I would like to talk to you about how often your baby will go pee. This is something I get asked all the time, because once you take the diaper off - and there, you've started EC, it's literally that simple - what can you expect? I mean, how in the world would you know how often a baby pees, if you've never done EC before? And maybe you just found out about me and you're thinking, "Whoa, I don't even know what reality holds here." So I'm going to give you a range.
Newborns pee around every 10 minutes, all the way up to 18-month-olds, who go around every 90 minutes. Some of you might have babies who are holding it for four hours at that age - rare, but definitely a possibility. We're going to talk poop, too.
I have brand-new programs divided up by age. They go way more in-depth than my book. My book covers everything as if you're starting at any age, zero to 18 months. The programs are grouped into three age groups so we can go much further in-depth. The first program is The Golden Window for newborns. The second program is Movers + Shakers for mobile babies (coming soon). And the third is Passing the Baton for young toddlers, where we talk both starting and finishing (also coming soon). I break the process down in a very detailed manner while still not being too long to get through. All of the programs come with my really awesome map. It's a roadmap of what to expect during EC. What I’m going to share today is excerpted from those programs.
First, let's talk about newborns zero to two/two-and-a-half months. We're going to have about 10 to 15 minute intervals between pees. The good news: your baby is going to be sleeping a lot. Not that we want our baby to sleep all the time, because we definitely want to hold and cuddle and do all that. But we're also recovering our bodies as well, right? We don't want to be pottying all the time. With a newborn, as I state in my program, and I also mention everywhere else I talk about this, we really want to go for the wake-up pees. If that's all you catch, that's great. We're working with nature with the wake-up pee. We have hormones that support this rhythm, and catching it can really make you feel successful.
You're probably going to nurse or feed when baby wakes up, and at a newborn age within five to 10 minutes after nursing, you're going to have another pee. It depends on how long your baby takes to nurse - obviously every baby is different! So, for example, baby wakes up, you potty them. You nurse or feed your baby; they're eating, eating, eating, they pop off the breast or the bottle, or maybe they have their first fuss after feeding. That's a signal. You should probably potty them. But from then on, I kind of go for every other pee because it's a lot to be potting between every 10 and 15 minutes!
With poop at this age, we've got anywhere from 17 times a day to once every seven days. That's for an exclusively breastfed baby. I understand some people have to use formula, some people choose it, and there's no judgment here at all, but it's going to change the poop. With a formula-fed baby, it’s going to be more regular because you've got the same formula every time.
Breast milk is produced based on what your baby needs right now. There is an interchange of information between your breast, your nipple, your areola and your baby's mouth that communicates somehow amazingly, exactly what your baby needs. If they're sick, if they're developing in a certain way or whatever, they need a little bit more of something one day, your body knows that and gives your baby that. So that is why the poop will vary with a newborn baby. The color will also range from yellow to green, depending on you, if you have foremilk or hindmilk.
So, pee intervals are about every 10 to 15 minutes for newborns. At three to five-and-a-half months or so, you're going to go up to about every 15 to 20 minutes. You still are totally fine to try catching every other one if you want to, because that's quite often. Timing also depends on the baby. You can get my app called The Log (on iOS and Android). That will help you do observation time and find out your own baby's unique timing. For a general guide, 15 to 20 minutes is an interval that's pretty common in our audience.
Poop also varies if you've got an exclusively breastfed baby, just like with newborns. At six months, oftentimes we have started solids at this point. I have a great interview with Katie of Baby-Led Weaning on my podcast if you want to check that out. That's one way of starting solids. There Katie talks about what indicators you would follow to know if you should start solids. Around this age, babies are going to be peeing every 20 to 30 minutes and they're typically going to be pooping daily if they're on solids.
Again, this is an average, but poop every one to two days is good. If the interval is longer than every other day, you might have some bouts of constipation, on which I also have a podcast. We want babies to be as regular as possible. Every day is ideal. If the poop is a little bit soft, that's ideal as well. Hard poops hurt, so it's just better to have softer poops.
At nine months, pee is about every 30 minutes on average. When they wake up, it might be more often. Oftentimes, babies will partially relieve their bladder. Then a couple minutes later, they will relieve again. That's covered in my book as well. It's pretty normal. If they've started solids, they're probably going to be pooping daily.
At one year old, the average interval for pee is about 30 to 45 minutes. Poop is usually happening daily, because I'm assuming we've started solids by then.
15 months old, every 45 minutes to an hour for pee, and also pooping daily. If they're occupied and busy with some kind of “work” (children’s “work” is very important to them, and their focus is very important), they will usually hold it longer. They sometimes will also hold it longer if they're around other babies, other children and other people. If they're in a social setting, this interval could expand.
At 18 months, you've got about 45 minutes to 90 minutes, for pee intervals. This is way different from newborns, right? That's because the bladder has grown.
The bladder is born with good muscle tone, so that's a myth that says, “oh, it needs to gain muscle tone as you grow.” No, your babies are perfectly formed when they're born. It's just going to get bigger. It's just going to have a greater capacity. Also, the nutrients from whatever you're feeding them are going to take a little bit longer to go through the body because the body is bigger, and also because they are eating and processing more complex foods at this point. Poop will probably be daily at this time.
That is a little snippet about how often your baby will pee. If you want more detailed information broken down by the stage your baby is currently in, definitely check out the programs at godiaperfree.com/store. (That’s a direct link, or you can click on “programs” from the store homepage and you’ll see the programs there, as well).
This was episode 198, How Often Will My Baby Pee? Please come on over to godiaperfree.com/198 right now, and let me know how often does your baby pee at the age they are right now? Leave a comment so that we can verify what was shared in today's episode or tweak if needed. If you have any questions, please leave a comment over there, as well. We would love to help you out. See you next time!
So happy that you posted this as this topic has been on my mind lately. My baby’s intervals has changed a lot and at 7,5 months I felt I needed to do some observation time in undies to see what’s going on. Turns out his average interval is now about 100 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! He is very occupied with crawling and learning to stand so I guess it makes sense though?
Thank you so much, I’m happy this helped!
My daughter is almost 18 months and stays dry 4 out of seven nights and pees about every 90 mins to 2 hours depending on how much water she drinks. She poops daily or every 2 days. I’ve done EC part time since she was 2 months old and rarely clean a dirty diaper. She is at the stage now where she tells me “Poop” and runs for the potty where she then proceeds to do her business and then calls me when she is done. I’m struggling with her communicating when she pees though. Some days she is like clockwork and I catch all of them every 90-120 mins and other days I miss it by a few minutes. Any ideas on how I can catch those pees or encourage her to communicate that she wants to pee?
You are doing great! I would definitely keep encouraging her to say or sign when she needs to go, it might not have clicked yet for pee. Offering pottytunities in correlation with her timing could help with catching more pees. For more help and finding a community of EC and PT parents check out my new subscription service Potty Tribe!
Mine is 17 months old today. We’ve been ec since 4 mo. I had her almost trained at 6 when dr says she needs more water….shes thirsty lol so, she pees every 20 min literally unless I don’t give her water ( this then goes up to 41 min). She naps 2x a day still for 1.5 to 2 hrs which makes her try to catch up on water. I’m going to try very hard to train like I used to starting Sunday. I don’t know how to navigate the water!!!! Any suggestions are appreciated
You are doing great! The best bit of advice I can give is taking things one day at a time. Having to pee about every 20 min is very often, maybe checking in with Dr again on baby girls hydration levels, to see if they are all okay, to see if you can cut back on the water a little bit. That might make it all a bit more manageable. In the end only you know what is best for your baby.
We’ve been ECing since 4 months and I’ve always known my girl could hold it longer than others, but my goodness that’s way more often than she’s ever gone! Baby girl will be 1 years old at the end of the month.
Over our entire journey our default timing has always been potty every hour or so. Even at 4 months I would offer every hour. That’s not to say it wouldn’t happen every half hour sometimes, but it was much more consistently every hour. It was exceedingly rare to happen after 15 minutes but that did happen occasionally.
Now at almost a year, though every hour is still the average, it depends on the time of day. Sometimes she’ll go every half hour for a bit, then after her nap she’ll go every 2-4 hrs. Typically if she doesn’t have to go after 1.5-2 hrs it’s likely going to make it till at least 2.5-3 hrs so I normally relax a bit so I don’t annoy her by over offering. This of course leads to misses sometimes. It’s all a learning experience!
(Been in Tiny Trainers/Undies since 7 months due to diaper changes becoming increasingly difficult and wanting a reusable pull up)
You go momma! That’s amazing! We learn so much from our babies, like you said it is a learning experience, and every baby is different.
It has been a long time since I’ve logged on as we were “done.” My son was potty trained. He was dry at naps, dry at night, and was hardly ever having any misses. He would tell me or I’d just know. Then we went to visit family out of state. I put a just in case diaper on him. He turned to me while in his car seat and said “no pee pee in potty anymore.” And that’s been it… he meant what he said. He refuses to use the potty. We are having accidents left and right and I’m feeling frustrated! Would love some guidance!
The backup may have confused him, it happens, and going back to step one with some naked observation can help kick things back into gear for him. I recommend joining my Potty Tribe, every Friday several of my certified GDF coaches get together over zoom to help parents like yourself troubleshoot their EC and PT experiences from the week. Once a month I also hop on and lead a call to give more help. It’s a great place to meet other momma around the world going through the same things you are.
Hi Andrea! My baby is 9 months , I have only just heard about EC – she wakes up every 3-4hrs to pass urine overnight. They are big wees. Is this developmentally normal- I am only just starting to implement EC.
Hi! That’s awesome that you’re implementing EC! 9 months is a great time to start! To answer your question, yes, that is totally normal. However, if you’re ever worried you can always consult with your family doctor to make sure everything is okay.
hie my name is charisma, i have a 3 months baby boy. We don’t really change his nappies at night or during the day because it doesn’t get full, he poo after 5 or 4 days
his baby dosnt fill up the nappy, if i put a nappy on him at 6 evening i can change it the following before he bath and it wont be full,even during the day he spends the day with the nappy he got in the morning, and its not full,its like he pees very small amout,should i be worried or its normal
Hi! More frequent changes can help baby develop fewer rashes, as well as help develop that mind body connection.
Hi Charisma, this is very little pee. Is your baby taking in enough fluids? Is he growing well? As pediatricians (disclaimer: don’t take this as personal medical advice, this is meant as general information), we recommend to parents to give their babies so much fluids (i.e., breast milk or formula for a 3 month old) that they pee 5-6 times per day. It seems to me like you should check with your baby’s healthcare provider. All the best, Barbara
Hi Charisma, this sounds like very little pee. Is he getting enough fluids? Is he growing well? As pediatricians (disclaimer: don’t take this as personal medical advice, but as general information), we advise parents to give their babies so much fluids (i.e., in the case of a 3 month old, breast milk or formula) that they pee 5-6 times per day. I would suggest you to contact your baby’s healthcare provider. All the best! Barbara
My 19 month old goes about every 40 minutes! Sometimes less, sometimes more. She’s not self initiating yet so it’s just me prompting but it’s definitely exhausting taking her every 40 minutes. She does well at daycare (every 40 minutes as well) but they go outside for almost 2 hours in the morning (it’s winter and no potty break) so she pees/has an accident literally every day since she can’t hold it that long.
Hi Catrina! Is there any way to ask the daycare to offer a potty break half way through outside time, to help your little avoid the miss? It could benefit many of the children to have a potty break available to them during play time, especially in the cold!