How Do I Know if My Newborn Is Getting Enough?

It can be so stressful wondering if your newborn is getting enough…especially in those early days when you are still learning who your tiny human is and how to feed them. The first couple of weeks is such a learning curve. Try to be patient and give yourself and your newborn grace during the learning process. Some feedings feel like you’re finally getting the hang of things and then the very next feeding it seems like your newborn doesn’t even remember what a nipple is and you feel so disconnected. This is all so normal…even if it is frustrating!

So how can you know that your newborn is getting enough? Here are simple and concrete ways to know…

1. Wet Diapers

In the first 5 days, your baby should have the number of wet diapers that match how many days old they are. For example, a 1 day old only needs to pee once in 24 hours. A two day old needs to pee twice, etc. From day 6 on, your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers in 24 hours.

2. Weight Gain

Your pediatrician and lactation consultant will monitor your baby’s weight. Their growth should follow their growth curve. It is normal for a newborn to lose up to 10% of their birth weight after birth. The goal is to reach birth weight again by 2 weeks of age.

3. Your Newborn is Eating Every 2-3 hours

Make sure you wake your baby every 2-3 hours around the clock until your pediatrician guides you to allow your baby to sleep longer stretches. Typically this happens when your baby reaches their birth weight again. Your baby will eat more often when cluster feeding and during growth spurts. These are normal baby behaviors and are not an indication of low supply.

4. Your Baby Appears Satisfied After Feedings

After your baby is done feeding, signs that they are satisfied include relaxed body and hands (not clenched fists), starting to fall asleep, and turning away from the bottle or your nipple.

If you are still concerned, you can always book an appointment with your pediatrician for a weight check. Or you can book a consultation with your lactation consultant to do a weighted feeding. This is where we weigh your baby before nursing and after. The difference in the weight is how much milk they transferred. This is most reliable after you have reached your goal milk volume around day 10 of life and beyond.