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How Long Can I Leave A Wet Diaper On?

Our answer is that as long as the pee and poo do not leak out of the diapers and your kid does not get diaper rash. As parents too, We understand the trouble and cost of changing a diaper. The diaper should still be changed earlier rather than later as a diaper rash is more expensive to handle.

wet diapers

No life can survive without water. We need fluids from the day we are born to keep us hydrated. More so, fluids are a must for an infant as they can’t have solid foods. A baby getting insufficient fluids can get dehydrated which can be life-threatening. And more the fluids, more he’ll urinate.

An infant urinates approximately 20 times during a few of his initial months and trusts me, it is a LOT OF PEE. And with that comes a parents’ least favorite part of having and raising a kid: a diaper change. By the time we master the technique of changing it, our babies grow up. But the greatest mystery for all the parents that go unsolved is: For how long to keep that wet diaper on? 

How Long Can I Leave the Wet Diaper on?

As we know by now, why should we be changing the wet diaper, the question that needs urgent redressal is ‘when to change it?’ That depends on a few situational factors.

Urine or poop

A wet diaper is the one when a baby has only urinated. It does not count a poopy diaper as a poopy or soiled diaper needs to be changed immediately after your baby has pooped. Do not even think to make your baby sit in that breeding ground for bacteria even for a second. Just remove it instantly to prevent him from catching any disease.

Type of diaper you are using

The frequency of changing a diaper depends on the absorbing capacity of a diaper. The more wetness it can hold, the less frequent it needs to be changed. Based on this, there are two types of commonly available diapers.

Cloth Diapers: These are the most commonly used diapers as they are quite inexpensive and do not add to the landfills and are hence also called ‘Green Diapers’. If you are using a cloth diaper for your baby, it needs to be changed right away after getting wet as it has no chemical gels to soak the pee. Your baby will start feeling the wetness immediately after the pee and can cry, become cranky or can catch the infection if not attended timely.

Gel Diapers: These are also known as the ‘Disposable Diapers’ and hence are thrown away after use. These diapers are made of Super Absorbent Polymer or SAP which are little white crystals in the diaper capable of soaking the wetness without making the surface feel wet. More these polymers in the diapers, larger is its capacity to hold the wetness. So, read the number of polymers mentioned on the package of the diaper.  If you are using a gel diaper, it can keep your baby dry even after one or two pees or even more than that if you go for the one with maximum polymers.

Skin sensitivity of your child

A wet diaper needs an instant change as soon as it feels wet if your baby has sensitive skin. Keeping the wet diaper on for an extended time could mean a skin rash and hence infections. Always change the cloth diaper immediately after your baby pees and the gel diaper after it feels wet. 

Type of your baby’s feed 

The kind of food a baby is fed has always been ignored when it comes to deciding the diaper changing frequency. If you are feeding your child a feed that has even a bit of acidic content like oranges or apples, his urine will be acidic than otherwise. And making him sit in the acidic pee will surely cause him infections. So, change it quickly as soon as he pees.

Breastfed or Bottle-Fed

How much your baby will urinate or poop in a day will simply depend on what type of diet he’s on. If he is being solely breastfed, that would mean less urination or pooping as he’s getting just enough diet, nothing less or more. But if your child is being bottle-fed, it would mean more of those diapers coming off as he’s getting a wholesome diet.


Day or Nighttime 

You will need to change your baby’s diaper more in the daytime as compared to the night as he gets fed more in the day and has lesser meals in the night. There is no need to change the diaper that frequents in the night. Simply check it if it feels wet when he wakes you up for his feed. 


Why should you change a wet diaper?

While all of us change a wet diaper as it ‘obviously needs to be changed’, none of us know what if we become too lazy or careless for a diaper change. A wet diaper could cause your baby a:

1.)  Bladder infection: It is caused by yeast, which grows on moisture. It then enters the urinary tract of the baby causing the infection. The infection spreads in baby girls quicker than in baby boys.  Longer the wetness kept, stronger is the chance to make it a breeding area for yeast.

2.)  Diaper rash: As babies’ skin is very soft, the moist bottom of the baby can get chaffed due to the wet diaper kept for long. This rash becomes bright red over time if the problem is left untreated. Severity can cause bleeding and a high fever.

3.)  Staph Infection: This infection is caused when an extreme diaper rash is ignored. The bacteria enter the bloodstream from the inflamed skin and Septicemia, Toxic Shock Syndrome, and Septic Arthritis.


So, next time you take too long to change a wet diaper, due to laziness or for saving some bucks, shook that thought away for your babies’ health sake

Final Words

Many parents feel that changing diapers cost them a lot. But diapers, like toys, are just part of the expense of having a baby. You brought a little life in this world and only you are responsible for keeping him hearty and healthy. Would you like to sit in a pool of your pee or poop for an extended period? Your baby is precious, saving those bucks is not worth his suffering.

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Family Man. He is a family man and married with 1 child. Spent countless nights changing diaper and surprised how outdated diapers are. Nevertheless, there is no solution yet as a parent, just want to research more about diapers.
Read His Personal Blog

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