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How to Tell if Baby is Getting Enough Milk

Nearly all new mothers worry about whether their babies are properly nourished. Breastfeeding mothers cannot measure exactly how much milk their newborns take, but they can tell in other ways whether their babies are getting enough to eat. Your well-nourished newborn should:

  • Lose no more than 7 percent of his birthweight in the first few days after birth before starting to gain weight again.
  • Have one or two bowel movements per day on days one and two, with blackish, tarry stools, and at least two stools that are beginning to appear greenish to yellow on days three and four. By five to seven days, his stools should be yellow and loose, with small curds, and should number at least three to four per day. When your milk production increases, your baby will often stool with each feeding for the first month of life.
  • Have six or more wet diapers per day, with nearly colorless or pale yellow urine, by five to seven days.
  • Seem satisfied and happy for an average of one to three hours between feedings.
  • Nurse at least eight to twelve times every twenty-four hours.
Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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