Things may start slowly with only two wet diapers on day 2 and three wet diapers on day 3. However, by the time day five rolls around you should see six or more wet diapers in a 24-hour period.
As your baby ages and their bladder is able to hold more, you may notice that they begin to hold their pee for longer, and soak the diaper more thoroughly. You’ll likely go through closer to 6 to 8 diapers a day instead of 8 to 10 when that happens.
In addition to wet diapers, you should also see at least 3 to 4 stools a day by the time your baby is 4 days old. The color of their stool should be changing as well.
While babies are born with black meconium poops, by day 4 or 5, the color should be yellow with a seedy, soft texture. All of this indicates that your baby is getting enough to eat!
For breastfed babies older than 6 weeks old, it’s very normal if there are 3–4 days between bowel movements. In fact, according to La Leche League International, some babies older than 6 weeks will go a week between poops.
As colostrum (a natural laxative) leaves the milk, babies will poop less frequently than they did in the early days. As long as your baby is still gaining 1–2 pounds of weight per month, there is no cause for concern.
After the first week, your baby is well hydrated if they have at least 6 wet diapers per day, with no more than 8 hours between wet diapers. If either of those conditions is not met, your baby may be dehydrated.
In addition to a lack of wet diapers, you can look for some of the following signs of dehydration to know if something may be wrong with your baby:
Slow and steady liquid consumption goes a long way to preventing dehydration.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you’ll want to offer them your breast frequently when you are in a warm environment or you know that they’re ill. If your child is drinking out of cup or bottle, you’ll want to be sure that this is accessible to them more frequently throughout the day.
Feeding sessions may be shorter than usual if your child doesn’t feel well, so increasing the frequency can help ensure that your little one has sufficient fluids in their body.
You’ll also want to think about what liquids you’re putting in your child’s body when they’re sick.
For older babies and toddlers, use of an oral solution like Pedialyte can help them to stay hydrated with lots of electrolytes. You can check with your doctor about whether they recommend the use of a rehydrating solution and how frequently.
In addition to keeping your baby fed, you’ll want to make sure that they are appropriately dressed. This will help them to avoid losing liquids through excessive sweating or shivering. And if you are traveling to higher altitudes, make sure to encourage your baby to drink as often as possible.
Wet diapers are one of the best indicators that your baby is well fed and hydrated. By keeping a close eye on the number of wet diapers your baby produces each day, you’ll be able to best respond to their needs.
As always, if you are concerned, talk to your pediatrician. But in the meantime, enjoy those happy, milk-drunk smiles when your little one is passed out in your arms after feeding.
Babies have different time clocks than adults. A typical newborn wakes up about every 3 hours and needs to be fed, changed and comforted. You and your partner can become overwhelmed by exhaustion, especially if this is your first baby. You may not get a solid 8 hours of sleep for several months. Here are ideas to help you get more rest:
Follow the ABCs:
Swaddling is a simple technique in which you wrap your baby up in a swaddle blanket in order to soothe him. You might even think of your swaddled little one as a baby burrito!
The benefits of swaddling include:
A swaddle blanket can be made of cotton, a cotton blend, linen, muslin, or another natural material. It’s a good idea to choose a fabric that allows for breathability, which can help keep your baby from overheating.
Besides swaddle blankets, you can also find wraps or sleeping sacks on the market, which may be easier to use. It’s worth weighing your options when you’re shopping for one. Alternatively, you can go with a receiving blanket, such as the one you used to take your newborn home from the hospital for the first time.
You can swaddle your newborn for nighttime sleep, for a nap, or when she needs some soothing due to colic. Swaddling can help your baby stay warm, calm, and secure. And at bedtime or naptime, swaddling can help promote better sleep for your newborn.
Although swaddling is usually fine to do in your baby’s first couple of months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you stop swaddling once your baby is able to roll over, which may happen around the time he turns 2 months old. Reach out to your baby’s healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Using the proper swaddling technique, your baby’s arms should be positioned straight down by her sides, not crossed over her chest, or sticking up out of the swaddle.
Swaddling isn’t a requirement, and some experts say it isn’t even necessary or recommended. If you’re unsure about whether to swaddle your newborn or not, talk to your baby’s healthcare provider.
If you need a demonstration on how to swaddle your baby in order to make an informed decision, your healthcare provider or the nurses at the hospital where she was born may be able to show you how it’s done.
No smoking around baby. Do not use commercial devices or cardiorespiratory monitors unless ordered by doctor. Do not use crib bumpers, pillows, or blankets. Do not use products claiming to reduce the risk of SIDS. Do not allow any cords near baby while sleeping.
For many parents, bringing home a baby is a happy and exciting time. However, it can also be daunting — especially the thought of bathing this tiny, fragile human. Fortunately, with a little practice, bathing your baby is simple and only needs to happen two to three times a week, as long as the diaper area is thoroughly cleaned during each diaper change.
The first thing to keep in mind is to start with sponge baths until your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off and heals.
To give your newborn a sponge bath, dermatologists recommend these tips:
Once your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off, switch to traditional bathing. However start slow; if your baby seems to hate getting a regular bath, revert to the sponge bath method for another week or longer.
To give your baby a traditional bath, dermatologists recommend these tips:
After bathing, immediately wrap your baby in a towel for warmth. If you notice your baby’s skin is dry after bathing, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer or consider bathing your baby less.