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How Many Nappies Per Day? Lots! But This Poo Shall Pass!

How Many Nappies Per Day? Lots! But This Poo Shall Pass!

Of the bazillion questions you'll Google with a baby on the way or as a parent of a little one, 'How many nappies per day?' is one that will be high on your list.

 

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There may be lots of different reasons for this - maybe you want to know how many nappies a day for a newborn so that you can prepare your hospital bag? Maybe you want to know how many Size 1 nappies to budget for before your little one will grow out of them... or perhaps you have an active older baby or toddler and you're wondering how many times a day you need to torture him/her (and yourself!) by wrestling them into a clean nappy.

Well you've come to the right place! Our guide to How Many Nappies A Day will answer all of your questions. We look at:

  • how many nappies you'll need per day based on the age of your baby - from newborn right up to potty training.
  • different things you can expect to find in these lovely parcels of pee and poo based on the stage your little one is at.
  • what to look out for in terms of healthy nappies, and when you may need to be concerned

Our handy table at the end is a useful tool that will give you an at a glance view of how many nappies per day based on the age and weight of your little one. 

If you're still expecting your first baby and are at the beginning stage of the nappy changing fun, you may also find our blog: 'How to change a nappy - without further ado let's skid right in' informative! 

A Few Basics to Start with

For starters, just like you’ve heard about milestones and other baby-related stuff, every baby is different and there is no fixed number of nappy changes that is normal.

normal nappy changes

What we have is a typical range based on averages. There are a lot of factors that affect the frequency of nappy changes which often vary from child to child. These factors may include the baby’s weight, feeding habits and even the weather. 

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, an infant can pee as often as once an hour or as infrequently as every 4 to 6 hours. The number of nappy changes will vary from baby to baby and even from stage to stage for the same baby. It is important to keep track of these changes, as frequent urination not only indicates that your baby is getting enough milk but also that they are sufficiently hydrated.

We have tried to explain other common causes of these changes in the following age-specific sections. If your concerns are not explained away by the explanations offered, we advise that you reach out to your paediatrician for more guidance.

How Many Nappies Per Day Newborn

newborn baby

How many nappies do newborns go through a day? They tend to use more nappies than older babies as their bladders can only hold small amounts of pee (around 20-30ml at a time). At this age, you should expect 3-4 poopy nappies and 6 to 8 wet nappies

Your baby’s first poo, referred to as meconium, will be anywhere from dark-green to black. It is often tarry and sticky which can make it hard to clean. For breastfed babies, this should transition to yellow-green and eventually to light mustard poo which is light and runny. If your baby is bottle-fed, the colour will change to light brown or tan. All of these changes will take place in the first week of your baby’s life. 

Formula poo is often firmer than breastmilk poo although it should not be firmer than peanut butter. Breastmilk is easier to digest which causes your baby to poop more often (can be up to 7 times a day). Bottle-fed babies will tend to poop only once or twice a day. Sometimes breastfed babies tend to have infrequent bowel movements (as little as once a week) as breast milk does not leave much solid waste. 

An important thing to note is that babies go up diaper sizes pretty fast at this stage as they grow and gain weight rapidly. As you stock up on nappies, consider buying both size 1 and size 2 nappies to ensure you don’t end up with a pile of diapers that are too small.

How Many Diapers A Day 6 Month Old

As your child grows and their bladder is able to hold more, they will tend to pee less frequently although the pees will fill the nappy more. This means you might need to change your baby after every pee.

 

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6 months is the recommended age for weaning your baby. As you introduce solid foods to your baby’s diet, your nappy-changing schedule is likely to change. At this stage, expect a poopy nappy around 3 times a day and especially after each feed

The poop will become thicker, smellier and slightly darker in colour. All in all, they'll be more similar to adult poos at this stage. It is also normal for the poo to reflect the appearance of the food you feed your baby in both colour and texture (look forward to green poo after lots of broccoli, or a nappy full of black seeds after a meal of kiwi!).

It is common for constipation and diarrhoea to occur during his stage as the digestive system struggles to adapt to solid foods. This may lead to your baby pooping more frequently in a day or going several days without pooping. 

How Many Nappies Per Day for 1 Year Old 

how many nappies per day 1 year old

At this age, your baby will wet around 4 to 5 nappies in a day. As the baby grows, so does his bladder meaning it can hold way more urine at this stage. The pooping schedule at this age greatly varies as some babies may poop more than once a day while others go days without pooping. According to health experts, infrequent stools should not be a cause for worry so long as the poop remains soft and your child experiences normal weight gain and feeding

The most important thing at this stage is to observe your child’s pattern so as to identify what is normal for you. This way, you will be able to notice any sudden changes that may be a cause for concern.

How Many Nappies Per Day for a Toddler 

how many nappies per day toddler

Similar to your 1 year old, you will need to change your toddler's nappy on average 4-6 times per day. However, as your child gets older and more mobile, nappy changing at this age can become more challenging. They can be less willing to lie still for any period of time and as they become more into their play it can be harder to interrupt them to get the job done. These are all lovely normal parts of development - but as tempting as it can be at times to avoid the battle, leaving babies and toddlers in wet or soiled nappies for any period of time can quickly lead to discomfort and nappy rash. If you're at that wriggly wrestling match stage with your little one already, you may find our 5 Tips for a Calm Toddler Diaper Change useful!

In A Nutshell

Hopefully you're clearer now about what to expect in terms of How Many Nappies A Day you'll need based on the age and stage of your little one. We've summarised it all in a useful table below to give you a quick at-a-glance view...

Nappy Size

Weight

Age Range

How Many Nappies Per Day

Preemie

<4 lbs / <1.8 kg

premature

As needed

Newborn

<6 lbs / <3 kg

first few weeks only

8–12 nappies per day

Size 1

4–11 lbs. / 2-5 kg

birth–4 months

8–10 nappies per day

Size 2

9–18 lbs./ 4-8 kg

3–8 months

8–9 nappies per day

Size 3

13–22 lbs. / 6-10 kg

5–12 months

6–7 nappies per day

Size 4

20–31 lbs. / 9-14 kg

8–18 months

5–7 nappies per day

Size 5

24-35 lbs. / 11-16 kg

14-24 months

4-6 nappies per day

Size 6

> 33 lbs / >15 kg

18 months+

4-6 nappies per day

 

In the final section, we'll take you through some of the many other questions that you may have around nappy changing with your little one. If there's anything we haven't covered, feel free to write you questions in the comments section below! 

FAQs

Is my baby’s poo normal?

It is important to keenly observe your baby’s bowel movements as it is indicative of their general health. You need to observe the colour, consistency, smell and frequency of your baby’s poos. Since a baby’s digestive system isn’t fully developed, you are likely to notice a wide range of colours within the first year of the baby’s life. The helpful chart below gives a good guide on what the different colours of poo mean. In a nutshell though, according to the American Association of Pediatrics, any earth tone from yellow to green to brown is absolutely normal. If your baby’s poop is red, white or gray, contact your pediatrician as this may indicate a larger problem.

Colour

Diet

Is it normal?

Black

Breastfed and formula-fed newborns

Normal in the first few days of life. 

Mustard yellow

Breastfed babies

Normal.

Bright yellow

Breastfed babies

If it’s overly runny, it could be a sign of diarrhoea.

Orange

Breastfed and formula-fed babies

Normal.

Red

Seen in babies on any diet; may be caused by introducing red solids or could indicate something else

If you haven’t recently introduced red foods to your baby, call your paediatrician. If they’ve eaten a red solid, see if the colour returns to normal when they pass the next stool. If not, call your paediatrician.

Greenish tan

Formula-fed babies

Normal.

Dark green

Seen in babies eating green-coloured solids or taking iron supplements

Normal.

White

Seen in babies on any diet and may indicate a problem with the liver

Call your paediatrician.

Gray

Seen in babies on any diet and is a sign of a digestion issue

Call your paediatrician.

 

Why did my baby’s poop change?

As mentioned above, there is a wide variation of what is considered normal in baby poop. Aside from the change from meconium to regular poop, a change in your baby’s food habit may cause a change in the colour and consistency of the poop. Your baby digests different foods differently. Changing from breast milk to formula, or introducing solid foods will most likely cause a change in the frequency, colour and consistency of your baby’s poop. 

How many Cloth Nappies do I need?

Although some parts of this article apply to both types of nappies it is focused more on disposable nappies than cloth nappies and you may be wondering how many reusable nappies do I need? The number of nappy changes indicated per section remains constant even when using cloth nappies. However, you must take into account the time it takes to clean and dry cloth nappies. You should get at least twice the number of cloth nappies you need in a day especially since it might not always be possible to wash them daily. This means you need about 16 to 24 cloth diapers. 

When should I change my baby’s nappy?

How often should I change my baby's nappy

You are advised to change your baby’s diaper every 2 to 3 hours. Although some parenting sites recommend changing the diaper after every pee, this may be difficult (and extremely expensive) considering babies can pee up to 20 times a day. You should not leave a wet diaper on for too long as this may cause a diaper rash due to the acidic content. Poopy diapers should be changed immediately as they are more likely to cause discomfort and irritation.

How often should I change my baby at night?

You do not need to wake your sleeping baby for a nappy change unless they have pooped or leaked through to their clothes. Most nappies are absorbent enough to handle a few hours’ worth of pee without leaking or causing discomfort allowing both you and your baby to catch a few hours of sleep. More often than not, a wet nappy will wake your baby so if they are sleeping peacefully you can let them. It is advisable to change your baby’s nappy just before you put them to sleep to allow them to sleep for longer. 

How do I deal with a nappy rash?

The best option is to prevent nappy rashes altogether by changing your baby frequently as discussed above. Most parents also recommend using a barrier cream preventatively instead of waiting until baby develops a rash. Despite all this, it is almost certain that your baby will experience some irritation in their nappy-wearing life. The best way to deal with it is to keep the area clean and dry and to use a soothing nappy cream. It is also advisable to let the baby lie nappy-free for a time on a mat as wearing nappies all the time can amplify the nappy rash.

Are nappies or pull-ups better?

This is a big question that many parents have and something you're likely to consider more as your little one grows. We've put together a comprehensive guide that deals with this topic more in depth here: Diapers vs Pull Ups - Cut the Poop, Here's the Scoop 

Where is the best place to change my baby's nappy?

In the early days, you may find it most comfortable to change your baby on a changing table or a bed. However, as they become more mobile this can become more dangerous. As a result, it is recommended that you change your baby on the floor. If your little one is at the wriggly phase, you may want to consider an anti-roll changing mat to minimise the battle. Our anti-roll changing mat ultimate guide will give you all the advice you need when making this decision. 


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