Is Your Baby Eating Enough?
How To Know If Baby Is Getting Enough Breastmilk
Has anyone ever asked you any of these questsions:
Is baby getting enough?
Your baby seems to eat a lot! Are you overfeeding?
Isn’t cluster feeding only for 1-2 hours a day? It seems like your baby is eating more than that! Are they getting enough?
Your baby only eats for 10 minutes? Is that long enough?
Your baby has been feeding for almost 60 minutes! Maybe you should take him off now; he might be using you as a pacifier.
Becoming a confident mom
There are so many different ways to ask the same question,“do you know what you’re doing?”
The questions from above might make you doubt if you’re doing a proper job feeding and mothering your babe.
To help you know whether these questions warrant further investigation or are only there to throw you off your game, here are three questions you can ask yourself to see if your baby is getting enough breastmilk.
1. Audible swallows.
When your baby is eating at the breast, do you hear audible swallows? (Teeeenny, tinnny little gulps, about after every 10-15 sucks)
How many wet and dirty diapers do you see each day? When your baby is first born, we expect one wet and one dirty diaper in the first 24 hours. It increases by one each day until the day of life 7. When your baby is 7 days old, you should see 6-8 wet diapers and 1-4 dirty diapers for adequate output.
3. The color of urine.
What color is your baby’s urine? If it’s pale yellow, you know your baby is hydrated. If it looks dark yellow to amber, you might need to increase feeding frequency or length of feeds.
Seek help if…
Consult with your pediatrician or a lactation consultant (me!) if you don't hear audible swallows, if your baby doesn’t have enough wet or dirty diapers or if their urine looks dark. Weighing your baby is another way to know how much your baby is transferring, but I would recommend you do this with a lactation consultant present.
Every baby has their own normal feeding pace. Some are slow eaters, some fast, and each mom’s milk letdown and flow are different.
Guideline: Anytime your baby cues, feed. In some cultures, a breastfed baby eats 4-7 times in 1 hour! You can’t overfeed a breastfed baby!
Moreover, next time someone asks you if your baby is eating enough, tell them they have to change your kid's diaper to find out.