Although parents might think of changing diapers as a pain, it is actually a very good indicator of your child's health. If your child does not need a change frequently, it could signal an underlying medical issue, suggests HealthyChildren.org. Parents are encouraged to use diaper changes as a method of ensuring that a child is eating enough and is receiving the proper nutrition during his first few months of life.
The First Month
When your baby is less than 1 month old, she should have a wet diaper six or more times per day and have three or four daily bowel movements, reports HealthyChildren.org. It is not uncommon for parents to change their newborns at least 10 times per day during this initial stage of life.
1 Month and Older
Once your baby is older than 1 month, he will still have between four and six wet diapers per day, according to KidsHealth. His bowel movements depend on his exact age and the type of food that he is eating, although they should decrease from his first month. These bowel movements should remain soft for at least the first three months, as he will gain most of his nutrition from liquids.
Tracking Diaper Changes
It is very important that you keep track of your baby's diaper changes because wet and dirty diapers act as signs that your child is getting enough to eat and drink. Although children tend to have different urine and stool schedules, your baby should require a change at least six times per day. If your baby is not producing enough urine or stool, it is a sign that he is not getting enough nutrition, and you should speak with a doctor. Keep in mind that the frequency of bowel movements decreases after the first month, according to Ask Dr. Sears, as this is when the baby's intestines mature.
Older Babies and Potty Training
Eventually, your child will develop enough that she no longer needs diapers. Most children have control over their bladders by 18 months, but that does not mean that they are emotionally ready to begin potty training. Only about 22 percent of children are out of diapers by age 2 1/2, but 88 percent of children are out of diapers by age 3 1/2, notes Zero to Three. When your child is able to stay dry without needing a diaper change for at least two consecutive hours, you can consider teaching her how to use the toilet.