Making sure your baby is receiving enough to eat is a common concern among new parents. Especially when breastfeeding, since you cannot see how much baby has eaten. Fortunately, there are other ways to know baby is eating and signs to show they are full.
Signs of milk transfer (to baby from the breast):
- Hear and see baby suck/swallow/breath
- Anywhere from a 1-4 sucks before swallowing and breathe is normal
- Infant weight gain
- Baby begins to regain weight lost at birth by 10 days
- Regains birth weight by 2 weeks
- Number of dirty/wet diapers
- First 5 days baby should produce 1 wet and 1 dirty diaper per day of life
- 6-8 wet diapers per day after that
Also, keep in mind the size of baby’s stomach at birth and the days that follow. Babies are not born hungry, they simply have a high sucking need! Baby’s need to suck helps stimulate milk production and also helps them pass meconium. So, keep the following chart in mind when feeding baby in the beginning days.
On the other hand, knowing baby's hunger cues (signs they are hungry before they start crying!) can be helpful when establishing your breastfeeding relationship. Common hunger cues include:
- Lip smacking and sticking out their tongue
- Sucking on their hands
- Rooting (turning head and trying to suckle when cheek is stroked)
Keeping the above tips in mind, will not only put your mind at ease, it will help build a successful and a less stressful breastfeeding experience for you and baby.