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Home > Parenting Information > Breastfeeding > Diaper changing frequency


How often should my breastfed
baby have wet and dirty diapers?


During the first two or three days your baby will be passing a dark black or greenish stool called meconium. Occasionally a baby may pass the meconium during delivery, but if your baby has not had a bowel movement within 24 for 48 hours after delivery, notify your doctor so that the digestive system can be examined. After the meconium is passed, your breastfed baby will have yellow mustard colored, loose and sometimes watery stool that does not have an unpleasant smell.

As your colostrum develops into mature milk your baby should have at least 3 or 4 bowel movements in a 24-hour period for the first 4 to 6 weeks. Your baby may even have a bowel movement before, during or after every feeding. While most babies bowel movements start to decrease after 6 weeks, don’t be alarmed if your baby continues to have frequent ones or one every other day. Every baby is different; if you have any doubt, concerns or questions, always call and ask your doctor.

New babies pass urine very frequently. Even though you may not see any stool, you will probably be changing diapers every time your baby feeds. A baby that does not urinate within 24 hours of birth needs to be examined by the doctor to make sure there is no blockage or other problem. The doctor also needs to be notified if your baby has not urinated within any five hour period after this first day; this is to be sure your baby is not dehydrated. If you’re using cloth diapers you will be able to tell more easily if your baby has urinated. If you’re using disposable diapers, it is sometimes hard to tell if your baby has wet due to the super absorbency of disposable diapers. A simple way to keep a check on if your baby is urinating or not while using disposable diapers is to place a piece of tissue paper on the inside of the diaper. While the diaper may feel dry, the tissue paper will tell you if your baby has wet or not.

Keep in mind that every baby is different in the way they will digest breast milk. The above information is only a general guideline. If you ever have any concerns about your baby’s stool or urine, always consult your doctor. Your doctor knows what is best for your baby.





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