When you’re feeding from a bottle, it’s easy to measure just how much formula or breastmilk your baby is getting every time. But when you’re nursing from your breast, you may feel like it’s more of a guessing game, because you can’t see or measure how much breastmilk your baby is actually drinking during each feeding. Instead of getting frustrated, check out these tips for how to tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk.
While your baby isn’t going to raise his hand and tell you when he’s hungry and when he’s full, he will give you little cues. Once you learn how to pick up on them, you’ll get to know when it’s still feeding time and when it’s time to stop.
It may not be your favorite thing to do as a parent, but keeping track of how many wet and poopy diapers your baby has in a day will give you a good indication of whether he’s getting enough breastmilk.
On average, you can expect the following number of wet and poopy diapers each day according to baby’s age:
- 1 to 2 days old: 1 to 2 wet diapers; 1 poopy diaper
- 2 to 6 days old: 5 to 6 wet diapers; at least 3 poopy diapers
- More than 6 days old: 5 to 6 wet diapers; at least 3 to 5 poopy diapers
- More than 6 weeks old: 5 to 6 wet diapers; less than 3 to 5 poopy diapers (but more poop per diaper than before)
Every baby is different, and so are their pooping habits. If you are worried about how frequently your baby is pooping, consider talking to your pediatrician. Some babies will poop multiple times a day, and for some babies, it is normal not to go for a few days.
Offering both breasts at each feeding gives your baby the chance to drink all the milk you have on hand at that time. Make sure you completely empty the first breast before offering the second. This will also help stimulate the “supply and demand” of your breastmilk, which will support your milk supply.