How do you know if your baby is getting enough milk?

Published in Birthing Center Author: Carris Health

Many new mothers, especially nursing moms, have a lot of questions about feeding their baby. One of the biggest worries if often knowing if baby has had enough milk if you can’t measure how much they are drinking.

Your baby will let you know when he or she is hungry with feeding cues:

  • Rooting: turning head towards anything that strokes her cheek or mouth.
  • Sucking: Making sucking motions with mouth or making sucking sounds.
  • Putting hands to his mouth or up by face.
  • Crying is a late feeding cue. At this point latching may become more difficult.

Signs your baby is getting enough to eat:

  • You baby is alert and active.
  • You hear or see your baby swallow when he breastfeeds.
  • Your baby is happy/satisfied after breastfeeding.
  • Your baby’s stool has changed to a yellow color by day five.
  • You baby has six wet diapers a day by day five.
  • Your baby is gaining weight and is back to birth weight by 10 days old.
  • Your baby breastfeeds at least eight times in 24 hours.

Signs your baby isn’t getting enough to eat:

  • Baby is unusually sleepy.
  • Baby is restless/fussy after breastfeeding.
  • You don’t hear baby swallowing during feeding.
  • You baby continues to lose weight.
  • Your baby’s stool is still black or dark green on day five.
  • You baby has red or dark colored urine and less than six wet diapers per day by day five.

You may notice a change in your baby’s arm position from a start of a feeding to the end. When your baby is hungry his or her hands will often be in fists near their face or mouth. As they eat and become full their hands and arms will relax to open palms resting at their side.