Milky Minutes – How do I know how much my baby is eating

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This can be a constant concern, or even cause anxiety for some breastfeeding moms.You want to make sure that your baby is getting enough to eat. You may have people saying, are you sure he is getting enough? My mother-in-law, who breastfed her own children, said this to me with each of my three babies, disregarding their double chins, fat cheeks, and thigh rolls.
How do you know though? The ultimate way to know is simple.

If your baby is gaining an adequate amount of weight, then he is getting enough to eat. 

You can also look at the number of diapers he is having.

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  • After the milk comes in your baby should be having 6-8 good, wet diapers a day, and 4-5 loose yellow, runny poops a day.
  • The number of poops can decrease by six weeks. At this point, some babies will go several days between poops.
    • The poop should still be loose and yellow.
    • It should not be hard for your baby to have a bowel movement, even if they go several days between poops.
    • They should still be gaining an adequate amount of weight.
    • It’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on their weight gain for the first month after they transition to this infrequent stooling pattern, to make sure it’s not an indication of inadequate intake.
  • It is also normal for other babies to continue with a frequent pooping pattern.
  • It is very rare for a breastfed baby to be constipated.
  • Any amount of formula can cause constipation.

Frequency and duration of feeding can change as your baby grows and gets older.

  • In the early days, your baby should be eating a minimum of 8 times a day.
  • Duration of feeding can vary from 10 minutes to 30 minutes or more of vigorous sucking with frequent swallowing.
  • When he is old, your baby may finish eating in as few as 5 minutes.
  • Your baby may cluster-feed during a 24-hour period once or twice.
    • Constant feeding can be an indication that they are not getting enough to eat.
    • Cluster feeding is feeding every hour or more frequently.
    • Feeding frequency is measured from beginning to beginning of feedings.
  • Don’t compare your baby to other babies to determine if he is getting enough from breastfeeding.

If you’re concerned about how much baby breastmilk your baby is getting, check his weight.

If you are still concerned, talk to a lactation consultant.

You can ask me questions here, in the comment section.

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