If you are directly breastfeeding, you are always curious about how much your baby is breastfeeding. You may be worried about whether your child is eating well or whether you are giving them enough milk. Today, we will go over the different indicators that you can use to check whether your child is eating to settle your concerns.
Is my child eating enough?
If the urine of a child (1 week to 4 months) comes out of 6 or more disposable diapers (8 to 13 times of urination) on a 24-hour basis, it means that they have eaten enough. If your baby is urinating less frequently, you should check to see if they are eating enough.
2. Check Weight Gain
The desirable weight gain for babies is 157-227 g per week for 0-4 months, 80-150 g per week for 4-6 months, and 45-80 g per week for 6 months or older. But a baby doesn't grow the exact same amount every week. Remember that weight growth during growth spikes is fast, and weight growth during growth plateaus is slow. Instead, you should check that your baby is growing steadily every month as a whole.
3. The Baby is Suckling
If you are breastfeeding directly, you may hear your baby swallowing. After a nipple latch, the baby first suckles quickly. You should also hear the sound of your baby swallowing milk. See how much your baby is concentrating on sucking. 1) Is your baby's temple twitching? 2) Is the baby constantly suckling? 3) Does your child concentrate without shaking his or her limbs? If they are constantly suckling without too much effort, then you know you're providing enough breast milk in each feeding.
4. Feeding Time and Feeding Term
The feeding time and feeding period are different for each baby. They also differ in their ability to suck and swallow. Therefore, it is recommended to breastfeed from time to time until 1 to 2 weeks after birth without starting to create set periods and intervals between the feeding time and lactation period. If you breastfeed frequently, you can increase your baby's intake. Smooth breastfeeding starts from 3 to 4 weeks of age.
5. Satisfied Expression, Clenched Fists.
If sufficient suckling has been achieved, the baby is satisfied. Even babies with strong sucking needs can see satisfaction even for a short time. When the child eats satisfactorily, their expression changes to a gentle expression. The child will seem to relax, with their clenched fists loosely extended.
6. A Feeling That the Mother's Breasts Have Become Lighter.
In the case that you are completely breastfeeding your child, the feeling of the mother's breasts can also be a measure of judgment. If you feel like your breasts have lightened, it means that you have done enough breastfeeding for your baby after you consider the other factors on this list.
7. Your baby's full signal.
When your baby has eaten enough, they send a signal that they are full. If your baby is pushing their nipples with their tongue, crying without sucking hard, or letting go of the nipples on their own, these are signs that they are full. A sign that your baby is licking her mouth is more of an instinctive reflex. So, the fact that your baby is licking their lips does not necessarily mean they are hungry! To properly distinguish between instinctive behaviours and signs of hunger, it is necessary to roughly understand your baby’s own ‘feeding schedule’ once they are more than 2 weeks old.
# Parenting advice from Director Hyang-Hwa Kwon
The primary indicators of whether your baby has eaten enough are the frequency of urination and weight growth. If your baby urinates 8 to 13 times a day, you can rest assured that they have eaten enough. You can't check your baby’s weight every day, so record your child’s weight at your pediatric visit after 1-2 weeks to see how many grams your baby has grown per week. It is difficult for new mothers to read and judge their baby's reaction from time to time. Growth is more difficult to spot during spikes or stagnant periods. I hope you will develop your confidence in parenting by checking whether your baby has eaten enough based on their urinations and weight growth, rather than the baby's reactions.
Author: Kwon Hyang-hwa
- Newborn Childcare Coach
- IBCLC International Breastfeeding Specialist
- Worked as the director of a postpartum care center for 10 years.