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Mother changing baby nappy

Midwife, Claire Ryan, answers your questions on baby’s stool

2 mins


Many new parents may need advice on what they need to change a diaper, or what is normal with regards to their baby’s stool. WaterWipes® midwife Claire Ryan responds to common questions from parents.

What do I need for changing a diaper?

Before changing your baby’s diaper, you need to make sure you have the following:1

  • A changing mat or towel

  • Fragrance free and alcohol-free baby wipes, or cotton wool and warm water

  • A plastic bag or container to dispose of the dirty diaper, WaterWipes ®, or cotton wool/cloth

  • A barrier cream to protect the skin and prevent it from drying out

  • A fresh diaper

  • A set of clean clothes

It is helpful to make sure you keep everything you need in one place, so you are always well-prepared to change diaper at home and on the go.

Where is the best place to change a diaper?

The best place to change a diaper is on the floor on a clean changing mat or towel, as this reduces the risk of a fall. If you do use a changing table, always keep an eye on your baby.1

How do I know if my baby has diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a common skin condition in babies that presents itself as inflamed, red patches that can appear on the baby’s bottom, thighs, and genitals.2 The skin may look tender in these areas, feel hot to touch and in some cases, sores can appear.2 The rash can usually be cleared using simple home treatments, but if the skin does not improve within a few days, reach out to your medical provider.

Will my baby’s stool change if I switch from breastfeeding to using formula?

It is likely that your baby’s stool will change if you decide to move from breastfeeding to formula feeding. Babies who are breastfed have more runny stools that do not have a smell, whereas formula-fed babies can have firmer, darker stools that have a strong smell 1. If you change from breast feeding to formula, you might find that the stool becomes darker, thicker, and pastier. 1

How often should my baby be having a poo?

There is no set number of times a baby should have a poo each day, however newborn babies’ poo, on average, four times a day in their first week.1 Formula-fed babies can poo as much as five times a day when they are newborns, and this can go down to one poo a day after a few months. 1 Breast-fed babies may have a poo after each feed, and after a few weeks it may be several days before they have a poo. 1

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s stool, please reach out to your medical provider for more information and advice.

For more information, download our educational resource:

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1. NHS (2020). How to change your baby’s nappy. [online] Available at: Accessed August 2022.

2 Mayo Clinic. (2018). Diaper rash - Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: Accessed August 2022.

3 NHS (2020). Nappy rash. [online] Available at: Accessed August 2022.

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