How can I tell is baby eating enough?
New mothers, especially new breastfeeding mums, are often concerned that their infants may not be getting enough to eat. You can be assured that your baby is getting enough to eat if he or she:
produces about four to six+ wet diapers a day
has regular bowel movements (3-4 stools daily)
is gaining weight (The average breastfed newborn gains 170 grams/week).
Your baby may not be getting enough to eat if he or she:
seems hungry often
isn‘t producing several wet and stool diapers in a day
is fussy or cries a lot
isn‘t gaining weight
Consult with baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected or you are unsure is baby eating enough?
What should my newborn’s diapers look like?
Your baby’s diapers are a good indicator of whether she is getting enough milk. Because colostrum is concentrated, your baby may have only one dirty diaper in the first 24 hours after birth. Newborns’ stools are thick and tarry at first and become more yellow as your milk comes in, which is usually about four days after birth. By day 4, your baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are 2.5 cm or larger. The more your baby nurses, the more dirty diapers he or she will have. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal. After about a month, some breastfed babies have fewer bowel movements and some may go a few days without passing motion.
With regards to wet diapers, in the early days, baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life. Once milk comes in, expect six or more wet diapers daily with clear or very pale urine. Fewer diapers or darker urine may mean your baby’s not getting enough to drink. Orange crystals in a wet diaper may be a sign of a sign of inadequate fluid intake or dehydration. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.
You should be watching your baby for the following:
Six or more wet diapers per day
Four or more yellow, seedy bowel movements per day.
Need Help? Don’t fret!
If worried if baby is eating enough then please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.