Is My Newborn Eating Enough?

"How do you know for sure that baby is getting enough milk when you're a breastfeeding newbie? I get that after a while you can gauge by certain things, but those first few days after your supply comes in, how the heck do you know that he/she is actually getting an adequate amount of milk?" - kgail11
ByAndi Silverman
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Photo: iStockphoto

“Having a newborn can be very overwhelming and it’s common to worry about whether or not the baby is getting enough to eat,” says Andi Silverman, breastfeeding expert and author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding. “Keep in mind that your pediatrician will check the baby’s weight to make sure she is getting enough to eat. You can help, too, by keeping a journal of feedings, pees and poops. Newborns eat eight to twelve times per day, that is every two to three hours. So if you feed your baby from 8:00 a.m. to 8:20, the next feeding starts at 10:00 a.m. if you are on a two hour schedule. If you have a sleepy baby, you’ll want to wake her up to make sure she’s feeding. Newborns also poop three to four times a day, and pee five to eight times per day.” After about a month, feedings become less frequent — every three to four hours is common. “Overall, try to feed your baby ‘on demand,’ or whenever she indicates she’s hungry by crying, licking her lips, sucking her fist or rooting around for your breast.”

There are some other things that can help you figure out if your baby is eating well: (1) you see milk in the baby’s mouth; (2) the baby eats, and then stops rooting for food; (3) your breasts feel softer after a feeding; (4) you feel your milk letting down, or a tingling in your breast during feeding; (5) you see the baby suck and swallow.  Sucking is quick and shallow, swallowing is deep and rhythmic.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video

Vitamins for a Picky Eater?

Michael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician

What the New Fruit Juice Guidelines Mean for Babies and Toddlers

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
05/23/2017

3 Ways to Encourage Healthy Habits in Your Children

Micky Marie Morrison, PT, ICPFE
Contributing Writer

What Is the Six-Meal Solution?

Linda Burke-Galloway, MD, author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy
OB-GYN

Should I Give My Baby Fluoride?

Michael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician

6 Brands That Are Completely Overhauling the Baby Food Industry

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/13/2017

How Store-Bought and Homemade Baby Food Affect Baby Differently

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/16/2017

Soda and Sugary Drinks Are Banned From Kids' Menu in Baltimore

Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
07/20/2018

AAP Updates List of Nutrients for Baby's First 1,000 Days

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/25/2018