll need with a diaper change.
Stick with a clean-up to ensure the entire diaper is clean every time. Start by wiping front to back taking care to clean between skin folds. Repeat as necessary.
Prevent Diaper Rash
You know what’s worse than a dirty diaper? Diaper rashes resulting in a fussy, irritated baby. But you can prevent these outbreaks by frequently changing your baby’s diaper. If it is or looks wet, change it sooner rather than later.
Before putting on a new diaper, clean the area with water or a wet cloth and dry the area. Consider using a barrier protection cream formulated to protect the skin and keep out moisture like our gentle Diaper Balm.
If your baby does get a rash, don’t despair - there are many effective treatments available including our Bum Soothing Spray and Diaper Balm.
Use the Right Diaper Size
While the suggested weight and age on diaper packages can be helpful in deciding which diaper sizes to choose, they’re just that, suggestions. The right size diaper should fit snugly but still allow you to comfortably fit your fingers under the waistband.
If the diaper is too small or too big, it may cause discomfort to your little one, leakage, and diaper rashes. Understand that while your baby may fit the description, the diaper doesn’t always fit (right) so don’t be surprised if you find yourself buying smaller or bigger sized diapers.
Pay Attention to Diaper Contents
You may be tempted to hold your nose and look away as you’re changing your baby’s diaper, but don’t do it! It’s important to pay attention to the smell and look of your baby’s pee and stools.
This can signal something is wrong with your baby, such as an infection, dehydration, or food intolerance. If you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician.
The Bottom Line
New parents have a lot to think about and keep track of - when was the last time you changed your baby's diaper? How often should you be changing them?
It may seem tough to keep up with, but before you know it, it’ll become a normal part of your daily routine. As a general rule starting out, change those diapers every 2-3 hours decreasing as your baby gets older.
Through trial and error, you’ll find out what keeps your baby the happiest, driest, and most comfortable.