How many dirty diapers should my baby have daily?

Q: How many dirty diapers should my baby have each day?

A: There's an incredible range of normal, especially with breastfed babies. It also changes over time. A newborn might have a small bowel movement every time she nurses, while an older, breastfed baby who isn't eating solids yet may have only one a week. Bottle-fed babies tend to be more regular (going more than two or three days without a stool is unusual). Parents often worry that their infant is constipated because she strains, grunts, and turns red, but that's typical even with a normal, soft bowel movement. (It just takes more work when you can't sit upright.) Think your baby is pooping too much? If she's started to drink juice, limit her to 4 ounces a day; more than that can cause frequent, loose stools. And if you're still worried, check with your doctor. --Sharlene K. Johnson

Originally published in Parents magazine, May 2007. Updated 2009

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