Breastfeeding A to Z

How Many Wet Diapers In 24 Hours When Breastfeeding?

Information is listed by baby’s age

WEEK 1

Expect to change 3-4+ disposable diapers in 24 hours that are wet or 6-8 cloth diapers that are wet in 24 hours. (1)

Disposable diapers are very good at their job and sometimes in the early days after bringing your baby home you cannot tell if the diaper is wet or not. Of course as soon as you take a diaper off and you see your baby “wetting” a diaper you won’t have to wonder. But if you have missed this pleasure, understand your baby’s volume of urine is not that large yet. It may take 2 or 3 wettings before you can feel a disposable diaper is wet.   If the diaper is dirty or soiled it is probably wet. If you can’t tell if it is wet, you can use a cloth diaper for the next changing or put something that gets wet in the disposable diaper. You could use a small piece of cloth or flannel, tissue, gauze or toilet paper. Usually a baby’s urine is colorless and odorless, so it can’t be seen on the diaper either; but the diaper may feel warmer or heavier instead of wet.

If you see something that resembles “red brick dust” or what is sometimes called uric acid crystals in your baby’s diapers, call your healthcare provider today. This can be a sign of dehydration. (2) (3)

Baby girls may have a bit of blood in their diapers in the first week after delivery. This is due to hormonal changes after delivery; it’s as if they are having a period. (4)  This will disappear, but is alarming when first noticed if you aren’t aware it can happen. If you are concerned call your healthcare provider.

  1. Hagreen, J, Clinical Guidelines for the Establishment of Exclusive Breastfeeding, International Lactation Consultant Association, June 2005.
  2. You will know that your baby is getting plenty of breastmilk in the first week of life when . . . , Handout, Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC Program, October, 2001.
  3. Brown, A, Fields, D, Baby 411 Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year, Windsor Peak Press, Boulder, CO, 2003, pp 93, 419.
  4. Wilson, WH, Lowdermilk, P, Maternal Child Nursing Care, 3rd Edition, St. Louis, MO, Mosby, 2006, p 717.

 

WEEK 2

Your ability to tell if the baby’s diaper is wet is easier this week because the baby’s volume of urine is greater now.  You will be changing at least 3-4+ disposable diapers or 6-8 cloth diapers per day.  Disposable diapers can absorb larger amounts of liquid than cloth diapers, so it can take longer to notice they are wet.

 

WEEK 3

It will be usual to have a wet diaper each time you feed your baby.  It will also be easier to tell that they are wet.  This is because the urine volume is greater than in the first week of life.  It is typical to be changing 3-4+ disposable diapers or 6 or more wet diapers per day.

 

WEEK 5-6 & 2 MONTHS

Your baby will continue to soak 3-4+ disposable diapers or 6+ cloth diapers every day.  Urine should be clear to pale yellow in color.  If the urine appears darker in color, or wet diapers are less frequent, or both, this can be a sign of dehydration.  If you are concerned, trust your radar and check with your healthcare provider.