There are only a few ways your doctor can tell if your baby is getting enough milk or formula. The first two are weight and height growth. The next is counting the number of pee and poop diapers each day. When you leave the hospital, you may even receive a chart to make it easy. This is important because it ensures your baby is getting all his necessary nutrients and helps to prevent jaundice or other health issues. If you are worried your baby isn’t eating enough, read on to find out what is normal.
The Diaper Count
A newborn goes through difference stages of wet diapers in the beginning because the Momma’s milk hasn’t come in yet. Once this occurs, though, it quickly shifts and you will change more diapers in this stage than any other. The typical wet/poopy diaper count for a newborn is
In the first week, there is a general rule of thumb: the number of wet diapers a day is the same as the baby’s age. One day old, one wet diaper, two days old, two wet diapers, etc.
After day 6, you should still have a minimum of the five to six wet diapers a day. More than likely, you will have even more than this. The poop diapers, however, may shift. You may notice that your baby starts to have less frequent bowel movements with bigger results. Meaning, there is a lot more poop per diaper.
If you are breastfeeding, it is common that every diaper has poop in it. It is digested quickly and therefore expelled quickly.
How the Count is Made
It is important to note that these averages are achieved in a disposable diaper with an average pee and/or poop in it. Cloth and natural fiber diapers may need to be changed more frequently since they do not have the chemicals in it made to hold more water weight. So where a disposable diaper is changed 5 to 6 times a day, a cloth diaper is more like 6 to 8 times.
Likewise, it makes a difference as to how long you go between diaper changes. One Momma may change her baby as soon as the wetness indicator has changed. She has a higher number of wet diapers a day than the Momma who waits for the diaper to start sagging. To determine the average diaper weight used here for the newborn, add three tablespoons of water to a clean diaper. That is one wet diaper.
If you are unsure your baby had a wet diaper, place a Kleenex in the diaper before putting it on. This will get wet and stay wet if your baby pees.
Counting wet and poopy diapers may seem like an old way of doing things, however, is gives your doctor the best information about your baby’s health. It ensures that he is not dehydrated. The consistency of the poop can tells the doctor if your baby has a healthy digestive system. These are small and key tips that allow you, and your doctor, to know your baby is doing well that are completely non-invasive. If you have any questions, though, please call your doctor for advice.