Is My Baby Getting Enough?

March 8, 2017 17 LIKES

Often, a new parent’s biggest concern is about how much and how often the baby breastfeeds. Here are some guidelines to help you know if your baby is getting enough:
• Your newborn baby should nurse 8 – 12 times in 24 hours during the first 2 – 3 weeks. As your baby gets older he will become more efficient and feedings may be less frequent.
• Some feedings may be close together, even an hour or so apart. Other feedings will be less frequent. Feedings do not need to be evenly spaced and are often irregular in the newborn baby. Wake your baby if he doesn’t awaken to feed within 3 hours during the day. Night time feedings can be less frequent.

Typical patterns for wet diapers is

1 wet diaper on day one

2 wet diapers on day two

3 wet diapers on day three

4 wet diapers on day four

5 wet diapers on day five

6 wet diapers on day six and from then on Look for light yellow to clear urine.

Typical patterns for stools is several per day

Day 1 Meconium (dark & tarry)

Day 2 Brownish

Day 3 Brownish yellow

Day 4 Dark yellow, soft

Day 5 Yellow, semi-liquid

Some newborns stool after every feeding.

Stools taper off and may not even occur every day as your baby gets older.

Babies generally lose a little weight in the first few days after birth and then begin to gain. This is a normal pattern. Ten percent is considered the maximum acceptable weight loss. Have your baby’s weight checked a couple of times during the first 2 weeks, especially if you are concerned that your baby is not eating enough. A check of his weight is the only sure way to determine adequate intake. Once your baby has regained his birth weight, at about 2 weeks, you can relax and let your baby set the pace for the feedings.

Sometimes, babies seem to take a good feeding at the breast but wake within a few minutes wanting more. Offer the breast again. It will likely be a short feed “top off” feeding and your baby will drop off to sleep.

Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Signs of hunger
Rooting
Mouthing movements
Tense appearance
Grunting, other sounds
Hand-to-mouth activity
Kicking, waving arms
Crying
Signs of a good latch-on
Relatively comfortable, latch-on pain subsides quickly
Lips at the breast at least 140oangle or greater
All or most of the areola in the baby’s mouth with more areola covered from the area near his chin (asymmetrical latch-on)
Lips flanged (rolled out)
Signs the Baby is Full
Drowsiness, sleepiness
Baby comes off the breast spontaneously Relaxed appearance
Hands and shoulders are relaxed
Sleeps for a period of time
before arousing to feed again
Signs of a good feeding
Easy latch-on, stays latched-on
Swallowing you can hear
Noticing that the breasts are softer after feedings
Feeling strong, deep, “pulling”, sucking Seeing milk in your baby’s mouth
Leaking from the other breast or feeling of a “let-down” reflex
15 – 20 minutes vigorous sucking on each breast or 20 – 30 minutes on one side
Wide jaw movements and consistent sucking

Please see the advice of a Lactation Consultant or another healthcare provider if:
1. Your baby has not begun to gain weight by his fifth day after birth or has not regained his birth weight by 2 weeks
2. Your baby is not voiding at least 6 – 8 times per day
3. Your baby is not having several stools per day

These signs can indicate inadequate feedings and can become a serious concern if not corrected quickly. You may wish to keep a written record of when your baby voids, stools and feeds for a few days so you can accurately report this to your health care provider. Please seek help if your problem does not resolve quickly.

Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Vergie Hughes

RN MS IBCLC FILCA

Vergie is a RN, an IBCLC, the mom of two breastfed children and two breastfed grandchildren. She has been a lactation consultant for over 30 years working in the NICU, the clinic and in-home. She has also trained over 5000 lactation consultants and nurses and is a frequent speaker at conferences.