Breastfeeding:  Is your baby eating enough?

How do you know if your baby is eating enough breast milk?

In the beginning, you will know your newborn is eating enough milk if he stops passing meconium (thick black or dark-green stools) after about four days, and begins to pass yellow, seedy, runny stools three or more times a day.

During the 1st month your baby will wet six to eight diapers and have two bowel movements per day. Once your milk supply is established, he should gain about 2/3 ounce per day during his first 3 months. Between 3 and 6 months, weight gain tapers off to about 1/2 ounce per day.

Other signs to look for:

  • He is sleeping for a couple of hours after feeding.
  • He breastfeeds every two to three hours, at least eight times in a 24-hour period.
  • He usually breastfeeds for 10 or more minutes and for no longer than an hour (but let your baby, not the clock, decide how long a feeding lasts).
  • You can hear a rhythm of suck/pause/suck during feedings.
  • Your baby usually breastfeeds at both breasts.
  • Your breasts feel full before a feeding and softer afterward.
  • He appears settled and no longer hungry after feedings.

Charting the Course:  Patterns commonly seen in breastfed infants

 Indicator Age Description
 Urine Output 3-4 days Pale yellow to clear (not deep yellow or orange)
5-7 days 6 or more wet diapers
 Stools 1-2 days Thick, tarry, and black color
3-4 days Greenish - yellow color
5 days Yellow color (not white or clay-colored) with watery, seedy, or mustard-like texture
By 5-7 days 3-4 stools/day
1 month and older Number of stools might vary (can be several stools/day, 1 every 3-4 days, or 1/week).
 Weight Gain Birth-6 months 4 oz - 8 oz/week
7-12 months 3 oz - 6 oz/week
Birth-1 month 8-12 feedings/24 hours
1-2 months 7-10 feedings/24 hours
2-4 months 6-9 feedings/24 hours
4-6 months 6-8 feedings/24 hours
Track your baby's feedings and diaper changes using this printable worksheet (PDF). Get it now »
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