One of the biggest questions that new parents have usually concerns their baby’s feeding habits, whether they’re breastfeeding or bottlefeeding: Is my baby eating enough? How do I know? Here are a few signs that your newborn is well-fed and some warning signs to look out for.
Is My Baby Eating Enough?
- Feeding Frequency
One of the most common ways to ensure that your newborn is eating enough is to keep track of nursing frequency. In their first month, babies need to eat about 8-12 times each day. They should be waking up every two to three hours to eat, but be sure to wake them up and keep them on schedule if they don’t. If you’re breastfeeding, your child may even feed up to 15 times a day.
For formula, your baby will likely be drinking between 1.5 to 3 ounces of milk.
For breastfeeding, your baby will likely be feeding for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Weight Gain
As babies continue to nurse, they should be gaining 5.5 to 8.5 ounces of weight every week until they are four months old.
Your baby should appear happy after feeding. Before feeding, your baby’s hands might be in fists. But by the end of the feeding session, they should be relaxed and open. Once they’re full, most babies will release a milk bottle or breast on their own.
- Diaper Changing Frequency
During your newborn’s first week of life, they should have one wet diaper per day. By the time that week passes, they should have about six wet diapers per day and three to four stools per day.
4 Warning Signs Your Baby Isn’t Eating Enough
- They Aren’t Gaining Weight
As a newborn, your baby should be gaining 5.5 to 8.5 ounces every week. If they’re losing weight or maintaining the same weight, this may be a sign your baby isn’t eating enough. To measure their weight gain, you can buy an infant scale or take your newborn to your pediatrician for regular weight check-ins.
- They Have Few Wet Diapers or Stools
After a week of life, babies should have six wet diapers and three to four stool movements a day. Wet diapers should be quite heavy since your baby has been consuming lots of milk at this point. Other warning signs include dark yellow urine and red specks in their diapers.
- They Lack Energy
While sleepy babies may seem normal, they should be alert and awake between feedings. If they have low energy for most of the day, it could be time to call your pediatrician.
- They Take Too Long or Too Little Time to Feed
Babies that aren’t eating enough may fall asleep shortly after beginning to feed. If they’re not latching on to your breast well, it may take them longer to get enough milk too. If your newborn is often cranky after eating, then their mood could be another sign that they’re still hungry.
Is my baby eating enough? The best way to find out is bringing your newborn in for regular check-ups with your pediatrician. If you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding patterns, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damaris Mafut today. You can reach her office at 305-777-3505.