How to know your baby is getting enough?
You may have concerns about how to know your baby is getting enough in these early weeks. There are 3 reliable signs to look for to reassure you that your newborn is getting what they need.
Your baby will start the feed with rapid sucks, followed by bursts of sucking then pausing, your baby will stop feeding when they are ready and have had enough. The normal length of a feed can be between 5-40 minutes, it is a good idea to offer both breasts at every feed.
Wet and dirty nappies
Remember what goes in will come out!
During your baby’s first week, you should look for:
- Wet nappies: a rough guide is that there should be the same number of wet nappies as how many days old your baby is, e.g three days old = three wet nappies in 24 hours; six days old = six wet nappies in 24 hours. From one week onwards you should look for a minimum of 8 heavy wet nappies throughout each 24 hour period.
- Dirty nappies: expect at least one in the first 24 hours; then two or more at least 50p piece sized every 24 hours for the next six weeks. Look for the changing colour in the first week as a good indicator your baby is getting enough milk.
Meconium (fist stools)
0-2 days of age
Sticky and dark/black
2-5 days of age
Greeny/brown looser stools
5 days of age onwards
Loose and runny
Your baby may lose up to 10% of their birth weight by the time they are five days old - this is because they are born with excess fluid. Babies should then regain their birth weight by the time they are 2 weeks old and should continue to steadily increase from then on. Their weight will initially be monitored by your midwife, then your health visitor as your baby grows.
If you would like more information or are concerned that your baby isn’t getting enough, please contact your community midwife or make an appointment for one of our breastfeeding support clinics. Information about the clinics will be given to you prior to discharge from hospital