When your baby is born, they’ll be so adorable. They’ll also need quite a bit of care. They need to eat, they’ll need someone to put clothes and a diaper on them, and usually, they’ll need a diaper change. However, your baby won’t need as many diaper changes as you might expect, at least in those early days.
You might be worried if your little one hasn’t peed in a while after they’re first born, but that’s actually pretty normal. After all, they just got out of the womb. The last time they ate, they had a different way of getting rid of waste. They also need time to process their food.
If you’re wondering how many wet diapers your newborn will need, you’ve come to the right place. At Mommy Care Kit, we know that those first few nights as a parent are stressful, so we’re hoping that this information will prevent you from losing more sleep.
How Many Wet Diapers Should My Newborn Have?
Over the first week of your baby’s life, you should notice the number of wet diapers they have steadily increasing. Initially, your baby won’t have very many wet diapers, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
The initial flow of colostrum is good for your little one and keeps them full and happy, but it takes a few days for breastmilk to get into full production mode. That’s one of the reasons that you’re supposed to feed your baby so often during the first few days. It tells your body that you need to start producing a continuous supply of milk.
Until that happens, your little one won’t pee as much because there isn’t as much liquid entering their body. If you and your partner decide to use formula, the timeline may be slightly different since they’ll be getting more liquid. However, it will still take some time before they have more excess waste.
It’s always important to regularly check your baby’s diapers, roughly every two to three hours. You won’t need to change them unless they have a mess in them, but you can’t predict when your little one will need a change. Every baby is unique, but for a rough estimate, check out our post on how many newborn diapers are needed.
The First Two Days
When your baby is born, they’ve been through a lot, just like their moms. Labor is an exhausting process for both mom and baby, so they’ll need some time to recover. After their initial feeding, they’ll probably sleep for most of the day (which gives parents some more time to sleep too).
For their first day out of the womb, your baby will probably only have one to two wet diapers. They just went through a process that requires a ton of energy, so they need that food for other things.
On the second day, the number of wet diapers should increase to two to three diapers. If you don’t see all of them during the day, it probably means that they’re peeing at night. Most guidelines refer to a 24-hour period instead of a 12-hour period.
Days Three to Five
After the second day, the number of wet diapers should be between three to five a day, which is a pretty big leap from the first two days.
After Day Six
Once your baby is six days old, they should have six to eight wet diapers a day. This should be pretty consistent throughout the rest of their newborn stage and as they get older. If your little one has less than six to eight wet diapers a day, discuss it with their pediatrician.
Some babies might need a change right after eating, but others may take some time before they urinate or defecate.
When Should I Call The Doctor?
Keeping an eye on how many wet diapers your little one has a day can tell you some important things. If your baby has wet diapers consistently within the guidelines mentioned above, it generally means that they’re healthy and getting enough milk.
However, sometimes, you may change fewer wet diapers than usual. Should you be worried?
There are multiple reasons that your baby may be peeing less. It could mean that you are having trouble producing milk or your little one has trouble eating well, so you need to see a lactation consultant. If this is the case, though, you should also spot a significant decrease in poopy diapers around the same time.
You may see a decrease in urine if your little one is sick, feverish, or it’s very hot. If your newborn is feverish, it’s wise to call the doctor, and they will most likely advise you to come in for a visit. Generally, it’s best to call the doctor whenever you notice a decrease in urination. They can advise you as to the best course of action for you and your little one.
If you perceive that your baby is distressed while they are peeing, it’s a good idea to call the doctor. It could mean that urination is painful, and they may have an infection or other urinary issues.
A decrease in wet diapers can sometimes mean that your little one is dehydrated. Although this may not always be the case, it’s important to be aware of how often your baby has a wet diaper and to be on the lookout for other symptoms.
After day five, if your little one doesn’t urinate for over six hours, it’s wise to call the doctor. If your baby is dehydrated, you could see other symptoms like:
- Eyes sunken in
- Sunken soft spot (the soft area on the top of their head)
- Wrinkled skin
- Few or no tears when crying
- Very fussy
- Dry or cracked mouth and lips
It’s best to call your pediatrician if you notice any of these symptoms, along with a decrease in wet diapers. They can help you determine the potential issues and advise you as to the ideal course of action.
What if My Baby’s Urine Is an Odd Color?
The urine comes in a wide range of yellows. Depending on how much liquid your little one consumes, it can be darker or lighter. Typically, your baby’s urine will be either a clear or light yellow, although breastfeeding moms may notice slight changes based on what you eat since it can change the color of the breast milk.
Darker urine occasionally if you are breastfeeding isn’t out of the ordinary since the urine can become more concentrated.
During your baby’s first couple of days, you may notice chalky, pinkish, or orange urine. Many parents may mistake this for blood, but it’s actually highly concentrated urine. They’re called urate crystals, and it’s more common in newborn boys. It can also be reddish, so it’s sometimes called brick dust. If it continues, you should probably call the doctor.
If you have a girl, you may see a spot of blood in her diaper. The mother’s hormones can also affect the baby’s uterus, so it’s not something you will need to worry about. However, if it continues or there is blood in any stool or urine, it’s time to talk to your baby’s doctor.
Making Sure Your Newborn Is Healthy
When your little one is born, you and your partner will have lots of time to bond and learn to care for them. On the first day, they’ll have their first feeding, skin-to-skin cuddles, and they’ll spend a lot of time sleeping since they had a pretty big day.
You’ll probably need to change their diaper too, but you’ll have some time to ease into it. Your little one won’t have a ton of dirty diapers until later in the first week of life. Some babies may be on the lower end of the spectrum, while other babies may need diaper changes more often.
However, if your little one isn’t peeing as much as you expect those first couple of days, it’s not something you need to worry about. One to two wet diapers is normal for the first day, and two to three is normal for the second. You and your little one are doing great.
Taking care of a baby after birth can be overwhelming at first. It takes time before things feel somewhat normal again, but it will be worth it when your little one laughs or smiles for the first time. If you’re looking for more information, check out our collection of pregnancy and postpartum resources.
Baby’s Diapers: What’s Normal, What’s Not | My Doctor Online
Baby's First Days: Bowel Movements & Urination | HealthyChildren.org
How Many Wet Diapers Should My Newborn Baby Have? | lanermc.org