Is Your Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk or Formula?

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Being a new parent can be stressful, especially when so many different situations can make you wonder if things are progressing the way they should with your newborn. Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding or a combination, sometimes it’s difficult to gauge if your baby is getting all the nutrition he or she needs. There are times where babies may just stop feeding for no reason, and other times when they seem ravenous. Here are some clues as to whether your little one is or isn’t getting enough milk:

Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk or Formula:

  • Your baby is feeding between eight and ten times a day.
    • If you’re formula feeding, your baby should take in about 2.5 ounces (75 ml) of formula a day for every pound (453 grams) of body weight on average.
  • If breastfeeding, your breasts feel emptied and softer after a feed or pumping session. However, it is important to know that even as early as 2 weeks breasts naturally soften and may not get full like they do at the beginning.
  • Your baby has around six to seven wet diapers and three to four soiled diapers per 24-hour timeframe. After a month or so, some babies won’t poop as often as 3-4 times per day and as long as everything else is fine, then that’s OK.
  • Consistent weight gain as outlined below. Keep in mind that breastfed baby’s do grow slower on occasion, and if baby’s pediatrician are using the old CDC charts (that were based on formula-fed infants) instead of the new WHO ones, a slower weight gain in breastfed babies looks a little more drastic:
    • 0-4 months should gain 5-7 oz. per week on average.
    • 4-6 months should gain 4-5 oz. per week on average.
    • 6-12 months should gain 2-4 oz. per week on average.
  • Baby seems content and satisfied after a feed.
  • Your little one is alert, active and meeting developmental milestones.

Your Baby Is Not Getting Enough Breast Milk or Formula: 

  • Inadequate weight gain. Especially if your baby is losing weight within the first 2-4 weeks of his or her life, or at any other time, consult your doctor.
  • Your baby has less than six to seven wet diapers and three to four soiled diapers per 24-hour timeframe.
  • After a breastfeeding session, your breasts don’t feel emptied and still feel firm after a feed.
  • Your baby is lethargic or sleeps too long of stretches.

Ultimately, babies are good self-regulators and their intake will vary from day to day to meet his or her own specific needs. Instead of hard fixed amounts, let your little one tell you when they’ve had enough. If he or she becomes fidgety or easily distracted during a feed, your baby is probably finished eating. If he or she drains the bottle and continues smacking their lips, your baby might still be hungry.

If you experience a combination of signs more than just once in a while it may be that your baby is not getting enough nutrition. Keep a close eye on the above signs and don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician.

When You’re Not Sure
Happy Family’s Infant Feeding Support Center allows you to live chat with an expert on nutrition and lactation and can help you figure out why your little one may be acting a certain way. After asking a series of questions to get to know your unique situation, the lactation consultants will provide some insight as to how your baby should be growing at that specific age, and provide tips before directing you to your doctor for further assessment of your baby.

Ask an Expert
You probably already know the Happy Baby brand as the creators of delicious and nutritious food for babies, toddlers, kids and expectant mamas. What you may not know is that Happy Family has made it their mission to provide expert resources and emotional support to families to help them make the best feeding choices for their babies. That’s why they created the Infant Feeding Support Center, where parents can have direct—and free—access to lactation consultants and nutritionists to get answers to questions about their babies’ nutritional needs and the best ways to nourish them.

What You’ll Learn
On the Infant Feeding Support Center, you can chat with one of the Happy Mama Milk Mentors, a group of lactation specialists and nutritionists (they’re not only experts; they’re also moms!) about all of your questions regarding feeding your baby. The mamas are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EST).

The support center also houses educational articles on a variety of topics related to feeding babies. If you’ve chosen to formula-feed, you can learn about how to prep formula, the nutritional needs of babies age 6-12 months, how to transition from breast to formula, and more. If you’ve chosen to breastfeed, the articles cover such topics as latching tips, how to deal with low milk supply, and how to nurse while you work.

You’re Not Alone
Chatting with the Happy Mama Milk Mentors can give you help with feeding issues and nutritional information that is critical to your baby’s health. But more than that, you will develop the confidence in knowing that you’re not alone and that you have the knowledge to help you make the best nutritional choices for your baby.

Visit the Happy Family Infant Feeding Resource Center for more information or to chat with a Happy Mama Milk Mentor.

–– Facts provided by Happy Family Happy Mama Milk Mentors