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Ages & Stages

How to Tell if Your Breastfed Baby is Getting Enough Milk

​​​​​​​Nearly all new parents worry about whether their babies are properly nourished. If you're breastfeeding, you can't measure exactly how much milk your newborn is taking. However, there are other ways to tell if your baby is getting enough to eat. 

Here are a half dozen signs of a well-fed newborn that can put your mind to ease.

6 signs your nursing newborn is well nourished

How fast babies gain weight, how many wet and dirty diapers they have, and how long they seem satisfied after nursing are good clues. A well nourished newborn should:

  • Lose no more than 7% of 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, your baby's 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 produce 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.


Schedule your newborn's first checkup with the pediatrician or family physician no more than forty-eight hours after hospital discharge. The weight check at that visit will help to know if your baby is getting enough milk from feedings.

More Information

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 3rd Edition (Copyright © 2017 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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