Breastfed babies drink as much milk as they need, while those who are fed with infant formula need around 75 ml to 100ml for each 0.5 kg of body weight. All babies are different and they have different needs, including those related to food.
Most mothers who are breastfeeding ask themselves if their baby is receiving enough milk. You can find out if your child is getting enough milk if he`s feeding at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours and seems satisfied after his meals. Other signs that your baby is getting enough milk are:
- He has a good muscle tone, a healthy skin color and his eyes sparkle;
- He wets 6 or more diapers during an entire day;
- Has wet stools, but not watery;
- If after his pediatric controls (these are recommended to be scheduled each month during his first year of life) is found that he gained weight and feels fine.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Do You Know when a Baby Is Hungry?
- 2 Does He Need to Drink Water?
- 3 Baby Growth Spurts
- 4 How Do I Know if My Baby Is Latched on Correctly?
- 5 How Do I Get my Baby to Latch Deeper?
- 6 How Can You Tell when a Baby Is Full?
- 7 Is It Bad to Nurse the Baby to Sleep?
- 8 5 Signs Your Baby Doesn`t Get Enough Milk
How Do You Know when a Baby Is Hungry?
- Crying – A cry happening from hunger is generally rather short, with rises and falls. However, keep in mind that crying is among the later symptoms of hunger.
- Waking up & acting restless – Before the baby launches into a hunger wail, he may wake up and start moving around. He might move the mouth and raise the hands to the face as well.
- Smacking his lips, sucking on his fist – If your baby isn`t properly breastfed, he will latch on a lot more easily.
- Rooting – During the first week of your baby`s life, when stroking his cheek, he`ll have a natural reflex of turning toward the breast or milk bottle and start making sucking movements with the mouth.
- Opening his mouth while he`s fed – In translation, this will mean he wants more.
- Smiling when he`s fed – Babies over 4 months may show that they want more by smiling
Does He Need to Drink Water?
Breast milk contains enough water, even during hot weather, so it isn`t necessary to give him anything else until 6 months old.
An additional amount of water from other sources than breast milk or infant formula can fill the baby`s belly and can have repercussions on his appetite.
Baby Growth Spurts
When they pass through a growth spurt, babies tend to eat a lot, wake up during the night more often and start to become restless. Around the age of 5 to 7 weeks, the first growth spurt can occur, and then around the age of 3 months.
There are parents who start their baby`s food diversification early hoping he won`t wake up during the night anymore. Another growth spurt can occur around 6 to 8 months when most babies have already started their food diversification, and then another one around 9 or 10 months.
If you are concerned that your baby is hungry shortly after you breastfed him, the solution would be to feed him more often or to check him if his he has a good position when you feed him.
How Do I Know if My Baby Is Latched on Correctly?
- You can see the tongue if the lower lip is pulled down.
- Usually, you can notice the jaw moving circularly than the chin moving rapidly.
- You don`t hear any snacking or clicking noises.
- His chin touches the breast.
- His cheeks are rounded.
- You are able to hear him swallowing.
- Your discomfort ends immediately after getting your baby latched on.
- When the baby comes off your breast, your nipple isn`t misshaped or flattened.
- The baby ends his feeding with signs of satisfaction. They may include: he has open hands, he falls asleep, he looks relaxed or he falls off your breast.
How Do I Get my Baby to Latch Deeper?
With the head of the baby tilted back and his chin up, lift him to touch the nipple. Your nipple will rest a bit above the upper lip of the baby. Wait for the baby to open widely, “scoop” your breast by simply placing his bottom jaw on first. Then tip the head of your baby forward and place the above jaw behind the nipple. Continue keeping the thumb pressed down until forming the flattened sandwich at the same time as you place the above jaw of the baby behind your nipple. The bottom jaw should be a lot more deeply located comparing with the upper jaw.
How Can You Tell when a Baby Is Full?
Did you know that are a few satiety clues that can tell you that your baby is no longer hungry.
- His hands are relaxed or even open.
- His body feels relaxed.
- He might fall asleep.
- He seems peaceful.
- He might have hiccups, but he is relaxed and calm.
- He might have a “wet burp.”
Is It Bad to Nurse the Baby to Sleep?
Breastfeeding your infant to sleep isn`t really a bad thing to do! Actually, it`s quite normal and healthy. This approach is even developmentally appropriate. Lots of infants nurse to sleep and then wake 1 to 3 times at night for the first year of their life. Some of them do not really do this, but they represent the exception.
5 Signs Your Baby Doesn`t Get Enough Milk
There are a lot of signs that could show you that your baby gets enough milk, starting with your breasts that you feel very full even if the baby stayed to the breast enough time to empty it; the disappointment of the baby who starts to cry when he`s taken away from the breast; the fact that the bay can consume a bottle filled with milk as soon as it has been taken away from the breast; the absence of milk leakage or the inability to take milk with the breast pump.
Baby`s Condition After Meal
Adults or children, we all feel full after a meal and feel the need to take a nap. In case that the baby cries and is agitated after meal, this may be a sign that he`s still hungry and hasn`t received enough milk. For this to be a “sign” of trust, you should exclude other reasons that could make him nervous and agitated, such as colic, uncomfortable clothes or dirty diapers. – More info!
The baby`s weight is the best possible sign that he eats well. Otherwise, he will get weaker or stagnates instead of accumulating. In this case, you need to take immediate action. Don`t forget that the baby starts to gain weight after 2 weeks of life (in the first few days after birth, he loses a few hundred grams, then in around 2 weeks, he gains what he has lost and starts to gain weight).
Normally, they should have mustard-like in color and a frequency of 5 – 6 times per day. After 3 – 4 months, the frequency of the stools will be reduced to 1 per day or at 2 days. These situations are normal, meaning that the baby receives enough milk. Instead, if the stools are darker in color, they are rare in frequency and in small quantities, then you should get in touch with a doctor, especially if there are other signs showing that the baby doesn`t get enough milk.
Typically, in the first few months, a baby dries 8 – 10 diapers per day. This means it`s well nourished. However, if you notice it has been a few hours since you changed his diaper and he didn`t manage to wet the new diaper, then he may not have received enough milk. – Read more!
Baby Swallows the Milk When He`s Sucking
When you sit with the baby at your breast, watch him and see if he swallows the milk – most of the time babies swallow quite loudly – this is a clear signs that your baby gets enough milk. Still, there are also quieter babies who eat properly without making noises.