New parents are often concerned about many things, one of them being “is my baby getting enough to eat?” With breastfeeding, it can feel hard to tell since you cannot see how much your baby has eaten. Fortunately, there are a few other signs to tell if they’re receiving breast milk and if they’re getting enough to eat:
- Make sure you are comfortable in your breastfeeding position. Your relaxed body will ease into the feeding better, making it comfortable for you and your baby. You can try cradling, a “football hold” (where your baby’s legs are underneath the armpit of the breast you’ll nurse from), a side-lying position (great for late-night feedings!), or reclining with your body horizontal and your baby lying vertical on your chest. As always, seek assistance from a lactation consultant if you are having trouble with finding comfort in breastfeeding.
- Hearing and seeing signs work well, too! Anywhere between one and four suckles from your nipple before swallowing and breathing is normal and a sign you’re on the right track.
- Responding to their hunger cues is huge. Is your baby smacking their lips or tongue? How about sucking on their hands? Do they root (turning their head seeking something to suck on if their cheek is touched)? These are all signs that your baby is ready to eat!
Signs of a baby getting enough to eat:
- Weight gain will happen sooner than you think! Your baby will begin to regain the weight lost at birth by ten days, and their birth weight should be back at around two weeks.
- Diaper production will change. For the first five days of your baby’s life, they should produce one wet diaper and one dirty diaper per day. Afterward, you should start to see six to eight wet diapers a day.
- Knowing the size of your baby’s stomach may ease your tension. Did you know your baby isn’t born hungry? They are born with a high sucking need, which is the thing that will stimulate your milk production and help them pass meconium. In baby’s beginning days, this chart will help you know how their stomach is growing to take in more breast milk.