Signs That Your Baby is Getting Enough Breast Milk

Many mothers worry that their baby is not getting enough food when breastfeeding because unlike with a bottle, you cannot measure the amount of milk the baby is in taking.  If you need to know the exact amount of food your baby is receiving, you can pump your milk and then feed your baby from a bottle.  However, many women feel that this defeats the purpose of bonding while breastfeeding. 

If you are breastfeeding exclusively, there are several signs that you can look for to tell you whether or not your baby is getting enough food.  Your baby should sleep for a couple of hours right after feeding.  He/she should be breastfeeding every 2-3 hours or at least 8 times in a 24 hour period.  He/she should breastfeed for at least 10 minutes and not longer than 60 minutes.  You should be able to hear a rhythm of suck, suck, swallow when he/she is feeding.  Your baby should usually breastfeed at both breasts.  Your breasts should feel full before a feeding and soft afterwards.  Your baby’s stools should transition from meconium to a yellow, seedy stool after about 3-4 days.  Your baby should be having approximately 8-10 wet diapers a day and 1-2 bowel movements per day.

Your baby’s weight gain is another indicator of whether or not he/she is getting enough food.  Typically a baby aging from 0 to 6 months should gain 4 to 8 ounces per week.  Once the baby is 7 to 12 months old, his/her weight gain will decrease slightly to 3 to 6 ounces per week.

The last indicator that your baby is getting enough to eat is based on the breastfeeding pattern.  0-1 month old babies should feed 8-12 times in 24 hours.  1-2 month old babies feed 7-10 times a day.  2-4 month old babies feed 6-9 times a day.  4-6 month old babies feed 6-8 times a day.