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How Often to Change Newborn Diaper: A Quick Guide

How Often to Change Newborn Diaper A Quick Guide

Newborn babies require frequent diaper changing. You might have to go through more than ten diapers daily, which I know sounds like a lot. 

Knowing how often to change a diaper can be challenging for first-time parents. Often it’s about being observant with your baby and playing it by ear. 

At the same time, the frequency of diaper changes is usually on a case-to-case basis. 

Today, I will discuss how frequently you should change your baby’s nappies and how many diapers you need daily. 

How Often Should I Change My Newborn’s Diaper?

How Often Should I Change My Newborn’s Diaper

This is a question I often hear from many first-time parents. 

Personally, this issue also kept me up at night until I finally found the answer. To help answer this question, I’ve formulated a guide for you to follow. 

Upon Waking Up

The first thing you should do in the morning is to greet your baby. Hello! A beautiful day awaits you both. But a crucial part of this routine is checking your baby’s diaper. 

Your baby most likely soiled their nappy while asleep. Set your morning right, and immediately wash your baby and change their diapers. 

After Feeding

Right after their morning routine, most parents would feed their baby immediately. 

That being said, there’s a reasonable expectation that your baby will poop or pee right after. It could be within or over an hour after your baby eats. 

So be sure to prepare your extra nappies because your second diaper change is about to start. 

For moms of newborns, expect to do this as often as the number of times you feed your baby. 

Most newborns typically eat every two to four hours so you can schedule a diaper change within that time frame. 

During the Day

Most newborn babies are asleep during the day. Right after feeding, they usually fall back to slumber until it’s time to eat again. In general, I don’t recommend disturbing your baby’s sleep. 

That’s why it’s important to change their nappies after meals and before bedtime whenever possible. This ensures your baby’s diaper stays dry and they get a restful sleep. 

However, if you notice the diaper starting to smell or leak, this should prompt you to change the diaper immediately. Gently do so, and try not to wake up your baby. 

This should answer the question, “Should I change a poopy diaper if the baby is sleeping?” that I always hear. 

Before Going to Bed

One of the best tips I learned from my doctor is to use super absorbent overnight diapers. The beauty of this type of diaper is it holds liquid well without getting my baby’s bottom wet. 

This ensures my child’s bottom stays dry even if they soil! I don’t have to worry about any nasty rash or infection developing. 

Using cloth diapers is just as effective. However, add a super-absorbent mat to rest your baby because cloth diapers tend to leak. 

Overall Diaper Changes

Having gone through the different stages of your baby’s day, the number of diaper changes more or less ranges between 8 to 10 times. So if you ask me, How many newborn diapers do I need? You’ll need a lot. 

Factors That Affect How Often You Change Diapers

Factors That Affect How Often You Change Diapers

Remember that several factors could affect how often you should do diaper changes. Knowing what these are can help you stay on top of your game and be the best parent to your child. 

Type of Diaper

What Are the Different Types of Baby Diapers I Can Choose

One of the biggest factors affecting how often you change your baby’s diapers depends on the type of diaper you use. 

Light Diapers

In recent years, many parents have considered using alternatives to disposable diapers. 

This includes looking into light diapering systems like muslin and cloth diapers. Both share the same features of being breathable, reliable, and effective

Plus, they’re more or less hypoallergenic and will least likely irritate your baby’s skin. 

Notwithstanding this, diapers made of light materials need to be replaced immediately once it gets soiled. 

The downside of these types of diapers is they can’t hold liquids well, unlike disposable diapers. There’s a big risk that the liquids will spread wherever your baby is sitting or lying. 

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers, on the other hand, remain to be a crowd favorite for many years now. It’s proven to be reliable and highly absorbent! They also offer some of the best overnight diapers you can find today. 

You can feel confident knowing your baby’s bottom stays dry overnight. 

But regardless of how super absorbent your disposable diapers are, make sure to change them frequently. You don’t have to wait until it’s full before changing your diaper. 

Your baby could develop a nasty rash or skin irritation if you wait too long. 

So regardless of what diaper you’re using, check on your baby often to know if it’s time for a nappy change.

Baby’s Age

The number of times you need to change diapers can also vary depending on how old your baby is.

One Month Old 

One-month-old babies frequently soil their diapers. The average count is 8-12 times daily, depending on how often they feed. 

That being said, you need to have some of the best diapers you want to use in stock. Some parents find this costly, so some shift to using a cloth diapering system instead. 

One Month and Up

The older your baby gets, the lesser you need to change their diapers. You’ll have to undergo at least 6-8 diaper changes in a day. 

Most of the time, they spoil their diapers right after feeding. So always be on the lookout. 

Nonetheless, always be mindful of your baby’s diapers. They’ll still pee and poo on their nappies even hours after they’ve eaten. Pay attention to any changes in your baby’s bowel movements. 

12 Months and Up

At 12 months and up, you don’t have to worry about frequent diaper changes anymore. It can be as often as 2-3 times a day or when you let your kids wear diapers when going to sleep. 

Kids will have more control of their bladder and bowel movements at this age. 

At the same time, it’s usually at this age that they start potty training. Some kids might even be able to use the toilet on their own! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before I leave with my parting words, allow me to answer some of the FAQs I always hear about baby diaper changes. 

Keep reading because you might just learn something from what I’m about to say. 

Do I Always Need to Change Diapers After My Baby Pees?

If you’re using light materials, the answer will always be YES! Light materials don’t hold liquids well, so they have a tendency to leak.

I always recommend learning how to layer cloth diapers so you’ll find the right absorbency level for you. 

But if you’re using disposable diapers, you don’t have to worry about changing your baby’s diapers immediately after they pee. In most cases, the liquid gets absorbed by the diaper so it remains dry. 

However, if you notice the diaper starting to leak or smell, don’t second guess changing the diapers. 

More importantly, don’t wait to schedule a diaper change until it becomes filled to the brim. 

Why Is It Important to Change Diapers Immediately After My Baby Poops?

One of the golden rules every parent should remember is to change their baby’s diapers once they poop. 

Never wait until the diaper has reached its limit before you make a diaper change! 

Your child could have a nasty and infected rash on the diaper area. Although a diaper rash is easy to cure, it will be painful for your baby. 

They’ll have red and inflamed skin patches that need to be tested with antibiotics or a topical cream. 

Plus, you risk your baby’s health because they might develop a bladder infection. This is true for baby girls who are usually left sitting on their soiled diapers for too long or frequently. 

Many more problems can arise, all of which are highly preventable. Don’t wait until your baby’s diaper leaks or emits a bad odor before you do a diaper change. 

I highly recommend also learning the proper way to wash your baby’s bottom after they poop. It’s a great way to ensure no bacteria or germs linger around the diaper area.

Should I Be Concerned About Changing Diapers at Night?

In general, you shouldn’t be worried about diaper changes at night. You’ll have to undergo three diaper changes at night, even using overnight nappies.

Many first-time parents find this subject tricky. With your baby sleeping peacefully, how do you know if it’s time for a diaper change? 

Here are a few tips I learned, which I’m sure you’ll find helpful. 

  • Change diapers immediately once you notice there is poop. Never allow your baby to sleep with a dirty diaper on, or you’ll risk infecting and irritating their skin. 
  • If your baby has a rash or is prone to rashes, you should do a diaper change more often. Gently check if your baby’s nappy is soiled. 
  • Always be ready to have extra cloth diapers or baby pads if using a cloth diapering system. 

A good advice I can give you is to establish a nighttime diaper change routine with your baby. Soon enough, you’ll get the hang of it and be a step closer to becoming a pro. 

What Are the Different Types of Baby Diapers I Can Choose?

There are different types of diapers out there you can choose from. 

All of them are pretty reliable, but some come with their own conveniences, making them a preferred choice. 

At the same time, they also have some drawbacks which soon-to-be moms, like me, are yet to learn about. 

Knowing these types will help you choose what diaper to use for your next change. 

All-In-One Diapers

The beauty of all-in-one diapers is that it uses a super-absorbent material, similar to traditional diapers. 

Its waterproof backing makes it stand out, so you don’t have to worry about any leakage. 

Many parents prefer this type of diaper because of its convenience. The only drawback worth mentioning is that it tends to be expensive. 

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are the perfect choice for eco-conscious parents.

All you have to do is wash and dry them for your next use. You can find them in most baby stores, so you won’t have difficulty accessing them. 

Unfortunately, cloth diapers tend to be expensive. Nonetheless, you can consider it an investment because you can keep using it even for your next baby. 

Pant Diapers

I find pant diapers the most convenient because they’re easier to put on a baby. I don’t have to worry about strapping it on my baby’s leg and hips like you would with a traditional diaper. 

Just be sure to find the right fit for your baby so it doesn’t leak.

Traditional Diapers

You can never go wrong choosing traditional diapers. They meet the 3 A’s I look for in a diaper: Accessible, Affordable, and Absorbent

First-time parents won’t have a hard time when they choose this diaper. 

However, keep in mind that some traditional diapers tend to have a bulky design. They bulge under your baby’s clothing, which doesn’t look good. 

Can My Baby Wear Diapers for 24 Hours? 

Although diapers are useful to keep your baby clean, they shouldn’t wear them for 24 hours straight. 

Most doctors recommend scheduling an air time, allowing your baby’s diaper area to breathe. 

You can schedule 15 to 20 minutes of air time every after diaper change. Not only does it ensure your baby’s bottom is dry, but it also gives your baby’s skin time to rest. 

Doing this helps ensure that your baby will least likely experience an allergy, infection, or rash. 

Can I Use Overnight Diapers on My Baby for the Whole Day?

The beauty of overnight diapers is they’re very absorbent. As its name suggests, you can leave it on your baby for up to 8 hours without worrying about it leaking everywhere. 

Naturally, some parents would find this useful and convenient, so they would prefer overnight diapers over regular ones, even during the day. Unfortunately, doing this isn’t always advisable. 

Keep in mind that overnight diapers tend to be a lot thicker than regular ones. It’ll be harder for your baby to move around with night diapers. Not only that, but it tends to be hotter on the skin. 

Worse, your baby could have a nasty rash if there’s too much moisture inside the diaper. 


Learning how to change a diaper and when to do it is one of the first few things parents learn. It’s a valuable lesson moms and dads need to experience firsthand.

The next time your friend asks you this question, you’ll already have an answer. Plus, you might even be able to advise them on what kind of diapers to use.

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!