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How Can I Tell If I Am Feeding My Baby Enough?

Babies don’t come with instruction books and every child is different. That’s why it’s important to learn your baby’s personality, crying and hunger cues. A baby will let you know when it needs something; especially if they are hungry.

When babies start to show signs that they are hungry, they may show these signs:

Early Signs of Starvation

  • Rooting (turning your head to the side)
  • Lip Smacking
  • Breasts in Fistan
  • He opens his mouth
  • Fussing begins

Late Signs of Starvation

  • Extreme anger
  • Crying out loud
  • Excessive Sleep Due to Lack of Energy

In the beginning it is important to feed your baby every 2-3 hours, even if your baby is sleeping. You need to wake them up so they can eat, because if they don’t eat every few hours, their blood sugar can drop dangerously fast. If your baby is too sleepy to wake up, you might try some of these techniques to wake them up:

  • Break their legs
  • Use a wet washcloth on their backs and legs.
  • Try to play with them or talk to them
  • Change their color
  • Take off their clothes

These are just a few suggestions for waking up a sleeping baby. I know a lot of people say you shouldn’t wake a sleeping baby, but it’s important in the first few months. So now that you and your baby are getting used to breastfeeding, you may be wondering how much your baby eats while breastfeeding.

There are many ways to make sure your child is getting enough.

Diapers – A newborn baby should have around 6-8 wet diapers in a 24 hour period. If your baby is not getting enough milk, then his urine output will decrease. Your child should also be evaluated by a pediatrician, contact their office for further advice.

Weight checks – In the first few days after your baby is born, most doctors will want to see your baby in their office for a weight check and they will also check for jaundice. If your baby is not gaining weight, the pediatrician will advise you what to do. Also, you can seek the advice of a certified lactation consultant who can help you and your baby.

Weigh the child before and after meals – This technique will allow you to know exactly how much your child is eating. Take your baby’s weight after feeding and subtract it from the starting weight. The weight difference is an estimate of how many ounces your child is eating.

Breast pump – A breast pump can help you estimate how much your baby is feeding. Some moms will express breast milk for going out or just to get their baby to use a bottle. A pump is not as effective as a baby but it can serve as a guide to determine how much your baby is eating during a nursing session. Note: During the first few weeks you can only get half an ounce of milk per pumping session. This is very good and do not be disappointed. As your baby grows, your milk supply will change. (When my baby was a few weeks old, I pumped at most two to three ounces at a time. As my baby got older, my output changed. At 2 months, I would pump 3 to 4 ounces at a time. Now my baby is 8. monthly, I can pump 5-7 ounces together. I use a double electric breast pump that allows me to express milk from both breasts at once.)

Crying – A hungry child may suck your breast and then suck it. They may cry out of sadness when they leave. However, do not assume that they are not getting enough breast milk without ruling out the possibility that something else is happening to the baby such as gas, upset stomach, over-drying, over-tiredness. For gas problems, try feeding the baby or giving gas drops if you have permission from your pediatrician. Even small babies need to cry often. You will learn to hold your children and quickly adapt to his needs. Don’t get discouraged, if something doesn’t work, try something else.

Complementary Nursing System – If your baby is struggling with weight gain, your doctor may recommend supplementation. This device allows you to continue breastfeeding your baby, while the additional nursing system provides your baby with extra nutrients during breastfeeding. It attaches to your breast and you continue to feed your baby as normal. You can use breast milk or formula in a nursing system.

If you are still concerned about your baby’s weight after reviewing these six suggestions, please consult your child’s doctor, health care provider or a certified lactation consultant.

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