How Often to Change a Diaper
We can tell you what we think. But first, let’s guide the conversation based on data and culture. After all, how often to change a diaper is heavily influenced by their society and culture. In the U.S. about 1 in every 5 moms and dads are stay-at-home parents, the rest will be using a combination of family care or daycare to watch over their children. The family members (in most cases grandparents) that help raise children will likely heavily influence their care practices and diapering habits. This is especially common in cultures such as China, India, Philippines, and Russia that have extended family participate in childcare and upbringing.
In these cultures, you will find higher propensity towards cloth diapering and also lower rates of disposable diaper changes than western counterparts, most likely due to habits formed by socio-economic factors. For instance, average diaper change frequency per day in infants aged 0-24 months will be around 2.5 in Philippines; 3 in Russia; and 5-6 across the UK, Germany and U.S.
Diapering habits including the type of diaper and frequency of change can influence diaper rash and skin health of infants and young children. So what is the ideal amount of diaper changes per day? How often do you change a baby’s diaper?
When it comes to how often to change a newborn diaper, the recommended quantity of diaper changes will vary depending on cloth vs disposable diapers. Cloth diapers will not be able to hold as much liquid and are not built to offer efficient absorbency and wetness protection. For this reason, cloth diapers need to be changed more frequently than disposable diapers. In high cloth usage markets, babies who wear cloth diapers are changed two to three times as frequently each day as babies wearing disposable diapers. This, of course, affects laundering needs which, depending on laundering and drying method, can make cloth diapers a less sustainable choice than disposable.
In Western countries, older babies are changed approximately four to five times per day, compared with eight to 10 times per day for younger babies. As the consistency and frequency of poop changes with the introduction of solid foods, the necessity to change the diaper will decrease. Diaper rash will often be a function of skin exposure to the combination of feces and urine. Changing diapers as soon as poop is suspected or is highly recommended and the best preventative measure against diaper rash.
We recommend changing newborn diapers as often as 10 times a day. This is to protect their sensitive skin from continued exposure to moisture and especially from potential exposure to the combination of runny poop with urine. (Biggest diaper rash culprit!)
By the time babies weigh 22-35 lbs, they will be peeing approximately 60 ml four to five times per day. For these babies, the average disposable diaper wear time is typically 4 hours during the day and up to 10 hours overnight. Overall, we recommend 6 diaper changes throughout the day to keep your little one comfy and limit exposure to pee and poop!
For babies over 1-year-old, the recommendation for overnight diaper change will vary. While these babies are capable of sleeping 10-12 hours at night whether they sleep throughout the night will vary greatly on diet and a myriad of factors. Every child is different and will require different attention when scheduling diaper changes. Babies older than 1-year will urinate three to four times throughout the night resulting in an average of 220 ml of urine. Parasol absorbent diapers are built to hold that and more. So if you find that your baby sleeps throughout the night and the diaper is not saturated in the morning, we recommend you change the diaper simply when you or baby wakes up. Some babies will be big night pee-ers - and that’s alright. If you find a dirty diaper that is constantly wet in the morning, your kiddo might pee a bit more than average in which case we recommend changing diapers throughout the night or early morning (even if it means waking the child up) to keep their skin nice and healthy and prevent diaper rash.
Diaper changing habits vary from country to country but best practices will reflect frequent changes to keep baby’s skin from feces and humidity exposure. We suggest changing to a clean diaper 10 times a day for newborn and 6 for older babies with nighttime change always played by ear depending on baby’s needs. If a baby is experiencing diaper rash we recommend increasing diaper change frequency and always making sure skin is dry before applying a new diaper.