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4 signs your baby is getting enough milk | My Baby My Star

It’s amazing how much time mothers spend thinking about feeding their baby. Suddenly life seems to revolve around feeding and breastfeeding. So if you’re wondering if your baby is getting enough milk, you’re not alone.

Your baby’s feeding schedule will depend on their age and developmental stages (hello, cluster feeding). But in general, after the first few days of colostrum, breastfed babies should eat 8 to 12 times over 24 hours once their milk production is established.

But as both experts and mothers will tell you, babies don’t always eat for nutrients. A baby may want to spend the entire evening at your breast because they are going through a growth spurt, are cutting their teeth, or just want to be around you.

While tracking feedings is helpful, your baby may not follow an exact schedule every day — and that’s okay. Some grooming sessions can feel like they last forever, while others are shorter.

But how do you know if your baby is getting enough milk? Here are four signs that can help you be sure your baby is getting enough milk — and when to consider getting more support.

Continue reading: Baby feeding charts and plans for the first year

your baby is growing

The most obvious and first place your pediatrician or lactation consultant will look is to check for weight gain. A well-fed baby will gain weight and follow a steady growth curve.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s normal for your baby to lose about 7% of their birth weight after birth. But by 10 days to 2 weeks, they should be back to their original birth weight and continue to gain weight from there.

Average weight gain is 5 to 7 ounces per week, or about one to two pounds per month, for the first six months, and then slows down somewhat. But like everything else, babies follow their own patterns and grow at their own pace.

It comes down to average growth over time, which is one of the reasons your pediatrician might not let you weigh your baby every day. As long as your baby stays on a steady growth trajectory, she’s most likely getting enough milk.

Your baby is happy between meals

If you listen to a breastfed baby feed you will hear those little clicking sounds as he swallows milk. This is a good sign that your milk is on the decline and your baby is getting the nourishment he needs.

When you’re done, a happy baby will either fall off the breast sleepily and take a nap, or stop nursing and appear happy, alert, and awake. Of course, there will always be times when your baby is restless and wants to stay at your breast to comfort them, but typically a full baby won’t wake up or cry when they’ve had enough.

You change a lot of diapers

It may feel like you’re in an endless cycle of changing nappies, feeding and changing, but dirty nappies are a good thing when it comes to tracking your baby’s nutrition.

The number of diapers will change as your baby ages. As their small bodies grow, so does the amount of urine they can hold, but generally a baby has at least 4 to 6 very full, wet diapers each day (more if you use cloth diapers because they get saturated quicker).

Bowel movements can be a little more sporadic as babies get older, so it may not be the best indicator of how much milk they’re getting (although it can give you clues as to how well they’re digesting the milk).

Some will have bowel movements every day, while others may skip a few days or last even longer. You will begin to learn your baby’s pattern to determine what is normal for him.

Her breasts feel soft after breastfeeding

You know that feeling when you don’t breastfeed for too long and your breasts are so full they could burst? You can use this feeling to gauge whether your baby is getting enough milk. After breastfeeding, your breasts should feel a lot less tight.

Assuming you’ve never struggled with overfeeding, tight breasts after breastfeeding could indicate that your baby isn’t fully voiding and is therefore not getting the milk he needs.

Aside from nutrition, if your baby isn’t getting all the milk, it can also affect your milk production. If your baby stops drinking and your breast is still firm, try putting her back on your breast and see if she snaps back into place.

When to ask for help

When your mommy intuition tells you something doesn’t feel right, always go with your gut. It is better to check in with your doctor, even if everything turns out to be fine.

If you’re still concerned that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, look out for the following things that may indicate it’s time to call your pediatrician:

  • A lethargic or very sleepy baby. If your baby isn’t getting enough milk, he’ll be extra tired because he’s not getting enough calories.
  • pain while breastfeedingExcited breastfeeding or the baby not emptying your breast. These scenarios are often resolved with the support of a lactation consultant, but it’s good to double-check that your baby doesn’t have reflux or another condition that interferes with feeding.
  • Wet diapers have lost weight, are less full, or the urine is cloudy and concentrated. This is a sign that your baby may be dehydrated. Be sure to consult a doctor.

As the weeks go by, you and your baby will find a feeding rhythm and you will feel so much more confident. A growing baby is a good sign that your baby is getting enough milk (and ps, you’re doing a great job mom).


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Westerfield KL, Koenig K, Oh R. Breastfeeding: Common Questions and Answers. Am family doctor. 2018;98(6):368-373.

Kent JC, Ashton E, Hardwick CM, et al. Nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers: occurrence, causes, and treatments. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(10):12247-12263. Published September 29, 2015. doi:10.3390/ijerph121012247

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