image001Over the first few years, you may feel like you do nothing but change diapers for your new baby. While it may be a minor inconvenience, the number of diapers your baby soils can tell you if they are healthy. When you find out you have a baby on the way, one of the questions during planning may be that how many diapers babies use a day.

This is something you will want to watch. If your baby does not have many wet diapers, there could be hydration or other medical issues. A lack of soiled diapers could be anything from simple constipation to other digestive issues. The amount of soiled or wet diapers can easily be a good indication that your baby is getting enough to eat and drink each day.

How Many Diapers a Day?

1. Newborn to 1 Month

Newborns under a month old need to have at least six or more wet diapers every day. They usually have about 3 to 4 bowel movements a day. Parents often change at least 10 soiled or wet diapers daily during the first month.

2. 1 Month and Up

Babies 1 month and older continue to have at least four and up to six wet diapers a day. The bowel movements after they turn 1 month old tend to decrease. They are still soft because your baby is only taking in formula or breast milk. Breastfed babies tend to have softer and more frequent stools and formula-fed babies have firmer and less frequent stools.

Here is a chart to specially tell how many diapers your babies usually use in the first year:


How many Diapers a Day

Numbers of Diapers per Month (eSTIMATED)

0-1 month



1-5 months



5-9 months



9-12 months



When Should I Change My Baby’s Diaper?

Diapers need to be changed as soon as you notice they are soiled. Urine and bacteria can lead to rashes which are painful and hard to treat.

Make sure you change baby’s diaper before feedings and after they are soiled. It isn’t a good idea to wake your baby to change them at night if they are not already awake for a feeding. However, change your baby’s diaper prior to each night time feeding.

Newborns tend to have wet diapers about every 1 to 3 hours over a 24 hour period and they have bowel movements and random times during the day. It is most common for babies to have a bowel movement during or just after a feeding as this stimulates the bowels to move. With wet diapers babies usually don’t fuss, so you may need to check the diaper. Disposable diapers are very absorbent, so it may be hard to tell how wet they are.

How Can I Change My Baby’s Diaper?

After answering the question "how many diapers a day", here's how to change it:

1. How to Change a Disposable Diaper

  • Preparation–Clean your hands by washing with soap and water or use a baby wipe if that is all you have handy. Lay down a clean soft blanket on a flat surface such as a table, bed or floor. Make sure if the surface is high up, hold on to your baby or use the strap provided with most changing tables. Gather needed items: a fresh diaper, wipes, lotion or powder, wet washcloth, diaper cream if your baby has a rash and a plastic bag to wrap the diaper in.
  • Removing the dirty diaper–Lay your baby down and undo the tabs on the diaper and fold them in half, so they do not stick to your baby’s skin. Take down the front of the diaper (for boys make sure to place the washcloth over their penis or you may get sprayed) and fold the front of the diaper down. If there is bowel movement, use the front of the diaper to wipe any soil from your baby. Lay your baby on the top and clean side of the dirty diaper. While holding baby’s legs up with one hand, grab a wipe with the free hand and wipe bottom from front to back cleaning any soil off completely. Pull out the dirty diaper and place it to the side.
  • Put on a new one–Place the back side of the clean diaper (the side with the tabs on it) under your baby’s bottom. It should sit right at baby’s waistline. Open up the front of the diaper and pull up between the legs. Keep in mind with newborns you will need to fold down the top under the umbilical stump until it is well healed as it needs air to dry out. Spread the front of the diaper, open the tabs from the back and pull across the front of the diaper.
  • Make sure to wash your hands–After changing a baby, make sure you wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection. This is especially important if you are changing more than one baby that live in different households.

You may want to have a vivid picture of how to change a disposable diaper, please see the video below:

2. How to Change a Cloth Diaper

  • Preparation–Wash your hands with soap and water or use a baby wipe if that is more convenient. Place a clean towel or soft blanket down on a changing table, couch, bed or floor. Gather these supplies: a fresh cloth diaper, waterproof diaper cover, diaper fasteners or pins, baby wipes, washcloth, lotion or powder, diaper rash cream, diaper liner. If this is a night diaper, try boosters for added absorbency. Prepare a receptacle to place diaper in before washing.
  • Remove the dirty diaper–Fold the clean diaper and lay it to the side. Unhook the cover and pull down the front. Unfasten the dirty diaper and pull the front down. Make sure if you have a boy that you cover the penis with the washcloth to prevent getting sprayed. Pull the front of the diaper down over the skin. Wipe any soil with it and tuck the clean side under baby’s bottom. Pull baby up with one hand on the legs and use the free hand to grab your wipes. Clean baby’s bottom from front to back. Toss out dirty wipes. Pull the soiled diaper out from under baby’s bottom.
  • Put on a clean cloth diaper–Pull your baby up with your hand on the legs and use your free hand to slide the clean diaper under his/her bottom. Set your baby’s bottom back down and pull the front up between the legs. Place an absorbent liner in. At nighttime, place another booster to prevent leakage. Pull the front of the diaper up between the legs and fasten each side with a diaper fastener. Place diaper cover under your baby’s bottom and pull the front up and fasten on each side.
  • Wash your hands–Place the soiled diaper in a proper receptacle for washing and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • How to clean up–After changing your baby, place his or her clothes back on or put on a fresh outfit if the diaper leaked. Place your baby in a safe area while you finish cleaning up. Take the soiled diaper to a toilet and rinse out any excess bowel movement or urine and wring out.Place in a diaper pail or hamper until you are ready to launder the diapers. Always use a baby soap when washing to protect your baby’s skin. Wash your hands with soap.

You may want to have a vivid picture of how to change a cloth diaper, please see the video below:

More Tips on Changing Diapers



Fold the front of the diaper for newborns

For diapers that are not specifically for newborns with a notch in the front, make sure you fold the front of the diaper to sit below the umbilical stump until it is well healed.

Wash your hands before changing babies’ diapers

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after changing your baby.

Give babies toys to play with

Older babies can get wiggly when they have their diaper changed. It is helpful to give them a toy to play with in order to distract them while being changed.

Have a washcloth handy

Always make sure you have a washcloth handy to place over the top of baby boys. They can urinate and spray while the diaper is off.

Practice as much as possible

Diaper changing gets easier with practice for both you and your baby.

Be patient

Your baby will notice if you are nervous and will become fussy with diaper changes.

Keeping track of how many diapers you use

For the first few months, it is imperative that you monitor the amount of diaper changes, so you can make sure your baby is getting enough food and fluids. Watch for at least six wet diapers a day and 3 to 4 bowel movements with younger babies. Older babies will have less bowel movements as the digestive system develops and they eat solid food. If they have fewer wet or dirty diapers, check with your pediatrician to rule out illnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Besides how many diapers a day, there are more to know about diaper using and changing:

1. What Kind of Diaper Should I Use, Cloth or Disposables?

Whether you use reusable diapers (cloth) or disposables is completely up to you and your personal needs.

Cloth diapers will need to be rinsed out after used and washed in the laundry. This is cheaper than disposables, but with up to 10 diaper changes a day this could add up to a lot of extra laundry. If you wash cloth diapers with carefulness, they can last almost three years and may even still be okay for subsequent children. These help keep the environment clean and are eco-friendly. You might even be able to find a diaper delivery and washing service in your area.

Disposable diapers cost more, but are very convenient and are just thrown in the trash after each use. This makes caring for newborns easier when life can get busy in the first few weeks. There are green friendly disposables that break down faster than regular disposables and contain no synthetic additives. They tend to be more expensive than regular disposables.

You can order or buy smaller “trial” size packages of diapers to see which ones work for you and your baby before you decide on an actual brand. This is a good idea because some babies tend to get rashes from certain brands.

2. What Changing Equipment Should I Buy?

Most nursery sets come with a crib and a matching changing table. If you choose a changing table, make sure it is sturdy and comes with a safety belt. These are convenient as most have shelves for storage.

You can use a changing mat that has sides on it. You may also want to get a travel mat that you can fold and place in your diaper bag. These come in handy when using changing stations in bathrooms that you don’t want to place your baby on without a cover.

A diaper pail for cloth diapers with a freshener will help keep odor down until you can do laundry. You may also want to get a diaper disposal system that wraps and keeps disposable diapers sealed up until you take out the trash.

They also have diaper wipe warmers for baby’s comfort since disposable wipes can get cold.

3. Do Newborns Need Special Diapers?

There are newborn diapers that have a little notch in the front to prevent the diaper from rubbing on the umbilical stump area. If you only have a larger size than newborns, you can always fold the front of the diaper down below the stump until it heals.

4. What If My Babies Do Not Like Having Their Diaper Changed?

Diaper changes can be a pleasant time for you and your baby to connect. If your baby fusses, try singing songs or talking gently. You can hang a musical mobile from the side of the changing table that you turn on during changes. Try to be calm and this will help keep your baby calm.