Baby Preparation: How Many Diapers A Day Does Your Baby Need?
There are a few absolute must-have items for babies. This includes breastfeeding, sleeping and diapers. For the first few years of life, you will find this is a daily life skill. It may be a thankless job. However, it is something parents must do to have a healthy and happy baby. The question remains: just how many diapers do you need to have on hand for your infant? How many diapers a day does your baby need? In this article, I will address that very question.
What clues can you decipher from the number of diapers your baby soils in a given day? If baby goes through several wet diapers, it could indicate a problem with proper hydration. The number of diapers used over a 24 hour period is a great way to know if your baby is sufficiently hydrated and properly fed each day.
How Many Diapers Needed Per Day?
- Newborn to 1 Month Old
Newborns will use at least 6 wet diapers daily. They have frequent bowel movements and these will number between 3 and 4 each day. It is an accurate guess that you will change 8-10 diapers within the first month of your child’s life.
- Baby is 1-4 Months Old
Infants from 1 month typically use between 4 and 6 diapers each day. As this age they will have fewer bowel movements. Breast fed babies have softer stools. If you are using a commercial formula to feed your baby you will notice that stools are harder. Diaper usage will increase to 8 to 10 diapers daily between 2 months and 5 months of age.
- Baby is 5-9 Months Old
By age 5 months babies will have less frequent bowel movements. They will use roughly 8 wet diapers each day.
- Baby is 9-12 Months Old
Approaching 1 years old, babies will make use of roughly 8 diapers daily between 9 and 12 months of age
When Should You Change Diapers?
As a parent, it is important to know when to change your infant’s diaper. Babies will likely signal very clearly when they need changing. It is best to promptly change your baby’s diaper when you realize it is dirty. Delaying a diaper change creates discomfort for the baby. It can also lead to rashes as the soiled diaper holds germs, urine, and feces against the infant’s tender and sensitive skin. The skin becomes inflamed and irritated, creating a very unhappy infant. To avoid this scenario, make it a practice to cleanse your baby and put on a fresh diaper before each feeding.
At nighttime, coordinate diaper changes with bottle feedings. Don’t interrupt your baby’s sleep to change a diaper. Try to change the child’s diaper before placing baby down for a rest. Instead, make it a point to check the child’s diaper before mealtimes. This way baby has a clean diaper and a full time before going down for a nap at night.
Newborn babies wet a diaper every 1 to 3 hours each day. This is largely due to their bowel movements that tend to be more frequent at their young age. Newborns can have a bowel movement before or after their feeding times. So be prepared and ready to change their diapers.
How to Change Diaper?
The first step in being prepared is to first wash your hands fully using soap. Wet your hands with water. Apply soap to your hands. Lather up and rub hands together. Scrub full and make sure to get the backs of your hands, under your fingernails and between your fingers. Spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands. Set a timer, if you need one. If you don’t have a timer handy, sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself. The song is the proper length for a good hand washing session. Then dry your hands with a clean cloth or paper towels.
If you aren’t near a sink or don’t have a source of clean running water and soap, turn to hand sanitizer.
To use a sanitizer, apply the product to your hands. Rub fully over palms. Rub hands together until they are dry. When purchasing, read the label and choose one that has an alcohol content of at least 60%. These types of sanitizers can reduce germs. Be sure to keep these sanitizers away from children so that they don’t ingest them.
If you don’t have soap, water or hand sanitizer, use a baby wipe to cleanse your hands. Then toss the used wipe.
Place a reusable or disposable changing pad or a folder baby blanket on the bed or changing table. Gather a clean diaper, baby wipes, lotion, powder, and a container of diaper ointment.
Soiled Diaper Removal
Place the baby on its back. Release the diaper tabs and fold down the diaper. Take a baby wipe and cleans the infant’s skin within the diaper. Wipe from the front to the back. Take care to wipe carefully if the baby had a bowel movement. Lift the baby’s legs into the air using one hand. With a wipe in the other hand cleans the baby’s bottom. Still remember to wipe from the front to the back. Fold up the dirty diaper.
Put on a Clean Diaper
Place a clean diaper facing up on the changing surface. Fold the diaper down and place the baby on top. Situate the diaper so that it sits waist high for the baby. Pull up the front of the diaper and fasten the tabs on each side for a good fit.
After a diaper change, gather up the dirty diaper and soiled wipes and dispose of them. Then wash your hands. This helps avoid the spread of germs and infection.
Diaper Changing Tips
Diaper changing is a skill parents should become quite adept at as it will be utilized daily. Though it can seem a daunting task at first try, it is not an impossible one. It can be easier if you know the proper steps and if your baby cooperates during the process. However, what do you do it that isn’t the case? Here are a few tips to make diaper changing time a bit more manageable.
- Toys as Distraction
Babies seldom lie still during a diaper change. They tend to move around, making the process longer and more difficult. Anticipate this and plan accordingly. One surefire tip is to give the baby a toy to play with during diaper change time. This will keep them distracted so that you can quickly and more easily get them into a clean diaper.
- Prepare Handy Washcloth
At diaper time a washcloth can be indispensable. Male babies may feel the need to pee once the diaper is removed. Have a washcloth handy. Place it on top of the baby. This way the washcloth catches any urine and it doesn’t get on you or the surroundings.
- Practice Makes Perfect (Or At Least Better)
Changing a baby’s diaper is a skill. It is one that is best honed through practice. The quicker you learn proper changing technique the better. Knowing how to properly change your baby’s diaper can lower your stress and baby’s.
Practice often. You can even start honing your skills before the baby arrives. Some doctor’s offices and hospitals host workshops on how to change baby diapers. However, even after attending a class you will still need to practice on your own at home.
Changing your baby’s diapers is an important skill. Make it a point to keep count of the quantity of diapers your baby uses in a day. This is an important trait and a window into your baby’s health. Your baby’s physician will often inquire about the number of diapers used in a day as it can help them determine how well hydrated your child is.
You may find it handy to jot down the diaper tally on a small notebook to keep track. You can keep it in a simple notebook or journal. You can also keep it within an app on your phone, iPad or other device. This way it is within easy reach for future reference. This way you can provide clear and concrete details should a medical provider need them. They often ask how many diapers a day a baby uses as hydration assessment measure.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Diaper time can be a bit overwhelming at first. I hope with these tips you can get a handle on it and establish a low stress routine.