There are many signs you can watch for to see if your baby is getting enough milk:

  • Your baby passes enough clear or pale yellow urine (see chart below) The urine is not deep yellow or orange.
  • Your baby has enough bowel movements (see chart below).
  • Your baby switches between short sleeping periods and wakeful, alert periods.
  • Your baby is satisfied and content after feedings.
  • Your breasts may feel softer after feeding.
  • Your baby is gaining weight (You can do weighted feeds where you weigh before a feed and weigh after a feed if you are nursing your baby)

From birth to 3 months old, a baby usually will gain up to 1 ounce of weight each day. Keep in mind that many babies lose a small amount of weight in the first days after birth. Your baby’s doctor will check your baby’s weight at your first doctor visit after you leave the hospital. Make sure to visit your baby’s doctor for a checkup within three to five days after birth and then again when the baby is 2 to 3 weeks old. A newborn’s tummy is very small, especially in the early days. Once breastfeeding is established, exclusively breastfed babies who are 1 to 6 months old take in between 19 and 30 ounces of breastmilk each day. If you breastfeed your baby eight times a day, your baby will get around 3 ounces per feeding. But every baby is a little different.

The Newborn Tummy

At birth, the baby’s stomach can comfortably digest what would fit in a hazelnut (about 1 to 2 teaspoons). By around 10 days, the baby’s stomach grows to hold about 2 ounces, or what would fit in a walnut. Typical number of wet diapers and bowel movements in a baby’s first week (it is fine if your baby has more): 1 day = 24 hours*

Baby’s age Number of wet diapers Number of bowel movements Texture and color of bowel movements
Day 1 (first 24 hours after birth) 1-2 The first bowel movement usually occurs within 8 hours after birth Thick, tarry, and black
Day 2 2 3 Thick, tarry, and black
Day 3 5-6 disposable, 6-8 cloth 3 Looser and greenish to yellow (color may vary)
Day 4 6 3 Soft, watery, and yellow
Day 5 6 3 Loose, seedy, and yellow
Day 6 6 3 Loose, seedy, and yellow
Day 7 6 3 Larger amounts of loose, seedy, and yellow

If you are using disposable diapers, the absorbency may make it harder to tell if the diaper is wet. Use this chart as a guide, but talk to your child’s doctor if you are concerned about your child not getting enough milk. *Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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